The Hotel Negresco in Nice now has a sign that says that no visitors are allowed in the Hotel and access is restricted to those staying there. Fair enough I guess, but it feels like a stark reminder of my place in the pecking order of life. Rooms at the Negresco start at around €285 going up to an eye watering €1850 per night for the presidential suite. One day Rodney, one day. ( reference to the UK sitcom ‘Only fools and horses‘)

Built in 1912, overlooking the famous Bay of Angels (Baie des Anges), and classified as a National Historic Monument in 1974, the Hotel Negresco is one of the few remaining privately owned palaces still existing in the world.

Henri NEGRESCO, born in 1868, constructed the hotel in 1912. The son of a Rumanian innkeeper, he left his home at the age of 15 in order to travel around Europe. From Paris he went to Monaco and then to Nice where he became director of the Municipal Casino. At this time he was already quite famous and heads of state, princes and the American “kings” of finance, the Rockefellers, the Vanderbildts and the Singers had all heard of Negresco !

His dream was to build a palace worthy of his prestigious clients and he entrusted the construction of his “palace” to one of the most talented architects of that time, Edouard Niermans.

Since 1957 the hotel has been owned by Jeanne AUGIER who has put all her energy into creating a museum-hotel that has become a veritable showcase of French art for her international visitors.