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“Misleading High Ratings”

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Hotel Villa La Tour
Ranked #127 of 204 Hotels in Nice
Reviewed 19 February 2011

Reading the reviews (including those on this site) and the hotel website, I was charmed at the thought of sleeping in a converted 18th century convent while visiting Nice for a week in February 2011. What online seems to be a charming little well-rated hotel in the old town of Nice, is in fact more of a B&B, physically located between, not one, but two "Private Gentlemen Clubs" in a dark side alley. Hotel Villa La Tour is across the main bus station, also known as "one the grottiest parts of Nice, long overdue for a complete face-lift".

I had booked a superior room online, for the whole week. I checked out early due to unsatisfactory not to say deplorable conditions. Their changing my room was not helpful either, more surprises were unveiled... Don't be amazed to see white towels scattered around the bedroom floor when you come in the superior room, they cover soiled and damaged carpet. If one of two wall sockets in room is non-operational, please use the one in the bathroom. Light bulbs are not replaced during your stay: I used my blackberry (which was conveniently charging in the bathroom) light for getting ready in the darkness of the convent bathroom.

The sheets were actually covering a thick plastic-like material, not a mattress, it felt more like camping except you were paying full price for accommodation. If you're used to a clean warm bed, this place is a nightmare. I almost forgot the very worst part: the heat is provided by a standalone unit and given its size, it is inadequate to warm up the room. It was freezing cold at night. The thick wool blanket in the room came in handy even though its cleanliness was extremely questionable (which you ignore during the heat of a freezing moment).

There are no attendants at the hotel desk after dinner, you may use the code handed to you at check-in to get in through the side door. Once in your room, be ready to hear everything that's happening on the streets, in the clubs next door, and in your neighbours' rooms. Including banging on the wall from who knows where. The front desk does not answer calls until 8 a.m. so don’t bother calling them for assistance in shutting the noise down at 2 a.m. so that guests may sleep if they so choose.

At best, the experience is like staying at an ashram or at a friend's house. The kind of not-so-comfortable stay one compromises getting for free. At Hotel Villa La Tour, you can face a back alley (captured in photo) with noise that goes on until early morning when restaurants finally fill up garbage containers or you can ask to face the Nice main bus station, a well-travelled intersection with tramways, buses, trains, cars, motorcycles, you name it, all steps away from you -- the choice is yours and both are terrible ones.

I wouldn't have been so displeased with my stay at Hotel Villa La Tour if it weren't for the fact that I actually had to pay for this terrible stay (even free, I would not take it again). The rate is $135/night for this mockery. If you do try it out, at a minimum, take ear plugs. Do enjoy Nice, it’s beautiful!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled solo
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5  Thank reinepersane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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168 - 174 of 431 reviews

Reviewed 25 January 2011

Best location possible in Nice... I think the only hotel in old town. We got the rooms on the top floor and it is no laughing matter if you have large bags! That's just being picky though because once we had the bags up, we were very happy with our choice. 3 min walk to tens of restaurants... good enough breakfast and good enough service. They were helpful whenever we needed them and were generally laid back. Great value and location!

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank donfonni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2010

For the price, the hotel is probably adequate and the location in old Nice is very good - but I wouldn't stay here again. The rooms are very small and while our bathroom was o.k., we travelled with friends and their bathroom was dismal. We were also on the 4th floor and travelling up and down the very narrow stair wells 5 flights several times a day got old. The day we left, there was no running water and our call to the desk was met with little sympathy - don't know if it's a frequent occurence but we were glad to be leaving that day as it didn't sound as though the problem was going to be fixed very quickly - a vague promise of "today". Seems this is a hotel where the room you get will make all of the difference.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank LetsGoSanAntonio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DirectionRivoli, Owner at Hotel Villa La Tour, responded to this reviewResponded 3 November 2010

Thank you for your information. Yes indeed we don't have a elavator, it's a house of the 18th. century and the staircases are tiny ( this makes as well the charme). We only have 3 floors.
Indeed we had to cut the water during the intervention of the plumber, some days ago. We do apologize for the inconvenience. Every room is different, as well the bathrooms. The rerason is, that we try to keep a very personalize caracter for our hotel. In low season we always rennovate things which have to be done. Like this winter as well. We would be happy if your friends could contact us directly in order to know which bathroom wasn't at there convenience. Merci beaucoup.

