What I’ve been doing this week – the perfect hotel on the French Riviera

Hi Frugalistas!

I’m starting what I hope will be a regular-ish post on what I’ve been up to travel-wise lately. I’ve recently been planning a trip to Europe for April. In particular I’ve been looking at hotels on the French Riviera and working out where to stay and what to do.

Plenty of iconic towns to stay in - but not really frugal......

Plenty of iconic towns to stay in – but not really frugal……

The first thing to consider is that I’m flying in from London, so I spent a fair bit of time working out where to fly into. While there are a number of options I’ve decided to go with Nice because there are far more flights and therefore far more choice of arrival times.

Secondly I’ve been working out where to stay. There are obviously plenty of attractive places to stay along the coast of the Riviera and in the hill towns, so I ended up short listing a couple of places to base myself. But in the end I’ve decided to stick to Nice. Not necessarily the most glamorous or gorgeous of bases but practical because it meets my needs for what i want to do while I’m there. I want to do some trips up into the hills, probably to Eze and St Paul de Vence, and there is a train trip up into the Alpes Maritime I’m interested in doing, so decided Nice would be my best option as the main transport hub for both train and bus. Add in the best choice of hotels and restaurants and it becomes a done deal.

Beautiful Antibes.  I would have loved to stay there, but it just didn't make sense for what I wanted to do......

Beautiful Antibes. I would have loved to stay there, but it just didn’t make sense for what I wanted to do……

Finally the hotel itself. I’m on a budget, in a part of the world where nothing comes cheap, so anything with a sea view is off the agenda this time. I also want somewhere fairly close to restaurants and in a safe neighbourhood (I’m traveling alone). Regular readers will know about my free wifi non-resolution for this year. Putting all of this together gives me my checklist of what I’m looking for. Using a combination of my guidebook, Tripadvisor and hotel websites, I’m finally done and my choice is made! Two blocks from the beach and the airport bus, within easy distance of plenty of restaurants and the station for the train to my onward journey. And most importantly, free wifi and within my budget.

Eze - much easier to visit by bus from Nice than anywhere else

Eze – much easier to visit by bus from Nice than anywhere else

Will it be the perfect hotel? Who knows really, and only time will tell. What I do know that is that I’ve been very clear about my priorities and budget, and how this part of my trip fits into my overall journey. I know that the hotel I’ve chosen is the one that best meets my criteria and therefore is the one that has the best chance to be perfect.

No water view this time....maybe next.....

No water view this time….maybe next…..

If you are clear about each component of your trip, your budget and needs, you too will give yourself the best chance at finding a perfect hotel!

Photo credits:

Map: onedreamtravel.com
Antibes: author’s own
Eze: eze-riviera.com
Nice beachfront: travel.nationalgeographic.com


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5 Comments on “What I’ve been doing this week – the perfect hotel on the French Riviera”

  1. Michael in Cannes 12/01/2013 at 8:49 pm #

    I can see we have pretty much the same priorities when travelling! Don’t forget the train, which is incredibly scenic at times and connects a lot of dots on the map!

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 13/01/2013 at 2:48 pm #

      I’m glad I’m on the right track with the train. It was already a must-do and now I’m even more determined. Thanks for your words of advice.

  2. Geek Goddess 12/01/2013 at 11:55 pm #

    Gorgeous place!

    If the guidebook says “Driving is not suggested in this town”, pay attention 🙂

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 13/01/2013 at 7:25 am #

      Yes, been there and learned that lesson! Will be walking and public transport all the way, most definitely!

  3. continentalcajuns 13/01/2013 at 6:28 am #

    Sounds like a wonderful trip!

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