It’s the project that could change the face of Nice Old Town. A five-star hotel is currently being installed in the quarter’s oldest building. Adjoining boutiques and bars will cater to the moneyed clientele.
Welcome to the Couvent de la Visitation, soon to be a luxury inn, which has a backstory that only France could create.
The tale starts in the early 17th century, when 7,000m2 of terrace gardens were built around a U-shaped cloister. This same stone building (fenced off from the public for years) rises up the Colline du Chateau hill near the top of rue Rossetti.
This being France, the building was essentially abandoned after the French Revolution, as peasants smashed centuries of tradition during the terror of Robespierre.
In London or New York such a vast building would have been redeveloped decades ago. We’re talking a real estate project of 4,315m², or about the same size of 100 one-bedroom apartments.
In Nice the clock runs slower. The building’s rehabilitation by Perseus Capital Partners, who build and operate hotels on behalf of luxury hotels like Les Roches Rouge near Saint-Raphael, will protect the baroque cloisters and citrus orchards of the original building.
Is it worth checking in? You bet. The project will create an additional 5,000 m² of space, before the five-star hotel rises in late 2020 as a 76-room giant.
Akin to the convent of old, the hotel’s terraces sweep like a Mediterranean balcony over the Old Town. They would make a fine farm-to-fork garden project. The addition of a contemporary library and swimming pool gift the plans further élan.
Furthermore, the expected clientele will breathe luxury into the last undeveloped corner of the Old Town. As rooms will range from 25m² up to a Dubai-sized 100m², they are expecting serious money.
Just one question: will the addition of a luxury hotel dampen holiday rental prices? We think not. A dash of glamour never did a neighbourhood any harm. Plus as the first major hotel project in Nice since the Palais de la Méditerranée in 2002, those guestrooms are sorely needed.
Should you check-in before me, mine’s a gin and tonic. S’il vous plait.