Nearing the end of the 19th century, Nice started to come into its own as a city inspiring the arts, travel and, of course, grandeur. Combining all three in 1895, was the construction of the beautiful Excelsior Régina Palace. A perfect example of the unique Belle Époque style of architecture, this luxury hotel was originally built in honour of Queen Victoria of England, and, for the time, was something of an architectural marvel. Not only is this building visually stunning, but it was also built using the most modern and innovative techniques for electric lighting, central heating and water treatment.
As you might expect, this lavish hotel became a favourite getaway and residence for several notable guests. While Queen Victoria's apartment was by far its crown jewel, the Regina Palace was also home renowned French painter and sculptor Henri Matisse, who lived in the palace from 1938 to 1943. The works of Matisse, many of which were directly inspired by Nice, can be found across the city, in the brilliant Musée Matisse, or displayed in the hotel itself. A truly inspiring landmark, both for its architecture and historical precedence, it's no wonder the Regina Palace is still considered one of Nice’s most beautiful 19th-century buildings.