I stayed at the Helvetique for 4 nights with a friend of mine and we shared a twin room.
Location: Simply perfect. Around the corner from Place Massena, which is great at night due to all the street performers and crowds of people going to restaurants in the streets just off the square. It’s a nice area with lots of shopping around. The avenue Jean Medecin is the one leading up from Place Massena, and that’s where all the shopping is, including a big shopping mall. The main train station (Nice Ville) is just off that avenue. The beach is a 15-20 minute walk away, and the old town is a 15 minute walk the other way. The bus station is a 20 minute walk away. So shopping, transportation, entertainment and restaurants are always just a 15 minute walk away at the most.
How to get there: take the bus number 98 from Nice Airport and get off at Place Massena. Rue de l’Hotel des Postes is the first one on the right just after Galeries Lafayette. From the bus stop to the hotel it’s a 5-10 minute walk, so really close and nice & easy.
The hotel: Remember, it’s a 2-star hotel, and in that category I would say it’s very nice and you couldn’t ask for more. We had a completely new bathroom and toilet (in separate rooms), which were both very clean and tidy. They also provided lots of nice & clean towels, shower gel and soap. The only downside I would have to mention is the air conditioning which didn’t work, but since we never spent any time in our room apart from sleeping at night, we didn’t care much. We had a safe in our room but it didn’t work, so we locked our valuables in our suitcases. The décor of the room is simple but nice, we had a TV with 2 English programmes, the others were French and Italian. There was a medium-sized fridge in the room too which was great for storing all our water and fruit. The room was big enough, with a double bed and a single bed.
The building itself is old but by no means falling apart. Some things could need renovation (e.g. Changing some older carpets in the corridors), but it’s a decent and clean place to stay at. Our room looked out on the street which is noisy (traffic), so if you want to sleep with the window open, you need earplugs unless you’re used to street noise.
Staff: The staff were extremely friendly, helpful and accommodating, we had no problems at all.
In a nutshell:
Positives: nice & clean, decent price for Nice, superb location, friendly staff
Negatives: air con not working, safe not working
All in all I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a budget hotel that is clean and central to the main attractions such as the old town, Promenade des Anglais, entertainment, shopping and transportation.