“Why can't all hostels be like this?”
- Lonely Planet
“Award-winning hostel attracts young travelers with outstanding amenities”
- Let's Go
“For a touch of Gallic chic on the French Riviera… a world-class hostel”
- The Guardian
“a first-rate hostel that is the most attractively priced in the area”
“the Villa screams low budget luxury… ambiance like backpacking royalty.”
- Off Track Planet
Why can't all hostels be like this? Set in a lovely converted monastery in the north of the city, this is a great place to put down your bags for a few days. Chill out in the 24-hour common room housed in the old stained-glass chapel, sip a €1 beer on the barbecue terrace, cook in the state-of-the-art self-catering kitchen, agonise over your choice of 12 different breakfast cereals, and stock up on travel tips. The villa staff will come and pick you up from the nearby Comte de Falicon tram stop or St Maurice stop for bus 23 (direct from the airport) when you first arrive.
Fit for Saint-Exupéry's little prince, this palatial place has a dozen free online computers (plus wi-fi), and a king-size buffet breakfast with 12 kinds of cereals. Within the stained-glass former chapel, the 24-hour common room transforms into a night-time bar; and there's an enormous gleaming slate-and-steel self-catering kitchen and a wraparound barbeque terrace. If you can't be bothered to cook, the villa's chef prepares excellent wood-fired oven pizzas and brilliant daily specials for a bargain, which you can wash down with a €1.00 wine or beer. Staff have reams of info about exploring Nice and surrounding towns and there's no lock-out or curfew. The mostly ensuite dorms, singles, doubles and triples are immaculate. Upper level rooms have magical views across Nice to the Mediterranean.
Lonely Planet France Country Guide 2010
Renowned for great value, social atmosphere, and English-speaking staff. Award-winning hostel attracts young travelers with outstanding amenities, €5.50 pizza, and €1 beer. Most rooms with bath, some with balcony views of Nice. Canyoning and sailing tours led by staff; call or check the website for prices and info. Breakfast included in the common room, which turns into a lively bar at night. Laundry €5. Free Internet (Wi-Fi and desktops). Call for pickup at Comte de Falicon tram stop. Online reservations preferred. Dorms €16-30; doubles €55-80. MC/V.
Let's Go France 2010
For a touch of Gallic chic on the French Riviera, the award-winning Villa Saint Exupery is a world-class hostel, close to the beaches of Monaco, Cannes and St Tropez. Housed in a former Carmelite monastery in a hillside park of olive and pine trees, this is one of the most beautiful hostels in the world, with views of Nice Bay and the Mediterranean Sea, and a chapel with stained glass windows that has been converted into a lounge. There's an all-you-can-eat breakfast and a cheap bar where drinks are only €1. You can also dine on an outdoor terrace shaded by flowers, with homemade pizza and Provencal cuisine from the kitchen. Trams run every six minutes to downtown Nice, and the staff organise surfing, sailing and scuba diving trips to the beach.
Benji Lanyado, The Guardian
This former Carmelite monastery in Cimiez has been completely renovated and turned into a first-rate hostel that is the most attractively priced in the area. In winter it is a student residence, but in the busy summer months it turns into a hotel catering to backpackers, seasoned travelers on a budget, artists, musicians, and, of course, students. The restored and comfort-filled villa offers good though very standard hotel rooms (some with a kitchenette) as well as dormitory accommodations at youth hostel-level tariffs. Furnishings are modern and selected more for comfort than style. Echoing its past life, the former chapel preserved its open stage and stained-glass windows. The public lounge, where guests mingle, has five computers with free Internet access for guests. Guests are also welcome to use a fully equipped kitchen. Wine, beer, and some other supplies are sold on the premises, while a supermarket lies just down the hill.
Frommer's France 2010
Off Track Planet:
Did you get fancy on yourself and go backpacking through the French Riviera? This is the perfect spot to match the mood. Lonely planet’s choice for the Top Hostel for the last 5 years, the Villa screams low budget luxury. Adorned with purple flowers, stained-glass windows and a cheap drink bar, this spot is ideally located for taking in the splendor of the French Riviera. A former monastery, the chapel has been converted to a stylish lounge and the atrium into a kitchen. Grab a few French pastries and soak up the ambiance like backpacking royalty.
Anna Starostinetskaya, Off Track Planet