(Menton, France) — Nice is nice, but it has grown to be loud, clanging city choked with tourists and pickpockets. Why not relax and go a couple of stops on the local train to the quaint little town of Menton?  My Swedish friends Bror-Erik and Irene turned me onto this place after they bought their retirement flat to escape the cold and dark Stockholm winters. Hard on the water, it is literally the last stop on the train before hitting Italy and the town of Ventimiglia.  In fact, if you want a contrast, check out the difference in countries and cultures as you ride the train across the border.  France: clean, cheery colors, pristine houses and flowing bougainvillea hanging over the rails. Instantly as you stop in Italy, the paint is a little more dreary and that glorious, peeling decay of unkempt Italian buildings instantly becomes obvious.

Despite the Anglo name, the Royal Westminster hotel is a nice, clean and perfectly located right overlooking the beach. Huge windows open to the Mediterranean sun. A little spartan, but a reasonable value. It’s been a while since I’ve stayed there, so double check it’s current ratings.

Although we got a lower room and lost some view, it opened out onto an enormous terrace to watch the Med roll by.

Royal Westminster Hotel website. 

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