The original Exedra, on the Piazza della Reppublica in Rome, sounds like a strange proposition for Nice — how would its monumental colonnaded grandeur translate to this sunny seaside town? It’s a question that’ll never be answered, as the actual Exedra Nice turns out to be a very different animal. For while the exterior is certainly grand — though Belle Époque grand rather than Italian Republic grand — the interiors, thoroughly renovated, present a face that’s quite a bit more contemporary.
The rooms still show the occasional rococo flourish, as in the ornate headboards, but the overriding atmosphere is one of spare and sunny Mediterranean minimalism. In the public spaces things get even a bit more modern, with organic rounded forms, and the restaurant contrasts crisp clean lines with rustic weathered floorboards. The spa is almost futuristic, especially the wet room, which looks like a film set from an unmade Drowned World adaptation.
Classic luxury-hotel pleasures are of course not overlooked; there’s a pool and fitness center, and events space as well. The main restaurant specializes in fresh Mediterranean seafood, and the hotel’s location, on Nice’s main boulevard, means you’re centrally placed — the Exedra’s bar is a Nice nightlife mainstay, and the old town is a short walk away.
• Free Wi-Fi
• Hotel opened: 1913
• Architect: Charles Damas
• Interiors: Maurizio Papiri, Massimo Iosa Ghini, Sergio Minorello and Simone Micheli
• Unique: cutting-edge contemporary interiors with rococo touches adorn this classic Belle Epoque grand hotel