Base in Cote D'Azur, France

Apr 16th, 2004, 08:39 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Base in Cote D'Azur, France

Dear Fodorites,
We will be staying 6 nights in the french riviera in late june . We will have a car and want to visit MONACO, Antibes, CANNES, St RAPHAEL ,ST TROPEZ AND sT pAUL DE vENCE on day trips. Were is the best seaside base which has a bit of cafe/promenade/markets nightlife.
odesseus is offline  
Apr 16th, 2004, 02:12 PM
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Apr 16th, 2004, 02:51 PM
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Nice, Cannes, or Juan les Pins.
Surfergirl is offline  
Apr 16th, 2004, 03:22 PM
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I'd pick Nice over Cannes for a base. In my opinion, it's much more charming and less pretentious than Cannes. Also, it offers a wider selection of hotels and restaurants in every price range.

Since you're going in late June, I'd advise you to take the train or bus as much as possible, and only use your car when necessary, like for your trip to St. Tropez. Parking in season can be a real nightmare, and there is excellent transportation by bus or train available from Nice to most cities and towns along the coast.

Good luck!
Weadles is offline  
Apr 17th, 2004, 05:25 AM
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And know that parking a car on the streets can be most difficult, if you even find a spot and then the car has to be moved to street cleaning. If not moved, the car will be booted and away it goes. Hotels often charge and the fee can run $20 nite or more.

While most places you want to visit can be done by train or bus except for St. Tropez, a car is good to have. Do, however, check with your hotel about parking and the fee they charge and include this in your budget.
Apr 17th, 2004, 05:42 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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I would also recommend NICE for a base. I did prefer it over Cannes, and I think you will have more hotel choices in Nice as well.

Most hotels right on the water looked pretty "pricey" to us, but we did see Mercure Marche Aux Fleur which I think would probably be reasonable and we thought it was in a great location. (I have no idea what your budget is, but Nice can be quite spendy...).

Good luck!
Wesch is offline  
Apr 17th, 2004, 10:34 AM
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Hi, Odesseus,

Like many of the others, I'd recommend Nice, both based on the other towns you'd like to visit and because the old town restaurants/markets and the waterfront are wonderful at night. Cannes is a great daytrip, and the walk along the water there is great. But, it's too far west for what you want to do, I think.

Anyway, have fun.

John H
jh6000 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2004, 11:34 AM
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We've stayed in Nice and liked it, but parking is difficult, so you might consider Villefrace sur mer...a smaller town just a few miles from Nice that is very charming.
artlover is offline  
Apr 17th, 2004, 11:43 AM
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Artlover, I was glad to see you suggest Villefranche sur mer as a base for the French Riviera. We will be staying there this summer. If you or anyone else has stayed there or visited there, could you suggest a few good restaurants in the area? We may not always want to drive a distance for dinner and although we have an apartment, we may not want to cook all the time either. Thanks.
Marianna is offline  
Apr 17th, 2004, 11:45 AM
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Perhaps I should post this as a separate question. I did not mean to take anything away from your original question, odesseus. I apologize.
Marianna is offline  
Apr 18th, 2004, 02:15 AM
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Villegranche-sur-Mer...super in EVERY way. Beautiful area/location. The train is right there to hop on and off to go anyplace...breakfast in Villefranceh, lunch in Monte Carlo, Shop in San Remo (Italy) til 8, have dinner and catch late train back...can you beat that?? I will be there first of October staing in a beautiful apt. up the hill with car parking and ALL the amenities. Can walk down to the village, catch the train to wherever..7km from Nice airport.
a bientot
gracejoan is offline  
Apr 18th, 2004, 02:40 AM
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Thankyou all for the great ideas. Still considering Nice as a base mainly for the great buzz at night just strolling around, although my research for Hotels near Old Nice have not met with satisfaction. Still searching though. I will now try Villefranch -sur-Mer.Thanks again.
odesseus is offline  
Apr 18th, 2004, 07:42 AM
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Villefranche is lovely, but I don't think there's any substitute for being IN Nice. There's so much to do through the early hours of the morning, and the convenience factor alone is something seriously worth considering.

What is your price range for hotels? We always stay at the Hotel Westminster, on the Promenade des Anglais, which is only about a fifteen minute walk from Vieux Nice, and directly across the street from the sea.

I'd highly recommend the hotel, since we've always had wonderful stays there, but lately the hotel has been cited for some maintenance issues on Still,the sea view rooms are quite comfortable and large, and the view is hard to beat!

Other hotels that have received favorable recommendations here on the forum are: Hotel Grimaldi, The West End, and the Windsor. All of these are within walking distance to Vieux Nice.

Weadles is offline  
Apr 18th, 2004, 08:16 AM
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For a reasonably priced hotel near Vieux Nice, check out the Mercure Promenade des Anglais. Quite a few of the roomshave sea views, and the rates for those are substantially less than at places like Le Meridien. It's only about a 2-block walk to Vieux Nice.


Glad to see you're returning to France!
Underhill is online now  
Apr 18th, 2004, 09:01 AM
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One thing is sure, you won't have any problem to park your car in Monaco. The whole underground of the city is one big parking. I highly recommend a visit of this place. I thought it was the most beautiful city of the Côte d'Azur.
martinewezel is offline  

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