Côte d’Azur Dreaming: Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel

Baie des Anges, Nice. Photo by Arno Smit via Unsplash

The South of France has long captured the imaginations of creatives drawn to the region’s ethereal light. Picasso, Monet, Chagall, and Matisse made the Côte d’Azur their home at one time or another, and their spirit can be felt along Nice's shores and within the narrow streets of its old town. Artists of our generation also appear to be inspired by Nice’s stimulating ambiance, as evidenced by my recent sighting of a few film idols. This capital of the French Riviera has it all: Michelin-starred cuisine, museums, galleries, high-end boutiques, and gracious hotels, such as Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel. This recently rejuvenated 19th century, Belle Époque jewel blends Old World elegance with contemporary luxury. Its location and reputation made it an easy choice for my two days along the French Riviera. Here is how I enjoyed my time at Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel: 


Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel

My sighting of the two A-list American actors enjoying the hotel’s hospitality was a fun start to my stay. The region features a number of posh hotel options, and this duo and their entourages chose Anantara. A very good sign. My fifth floor room featured a furnished terrace overlooking the verdant Le Jardin Albert 1st and the glittering Promenade des Anglais—the most famous stretch of seafront in Nice. Many of the hotel’s 151 rooms (including 38 suites) are sea-facing, and each is inspired by the sparkling Mediterranean, as well as by the golden era of the Côte d’Azur. Warm, modern interiors are marble-clad, with rich textures and subtle accents of wood and gold. Design honors the Neo-classical style of the original hotel, which first opened in 1848 as Nice’s very first luxury hotel.

My Hollywood friends were likely ensconced in either the 581-square foot Baie des Anges Signature Suite with its spacious living area, kitchenette, and panoramic terrace, or the even grander 807-square foot Albert Ist Suite Panoramic Sea View, an elegant space featuring breathtaking views and a terrace designed for sunbathing and private celebrations. Yet, they were surely no more comfortable than I in my cozy digs, the view of which made the space feel expansive.

Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel sea view guest room
Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel Albert Ist Suite Panoramic Sea View balcony

With jet lag setting in, the hotel’s Anantara Spa seemed a rejuvenating way to spend the afternoon. This serene retreat features a hammam, a sauna, and a relaxation room with zero gravity day beds. My Intense Revitalization Treatment with Marine Magnesium was ideal, lulling me to a re-energized state that prepared me for the night ahead. The spa uses top-range marine skincare products by THALION from Bretagne, made with natural essential oils from the Grasse region. The collection features Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel's signature “Coucher de Soleil' oil, a yummy smelling formulation of locally sourced mimosa, ginger, and aromatic botanicals. (Anantara’s Spa apparently is also favored by locals who especially enjoy the transformative pedicures curated by celebrity pedicurist Bastien Gonzalez, known for his playful approach to foot care.)

Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel Spa reception

Dinner at the hotel’s rooftop SEEN by Olivier made clear the double entendre name. Referencing the scenery as well as the energetic “see and be seen” vibe, SEEN is the hotel’s glamorous signature restaurant favored by locals as well as hotel guests. Directed by Portuguese chef-entrepreneur Olivier da Costa, SEEN offers contemporary Mediterranean fare and creative sushi dishes within a whimsical, wisteria-draped dining room with 360° views of the city and Baie des Anges; think Nicoise specialties subtly scented with black truffles from the nearby village of Le Rouret, briny sea urchins, and plump oysters from local waters The adjacent, al fresco, SEEN Rooftop Bar, closed during this early spring visit, must surely be one of the most popular spots in town. Just like da Costa’s SEEN restaurants in Lisbon, Sao Paulo, and Bangkok, the Nice location lures the stylish beau monde, of which I felt temporarily a part as I sipped my flute of Louis Roederer Champagne.

Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel SEEN Rooftop Bar

Awakening to brilliant sunshine, I enjoyed a beautiful buffet breakfast before meeting my hotel-arranged tour guide for a street food tour. Exploring Old Nice, we sampled tasty items within the iconic Cours Saleya Market, savoring local traditional delicacies like pissaladie're and socca at Distillerie, a typical Nice bar. Had my wanderlust expanded beyond that which I could conquer by foot, the Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel concierge could have arranged for my choice of vintage sports cars in which to cruise nearby villages. Or, he could have arranged for a chauffeured boat tour along the Mediterranean coast to charming Villefranch, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Had I more time, I would have loved the “A Picasso Inspired Path” tour which explores the sights and settings that inspired the artistic genius. 

Fresh produce at Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel's Old Town Street Food Tour. Photo: Fran Miller
Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel can arrange for a vintage sports car tour of the French Riviera

In warmer weather, guests can enjoy the beach via the hotel’s partnership with Ruhl Plage, the oldest managed beach club and restaurant in Nice. Steps from the hotel, and still in the hands of the family that opened it in 1920, Ruhl Plage and its navy and white striped sun umbrellas and day beds are as quintessential to the Côte d’Azur as Nice’s famed les chaises bleue that line Promenade des Anglais.

Let Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel book you a chauffeured boat tour of the Côte d’Azur

After experiencing this lovely hotel and its luxe hospitality, it was easy to see why those who can choose to stay anywhere choose Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel.  

Photos courtesy of Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel, unless otherwise noted

Fran Endicott Miller

Fran Endicott Miller is a luxury focused freelance feature and travel writer for a variety of lifestyle publications and websites, editor-at-large for, senior contributor to Napa Valley Life Magazine, and a California editor for luxury travel concierge service Essentialist, specializing in the Napa Valley. Prior to her journalism career she held positions in the fields of politics, te...(Read More)

Related Articles

Around the web