The Plaza Hotel is reborn. Just today. In 1848, it was one of the first tourist establishments in Nice. It was then called Hotel de France. It later took the name Plaza.
After four years of closure and pharaonic works, the 140 meters of ocher facade stretched along the avenue de Verdun, become the Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel.
Anantara, a Thai brand from the Minor group, which is establishing itself for the first time in France in order to bring this architectural jewel of the Belle Époque back to life by transforming it.
October 2018: the old Plaza closes. After having belonged for three decades to Gilbert Stellardo, former president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Alpes-Maritimes, first deputy mayor of Nice and president of the OGC Nice.
After having been owned by the Italian group Boscolo, which resold it to an American pension fund, which itself sold it to Covivio Hotels, one of the French leaders in hotel investment in Europe. A two-entity partition. Covivio owns the walls, Minor will operate it under the name of Anantara, meaning “endless” in Sanskrit.
The 175 rooms, the bar, the roof terrace… are unrecognizable. The four-star becomes a five-star, eager to establish itself as one of the most prestigious addresses in international tourism.
Destined for the aristocracy
A legitimate place for the establishment designed, from its construction in the 19th century, to seduce and welcome the French, Russian and English aristocracy. More than 60 years before the advent of Negresco.
At the time, a large-scale hotel had to be built, a few steps from the seaside, according to precise specifications, containing all the services to which a demanding clientele was entitled. Over the years, the vessel evolves, changes.
History has been preserved through the listed facade, which was completely remodeled Belle Époque style between 1919 and 1920 by Charles Dalmas.
Inside, 150 employees (200 in high season) animate a building, completely revisited and adopting all modern standards and services: dazzling roof terrace, spa, cozy rooms and suites, business center, babysitting … Everything is modern, adapted to current expectations, but without denying the past or the tradition of the great designers, respected through beautiful materials, elegant lines, delicate details. Luxury open to everyone, starting with the people of Nice.
A spa open to all
For Anantara, letting go goes through the spa, which is part of the brand’s DNA. A 300m2 spa open to all, “in order to enrich the local offer”, believes Stéphane Vilar. This experience follows a holistic mind-body approach.
More concretely, five treatment and massage cabins, wrapped in organic marine cosmetics from a Breton house and an exclusive mimosa-ginger oil designed by craftsmen from Mouans-Sartoux, a sauna, a hammam, a pedicure room bring well-being to all the senses.
Next door, a fitness room will offer yoga, flying yoga, pilates, etc. in the coming weeks. Naturally to this relaxation compatible with the tone, a nutritionist will complete the physical and mental peace of mind. From 80 to 205 euros per service.
151 rooms, including 38 suites
Formerly, the establishment had 175 rooms. There are now 151, much larger, including 38 suites spread over each level, redesigned, as well as the corridors, by the Madrid firm TBC Studio. The 54m2 “Baie des Anges” signature suite and its kitchenette serve as a suspended studio, while the presidential suite and its 74m2 plunges, from the 5th floor, into the Albert-1er gardens and, in the background, towards the Mediterranean .
All the rooms – 96 overlooking the avenue de Verdun and 55 overlooking the city – are in tune with the times, combining taupe colours, warm parquet floors, wood paneling, gilding and reflections that are as soothing as they are chic. The bathrooms? In marble (almond green in the suites). Respecting the environment thanks to collective distributors of 98% natural citrus-based products, made in Aix. “We should be the only chain hotel to offer a shower gel for men and another for women”, slips the director. The bedding, ample, opulent, inspires the absolute dream on impressive thicknesses, duvets in goose feathers, pillow menus. In each closet, a rolled up yoga mat. On the walls, photos reviving the golden age of the Riviera. Balconies and terraces are an invitation to visual travel, as the view is so beautiful.
Obviously, the telephone equipment and the wifi are hign tech. To experience the feeling of “here and now”, each accommodation has its own machine with coffee roasted in Carros, produced by a Monegasque company, contained in biodegradable capsules. And what’s in the minibar? “A special cuvée created by Château de Crémat: Riviera for the white and Cuvée du Paillon for the red.”
Room prices: from 300 to 3,600 euros in low season and between 700 and 7,000 euros in high season.
The roof terrace, the Wahou effect for all
the rooftop (in French, roof terrace) will be available tomorrow. To everyone, morning, noon and evening. And frankly, it’s the wow effect! For the 360 degree view of the sea, the city, the mountains. For space. For design. In all, 216 places. The double before: 76 inside, 80 outside, 60 at the bar. Because at the top of the Anantara Plaza Nice, enhanced with a 6th level, in particular to install the machinery, three spaces coexist: glass roof, shaded pergola, sunny terrace. This means that the entire roof surface is commercialized with a 230m2 restaurant closed by retractable bay windows, in front, a 91m2 terrace all in length plus, on the side, a 95m2 event space and finally, on the right side , looking towards the sea, a bar with pergola of 68m2. More 200m2 of green spaces.
All three elevators are now direct from the ground floor. No need to finish the ascent by a few steps.
This spectacular rooftop is combined with several stages (brunch, live cooking, etc.), orchestrated by chef Denis Gamard, a disciple of Auguste Escoffier, trained in many establishments, including the Péninsula Paris. He is in charge of the kitchens, combining Asian flavors and local tradition. At his side, Olivier Da Costa stages gourmet horizons, in particular from Nice, at the Seen Restaurant by Olivier, open in the evening only.
Lobby, caviar bar, large lounge: classic, Art Deco and trendy
The bright entrance, surmounted by a succession of arches, leads to two major spaces on the ground floor. The lobby and the ball room. The first, circular, with a contemporary look with its decoration inspired by the sea and green or wooded nature, houses, at certain times of the day, Les Colonnades, a caviar and seafood bar, where Nice dishes. In the afternoon, this bar becomes a tea room, where products are displayed on the nacelles of a Ferris wheel.
Next to it, where the old bar was, there is also a rounded space of 320m2: Le Riviera or ball room. A ballroom, more precisely, a salon of honor dedicated to large receptions. Lobby, ball room and roof terrace have been requalified by the Nice architect firm Jean-Paul Gomis. Which also designed the facade and fitness. A meticulous work, carried out in collaboration with a famous London decorator David Collins Studio, to whom was more especially entrusted the common areas. This combination of know-how has made it possible to rediscover the majesty of yesteryear with double height under ceiling, glass roof, natural lighting, cupola, refined interiors. In short, classic shapes reinterpreted in a contemporary way, reviving with an Art Deco touch. “A Belle Époque spirit, which is the image of Épinal de Nice and which has been modernized”.
As for the objects, furniture, lights, they unroll organic shapes reminiscent of boats, waves, shells, corals. Willingly creamy white “to accompany an authentic and profound 100% Anantara experience”summarizes the director of the place, really unrecognizable.
Go off the beaten track
In the philosophy of the new establishment, place of stay also rhymes with discovery of the region, going off the beaten track. “Nice, a city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will be the starting point for thematic horizons, specially designed for the clientele.”
Grand cru outings
Tasty getaway to discover the region’s vineyards to taste classified growths.
Head for the picturesque villages of the hinterland of Nice in a limousine or Citroën 2CV.
Of the nose
Journey to the land of scents and olfactory walk in the Grasse region.
Longing for wide
From land to sea, there is only one step that will be taken with boarding a catamaran and heading to the Lérins Islands for a double island visit.
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