Hotel Negresco

The Hotel Negresco is situated on the Promenade des Anglais on the Baie des Anges, in Nice, France. One of world's most famous hotels, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, Hotel Negresco is a mythical place. Its magical name evokes a certain “art de vivre” and the happy go lucky days of the “Edwardian era”.

Henri Negresco, born in 1868 in Bucharest, constructed the hotel in 1912. The son of a Romanian innkeeper of Gypsy origin, he left his home at the age of 15 in order to travel around Europe. He went first to Paris, where played violin and worked in hotels, then, in 1893 moved to Monte-Carlo, where he became manager of the Hotel Londres, then director of this hotel. In early twentieth century, decides to settle permanently on the Côte d'Azur, which attract an elite clientele from Europe and America before the First World War. Installed at Monaco, he became manager of Helder restaurant, then director of the Municipal Casino in Nice. At this time he was already quite famous and heads of state, princes and the American “kings” of finance, 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, Édouard-Jean Niemans, with Gustave Eiffel reportedly commissioned to do its now famous pink dome. The spectacular Baccarat 16,309-crystal chandelier in the Negresco's lobby was commissioned by Czar Nicholas II, who due to the October revolution was unable to take delivery.

Bad luck came to Henri Negresco when World War I broke out two years after he opened for business and his hotel was converted to a hospital. By the end of the War, wealthy visitors to the Riviera had dropped off to the point that the hotel was in severe financial difficulty. Seized by creditors, the Negresco was sold to a Belgian company and Henri Negresco died a few years later in Paris at the age of 52.

Over the years, the hotel had its ups and downs and in 1957 was sold to the Augier family. Madame Jeanne Augier reinvigorated the hotel with luxurious decorations and furnishings, including an outstanding art collection and rooms with mink bedspreads. In 2003 the Hotel Negresco was listed a National Historic Building - a well earned recognition for the Hotel, its exceptional architecture and the superb art collection that it houses.

You can see some panoramas at Realité virtuelle.