Thursday, March 31, 2011

Le Fard

Le Fard is fun, boutique style, 'before' bar that you should really check out if you are visiting Nice.

Since it opened in 2007, Le Fard is where everyone seems to go before heading off to the bigger nightclubs.  At times they will even promote themselves as the “before” place to attend, as will other clubs with their cross-promotions in Nice.

Yet if you’ve ever been there you’ll notice people are enjoying themselves so much they can’t seem to tear away from the place, many people will just stay and make a night of it.  I’ve definitely seen plenty of parties start and end here.

Le Fard is in one of the best spots in Nice.  Directly across from the beach at: 25 Promenade des Anglais.

Making your way down the Promenade des Anglais, you’ll start to hear the music playing and come upon groups of gorgeous men having drinks out front of the establishment, that’s when you’ll know you are at Le Fard.

The inside of Le Fard is certainly not huge but it’s comfortable and colorful, one of the best parts about it though is the crowd and staff are both attitude free.  This is a very easy place to meet new people if you are traveling on your own.

In the heat of the summer, it’s nice to be able to get a drink inside and then relax out front in the courtyard with the other patrons, cooling down with the fresh evening breeze coming in off the sea.  During the winter months, it’s not unusual to find everyone heating up by socializing inside, making it a winning situation anytime of year.

Le Fard is open Monday to Sunday from 6:30pm-2:30am.

Be sure to stop by Le Fard when you are in Nice.

Update: Unfortunately Le Fard is no longer in business.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Coco Beach

The furthest section of Coco Beach in Nice is supposed to be a gay beach, the thing is, the popularity of it seems to change every year.

There will either be a number of gay people clustered together on the rocks sunning themselves (clothing optional) or you will just have more space to yourself.

I still think this gay beach is worth a mention because of the breathtaking location, even if there aren’t other people around at the time.  I do consistently hear though that for the most part, the journey is worth it.

The whole of Coco Beach is absolutely stunning and many tourists don’t seem to know about it since it is away from the center of the city.  It appears to be where those in the neighborhood go as anytime I have been down to the main beach area, it seems everyone knows each other but new people are certainly welcome.

Here, I will explain how to get to the main Coco Beach area and then continue further if you want to the gay section of the beach.  It’s all a gorgeous trip.

Make your way around the port towards Mont Boron, going east and walk along boulevard Franck Pilate past the longstanding La Reserve Restaurant situated on the edge of the sea.

Boulevard Franck Pilate will eventually turn into avenue Jean Lorrain.  You’ll know you are headed in the right direction when you see the exquisite villas on Mont Boron looking out over the sea.

Now you are at the main Coco Beach area, you will see all types of people of various ages swimming at their favorite spots along the beach.  Keep in mind there are very few places that are even remotely sandy, most of this area is rocky with some areas flattened out along the paths for you to relax and sunbathe.

To get to the gay section though, you are going to want to keep walking along avenue Jean Lorrain until you see the Coco Beach Restaurant.  You won’t be able to miss it because of how it too is built over the sea edge and also by the signage.

Step into the entrance of the walkway to the Coco Beach Restaurant and proceed towards it.

It feels a bit odd at first, like you are intruding, but there are paths and stairs that lead you down and around the restaurant so that you can keep making your way to the gay section of Coco Beach.

Just keep following the path, even when you approach other buildings along the way.

It is a bit of a hike, but a beautiful one, past some amazing estates.  I walk fast, so for me it takes about 10-15 minutes to get to the gay beach.

If this is your first time there, it may to difficult to recognize if you have arrived to the actual beach, but usually when you start seeing other men around, you know you are in the right area.

You’ll also know you have arrived when you are facing the peninsula of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat to the east in the direction of Villefranche sur Mer.

Another option to get to the gay beach is to take the paths leading from the streets above near Palais Maeterlinck.  I haven’t taken those paths yet myself though so I can’t give clear directions yet.  I’m also a bit hesitant coming from that direction with so many luxury estates next to each other that might not be fenced off in such a way that one may actually be trespassing.

