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“Better & Better!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel de la Darse

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Hotel de la Darse
Certificate of Excellence
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
71 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“Better & Better!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2012

We have a flat in Villefranche which we rent to British holiday makers for much of the year. I visit regularly to deal with odds and ends so have stayed in most of the hotels in Villefranche. I used to stay mainly in the Welcome but when their prices rocketed I shot off elsewhere. The Darse used to be very cheap and very run down but the rooms have been gradually modernised over six years or so and last winter the exterior was completely refurbished, so that now the Darse is still remarkably cheap by local standards but really a very nice small hotel. This time I stayed in a clean, modern 16 sq mtr room with effective aircon, a balcony and a sea view for £70 and, for comparison, checked the Welcome where an 18 sq mtr room would have cost me £230. I guess that the Welcome has a higher level of service but it is in a much noisier location and, in most other respects, is a very similar hotel. The Darse has no restaurant but there are some close by and a total of 40 or so within a 15 minute walk.

Room Tip: A sea view is well worth the extra cost.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Robert W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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206 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
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English first
Calgary
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2012

I have stayed in many hotels in Europe, and rarely a 2 star, so I could not believe our Beautiful room with a view was only a 2 star. The value is Amazing also!!!
We are a family of 5, so we rented a room with a view as a double, and a garden view as a triple, and it worked wonderful for us.
Our bathroom was Wonderful! The pillows were Amazing! We were tempted to pack them in our suitcases, as we missed ours from home.
The rooms were all updated, including the bathrooms, and they were lovely decorated also.
The rooms are wonderfully air conditioned.
I had a huge smile on my face the whole time we were in our room.
We did not have the breakfast, but I did go down early one morning to buy a cafe to drink on my lovely deck to take in the view.
The train station is a bit of a walk, when you are lugging suitcases, so if you packed heavy you will be in for a shock. We did not, so it was fine for us, except for the heat.
There are 2 beaches within walking distance from the hotel. Choose the closer of the 2, when they explain where they are, as we enjoyed this one much more due to lack of crowds.
The hotel had many beach umbrellas and mats to borrow, which was a very nice amenity to offer.
I look forward to staying here again!
I posted lots of pictures and more of a description of this lovely area on my blog. www.bellasabroad.wordpress.com if you want to see more.

Room Tip: Pay for a room with a view! You will LOVE it!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lifeplanner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
36 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2012

We have visited Villefranche a few times and have always wanted to stay in this hotel! We are so glad we now have; we had a lovely, peaceful stay, in clean pleasant surroundings. Don't expect too much - it is a 2 star hotel, and as such is very simple. However we had very few complaints. Our room on the first floor had a great balcony, which gave us privacy and space to have a snooze and occasionally a picnic lunch. The room was small, and the single wardrobe with only 6 hangers was a bit of a challenge! There was no drawer space at all, and a fairly useless dining table and 2 chairs taking up valuable space (there was a large table and chairs on the balcony which we used every day). My only other quibble was that there was no mirror in the bedroom, and there was sometimes a fight to use the one in the bathroom with contact lense fiddling, hairdrying, shaving and make up applying all having to happen in the one small space!

The bed was very comfortable and the a/c very efficient. The shower room was excellent and our towels were replaced every day and our toiletries replenished (a bit over enthusiastically though - every time I unwrapped a bar of soap, it disappeared and was replaced with a new one!).

The room and bathroom were spotless, as were all the public areas of the hotel.

We only had breakfast a couple of times, as we realised we could get something similar at various places in town for slightly less; however it was very pleasant sitting on the terrace relaxing over a coffee and croissant. We also discovered (unfortunately on our last day) that we could also have bought drinks to have on the terrace (which was very underused after breakfast). This was not made very clear, and we only realised when we saw a very small list displayed in a corner of the reception desk! We found the staff pleasant, although not very approachable; a quick "bonjour" or "au revoir" was about all we could get out of any of them before they once again turned their backs and continued working on the computer.

Location was perfect - we really enjoyed our 5 minute stroll round the Citadel walls to get to and from the main town, and although it could be fairly noisy during the day with the comings and goings of the marina, we were never disturbed at night.