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Reviewed 23 October 2010

My husband and I recently stayed at Hotel Villa La Tour while in Nice after finding it online. With no expectations we showed up and were extremely impressed with the location, the cleanliness and quaintness of the hotel and the lovely hotel owner and staff. The hotel is within walking distance to some of the best restaurants in Old Nice and, near shopping and near the ocean. We would definitely recommend this place to anyone!!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JennyReid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2010

We have visited Nice for several years now and each time we have stayed at Hotel Villa la Tour. Its location is excellent in the old town, with the beach 10 minutes away in one direction and the shops 10 minutes in another.
Barbara and the staff are friendly and courteous.
Breakfast can be taken outside weather permitting and consists of orange juice, yogurts, cheese, salami, fresh breads etc.. Eggs are boiled on request.
The rooms are spotless and the roof terrace is a delightful place for a drink.
All in all it is a charming place to stay.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank LucieBelfast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2010

Only 1.5 blocks from central bus station in charming old town Nice.
Very nice staff.
My single room was small, but was only there to shower & sleep.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled solo
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Thank booboo22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2010

My husband and I stayed at Villa la Tour for 4 nights in May, at the end of our trip to France. We arrived in Nice by train from Avignon. Getting to the hotel was a bit harried, but that was because we chose not to take a taxi.

To be fair, the hotel was fine. The front desk staff were wonderful and lovely people. But we had just come from Avignon and Paris before that, where I had booked 4-star properties. So this hotel (a 2-star) was quite a step down. I should have expected that, but the reviews here were so positive, that I couldn't reconcile that in my own mind.

Some things you need to know:
-This is pretty much the only hotel in Old Nice. (There are many other hotels in Nice, of course, but none in this historic area.)
-The rooms are all pretty tiny. As such, the bathrooms and "closets" may also be small.
-There is NO ELEVATOR. So if your room is on the 3rd floor, you will be hauling your luggage up 4 flights of narrow stairs (in France, the 1st floor is not the ground floor, but the next one up). My husband nearly hurt himself dragging all our luggage up, and we packed fairly light for a 10-day trip.
-The walls are relatively thin.
-It's a very old building--this lends to some charm, but it also meant that the floors were slightly slanted, and the air system left something to be desired. Even though our room was non-smoking and we kept our windows closed, we could smell smoke every day from the room next to us. We spoke to the front desk about it, and they never could figure out the problem.
-There is a night club next to the hotel. Around midnight, it can get loud.

That said, we did have a nice stay after the initial surprise. We booked through Hotels.com, which screwed up and booked us for one night in one room and another for the remaining 3 nights. The staff was great and moved our stuff for us to our new room--we just needed to make sure we packed everything up before we left in the morning. After moving to a slightly larger room with a view out the front, it was better.

The front desk staff was great with helping us figure out how to get around--since the hotel is practically across the street from a major bus station, this was a great resource. We took the bus to Villefranche-sur-Mer and Monte Carlo, to the Chagall museum, and to Nice airport when our visit was over. The breakfast wasn't fancy, but it was sufficient and inexpensive. Since the hotel is in Old Nice, there are other options if you want to get moving early.

In our first room, the bath was so tiny that my husband barely fit in the shower cubicle. Once we were moved to our superior room, it was much more comfortable. In both rooms, the beds were very low to the ground and not super comfortable, but sufficient.

The location and staff are truly the saving graces of this hotel. We loved wandering Old Nice so much that we skipped a planned day trip to Grasse to spend another day wandering the Cours Saleya market and sitting on the beach. We would go back, but maybe at the beginning of a trip, BEFORE staying at a posh 4-star hotel? In all seriousness, everyone there was lovely, and the location is unbeatable. Just make sure to adjust your expectations and don't bring a ton of luggage unless you want to carry it up a ton of stairs!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Julie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa La Tour

Address: 4 rue de la Tour, 06300 Nice, France
Region: France > Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur > French Riviera - Cote d'Azur > Nice > Old Town / Vieux Nice
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #127 of 204 Hotels in Nice
Price Range: £76 - £122 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Villa La Tour 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel where you will be staying during your visit to Nice is conveniently located, din the historic section of Old Nice, between Place Masséna and Place Garibaldi, bordering the Promenade du Paillon, which stretches as far as the beaches, and within walking distance from the various points of interest in the heart of town. Crowned by the Saint-François Tower (built in the 18th century to provide a steeple to the Franciscan monastery, then in the 19th-c., the City of Nice added a clock, now the tallest building in the city), Hôtel Villa La Tour is a charming spot with a stunning intimate setting designed to make you feel right at home. At Villa La Tour, you'll meet lovers, businessmen, athletes and actors, all here to seek out the charms of Southern France and Old Nice, the nearby seaside, nature, shops, outstanding restaurants, Theatres, Opera Convention venues (Acropolis), des museums (MAMAC, Chagall, Matisse and more). Here, you're at the centre of it all! This cosy boutique hotel has only 17 guestrooms, which are often full, so it is indispensable to book as early as possible. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel La Tour
La Tour Hotel

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