Hi Hotel – Nice, France **

Q: What is it? A: Too conceptualized on many levels, but it’s hard to argue with the fact that they provide value for money in a good location. And the rooftop pool is just… great!

The coloured things are trays and you could use them to transport food. The restaurant doesn't but, still...

Behold, dear readers! This is not just a dining room but “a place where one can breathe easy and relax: an oxygen sphere (sic!) to forget everything, begin anew.”

Surprisingly analog – the bed still use cotton sheets.

The room has a projector hanging from the ceiling instead of a TV and a free-standing bath tub instead of a bathroom. Just watch it, you may soak your bed while taking a shower.

Press a few buttons and see if the mars rover responds to your signals...

While I don’t mind funky little buttons, it sure took me a while to get the DVD working, ( and that mars rover didn’t respond to my signals – a disappointment).

You can’t blame them for not trying.
Somebody wrote that the term design hotel has found wide currency in recent years. Many a hotelier would throw in a few chairs by Jacobsen and Starck, add the d-word to their hotel in an attempt to motivate guests to pay another $100 per night. So when I first read about the Hi Hotel in Nice it was quite a nice surprise. Every object, from the front desk to the shampoo bottles, has been designed by Matali Crasset, a 43-year-old guy with a hairdoo similar to Blackadder in the medieval episodes of the TV-series.

Why isn’t there a doorman when you need one?
To park outside the hotel is a stunt that shouldn’t be performed during office hours. The street is quite busy. And there were some barriers placed right outside the front entrance to keep it free, but no doorman was in sight. What to do? Stop your car in the busy lane, engine running, quickly move the barriers, park it outside the hotel and haul your bags at the front desk. Not a cool start.

The guy manning the front desk wants a chat.
The level of service fluctuates. A simple task like checking in is turned into what looks like private chat at a low table. Why not just stay at the front desk? Lunch is ordered in a narrow space and then served at your table in disposable little containers. Things like knives and forks are made of wood. I could live with all that. The problem is that the food tastes just like the fork. I don’t know if the all organic concept is to blame for this but…

Correct, I’m not going oooh and aaah over this hotel.
Cudos to them for trying to be different, but a hotel must first and foremost be functional and comfortable. When you realize that you need to be very careful with the shower in your room in order to not have your bed soaked… When you need to have a PhD in applied electronics to operate the DVD… then it’s not fun anymore. I’m afraid that the Hi Hotel got lost in its own concept, trying too hard to be special, and forgetting about the guest while doing so.

But then I discovered the rooftop pool!
It was late at night and I think the pool area was closed. What to do? It was an easy decision to ignore the CCTV camera and take a plunge. And finally, the Hi Hotel was earning bonus points in my book. The neighbours didn’t complain over the noise. The nightly view over the rooftops of Nice didn’t ruin the experience either.


Hi Hotel
3 Avenue des Fleurs
Nice 6000, France

Click here to book the Hi Hotel through TabletHotels.com!

1 comment

  1. I didn’t like. It was to expensive for what it is. The rooms were pretty with a good design but were to small and not practical. We stay there 4 nights and it was very unconfortable.
    We also had a lot of problems with the bill at the end.
    I do not recommend.

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