In France

It’s been a really busy couple of months as Ashley and I have toured around a variety of countries, expanding our knowledge of destinations and what they have to offer our clients.  It’s so important when recommending that we have first-hand knowledge.

This week it was my turn to visit France, hosted by one of our favourite tour operators Kirker Holidays.  Kirker is well known for creating well-researched itineraries, comfortable hotels, and flexible flight or rail options, private transfers and an unrivalled concierge service that can arrange opera & concert tickets, restaurant reservations, museum tickets & local excursions.

Nice - Kirker Group

Nice – Kirker Group

After an early start, we finally landed in the sunny French Riviera, still buzzing from the recent Monaco Grand Prix and the Cannes Film Festival, with the excitement lingering in the air as the summer season kicked off. Our adventure began with a captivating tour along the Riviera coastline, taking in the enchanting villages of Eze and Menton. We then paused for a leisurely lunch and a hotel inspection at the exquisite Hotel Royal Riviera, a gem I highly recommend for those seeking a slightly quieter spot on the vibrant Riviera.

We visited the Matisse Museum, a 17th-century villa with stunning gardens and the remnants of a Roman amphitheatre. Nearby, the Cimiez Monastery and the tomb of Raoul Dufy beckoned. The rose garden of Cimiez offered a panoramic view of the city and the bay below, providing a perfect blend of history and natural beauty.

Our home for the night was the illustrious Negresco, one of France’s most renowned hotels, built in 1913 by Henri Negresco. Sumptuously furnished, with a spectacular lounge and numerous original works of art, the hotel was owned and operated by the flamboyant Madame Jeanne Augier from 1957 until her passing in 2019, after which she bequeathed it to a trust. Recognised as a National Historic Monument, the Negresco stands proudly on the Promenade des Anglais, overlooking the stunning Baie des Anges. While it is one of the most expensive hotels along the Riviera, I highly recommend it—if your budget allows!



We began our day with a private guided walking tour of Nice City Centre, starting with a stroll along the iconic Promenade des Anglais. We explored the Old Town (Vieux Nice) and visited the Marc Chagall National Museum, immersing ourselves in the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. Our tour concluded at the Hotel La Perouse, a hidden gem in the Kirker collection, where we conducted a site inspection followed by a delightful lunch at the hotel’s ‘Le Patio Restaurant & Terrace’.

My initial impression of the hotel was less than favourable; the reception area appeared small, cramped, and basic. However, as our inspection progressed, I was utterly captivated by this charming four-star hotel. Built into the rock face of the Chateau hill, the hotel’s unique layout is a marvel. Each of its 53 rooms and suites is individually designed and decorated, offering stunning views across the bay or the lush tropical gardens, promising a peaceful and tranquil experience.

Find out next week about our journey on the railway, a sustainable, scenic, and comfortable way to travel through France, taking the train from Nice to Aix-en-Provence.

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