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“Charming 2 Star French Hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Darse

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Hotel Darse
32 Avenue General de Gaulle | Port De Plaisance, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Deal, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Charming 2 Star French Hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

We have just returned from a week at this hotel which overlooks a port in the bay of Villefranche Sur Mer. We were allocated a room at the end on the third floor which meant we had a view to the front and side of the balcony. There is no lift but the view definitely made the climb worthwhile. We made use of the basic breakfast as there were no other bars nearby but it was always fresh and can eaten on the lovely terrace. The staff at the hotel are most welcoming and helpful. The town of Villefranche is delightful and we managed to stay during the week of their Naval Flower Battle in the main port. We also visited the Nice Carnival which was very good but, a word of advice, wear old clothes to avoid damage by silly string. The highlight of our stay was to the Villa Ephrusi-Rothschild. A simply delightful villa filled with amazing antiques and surrounded by beautiful gardens. Whilst in Villefranche we travelled by bus and a useful tip if you are going to use Bus No 100 a lot is to purchase a 10 trip ticket which means each journey only costs 1 Euro. On the other hand although we made our way by public transport from the airport we decided to take a taxi to the airport which cost 55 Euros! Forgot to mention a favourite restaurant in Villefranche - La Grignotiere, which offers good food at reasonable prices. Overall a very successful trip but no sure what it is like during the cruise season.

Room Tip: Try to get a room at the end facing the sea so that you have a wider view.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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166 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
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English first
Nampa, Idaho
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

It's what enveloped us weary travelers perched mid-morning on a little balcony. Nearly 11 months later now, I clearly see the two of us drinking in the sight of pleasant yachts bobbing in the marina below our balcony while we sip our coffee, and memories of that cramped trans-Atlantic flight drift out of newly rested muscles.

To talk meaningfully about the hotel, I need first to describe the town, to which these lodgings are so appropriate. Villefranche-sur-mer reposes quietly, unobtrusively, between the obscenely rich Cap Ferrat snaking into the Mediterranean on the east, and lively Nice that warmly bustles to the west, just over that hill. From the front door of Hotel Darse and a walk to the left, past the Italian Pine canopied restaurants, lies the harbor. It encloses moving waves in richly saturated blues. Over there is a single cruise liner (this is only April). Some hardy souls enjoy the arcing beach; one guy actually swims out there. If I were a gigolo, lounging here would be my day-job. Michele and I agree this is what San Diego in Southern California must have been in the 50s. Tasteful, mellow, refreshing.

And the prose you've just read tries to impart the sense of being here in this place. Restaurants/shops/parks are a healthy trudge away (uphill). There's some traffic up there, too. Here by the boat harbor it is peaceful, though, in a clean room we climb up a marble staircase to arrive at. A comfy bed, a spotless bathroom. Light curtains that sway with the breeze that enters from across our balcony. Come here and enjoy. Just keep it a secret, though - that is part of the charm.

Room Tip: Seek after any room with an ocean view; higher may be better, but then there are those stairs to cli...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

Stayed here in July 2013 for 4 nights. This is a typical 2 star hotel - no lift, in need of a paint and offers a basic breakfast. BUT.... We had a huge, clean double room (free wifi) with doors opening onto a balcony that overlooked the marina and the med. Staff were really friendly and the breakfast was fresh and plentiful (although coffee not great.) It's about a 6 minute walk to the town centre and a 5/10 minute walk up the (steep!) hill takes you to the bus stop where for €1 you can be in the centre of Nice in 15 minutes. Villefranche itself is picturesque and friendly with lots of nice restaurants. If visiting this area again I would definitely stay here - at €95/night for two this is great value and is half the price of the Hotel Welcome.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

we had nothing but great hotels on this trip so it's hard to come up with a favorite but this might be it. I don't need to say much more than what others have already said. The location is great, but it is a hike from the center of town. The price more than makes up for that. The front veranda was a great spot for the breakfast (a good value) or for sitting out at night. We didn't have front balcony rooms so the veranda came in handy. Our rooms were up three flights and with no elevator you need to make sure you travel light. Our rooms faced the garden area in the back and the homes on the hillside. It was a short walk to town and to the train for short hops to Monte Carlo, Nice and the rest of the Riviera. We did break down and had a cab arranged for the early morning train to Italy. The desk staff was very helpful in arranging the cab (which was there on time at 6:30 am) and in helping us figure out our best route for leaving the rental car at the Nice train station. We stayed at the hotel four nights and only had the car there the first night. We lucked out and found a good parking spot but it would be a hassle to try to find a spot every day. We'd say dump the car and take the train.
The town itself is a perfect place to stay. It's small enough to walk around (but does have hills) but large enough that it has dining and shopping options.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2013

Nice, clean hotel. Good beds, great bathroom. Pleasant staff. We stayed two nights. We didn't try the breakfast because it was a bit expensive and we're not great breakfast folks. We had the eastern end room on the third floor (No. 31) -- beautiful view of the park below with fantastic flowers (especially the abundant bougainvillea), the harbor, and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat across. Now, their third floor is our (American) fourth floor, and there's no elevator -- just so you know. They have no private parking, but we didn't have much trouble finding free spots on nearby streets. The main commercial port town center is only a couple blocks pleasant walk.
Great place!

Room Tip: For a view, try for Room #31. It has one queen and one twin. The walk up is worth it.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cheshire, england
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
151 helpful votes 151 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

We stayed here for a week from 12th-19th October and were very pleased with our choice. Our room was #12 on the first floor - just above reception/breakfast area and had a large sunny balcony with a table and four chairs (the balconies are bigger on the first floor than higher floors but the views are probably slightly better higher up..)
We only had breakfast in the hotel on our last morning (it was very good, continental) but we did have several cups of coffee in our room/balcony. It was nice coffee and they only charge €2.80 a cup, which was very inexpensive.
The bathroom was compact with a very good, spacious corner shower, which had plenty of hot water at all times. Toiletries provided were soap, shower gel and shower cap. There was a tube type hairdryer in the bathroom. The bed was firm and very comfortable. Everywhere was spotlessly clean.
My husband had trouble accessing the free Wi-Fi for several days, which irritated him but he got it in the end..
I don't know how efficient the air con would be in very hot weather as we struggled to stay cool in October..
They have a lovely big fluffy ginger & white resident cat - Snookie - who liked to be petted when he was around on the pretty outside terrace at the front of the hotel.
All the staff on the reception desk were very kind and helpful - we would definitely stay here again if we return to Villefranche-sur-Mer. It's a 6-8 minute walk into the main harbour/restaurant area but it's a level, well-lit and pleasant walk along the water's edge.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Top Contributor
287 reviews 287 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 184 cities Reviews in 184 cities
240 helpful votes 240 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

This hotel is located by the harbour in a tiny French village - and a perfect base for exploring the French Riviera - away from the massive tourist crowds and subsequent extortionate prices normally found on the Riviera. Restaurant and shops are located within walking distance.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Darse

Address: 32 Avenue General de Gaulle | Port De Plaisance, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
Location: France > Provence > French Riviera - Cote d'Azur > Villefranche-sur-Mer
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Villefranche-sur-Mer
#5 Romantic Hotel in Villefranche-sur-Mer
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 21
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Darse Hotel Villefranche Sur Mer

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