Hotels billed as “design experiences” often turn out to be rather soulless affairs, but Nice’s Hôtel Windsor—only a few blocks back from the Promenade des Anglais on the stunning Baie des Anges—is full of eccentric charm. The majority of the rooms are decorated with murals or one-off works by contemporary artists including Raymond Hains, Jean Le Gac and Ben. Intrigued by the concept of actually sleeping in an artwork, I considered Claudio Parmiggiani’s minimalist gold cube or Palestine Charlemagne’s kitsch “Alter Room”, dedicated to both Babar and the Indian elephant divinity Ganesh, but finally plumped for something less conceptually challenging: François Morellet’s “Rayon de Sommeil”, a delightful white-on-white room in which an errant yellow sunbeam (or “sleep beam”) ricochets off floor and walls. In summer you can breakfast in the garden amid tropical palms. The hotel’s Wellness Center offers massage, sauna, a fitness room and access to the Windsor’s quirky attic steam room. 11 rue Dalpozzo, Nice. 04.93.88.59.35.  Doubles from €90 low season (Nov 1-March 31), €125 high season (April 1-Oct 31), with special promotions available. website

Originally published in the March 2008 issue of France Today; updated in August 2011

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