Hotel Windsor is a contemporary art hotel in Nice, France, whose rooms transport the guests into imaginative and creative fantasties using various art forms in individual rooms. I stayed at the Hotel Windsor for two nights.
Location of the Hotel Windsor
The Hotel Windsor is located a few blocks south of the main train station in Nice, and just a few minutes walk from the beach, Place de Massena, and the famous Promenade des Anglais. It is a family-owned and operated hotel for three generations and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.
Rooms at the Hotel Windsor
There are three distinct styles of room at the Hotel Windsor, however they are all arty and inventive. The contemporary artists used volume, shape, colour, and unusual materials in their creations, while the traditional themed rooms are softer and more romantic. They cultivate, much like the hotel’s garden, a sense of mystery and intrigue. There are mythical creatures and fantastical lands among the frescoes in these rooms. Finally, the third category of theme pays homage to famous artists like Robert Indiana, Niky de Saint Phalle, and Martial Raysse. Often, a guest is given a choice to select the room; however when they are particularly busy this may not happen.
I had room number 58, a room created by French artist Mathieu Mercier, whose modern creations and Bauhaus-inspired works have been compared to Marcel Duchamp and Walter Gropius. His use of colour and bold line comes through delightfully in the room’s bright colours and linear elements. The theme of number 58 was inspired by a Jan van Eyck painting, Arnolfini Wedding, of Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife. The oil painting is dark and sensuous, as it depicts the couple before their marriage bed, which is swathed in dark red curtains.
A unique aspect of the hotel’s collaboration with artists is that once an artist has made his mark on a room or within an exhibition, she or he leaves just one piece with the hotel. The result of this is that the lobby and common spaces at the hotel are like art galleries. Whether the artist currently has work in the rooms or not, all guests will still see the creativity of the collaboration.
The Garden at the Hotel Windsor
While the rooms are bold and beautiful, the garden is serene and magical. The centrepiece is a giant rubber tree, under which breakfast is served daily in the summer. Breakfast includes a variety of meats and cheeses, vegetables, pastries, jam, and cereal, as well as eggs, bacon, and sausage. Coffee and tea are available, and so are fresh juices and fruits.
A large swimming pool lies a few metres away, where guests can enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the sun, or a morning swim before leaving for sightseeing. It is open from May to October, and is heated. Hotel Windsor has several resident birds, who keep watch over the refreshing garden space. With plenty of shade and mere glimpses of the wrought iron balconies of the hotel above, the garden at the Hotel Windsor is truly an oasis.
Dining at the Hotel Windsor
The restaurant at the Hotel Windsor is a popular dining option for both guests and locals. In the summer, the restaurant and bar are open late, as befits a southern European dining experience. The cuisine is Mediterranean, and the produce is both local and organic. The chef can prepare a vegan and gluten free menu as well as the continental style menu always available. Dining here is a must; the chef is excellent, the wine list is exceptional, and the staff is perfectly lovely.
For more casual meals, guests can enjoy the relaxing bar and lounge. This is the perfect place to dine in the winter, because there is a charming fireplace in the lounge area!
The Spa at Hotel Windsor
Hotel Windsor is home to a wonderful hammam, spa, and fitness centre. There are plenty of treatment options, like a Swedish massage or a Balinese treatment, as well as access into the hammam and sauna. Nice is known for its springs and baths, even as far back as Roman times, and in more modern eras the city drew both nobility and upper classes for its healing therapies. The Hotel Windsor spa offers not just the usual facials and massage but also healing treatments like a Lymphatic Draining Massage or a Phytomer Relaxing Leg and Feet treatment.
Hotel Windsor is a unique and interesting hotel. Its location is perfect for visitors to Nice, especially those who come for the Carnaval de Nice, as it’s near to the parade grounds. In the summer, Nice is a lovely Mediterranean port city with plenty of nightlife. I recommend this hotel for couples, groups of friends, or solo travellers seeking a respite from the bustle of the city.
For more information:
11 Rue Dalpozzo
06000 Nice, France
Tel: +33 (0)4 93 88 59 35
I was a guest of Nice Tourisme but as always opinions are my own.