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!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel La Tour
- La Tour Hotel