When it comes to looking for a place to stay in Nice, there is definitely not a shortage of properties – hotels, Airbnb, hostels. After spending 3 months working as an au pair close to Nice, I hadn’t needed to find anywhere to stay until my parents came and visited for the weekend for my birthday. I found the hotel on ‘booking.com‘ and was pleasantly surprised at what it had to offer!
Hotel So Co is a 3 star hotel which is run by well known hotel brand ‘Best Western’. It is located on Avenue Theirs which makes it a perfect place to stay if you are wanting to use the ‘Nice Ville Train Station’ which is only 300 yards away and takes you to all the top spots on the Cote d’Azur including Monaco, Cannes and even Italy! It is a longer walk to get to the sea front and popular ‘Promenade des Anglais’ which takes roughly 15/20 minutes and around the same amount of time to get to ‘Place Massena’ in the heart of the city.
HOW TO GET THERE
Getting there from Nice Airport is a piece of cake. I’d read previously on TripAdvisor that the hotel was close to the train station so we decided to get on the 99 bus from the airport. You have to buy tickets from the ticket office at the airport rather than on the bus which is a bit of a hassle and tickets are much more expensive than the other bus routes in the city (€6 per person as opposed to €1.50 – but that’s the tourist trap for you!) From Terminal 1, the bus pulls into quai 8 but there is also a station at terminal 2 although I am unsure of the quai number. Even though I knew the bus was heading roughly in the right direction, it was a strike of luck that the final destination for the bus (‘Gare Theirs’) was virtually right outside the hotel – perfect! If you are coming from the airport, I would certainly recommend this bus for ease despite it being slightly more pricey.
Similarly, this hotel is super easy to get to if you are coming by train; just get off the train at ‘Nice Ville’, turn right out of the station and within a minute or so you are there! So top marks there!!
Check in begins at 3pm so make sure you bare this is mind before arriving. We arrived much earlier without realising and were sent to a room which hadn’t been cleaned – although this didn’t set things off to the greatest start, we were meant to have been arriving much later and the staff were very apologetic and quickly sent us to another room. The staff at reception were very helpful and spoke good english – they even recommended one of the best restaurants I’d visited in Nice which was less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel ‘Le Rossini’ (I have a full review on this post here – La Planxa and Le Vingt 4 were also close to the hotel)
We stayed in a triple room (605 if you were interested) which consisted of a double bed and single bed – it was more like a triple bed to be honest as there was no room to walk in between the two but this didn’t bother us too much. In our room, we were provided with bottled water, teas and coffees and there was a good and quiet fridge; perfect for me as one of the gifts my parents brought over for me from the UK was a bottle of milk. It sounds like a strange present but you never appreciate proper cows milk until you have a cuppa with the weird UHT ‘milk’ they have in France!
The cool and quirky decor which was displayed downstairs was continued into the bedrooms and there was even quite a spacious balcony overlooking the train station (just don’t look down if you’re afraid of heights!!) When the windows were closed, I could still hear the sound of trains but we are in a city after all and I’m used to living in the countryside! Nevertheless, it didn’t really affect my sleep and the comfy beds and super black out curtains helped too!
The room may have been lacking slightly in size but the bathroom definitely made up for it – it was huge! Very modern with an amazing shower and heated towel rail, I can’t really fault it.
Seeing as it was the beginning of December, I was really pleased that the heating was great. I am deffo not a fan of being cold so switched the heating onto the highest setting which worked brilliantly – my dad even insisted on opening the window as it got TOO hot (not that I was complaining) If the heating is anything to go by, I’m sure the air-con is equally as good which I can imagine is a necessity in the summer months. The rooms are cleaned daily but you can opt out of this if you are staying for more than 1 night by placing a hanger on the door. Okay, nothing new there but what I thought was really cool was that, if you did this, you were rewarded with a small gift. We got a packet of dried fruit and nuts; just a small touch which really stood out. All in all, I was impressed with the rooms. Despite being a tad small, it was all you really needed as a base to come back to after a busy day of sightseeing!
I’m never normally a massive fan of hotel breakfasts so wasn’t really expecting much when I went down for the continental buffet breakfast the next morning. When I went down and tasted the selection on offer, I quickly changed my mind! Just like the rest of the hotel, the dining room looked really funky and the way the food was displayed was also very appealing. There was a vintage fridge containing cold meats, cheeses, yoghurts and fruit pots and jars of yoghurt toppings and jams. In true French style, there were freshly baked croissants, pain au chocolat and bread. Okay, so it wasn’t Michelin standard and nothing massively out of the ordinary, but for a hotel breakfast, I was very pleased and it has definitely made me rethink my opinion on them for the future! The buffet is open from 7-10.30 so plenty of time even if you’d prefer a bit more of a lie in.
After a very pleasant 2 night stay, it was time to check out. Check out closes at 12pm but, luckily, we were able to leave our bags in the reception as my parents flight wasn’t until much later in the evening. Although this was good, the bags looked as though they had stayed next to the desk in the main entrance hall for the entire day. The desk is manned 24 hours a day but there were times when the receptionist had to leave so I would advise not to leave anything too valuable in the bags! It is also worth noting that you have to pay city tax when you check out – something you would have to do for anywhere you stay in Nice! For our two night stay for the three of us, we had to pay €8.40 so it deffo will not break the bank.
For what you get, I would say this hotel is definitely good value for money! We booked the hotel via ‘booking.com’ and a triple room for 2 nights at the beginning of December WITH BREAKFAST ASWELL cost £136.18 – you can’t complain about that!!
I would 100% recommend Hotel So Co if you are looking for a cheap and cheerful budget hotel in Nice. It’s perfect for those wanting to make use of the train station although if you’re simply wanting to spend your time in Nice then I can recommend ‘Hotel Nap’ by ‘HappyCulture’ which is ideally located right in the centre of town (another blogpost will be coming soon) I think ‘Best Western’ is owned by ‘Happy Culture’ so the interior and general vibe is very similar in both! In summary, Hotel So Co gets a thumbs up from me!