My wife and I were facing a 6:25 a.m. flight from Nice to Frankfurt as a first flight leg to return home after our week in Provence and Nice, and per our routine, we thought it practical to stay at an airport hotel the night prior to the flight. As always, the TripAdvisor reviews were extraordinarily helpful in guiding our decision as to where to stay. We noted no "home run" options, but it seemed that the Novotel Arenas had the edge in ratings, so we booked there.
The airport bus #98 trip from downtown Nice (four Euros, driver makes change) took quite awhile as we were travelling at 5 pm, and rush hours are universal. We were not altogether certain as to how to coordinate the bus to hotel connection, but as this is not a local bus and does NOT stop in front of the hotel, got off at the first airport terminal, number 2, which in fact is quite a bit farther from the hotel than is terminal 1. Inside the terminal is a nice information desk from where we dialed "star" and a four digit number, and a friendly voice at the hotel indicated that the Navette would be arriving in front of the A1 entrance within five minutes. It ends up that another couple had already called for their own pickup, thus the virtually immediate service for us!
On arrival, we were promptly and cheerfully checked-in in the spacious lobby, and settled into room 604. The hallway did have a very slight someone odd fragrance, but not repulsive. Our room was cool, nicely sized, with a comfortable king size bed. The bathroom also has a reasonable amount of room, shower with good power and temperature control. That interesting French pattern of housing the toilet in a room separate from the bathroom itself prevailed here too. There were nice body gel, soaps. The plastic cups provided seemed strangely brittle, we cracked two of the four merely by trying to remove their plastic coverings! The room was absolutely quiet, you would never know there was an airport right outside.
The restaurant opens for dinner at 7 pm, and we did not want to be typical Americans who arrive the minute a restaurant starts serving, so we got there around 7:45, finding quite a number of tables already occupied. We were warmly greeted and promptly seated with menu provided, but it did take about fifteen to twenty minutes for our order to be taken. We only wished a light meal, and figured a club sandwich would work, but they said they were all out of them! This does seem to be a theme mentioned in prior reviews. We then opted for two beers, promptly provided, and ground beef with fries and salad, which were delivered to the table shortly thereafter. The meal met our needs.
We then used the computers in the lobby to check-in and print out boarding passes...when one is tired, it takes some adjusting to deal with the slight variations the French keyboards have versus those in the States.
The button on the room phone for arranging wake up calls did not work, so we called the front desk and requested a 3:50 a.m. wake up call, which we received at 3:30 a.m. Guess in this circumstance, earlier is better than later. If you solicit USAirways' advice, they generically advise arriving at the airport three hours prior to international flights...but in Nice, the security does not even open until 5 a.m. We decided a reasonable compromise would be to take the 4:30 a.m. hotel bus, particularly noting prior reviewers having noted that since the shuttle bus only has six seats, and there is only one run each half hour, there could be a risk of being left behind...and that sure looked to us like a potentially very long walk from the hotel to terminal 1. So, although Lufthansa started check in shortly after our airport arrival, we did do a fair amount of standing around at security and the departure gate.
So, we really had nothing significant to complain about at the Novotel Arenas, and thus felt that although it is not a palace, it was closer to a five than a four!
And all readers should keep in mind the confusion that can arise from having two Novotel's close to each other, the Suites version is NOT the Arenas!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel Novotel Nice Arenas Aeroport, in front of the airport Nice Cote d'Azur, on the Promenade des Anglais at 7km from the centre of Nice, welcomes you for your business trip. Easy access : a free private shuttle service hotel-airport, close to motorway A8, the hotel Novotel Nice Arenas Airport is the perfect stop on your holidays or to visit the French Riviera. This fully refurbished hotel offers 131 soundproof airconditioned rooms. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Novotel Nice Arenas Aeroport Hotel Nice
- Accor Nice Arenas Aeroport
- Nice Novotel