A family tradition and an institution in Nice

 

The Westminster Hotel & Spa is intimately linked to the history of Nice. Inaugurated in 1881, it takes its name from the Duke of Westminster. It is still owned by the Schmitz-Grinda family, entrepreneurs and doctors involved in Nice's public life.

The Westminster Hotel & Spa, witness to over a century and a half of Riviera history, has a front-row seat on the famous Promenade des Anglais, with its kiosks, pergolas and no less famous blue chairs.
Its treasures include the extraordinary frescoes in the Grand Hall, signed by a Florentine artist; the gold-leafed ironwork on the stairwells; and a unique collection of paintings by the painter Bensa, depicting pre-1860 views of Nice.

 

1878

The Schmitz family, ancestors of the current owners, bought two villas on the Promenade des Anglais to combine them into a hotel, which they commissioned architect Louis Castel to design.

They also obtained permission from the Duke of Westminster's family to call the new hotel "Hôtel Westminster".

 

1904

The already famous hotel was enlarged at the rear to create the Hall aux Fresques, a restaurant serving "table d'hôte" menus (now the Salon Président), the Salon Belle Epoque, and new rooms on the Jardin Masséna side. table d'hôte" menus (now the Salon Président), the Salon Belle Epoque, and new rooms on the Jardin Masséna side.

1950

Madame Schmitz passed the hotel on to her grandson, Dr. Jean-Paul Grinda, a well-known figure in Nice, whose influence and personal fortune were to mark the hotel's modernization, while retaining the Westminster's turn-of-the-century ambience.

Total renovation of the hotel

The former large dining rooms are transformed into meeting rooms.

Two restaurants were opened, including one on the Promenade des Anglais, and an English colonial-style bar, both facing the sea. The Hotel Westminster is a place steeped in history, one of the Côte d'Azur's most representative hotels for the arts and culture of the South of France... Guarded by two stone lions from the villa Les Cariatides, the Westminster Hotel and almost museum could today sum up more than a century and a half of Riviera history.

At the same address, the famous German composer Giacomo Meyerbeer wrote the first two acts of his opera "L'Africaine" in 1858, and at the turn of the century a Florentine artist created the extraordinary frescoes in the Great Hall. In 1961, the fittings on the stairwells were gilded with gold leaf.

In the same year, the hotel acquired a unique collection of paintings by the painter Bensa, depicting pre-1860 views of Nice, in the early days of a certain shady path running along the Bay of Angels, then very much in vogue among the wealthy English...

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