Superior dining, seductive sea views and shiny antics, the only ménage a trois your mother would approve of. At Le Negresco, the pearl and only independent palace hotel on the French Riviera, nothing is left to chance. From the perfectly squishy pillows in the French royalty inspired luxe seaview rooms, to the fluffy croissants and deliciously ripe fruit in La Rotonde’s tempting breakfast buffet and not to forget to mention, to the chance of having an exemplary glass of Royal Negresco (raspberry syrup, Taittinger champagne and gold leaf) in Le Relais Bar whilst embracing vibrant latino or jazz music (fact: even Khrutshev has enjoyed one here).
The hotel, which opened in 1913, is a popular choice for ‘A listers’ and chic travellers and oozes of French glamour, but with a thought-provoking twist – “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different” originally said by Coco but now reiterated by another Coco. All the way from London (SW1 that is), Coco strolled up Promenade des Anglais with her personalized Tumi luggage big enough to suit the whole world, surrounded by palms and the smell of sea, with the pink roof and grande letters “LE NEGRESCO” shining right in front of her. Coco was met with a “Bon jour Mademoiselle” by an elegant doorman dressed up in a red uniform and plumed hat and glanced at the beautiful, whimsical interior that revealed itself. To enter the funky red lift, a huge key is unlocked and the guests are free to continue their journey up to the hotel’s 94 rooms and 31 suites located on five of its six floors. The 6th floor is still domiciled by Madame Augier, the hotel’s owner and passionate art collector, who thrives in sharing the very same lift with her guests.
Coco and her Co was checked into a beautiful luxe sea-view suite with the type of bathroom one would expect at a royal palace, overlooking the beautiful Riviera, and was pleased to be greeted by the sight of macaroons (keep calm!). Le Negresco is not a museum, but it is impossible not to be enchanted by the extraordinary antics that can be up to five centuries old, astonishing paintings and pieces waiting to be discovered. The Royal Salon boosts a glass-ceilinged rotunda and one of two highly coveted chandeliers (the twin can be found inside of the Kreml). Ever-changing exhibitions surround the salon, showcasing everything from the design of local artists and craftsmen to the hotel’s very own Michelin-starred Chef, Jean-Denis Rieubland who is in charge of the hotels’ two restaurants the Chantecler (two stars in Guide Michelin) and La Rotonde.
For lunch, Coco&Co explored Monsieur Rieubland’s taste of true French gastronomy in the hotel’s brasserie La Rotonde. Coco feasted on a mouth-watering, made-to-perfection lobster tagliatelle with cognac and shellfish bisque (Coco’s lifestyle tip #211: “When life gives you lemons, order lobster tail”) accompanied by a glass of Deutz Rosé (the only suitable companion there is). The Co ordered the Thai Bowl, which was a truly pleasant explosion of fanciful South Asian flavours. The top-notch brasserie has an imaginative 19th century décor, bolstering an indoor carrousel with wooden horses whereby the guests are seated. After the lovely lunch, Coco went up to her room, put on the silky soft bathrobe and sat down in front of the window.
Au revoir et a bientot Nice xx