Name: Backpackers Chez Patrick
Address: 32 rue Pertinax, 1st floor, Nice
Phone: +33 (0)4 93 80 30 72 or +33 (0)6 13 25 29 31
Kitchen: yes, but limited (fridge, microwave and sink only)
No lockout, no curefew
Reception: 8:30-12NOON, 5-8pm
Internet: no (it is available in a small internet cafe 10 steps down the street)
Safety box for storing valuables: yes
Luggage storage: available
First day we stayed in a 6 person shared dorm room and then we moved into a 4 person dorm for the next 3 nights. The room was basic with bunk beds and a sink. The sheets and blankets were supplied upon request and the beds were fine. There were two showers to share between the backpackers - the one by the kitchen is older and very small, but the newly renovated one behind the reception area is great. The room had window over rue Pertinax, but the view wan't great, as the streets in the area were dug up in construction. There is a laundromat a few streets west where they charge per kilogram, so you may want to get a few people together to chip in for a load of laundry.
Patrick was helpful and knew exactly where to go - the advice he gave us was always spot on. The whole hostel was absolutely spotless and it was cleaned every day. The lack of breakfast was noticable, but the bakery on the corner was simply spectacular - I recommend cafe au lait with the brioche au sucre or croissant for breakfast. The kitchen is small, with a single table and without a range to cook on, but it allowed you to eat a meal without a problem (fridge and microwave - lots of take-out restaurants in the area). You can ask Patrick to put your valuables in a safety box, which is helpful in the dorm situation. There is no alcohol allowed in the hostel, but everyone simply buys it along the way to the beach, where you are sure to find improvised pre-drinking parties by the waters edge.
The hostel itself is located very close to the Nice Ville train station (5min walk with heavy backpack) and the beach is a 15min walk away down Jean-Medecin. Everything is within a walking distance, so you can save yourself some money on public transportation. There is a gorcery store (Ed's Market) with very reasonable prices 4 streets east. The Chagall Museum is about a 10-15min walk north and it definately worth a trip, especially if you're an art buff. Monastere de Cimiez (Cimiez Convent) is a bit further north and up the hill, but it is also worth the 30-40min stroll - I suggest bringing a lunch and having a little picnic in the old olive grove.
Cheaper restaurants are available in the area (everyone will know the Chinese/Thai restaurant on the way to the train station and there are some great pizza and pannini places everywhere). For great sea food check out the the smaller side streets in the old Port instead of the Promenade des Anglais area. There is a variery of pubs, bars and dance clubs, but during our stay Chez Wayne's was by far the best - including a live band and dancing on tables.
Overall rating: Good (4/5)