Where to Stay in Nice, France: The Hôtel Ozz
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Stay: Hôtel Ozz
Located At: 18, Rue Paganini, 06000 Nice, FR
Spend: ~$27 - $75
Stay Here For: Affordable cost and upscale hostel atmosphere in the heart of the French Riviera
I’ve been to France 4 times in my life, but this is the first time I felt inspired enough by my accommodation to do a quick write-up on my blog. Other places I’ve stayed in France in the past (as a broke college student) included cheap, run-down apartments with malfunctioning keys, no hot water, and paper-thin walls. At the time, it was the only way I could afford visiting places like Paris. This accommodation is, thankfully, nothing like that! And, this is also the very first hostel review on my blog, so that’s pretty exciting! On my most recent trip to France, I was in Nice (the south of France, on the Côte d’Azur) on a Contiki tour, and all 23 of us checked in to the Hôtel Ozz for two nights. We were gearing up to stay in hostels for the entire week, and this one was, by far, my favorite.
If you’re looking for a relatively cheap place to stay in one of the most idyllic coastal destinations in the entire Côte d’Azur, look no further because this hostel is welcoming, clean, and chic, all for a price tag you won’t faint over.
LOCATION & PRICE
Before I talk about this hostel, let’s talk about Nice. If there was ever a fantasyland, it’s Nice. Imagine pink- and sherbet-colored buildings, checkered sidewalks, modern art and installations throughout, and a rugged Mediterranean coastline that’ll make you swoon. Nice is considered the center of the French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur, and it has actually been a popular holiday destination for centuries thanks to its pristine weather. Situated on the Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels) Nice is famous for its pebbly beach, laidback Promenade des Anglais (promenade lining the beach), and relaxing, resort vibe. If you couldn’t tell by now, I really, really love Nice.
As you might expect, a good majority of hotels in Nice sport a relatively hefty price tag. The Hôtel Ozz is a welcome relief, with shared dormitory rooms costing as little as 25 euros per night, and a private double room about 70 euros per night if you get the basic rate without breakfast included (though you can always add it later).
The hotel is located near the train station and steps from streetcar access. You can walk to the beach (about a 15-25 minute walk depending on your pace) and nearby shops, or you can take public transportation around town.
The Hôtel Ozz is part of the HappyCulture Collection of hotels, a French company that places an emphasis on cultivating fun, inviting, and design-forward spaces throughout France. Despite being a hostel, it’s apparent that design, playfulness, and style are a focus at the Ozz. The hotel touts itself as being an ‘artist’s studio’ with modern yet minimalist decor, and it encourages you point-blank on their website to share your hotel experience on Instagram. Rather than calling itself a hostel, the Ozz refers to itself as a ‘sharing hotel.’
The lobby is designed as a communal space for guests to hang out, grab a drink, or chill out. There’s a cozy lounge space, a ping pong table, and the Ozz Bar, where you can grab cocktails, wine or beer, and snacks. In the mornings, the Ozz Bar serves up a pretty basic but quintessentially French breakfast of croissants, bread, butter, and jam, which you can book in advance or purchase for 5 euros a pop. The coffee machine is free and unlimited.
Because this is technically a hostel, standard hotel amenities are limited. However, you do get WiFi access, a 24/7 reception desk, a small business corner, and other small extras like phone chargers and electric adapter loaners in case you forgot or misplaced your own.
The cool thing about the Ozz is that you have the option of choosing anything from a bed in a dormitory all the way up to a rooftop suite (starting at 79 euros per night, believe it or not). The rooms are mildly industrial with bright pops of blue throughout, and the dorms actually have their own ensuite bathrooms which I was SO happy about! I stayed in a 3-bed dormitory room, which is pretty interesting because it’s the only room type where the bunk bed is tri-stacked (and of course, I ended up on the very top bed). In addition to ensuite bathrooms, each dorm room has lockers to store your belongings in, as well as a desk. Another cool thing about the rooms is that you can open your windows wide and peer out of your oh-so-French balconet, watching the buzzy streets come to life beneath you. Not a ton of European hostels let you open your windows, nor do many have balconies or balconets, so this was a cute little treat!
I have every intention of returning to the south of France, and I wouldn’t mind checking back into the Hôtel Ozz when that time comes. This hotel allows you an upscale take on hostel culture with a really reasonable price, so you can save your money for other French Riviera temptations, like aperol spritzes, boat tours, and gambling in the Monte-Carlo casino. Joie de vivre at its finest!