Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Luxury Shopping in Nice

Great cities include great shopping areas and Nice is no exception, especially in the luxury department.

Nice’s “luxury zone” of boutiques is for the most part centered on avenue de Verdun, avenue de Suede, and rue Paradis and sits at the edge of Place Masséna just across the square from Galeries Lafayette.

Let me tell you, nothing feels more like you’re living the high life in the French Riviera than shopping for luxury items.

Walking down avenue de Verdun with the scent of flowers perfuming the air, the light breeze from the sea frisking the trees and the sun shining as you shop just suggests glamour.

Boutique after boutique are enticing you inside for a look, and expect to be treated like nothing less than a celebrity while shopping.  Here you’ll notice the good people that work in these establishments are knowledgeable and trained in their products and services.

Now all you have to figure out is where to start shopping?  Well, depending on what you were looking for, I would start on avenue de Verdun at the corner of Place Masséna and make your way towards Louis Vuitton on the corner of rue Paradis.

Tiffany & Co. is about to open for business next to Cartier, which can be found almost immediately on avenue de Verdun.

Update: Tiffany & Co. is open for business as of June 14, 2012

Of course you’ll come across Hermes, which is my favorite of all the shopping, followed by Longchamp.

Soon you will see Louis Vuitton, with it’s long standing history at that location on avenue du Suede and rue Paradis.

This Louis Vuitton boutique was updated only a few years ago, and has been here since before WWII, which is quite remarkable but then again, many an aristocrat have spent their leisure time in the French Riviera.

After taking a look around Louis Vuitton, make your way down rue Paradis, which is part of the pedestrian zone in Nice or "zone pietonne".

Immediately you will come upon Emporio Armani with Hugo Boss just across the way, followed by Chanel, and on both sides of rue Paradis is Façonnable, which now also houses the Façonnable jeans store.  In between it all are many other shops to visit.

If you make your way north of rue Paradis, down Place Magenta, you will find even more unique boutiques to explore.

At the end of Place Magenta you can choose to go either directly left or right on rue de la Liberté to shop, or decide to go straight ahead and to your left to rue Alphonse Karr, or go ahead and to your right on to rue Longchamp to really put your credit cards to good use.

No matter which way you turn, you are going to find something you just must have.

In this whole area are over 40 high-end boutiques to set your heart a pounding.  So to get you going I have listed below some addresses to start you off:

Cartier: 4 avenue de Verdun
Tiffany & Co.: 6 avenue de Verdun
Chanel: 6 rue Paradis
Emporio Armani: 1 rue Paradis
Façonnable and Façonnable Jeans: 10 rue Paradis
Hermes: 8 avenue de Verdun
Hugo Boss: 6 rue Paradis
Longchamp: 10 avenue du Verdun
Louis Vuitton: 2 avenue du Suede/rue Paradis


Friday, June 24, 2011

Sauna Sun House (formerly Le Block)

One bathhouse/sauna in Nice has been putting on a whole new face!

Sauna Sun House is a fun, very cruisy sauna to meet men, relax or let your imagination go wild in a safe environment.

This bathhouse has quietly maintained its presence in Vieux Nice catering to all ages and types of men, they are particularly well known in the community for their naked events which are held on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Sauna Sun House is worthy of a mention because over the past number of months in 2011 it has undergone an extensive renovation with more touches continually being added.

Conveniently located in Vieux Nice and discreetly tucked away, it's easy to find at: 10-12 rue Jules Gilly.

You certainly wouldn’t know it from looking at the outside of the building but you will be surprised to know that there are three levels of space to explore and enjoy. 

In my experience, I think sauna business owners have finally caught on to the fact that to keep your customers happy and have a consistent clientele base, you must keep up with the maintenance and cleanliness of your establishment.  This is what Sauna Sun House is doing.

Once you have entered past the reception area, you can securely store your personal items in one of their 100 lockers.  They also have a wonderful selection of drinks and snacks at the refreshments bar.

Make it your mission to head through the labyrinth of halls and winding stairwells to the check out the cozy, dry sauna, along with the porn video area, cabins and lounge areas.

You’ll notice as well that they have done remarkable upgrades to not only their shower facilities in the wet area, but also to the Hammam (which can hold well over 25 people) or jump into their massive Jacuzzi.