Finally it was great to be able to help ourselves to the various beach "paraphanalia" that previous guests had obviously left - parasols, beach mats etc, and on asking we were also given beach towels (although I only knew this would be possible since I had read about it on here).

We will definitely return to this hotel - price wise it is unbeatable in this location, and the standards are certainly very good.

Room Tip: Balconies on the first floor are double the size of all others, and offer a certain amount of privac...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cruiserjools
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hexham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
247 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2012

We know Villefranche quite well having visited for many years, but we only booked the Darse as all other accommodation in Villefranche was full on the dates we required following our annual stay in Nice...and it proved to be serendipitous! Many other reviews comment on the fact that the hotel is not as easy to get to as many of the others in the town due to the distance from the rail station and bus stop, etc. Although this 15 minute walk can be a pain when dragging cases, taxis are available! The walk to the heart of the town (c.10 mins) is a very pleasant one and the stoll around the bay was an excellent opportunity to admire (or criticise) the boats. During the high season, Villefranche hosts daily cruise ships and the passengers can make the centre of the town quite busy. The position of the Darse means it is always quiet unlike some of the more expensive hotels in the town.

The hotel itself deserves higher than its two star rating, although the lack of a lift or restaurant probably contributes to this. The rooms are simple, very clean and airy. Linen and beds are very good, and air conditioning is excellent. There is satellite television available, although if you are not French speaking the news channels would perhaps be the only ones of interest. We had a room facing the very pretty garden and mountains beyond, and have no complaints about the lack of sea view or balcony. The staff are great. They are all typically Provençal in their outstanding friendliness and helpfulness. Breakfast perhaps lacks the variety of some of the larger hotels, but this is not surprising considering the hotel's size and economical prices. This said, breakfast still has everything we needed and it was lovely to be able to eat outside every morning and watch the boats bobbing in the port opposite.

All in all, a great stay and a wonderful find. The Darse is definately on our list of hotels to re-visit!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Seatroutfisher-1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2012

It was beautifully located near the water and quick access to the small quaint town of Villefranche-sur-Mer. Only 15 min walk from the train station. The rooms were clean and air conditioned, and the receptionist was very helpful and friendly. For only 77 euros for a double without a view of the water, the hotel was a great deal! Villefranche-sur-Mer is two stops away from Nice-Ville and on the same train line as Monaco and Cannes. Overall, I had a very positive experience!

Room Tip: Checkout is no earlier than 7:00 am
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nordy852
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2012

We stayed at Hotel Darse at the end of April. The staff were all so friendly and made you feel very welcome. We had a lovely room with a sea view and balcony. The price was fantastic for the size of the room and for the view which was breathtaking. Breakfast was relaxing on the covered patio and unlike some of the hotels in Nice, reasonably priced at 8.50 euros. We normally stay in Nice but Ville Franche is so quaint, with its cobbled pathways and pretty, painted apartments. This was truly a relaxing holiday away from the bustle of Nice. The South of France is well served by cheap and excellent transport links by bus and train so places likes Nice, Cannes, Antibes, St Jean Cap Ferrat are all within easy reach. We didn't feel the need to travel out of Ville Franche on an evening as it is served by plenty of exellent restaurants.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Emmeline1930
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nice, France
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2012

This is a family-run hotel, it was renovated in March 2011. The owner was very nice and helpful, service was pleasant and smily (from owner to cleaning ladies). We have got the best room in the hotel with a balcony and a beautiful view on a port with boats and ferries (ask for the room #303). It was spotless and designed in a Provansal style and had a large bathroom.
If you want to save a bit, take a garden side room, you will get a very nice colourful view as well (our friends have stayed there).
It takes around 15 min to reach the center of the town if you walk along the sea (amazing views, very pleasant walk!) and 20 min to the beach.

Room Tip: Room 303 has the best view and bigger balcony
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bogolova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel de la Darse

Property: Hotel de la Darse
Address: 32 avenue General de Gaulle | Port De Plaisance, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
Location: France > Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur > French Riviera - Cote d'Azur > Villefranche-sur-Mer
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Villefranche-sur-Mer
#3 Family Hotel in Villefranche-sur-Mer
#4 Romantic Hotel in Villefranche-sur-Mer
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel de la Darse 2*
Number of rooms: 21
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Darse Hotel Villefranche Sur Mer

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