With the route I have currently given, it’s such a nice walk with the sun shining, the sea lapping up on to the rocks and the light breeze gently cooling you off.

Explore and enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Eagle Nice Cruising Bar

In a quaint part of Nice, close to the port, you’ll come across an unassuming cruising bar by the name of Eagle Nice.

Eagle Nice has been a fixture in the city for a number of years now; I remember it being called “Castro” around the year 2000.  Being in the same location for so long means it has a regular clientele base that frequents the establishment, I’ve also found that clientele base is rather diverse, depending on the event taking place.

It’s all good though, Eagle Nice feels like your hometown, neighborhood bar where everyone is welcome, that is if your favorite locale also has it’s own separate cruising section.
Eagle Nice is not hard to find and there are a number of ways you can get to the bar.

One way to get to Eagle Nice is to take the tram.  If you do take the tram, take it to the Garibaldi stop, walk through Place Garibaldi towards the port, you will approach rue Cassini, stay on that street for about two blocks and then turn right on rue Emmanuel-Philibert for about a block and a half where you will find Eagle Nice at: 18 bis, rue Emmanuel-Philibert.

This is a part of Nice the gay community is affectionately calling “le petit Marais” after the Marais district in Paris.  Many gay businesses are currently popping up here.

Eagle Nice will be easy to spot as it usually has a rainbow flag hanging out front of the peach colored, two-story building, along with the Eagle Nice signage.

Step up to the entrance where you will have to ring the door buzzer, once you are buzzed in there is a tiny area where you sometimes have to pay a small cover but it usually includes a conso (drink).  This could also all depend on what kind of event is taking place though.

Either way, there is always some kind of action going on at Eagle Nice. 

Once inside, you will immediately see the long serving bar on the left and to your right are two wide doorways that lead to the ever-changing cruising section.

I could go into more detail about the place, but it’s very self-explanatory and I do want you to have fun exploring the cruising bar on your own. 

Just keep in mind; those in attendance are of varied age, backgrounds and scenes.  There are all kinds of parties and events constantly taking place at Eagle Nice such as: bear events, underwear parties, leather and even blackout nights, so go with an open mind and expect the unexpected. 

Eagle Nice is open seven nights a week from 9pm-2:30am.

Even on a quieter night in the city, there always seems to be someone you can meet and have a drink with at Eagle Nice.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Connexion Hotel

Looking for a hotel for gay men?  Here it is guys...Connexion Hotel!

This value priced hotel is one great deal to take advantage of if you are looking for a fun place to stay in Nice, sling included if you so desire.  Connexion Hotel is about the size of your average family run hotel, just with a different type of family.

As soon as you first enter the reception area of Connexion Hotel, you'll notice that meticulous efforts have been taken to make you feel very much at home and welcome.

And your hosts of the Connexion Hotel are Didier and Olivier, tw totally sweet and fabulous guys!  They really want you to have the best possible stay and put in their best efforts for guests to have the opportunity to meet each other.  You won't find more hospitable and accommodating hosts.

Connexion Hotel is located at: 65 rue de la Buffa, in a great area of Nice, maybe a quick 15 minute walk (if even) away from the major shops and most of the clubs, it's also approximately 2 blocks away from the beach.  And only 10 minutes by transit to the airport.

Rooms come in a variety of sizes and types, just like men.  Small, Medium or Large.  You also have your choice of getting a standard room or one of their play themed rooms.  Sizes and games are up to you.

Connexion Hotel offers free wi-fi internet, minibar in the room, free cable/satellite, flat screen TV's, showers, etc.  Breakfast is fantastic and included in the price, and also a great way to meet the other guests.  I'm repeating myself but you can tell the owners/hosts do their best to make sure everyone feels warm and welcome as they also hold other weekly receptions (sometimes themed) with drinks.

If you are single or a couple you won't feel out of place at Connexion Hotel.

Photos © Connexion Hotel