Open Sunday to Thursday from 2pm-2:30am and Friday to Saturday from 2pm-4am, there are any number of things you can see and do at Sauna Sun House and with the newer surroundings, the sauna must be more popular than ever.

Play safe!

Update: Unfortunately Sauna Sun House is no longer being operated as a gay establishment. If this changes, expect another update.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Boscolo Plaza Hotel - Nice

On my first visits to Nice, I was always struck by how elegant and regal the Boscolo Plaza Hotel appears.  Like a grand dame in the heart of the city overlooking the park, sea and all it surrounds.  I still feel the same about the hotel to this day.

There is something very appealing and comfortable about the hotel.  I instantly fell in love with the attention to detail in the architecture, the beautiful cornices uniquely carved around each and every window and balcony, and just wait until you see how the building is lit up at night, it brings out the details of the hotel even more and a sense of romance.

In recent years the Boscolo Plaza Hotel has had some renovations and upgrades done to the building and it’s 172 rooms and restaurants, all so that you can have a more pleasurable experience in what feels like a stately yet modern functioning hotel.


The staff is friendly and accommodating in helping you with a recommendation on what size room to choose from and any other requests.  All the rooms have wonderful and interesting views of the city, my personal favorites are the rooms on the corner overlooking rue Paradis.

The address of the Boscolo Plaza Hotel is: 12 avenue de Verdun, the hotel takes up practically the whole front of that block, you certainly can’t miss it.  Boscolo Plaza Hotel is literally a 30 second walk away from the corner of Place Massena and perhaps a two-minute walk away from the beach.

If shopping is your thing, then not only is the gay-friendly Boscolo Plaza Hotel in the center of it all, it is above it all as many of the high end boutiques are situated at street level, tucked into the front of the building.  You will find shops such as Hermes, Cartier among others if luxury shopping is what you are seeking.

And if you are interested in relaxing with a drink and enjoying a delicious meal, then make your way to the rooftop terrace or “La Terrasse” where you can just sit back, eat, drink and enjoy the spectacular views of the city and sea.

The Boscolo Plaza Hotel has everything and more, it’s even within walking distance to most of the gay bars, saunas and nightclubs.  In my world, who could ask for more than that?

If you are looking for a quality hotel stay, I’d book into the Boscolo Plaza Hotel in Nice.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nice Emergency Contact Numbers

Although I have never had an emergency incident of any kind in all my years of going to Nice, I always think it is wise to be prepared and at least know of some emergency contact numbers and addresses to be on the safe side.

Here is a list that you may find helpful:



Nice's Main Police Station is located at: 1 avenue Marechal Foch
tel. 04 92 17 22 22

There is also what they call a Police Tourist Station located a block from the beach next to Le Meridien Hotel.  It is located at: 4 rue de Gabriel Faure
tel. 04 93 53 53 53

Currently Nice is one of four test cities to introduce police patrolling by foot.  Right now the police force consists of 355 officers but that will increase to about 380 by the end of the year.  The first street patrols have already started and consist of nine, two-officer teams working in various locations throughout the city.  Personally, I'm all for it.  Anything that can bring together a community and help create a safer environment works to the benefit of everyone.

Nice's main hospital is Hospital Saint-Roch.  It is located at: 5 rue Pierre Devoluy

The hospital has 24 hour emergency services and the number is: tel. 04 92 03 33 75
SAMU (Medical emergencies) - Centre 15 : tel. 15


S.O.S. MÉDECINS (24h Doctor service) tel. 04 93 85 01 01

MÉDECINS DE GARDE (24h Doctor service) tel. 04 93 53 03 03

NICE MÉDECINS (24h Doctor service) tél. 04 93 52 42 42

S.O.S. DENTAIRE (emergency dental care at night or Sundays and holidays)
tel. 04 93 76 53 53
tel. 04 92 13 00 99

et gratuit du V.I.H. (free and anonymous AIDS screening)
2 rue Edouard Béri (angle hôpital St-Roch) tel. 04 93 85 12 62

PHARMACIE DE NUIT (Night Pharmacy - 24/7)
7, rue Masséna tel. 04 93 87 78 94
66, avenue J. Médecin  tel. 04 93 62 54

POMPIERS (Fire Station): tel. 18

From what I understand these numbers can also be used from your cell phone but only if your phone adjusts itself to that region, for the longer phone numbers such as 04 93... you may have to use the code +33 first.

I hope this is helpful.  Be safe.