This prestigious residence, visible from many places in Nice, thrones at the top of the Boulevard de Cimiez. It has crossed centuries, fulfilling various roles while remaining a landmark in the Cimiez district and the city of Nice.
A bit of history
After the annexation of the County of Nice to France in 1860, the Colline de Cimiez quickly became a safe investment for land. Gradually the agricultural grounds disappeared and luxury properties and hotels emerge from the land. The Riviera, in the eyes of the European aristocracy, is synonymous with a Mediterranean lifestyle; a gentle way of life.
Among this elite, Queen Victoria, to whom it was proposed to build a residence hotel with all the “modern” comforts: electricity, sewage, elevators, central heating and hot water provided by large boilers … The Queen promised to return the following spring to stay in this new hotel built for her.
The palace hotel was designed by the architect Biasini. Another architect, Charles Dalmas, gave a refined style to the building. The hotel was completed in less than 2 years at the beginning of 1897. The name Excelsior Hotel Regina was given by the operating company that administered it at the time.
Queen Victoria kept her promise and stayed at the hotel three times. The First World War put an end to tourism and the Excelsior Hotel Regina was converted into a military hospital. On January 28, 1920 a real estate company bought the hotel and renamed it Hotel Regina. It will not survive as a luxury hotel after the crisis of 1929. In 1937, a new real estate company was created under the name Le Regina condominium and the 400 rooms were converted into 98 apartments.
The construction of the building in two years was a prowess: façade of 150 meters long and 45 meters south-east upon 5 floors (plus a sixth one under the attic) and 6260 m² of surface area!
The architect Francois-Félix Gordolon designed the metal part and drew the forged irons. Gustave Eiffel helped him for the realization of the crown that surmounted the apartments of Queen Victoria.
The architectural ensemble bears the imprint of the Belle Epoque with an accumulation of ornaments. In the district of Cimiez there are many examples of this architecture of the beginning of the 20th century. We can mention the Grand Palais, the Riviera Palace, or the Hermitage.
The private park of 8250m² is located in front of the hotel. This park was created on a ground raised with earth extracted during the digging of the building’s foundation. It is accessible by a marble and wrought metal walkway. At the south entrance of the park, a tall white marble statue by sculptor Louis Maubert represents Queen Victoria.