Palais de la Méditerranée is one of the more recent additions in Nice, having opened after restoration in 2004. It is located on the Promenade des Anglais, the main boardwalk, and is only an arm’s length away from the turquoise water and fantastic beaches. The location is definitely as good as it gets: close to the city center, restaurants and bars that are in abundance here.
However, although Palais de la Méditerranée describes itself as a “luxury hotel” it still has a lot of work to do to actually become one. For starters, the service is not very efficient, there are long lines during check-in and check-out and only one or two persons at the desk dealing with customers. The rooms are clean and functional but more of a 4-star level. The restaurant has breath-taking views of the sea but there the glamour ends: the food is mediocre, the service abysmally slow. Not what you would expect when sipping an over-priced glass of wine while waiting for your starter.
There is one thing that really stands out and that is the concierge service: also slow-ish but nevertheless you will get your reservation in a popular restaurant. Even if you need a vet (we did for Sam) they will go the extra mile and find one for you. But that was probably the only pleasant experience we had at Palais de la Méditerranée.
You are much better off at Hotel Le Negresco a few blocks away, where you for more or less the same money get surrounded by stylish luxury and history.
More about Nice: 24 Nice hours
This summer the Sam and the dunes team had a chance to visit Nice, Cote d’Azur. It was a short visit and we started to think – how much can you possibly see and do in only 24 hours? We gave it a shot and the end result you can read about in the National Geographic Traveler. We also want to share with you some pictures from our, how should we put it, frantic-fantastic trip. Voilà!
Visiting Nice for the first time we, of course, had absolutely no clue where to go for dinner. Checking at the hotel where we were staying seemed to be the best bet we could come up with and after hearing our preferences, the concierge replied:
-There is one place I would recommend to you and it’s called La Petite Maison. It’s the trendiest place in town, the food is amazing and on top of that – it is Elton Johns and many other celebrities favorite eatery.
-Great, we replied. Can you please book a table for two?
-But there is one thing you should know before you make up your mind, she said.
The woman looked at us and the tone of her voice suddenly changed. She leaned forward and whispered:
-I must warn you, the place is sort of famous for its rude service. I mean VERY rude service.
She eyed us up and down as if she was doubting we would think her recommendation sounded as such a great idea after all.
Trying to look as cool as possible we replied in one voice:
-Book us there. 9 PM. Sharp.
Later in the evening, while strolling down the street towards the restaurant, we suddenly started to question our decision. Why, in our right mind, were we voluntarily going to a place where the service is famous for its rudeness? (Read Tripadvisor and you will see that this is no joke). But there was no more time to think about our decision now. We had arrived. On wobbly and shaky legs we entered the restaurant with the same feeling most seven year old’s have during their first day at school. Pure fear.
To our surprise (and disappointment) nothing particularly scary happened during the dinner. Instead, the service was quite the opposite – very friendly. But it was still hard to stay completely relaxed, and when it was time to pay the bill, we suddenly noticed that our waiter by mistake actually had charged us for four (!!) lobster pastas (instead of two). However, after hearing the concierge’s earlier warnings about the place, that was something we never dared to question…
For reservations, please call: +33 4 92 98 77 89 (and BTW…Good Luck!)