Article by Randy Kalp & photos by Bethany Salvon. -
Editors Note: This is the eighth review in an ongoing series that will highlight each property–hostel and hotel–we stayed at during The Hazy Shade of Autumn Tour as part of our partnership with the good folks at HostelBookers.com, who have some fantastic deals on cheap Nice hotels.
The color of the water in Nice is unbelievable. One walk to the beach and you can see why the south of France is so popular. This beach is about a 5 minute walk from the hostel:
All signs pointed to neon sex as we exited Gare de Nice Ville. Night arrivals have a way of messing with my senses, and Nice, France, was no different.
As a rule of thumb, I’ve learned I can’t properly gauge my surroundings until dawn, and Nice—with its day-glow love—really caught me off guard. Had the train pulled into Amsterdam, Tijuana or San Francisco, I wouldn’t have blinked at the sexy fluorescent hue that punctured the warm winter’s wind, but this was Southern France, home of Johnny Depp and the Monte Carlo, and I never saw it coming.
Walking past the glowing XXXs, we made our way down the sidewalk slant to the sea and Hostel Meyerbeer. It’s funny looking back on that night—considering how much we loved Nice—and how, like in most aspects of life, first impressions can be wrong.
Checking into the recently renovated Hostel Meyerbeer was a breeze, as the front desk attendant was very polite and attentive. I immediately liked Meyerbeer’s intimate open floor plan, which reminded me of a hotel from the Beat Generation era–except for the free modern computers, HDTV and Playstation 3, of course –when hotels were more like small apartment buildings in mixed-use spaces where writers and artists took up residence for weeks and months on end.
The beach and the entrance to the hostel:
The front desk, computer nook, TV area, kitchen & dining area:
But it was our room that really sealed the deal for me. Decked out with a comfortable queen, ensuite bathroom, flat-screen, mini-fridge, hardwood floors, a table and stool near the tall French windows and a strong WiFi signal, I felt that this was the kind of place that I could take up residence to paint my watercolor masterpiece. That feeling continued to grow stronger every day we were in Nice, as I fell deeper in love with what I consider the world’s biggest little city (Sorry Reno, you are no Nice).
Our clean and comfortable bedroom with beautiful French window and flowers Randy got me at the market because I was under the weather:
Situated in the heart of Nice, just a block from the Mediterranean and the main sea drag—Promendade des Anglais—staying at Hostel Meyerbeer means you won’t have to worry about transportation fees because everything is within walking distance, including the historic section. Additionally, Cannes, Antibes, Monte Carlo and Monaco are only 30 minutes away by train, so the hostel works as a great home base to explore the entire Saint Tropez region. Better yet, there is a grocery store located right next to the hostel, which has a nice selection of wine, beer and can be a real budget saver when coupled with the hostel’s kitchen, which is also home to a nice European continental breakfast each morning.
During our stay, we had a chance to speak with the hostel’s co-owner, Sophia Kapsorova, about her future plans for Hostel Meyerbeer, and I got to say I’m really impressed with her vision for the hostel, which includes adding an additional floor (under construction during our visit) of rooms that, like everything else in Meyerbeer, have more in common with a boutique hotel than backpacker’s hostel. For me, it was really exciting to meet and see firsthand the desire and passion Sophia had for redefining the hosteling experience.
Room and bed rates vary by season. Currently, rates range from $36.57 for a bed in a six-person dorm to $99.26 for a deluxe private single. All rooms, including the the dorms, have a private bathroom.
Our private bathroom and a view of our room window from the exterior:
While our stay was complimentary, our thoughts and opinions are entirely our own. If you’re headed to France this year why not make a trip out of it and include Amsterdam and Italy on your itinerary!