Inside a 19th-Century Building That Been Transformed Into a Luxury Hotel in the South of France
The 19th-century building underwent a lengthy two-year renovation to debut the new hotel.
BY Dana Givens  |  March 25, 2023
3 Minute Read

Anantara Hotels & Resorts

Looks like there’s a new glam hotel splashing down in the French Riviera. 

After expanding throughout Europe for the past year, Anantara Hotels & Resorts is welcoming its newest property in the South of France. Located along Nice’s signature boardwalk in the Golden Square, the luxe resort is housed inside a 19th-century heritage building that has been given a second life thanks to an extensive two-year renovation. The hotel’s neoclassical decor embodies that rich 175-year-old history with its Belle Èpoque–era ambiance, neutral palette and golden accents; the aesthetic and overall design were helmed jointly by the award-winning David Collins Studio, architect Jean-Paul Gomis and the TBC studio.

The view from the hotel’s Presidential Suite balcony. 

Bringing its old-world elegance to the Côte d’Azur, the property was actually home to the city’s first luxury hotel, the aptly named Hotel de France, which opened in 1848. In the present day, the building offers a total of 151 rooms, each with views of lush gardens or the glittering sea, that offer up marble-clad interiors and rich wooden textures. Of those lodgings, you’ll find 38 suites, the grandest being the 807-square-foot Presidential Suite on the 5th floor, with views of the Baie des Anges from its private balcony.

The real gem of the resort is its premier rooftop restaurant, Seen by Oliver, created in partnership with chef-entrepreneur Olivier de Costa, who runs trendy eateries in destinations such as Lisbon and São Paulo. Black truffles, plump local oysters and other Mediterranean delicacies dot the menu, which you can enjoy at the eatery’s indoor seating. Outside, meanwhile, you’ll find stunning 360-degree views of the city and Baie des Anges in the distance. If you’re in the mood for some bubbly and caviar—you are in France, after all—opt for the hotel’s Les Colonnades restaurant, inspired by the gardens of Nice, with a menu of light bits and fresh seafood. When you’re ready for relaxation after a delicious meal, head to the on-site spa to unwind with five treatment rooms, a hammam and a sauna, plus a litany of exclusive massage oils.

Inside the chic Les Colonnades, filled with pops of green.

“The opening of Anantara Plaza Nice embodies the coalescence of an iconic destination in a city that is reimagining itself as a cultural hotspot and the arrival of an international brand bringing global awareness and discerning guests,” Stéphane Vilar, general manager of Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel, said in a press statement. “As a gateway to the Mediterranean, this property offers guests a taste of Anantara’s journey as the brand evolves in new markets and captures the imagination of a new segment of luxury clientele.”

Off-property, the hotel will also have a selection of local adventures on offer. You could choose to take a trip inspired by Coco Chanel (including a pit-stop at her official Nice residence) and visit one of wineries in France at Château de Cremat, perhaps, or enjoy a journey to the medieval village of Biot, where you’ll learn all there is to know about the art of glass-blowing and create your own decor to take home with you. 

The Nice location is only one of several new openings from Anantara, including the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky Amsterdam last year and the Palazzo Naiadi Rome Hotel in Italy this month. 

Who knows which locale will be next?

Rates for rooms start at US$354 (HK$2775) per night. 

Click here to see the Anantara Plaza Nice in photos.