We got a chance to stay at Hotel de Suede back in 2009, when it was still called Hotel Harvey.They have since changed the name, and it’s obvious why. There were too many bad reviews associated with the Harvey, and this is one of them.
We checked in at around 11pm. Coming from a long, delayed train ride from Paris (and hours wasted in Perpignan), we were hoping for a warm welcome, but were greeted by a locked door. After several loud attempts to wake up the male receptionist with our violent knocking, we were finally ushered into a dirty lobby.
Overpriced for a three-star
You get what you pay for, right? Well, no. Hotel Harvey is not exactly cheap, even in Cote d’Azur standards. A double room in this decrepit “mid range” hotel in Nice costs €110 per night during spring. For that price, it’s reasonable to expect decent bedding and a flat screen TV, but you get none of that here.
You can’t eat in the rooms
The complimentary breakfast was forgettable; they basically handed me a croissant, airline-quality jam, and a cup of coffee. The elderly lady in charge of this le petit déjeuner was very nice, though, and probably the friendliest of them all.
When we tried to bring in food from a nearby bistro, we were scolded by the Nazi female receptionist. “You are forbidden to eat inside the room,” she said. When we asked why, she said “It will make the room dirty.”
We ate, anyway. The rooms each had a small balcony with plastic chairs, perfect for a dinner of cheap French wines, crepes, and fresh strawberries. (And we were careful not to make a mess).
Is there anything good about Hotel Harvey/ de Suede?
If you want quick access to public beaches of Promenade de Anglais, then Hotel de Suede’s location is unbeatable. It’s a quick walk (less than 400 metres) to the Mediterranean. Simply follow the bikini-clad tourists and go straight down Rue Harvey.
It’s also very close to a bus stop where you can catch a ride (for €1) to Cannes.
Restaurants and shops around the hotel
Right across the street is a women’s clothing shop selling discounted Italian and French labels, notably Longchamp, Valentino, and Chanel.
Go to the right to and you’ll find the restaurant-lined Rue Massena.
There’s even a 24-hour Quality Burger outlet adjacent to the hotel. Why would you eat a burger in France? Well, it’s the only place open after 11pm, and the only place where you can get a plastic fork. The young people who work there also speak decent English and are great with directions.
Hotel Harvey is minutes on foot from the tram along Avenue Jean Médecin, where you’ll find shops (including the surprisingly chic H&M Nice outlet) and get a cheap tram ride back to the TGV train station, Gare de Nice Ville.
That said, there are many other hotels in the area at around the same pricepoint offering better service and better quality rooms. For a few more euros, you can stay at the Mercure.
We probably should have done that.