Ritzy French indulgence
IF IT'S glamour you're after there is nowhere better in the world to find it than in Nice on the French Riveria.
After Paris, Nice is the most-visited city in France and it is easy to see why.
It curves beguilingly along the blue Mediterranean overlooking the pebbled beach of the Baie des Anges.
Just strolling its broad and famous Promenade des Anglais makes you feel like one of the rich set.
Home to elegant old hotels with art deco facades, the Promenade des Anglais overlooks a wide beach crammed with sun lounges and jaunty striped umbrellas in between ocean-front restaurants and cafes
The scene changes delightfully as the day progresses.
Early morning, the wide walkway teems with joggers and walkers. There are lycra and beautiful bodies aplenty to admire or compete with if you're up for a jog yourself.
As the sun becomes stronger in the morning the bikini girls and muscled young men stroll the promenade looking for a place on the beach while on the other side of the strip, the tourists come out for coffee and croissants at one of a hundred stylish cafes.
By midday the foot traffic includes over-tanned matrons with little lap dogs and thousands of visitors, and when the sun sets the roller bladers come out to move so fast between their own makeshift obstacle courses their legs become blurred.
If you're going to visit a glamorous place, you may as well go the whole way and stay somewhere in keeping with all the allure, and it doesn't come more gorgeous than the Hotel La Perouse.
Built on a promontory next to the sea, Hotel Perouse is set back so you arrive through a discreet entrance, much like you would if you visited one of the private villas in the area (that will never happen unless you are friends with billionaires or royalty).
Once inside the hotel, an elevator whisks you quietly to the heart of the high-perched building clinging to the hillside.
You might be a mere visitor to Hotel La Perouse and privy to this world of style and luxury for the short duration of your Nice stay, but while you're there you'll be treated like visiting royalty.
We certainly felt like royalty as we sat out on the balcony of our beautifully furnished room with a long and captivating view of the curved bay.
The hotel is just an easy stroll to the old town, a labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets and tiny hole-in-the-wall bistros as well as the pedestranised Cours Saleya with its markets of fresh produce and colourful flowers.
The markets attract thousands each day so it's best to get there early if you don't like crowds.
Sitting on the famous beach is not cheap. You are obliged to rent one of the pricey deck chairs and umbrellas or sit uncomfortably on a tiny square of pebbles.
But Hotel La Perouse has its own elegant pool complete with Mediterranean surrounds of planted pots and flowered baskets and this is where we chose to spend most of our afternoons after lunch on the alfresco dining patio under the shade of lemon trees.
Nice is a sumptuous holiday treat, Hotel La Perouse is an indulgence, and you deserve it.
IF YOU GO
Hotel La Perouse is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Hotel La Perouse
- 11 Quai Rauba Capeu
- Nice - 06300. France
- Near Hotel La Perouse, Nice Old Town, Promenade des Anglais, beaches, designer boutiques, opera, museums, Grasse perfumeries, Cannes