Nice’s Windsor Hotel — jungle refuge for traveling arts lovers

garden patio of nice’s windsor hotel in south of france

The artist’s hotel, a venerable tradition, is alive and well in France’s golden Cote d’Azure, aka The Riviera. For three nights prior to attending Montpellier Danse, we recovered from jet-lag in Nice — the sun-dappled, seaside city on the Mediterranean. Our home base was the centrally located, warm and charming Windsor Hotel (its English name reflective of the century-long popularity of British tourists).

artsmeme‘s stay at The Windsor was supported by an arrangement with the tourism office of Metropolitan Nice on the Cote d’Azure.

Located in a marvelous historic building attached to an unusually sprawling urban garden, the Windsor is walkable to the central Nice and to the old city. As though location were not enough of a perk, the hotel, for the past forty years has operated in an atmosphere steeped in the tradition of art and artists. The concern for aesthetics starts in the lobby; it continues on the hotel’s walls and staircases; and drills down to the very chambers, which have been given over for design by local artists to imagine with differing color and decor themes. Several rooms have frescoes hand-painted on the walls. Extraordinary.

A cozy warmth is dispelled by a welcoming service atmosphere that appeals to the creative and quirky traveler — who, throughout the day, finds solace on the Windsor’s wide-spreading patio, the source of its tongue-in-cheek nickname as a “Jungle Art Hotel.” There, amidst a veritable grove of trees–giant rubber, black bamboo, palm and fruit trees–one can carve out one’s own curmudgeonly corner; swim laps in an atmospheric pool; or natter with fellow lodgers. One breakfasts there, and, after a long day tromping the Promenade des Anglais (yes, again the British!), afternoon drinks morph into dinner, and, in Nice’s magical evenings come to a perfect close there, in quiet conversation. The hotel rates are reasonable for this exceptional value. We love quirky hotels like the Windsor. Tell them artsmeme sent you!

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