Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 5236: Owner, #67714
studio apartment in Nice, Provence
Dec 21 to Dec 29, 2011, 8 nights
The studio is in the Old Town (Vieux Nice), steps from Place St. Francois by the fish market. It is on the French first floor, up 12 steps from the street level.
Right outside the apartment, there is a coffee shop, lots of restaurants (fast and slow food), butchers, charcuterie, fromagerie, several boulangeries and patisseries, creperie, poissonerie, etc. A supermarket (Monoprix) is within five minutes' walk. This location is incredibly convenient, with everything you ever need.
Much of Vieux Nice supposedly dates from the 16th century. Our apartment looked historical, though it was modernized on the inside (kitchen, bath) so it was very comfortable. The building is on a bustling street with many businesses, catering to locals as well as to tourists. You could hear street noise during the day and into the night, but they were not offensive. Our studio occupied the entire first floor, with two additional floors above us. We could hear people walking up the stairs at times, but otherwise we did not see or hear our neighbors.
There were two long windows that looked out onto the street. They were located high up, and were reached by stepping onto a low shelf/step that was placed under each window. We didn't bother opening them because it was December, too cold to keep them open.
No garden or pool (but Castle Hill and the beach is nearby!).
This is a (rather longish) studio of 42 square meters, with a very high ceiling. After opening the front door, you walked down three steps to reach the apartment floor. The kitchen was in a separate room. There was a double bed in an alcove and a clik-clak style bed that served as a couch during the day. In front of the clik-clak bed was a coffee table, a large HDTV, and two cane chairs. A huge armoire was available for hanging clothes. A round table that comfortably seats four people was in the dining area close to the kitchen. The apartment was very clean.
The beds were comfortable and there were enough bed covers to keep us warm during our December stay. There were two electric heaters but we used only one.
My daughter did not make the clik-clak bed every day (after all, we were on vacation!), so it was not used as a couch. We sat at the dining table quite often. So even though the studio can accommodate four people, it is better for two and three would be the maximum number for a comfortable stay.
The bathroom consisted of a shower (that you enter by taking a step up into the cubicle) with a shower curtain, a toilet, a bidet and a sink with adequate storage space and surface. There was plenty of hot water with good water pressure. Soap, shampoo, conditioner, hairdryer, etc were all provided.
I really appreciated the good supply of toilet paper provided, more than enough for our stay (my pet peeve - hate to lug back bulky package of toilet papers from the store).
The kitchen was very well equipped. It had a double sink, four electric burner stove/oven, a good size fridge with a smaller freezer, a microwave, and a coffeemaker. It also had a built-in laundry machine/dryer combo (which we didn't use). One thing we would have liked was a toaster oven (for toasting old baguettes).
There were lots of pots and pans, dishes, glasses, utensils. The owner occupied the studio in the past so the kitchen was very well equipped and stocked, just like your own kitchen. My 17 year-old daughter did all the cooking (I cleaned) and she seemed to have enjoyed it.
Problems or Bonuses
This studio was extremely well equipped. It had everything you could think of and more! For example, I twisted my ankle slightly hiking down Eze. Were it not for the cold pack found in the freezer which I used all night to ice my ankle, I probably would have had painful foot for several days afterward (thus ruining my trip).
The area around the studio was extremely convenient. It was close to the beach, the outdoor/flower market, supermarket, bus stops (we used the Sugurane bus stop all the time, only a few minutes walk away, for bus #100, 7, 81), tram stop (two minutes' walk), every kind of store you could think of, etc. I couldn't have found a more convenient location!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owners live in Toronto, Canada. It took them a few days to answer my initial inquiry, but after connecting, they were prompt, courteous, friendly, and thorough in answering my questions. They speak English very well. There was no onsite person to contact, and the apartment key was mailed to me from Canada, along with instructions and information on the apartment. This made me feel a little uneasy before getting there. But it turned out all well, with no problems. I wore my key around my neck each time we went out and made sure I had it around my neck before exiting the apartment!
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes! It is not a luxurious accommodation, but it's comfortable, well equipped, conveniently located, and very well priced. The noise level is what concerns me the most about a rental, and I tolerated it well using ear plugs. It also helped that it was December and the windows were closed all the time. I suspect that in the summer, it could get quite noisy with revelers outside and the windows open... For us, given all the other pluses about the apartment, the noise level was acceptable.
Things to do in this area
If you love pasta, you must go to Barale (7 rue Sainte-Réparate in Vieux Nice) for the absolutely delicious gnocchi! This is a deli that makes fresh pasta that you buy to cook at home. My daughter and I had their pasta almost every night - we didn't eat dinner out so we could eat their gnocchi and ravioli nightly. I wish I could bring back their gnocchi.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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