Star Hôtel is an above-average budget hotel in a convenient location. It is somewhat typical of Southern European 2- or 3-star city hotels in the sense that it is a balancing act of friendly staff and substandard facilities. It does, however, have a strength that puts it above the similarly-priced independent hotels in Nice – location.
Star Hôtel sits on Rue Biscarra, a small street that is about halfway between Gare de Nice Ville (main train station) and Promenade du Paillon, the northern boundary of Vieux Nice (old town). It is one block away from Avenue Jean Médecin, the main north-south artery of the city as well as a major shopping street. The tram line 1 passes through this Avenue, and in fact the tram stop Jean Médecin is very close to Rue Biscarra. The train station, Vieux Nice, as well Musée Marc Chagall can all be reached on foot, and the tram line leads to the bus terminal at Vauban for day trips. A Monoprix as well as Nice Étoile (a large shopping center) are at the intersection between Rue Biscarra and Avenue Jean Médecin, and there is a Carrefour City (supermarket) one block to the east, on Rue de Lépante. Overall, we think this location is more convenient to Vieux Nice as a multi-purpose base camp.
The hotel itself is, as we mentioned, a typical Southern European affair, housed in a humble yet relatively clean building with a simple façade. The ground floor contains the reception, a breakfast hall, and a small lounge that seems to be more often used for storing guest baggage. There is no elevator, so guests have to haul up the luggage to their rooms on the floors above. The said rooms are stocked with low-cost furnishing – in our case, a bed with worn mattress, two mini side-tables, an open closet, a tiny desk, and two folding chairs. Not too much space for putting stuff on. Our bathroom had a hair dryer (a plus), a liquid soap, and two bar soaps that were not replenished until asked for. The bathroom lacked ventilation system and instead had a large window. This probably explains the large colony of mold on the ceiling. Other than the colony, both the room and the bathroom were sufficiently clean.
The sleeping quality ties in to the location and the building. Like most Provençal buildings, there is no soundproofing, and an adjacent street has motorcycle parking spaces. There can be occasional loud noise from motorcycles, and in a couple of nights our sleep was interrupted by drunken people making commotions that lasted a couple of hours. This noise might be the reason people do not keep the bathroom window open for ventilation during the night. In early mornings we could see some of these drunkards still sleeping on Rue Biscarra (yes, on the street, near the rear side of Nice Étoile). So as not to give wrong impression, we’d like to make it clear that the nearby streets are quite safe despite the street-sleepers (Nice is no Marseille). Interestingly, these street-sleepers didn’t seem to be homeless, and would change every morning; middle-aged men on one day, hippy girls on another, etc. In addition to the commotions, one of us had problem with sleeping because the mattress did not provide firm support in the middle.
Staff quality is variable, in that the front desk is capable while housekeeping is below-average. Of the three receptionists we met, one Swedish lady and a young gentleman spoke fluent English, and were very friendly and observant. Housekeeping, on the other hand, seemed to have two distinct levels of quality; on some days it was up to mid-range chain hotel standard, and on other days the bed was barely made. We joked that there must be two maids, a good one and a poor one.
Overall, Star Hôtel is a typical Provençal economy hotel whose facility, amenity, and sleep quality may or may not meet the expectations of North American, Northern European, or East Asian travelers. The hotel however does have some merits, such as its excellent location, and its price is competitive among the centrally located Nice hotels. While not a top recommendation, we would not mind including it in a candidate list of budget-friendly lodgings to be considered for a holiday in Nice.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Centrally located, the Hotel Star is just a 10 minute walk from the historic quarter and the beaches. It is surrounded by restaurants, shopping and activities. Public transportation and parking is only 100 yards away. Hotel Star offers 24 soundproof and air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen cable TV and bathtub or shower. Some of the rooms have a small balcony. Baby equipment is available upon request. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Star Hotel Nice