What’s so special
Hotel Negresco is one of France’s landmark hotels with its Belle Epoque façade and pink dome. Inside, it’s brim full with antique furniture and expensive art. The staff uniforms also make this hotel stand out, although try not to smirk when you hand your car keys to a valet in knee breeches and a plumed hat.
How they rate it
“The world is full of five-star hotels, but the Negresco is incomparable,” says The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. It has been a landmark on the Promenade des Anglais for a century and in that time “everyone’s been – Churchill, Khrushchev, royalty, the Beatles, Liz Taylor – and they still come for the sumptuous style and standards imposed by owner Jeanne Augier”.
She may be in her 80s, but “the grand dame continues to run the place in her image: cultured luxury as a setting for the finest French art”. The rooms “glory in period furniture (including Napoleon’s bed), bang-up-to-date comfort and… astounding sea views”.
The main restaurant, Chantecler, has a Michelin star. Try the fillet of beef with grilled foie gras.
Double room from €184 room only. See www.hotel-negresco-nice.com or call 00 33 4 9316 6400.
Hotel Palais de la Méditerranée
What’s so special
Situated right on the seafront and with an extraordinary nine-story façade, this hotel has cemented its position as Nice’s swishest and largest luxury hotel. Prepare to mingle with the crème de la crème while you stay here.
How they rate it
Following a murky time in the 1970s (a battle for control of the hotel led to one protagonist going missing presumed murdered and another put in prison for 20 years), this gorgeous building was left to crumble. But now it has new investors and has been lovingly restored “to international five-star standards”, says Anthony Peregrine in The Daily Telegraph.
“The real knock-out punch comes on the third-floor” where, behind the frontage, there is a “huge terrace-cum-courtyard” with an inside-outside pool. All the rooms are “big and contemporary with art deco notes”. Go for a side room with ‘partial sea views’ as the façade can obstruct the views from the front rooms.
“Happily, for a five-star hotel, the restaurant is not competing in the Michelin-starred stakes.” Here you can get a “nice southern French lunch for €25, dinner for €39”.
Double room from €252, room only. See www.palais.concorde-hotels.com or call 00 33 4 92 14 77 30.
Here are four hotels that have been welcoming guests for over 100 years, as tipped by Laura Holt in The Independent.
The Beverly Hills Hotel (pictured), Los Angeles, is 100 years old this month. During that time “Marlene Dietrich forced the Polo Lounge to ditch its ‘no slacks’ policy for women in the 1940s; Liz Taylor brought glamour in the 1950s [and] Marilyn Monroe coveted bungalow No 7 in the 1960s”. Doubles from £330, room only (Beverlyhillshotel.com).
The city may have “changed from Petrograd to Leningrad to St Petersburg over the last century”, but the Hotel Astoria has survived it all. “It received a 1990s makeover by the Rocco Forte group and endures as a testament to Russian fortitude.” Doubles cost from £179, room only (Thehotelastoria.com).
The Copley Plaza in Boston “replaced the city’s Museum of Fine Arts on 19 August 1912”. American presidents have been guests, as well as Frank Sinatra and Richard Burton. The hotel is set to be unveiled on 1 July after a $20m renovation. Doubles from £176, B&B, (Fairmont.com/copleyplaza).
The Manila Hotel in Manila was “built during the US occupation and inaugurated on Independence Day in 1912”. The 1950s saw Marlon Brando and John Wayne “hang their hats here” and the Beatles stayed during their final world tour in 1966. Rooms start from £140, B&B (Manilahotel.com.ph).