Oh how I’d dreamt of a night at The Nici. It’s an Instagram hot spot and images and reels had flooded my feed for months; pastel coloured bikes outside the entrance, sunset drinks on the terrace by the outdoor pool, bedrooms that make you want to redesign your entire house. At a relatively bleak time this looked like a real ray of sunshine and hinted at a place that encouraged escapism.
We finally made it for an overnight stay here one Sunday afternoon in late October. The place was abuzz with people enjoying leisurely Sunday lunches – families, couples, groups of friends. Although there’s definitely a scene here (think well dressed people, well designed place, well paid wallets) it’s surprisingly unpretentious and there’s a warmth not just from that exuded by the cosy fireside corners.
The staff were good looking and efficient, yet they were also chatty, interested and attentive. At one point we mentioned to the waiter that we didn’t yet know our room number as we hadn’t checked in – he came back 10 minutes later saying he’d checked on their system and our room was now ready, would we like to go up? The entire reception team were engaging and fun – laughing at us as we debated whether to go and swim in the sea, then providing extra towels in the room when we went for it.
Design inspiration here is South Beach, Miami. I’m not going to lie, I was sceptical – this is often overdone, or not done quite well enough.
The Nici has accomplished a difficult feat, and in my opinion the £25million refurbishment (from the previous Savoy Hotel) is exceptionally done. Light, bright and airy there are white walls mixed with bright pink walls, gold finishings mixed with mosaic tiling, and glitter balls next to grand pianos.
As for the bedrooms (or the suites if you opt for the dog friendly Garden Suites with outdoor hot tubs) – they’re just beautiful. Ours had its own sun terrace with sun loungers and stripy parasol. We also had the most decadent free standing bath at the foot of our enormous bed – both of which I luxuriated in, one after the other to achieve maximum relaxation and restoration.
We were child free (hence the long bubble bath) but there were lots of guests who weren’t and we’d definitely return with little ones. The 13 seat cinema room shows children’s films and there’s a well designed Kids Room with games, books and table football.
You can eat and drink all day long here (although make sure you leave at least once to check out the beach below at West Cliff or borrow a bike and explore nearby). ‘Relaxed all day dining and drinking’ means you can basically have what you want, when you want from the stunning surroundings of South Beach Restaurant and Bar.
We had cocktails (try the Old Fashioned for a real wow factor) and dinner – which I still dream about. The menu has classics mixed with a good selection of Asian style dishes and great vegetarian and vegan options. Oh, and breakfast – I won’t spoil the surprises but a few highlights included the Yoghurt Sundae Bar, the freshly baked donuts and the still warm focaccia breads.
I really didn’t want to leave The Nici. We really did feel instantly at home here, immediately immersed in the fabulous whirl of glitz, fun and genuinely nice people.
Creating a five star hotel like this doesn’t happen by chance and it can’t have been easy – but the results are outstanding and the future looks dazzling for this very special spot.
To book a room or to eat at The Nici, visit the website or call 01202018555