FAQs About Your Apartment in Nice
The booking web portal of Nice Pebbles was born in 2005. The website, guest management and process of all bookings are controlled by Mirko Media Ltd and SASU Pebbles Concierge. The registered office of Mirko Media Ltd is 501 Middleton Road Chadderton, Oldham, United Kingdom, OL9 9LY. The registered office of SASU Pebbles Concierge is 37 Rue de l'Hotel des Postes, 06000 Nice, France.
The booking procedure up to your arrival
Can we stay for less than one week?
What is included in the price?
Which floor is my apartment on?
What extras and lifestyle packages do we offer?
How do I book?
How do I pay?
How will I know how to get to the apartment?
What if I need to cancel?
How do I know my hard earned money is safe?
Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)travel advice
Our terms of business with our guests
What time can I check in?
What time is check out?
Do I have to pay a security deposit?
Are pets allowed in the apartments?
Is smoking allowed in the apartments?
What if I want to change my dates?
What if I want to change my apartment?
What if I am unhappy with any aspect of my stay?
Information and tips to assist you when you stay
How do I get to Nice?
What is provided in the apartment?
Should I pack anything for extra comfort and convenience?
What about sofa-beds?
Why are extra linen and towels so expensive?
Wi-Fi in the apartment
TV in the apartment
Where can I park?
What will the weather be like?
Do I need travel insurance?
Where can I obtain a mobile phone during my stay in Nice?
I have an apartment and would like to advertise on your site. Can I join in?
I am interested in buying an apartment. Can you help?
I need a lawyer to explain French Law. Can you help?
I need advice on French tax. Can you help?
CAN WE STAY FOR LESS THAN ONE WEEK?
Of course. We appreciate that you might like to come for a long weekend, or take advantage of inexpensive weekday flights. You can check the prices for any length of stay on the automated system. For longer stays, it is best to email us for a price since we may be able to offer a discount.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
Our price includes one of our representatives meeting you on arrival, a basic grocery pack to get you started in the apartment, all utilities, and cleaning the apartment at the end of your stay. Your bed will also be freshly made up with Egyptian cotton linen and towels will be laid out for your use. You will have our contact mobile number to use during your stay to deal with any difficulties which may arise. You will be entitled to use our free luggage store and concierge service.
WHICH FLOOR IS MY APARTMENT ON?
In European terms, the floor at street level is called the ground floor. We refer to the floor above this as the first floor (this is what north Americans would call the 2nd floor).
WHAT EXTRAS DO WE OFFER?
Make your stay even better with one of our additional packages. We offer baby-cots, high-chairs, beach towels, additional linen, mid-stay apartment cleaning, airport transfers and a few other extras.
HOW DO I BOOK?
You can book on-line at any time. Should you prefer not to do this, or have difficulties you can ring us during the hours of 10am - 12 noon Monday to Friday and we will help you process your booking. Or you can send us an email and we will take it from there. We ask for a deposit to book the apartment of 25% of the value of the booking to secure the dates. This deposit is non-refundable. Two months before arrival, we will request the remaining balance for your stay. There are no hidden or extra charges. Additionally, any extra services such as one of our packages will be added to the balance. If you want more information on this, please see our Terms and Conditions.
HOW DO I PAY?
Mirko Media Ltd accepts payment through all major credit and debit cards online through our website. We can also accept payment by bank transfer. Please contact us for more information.
HOW WILL I KNOW HOW TO GET TO THE APARTMENT?
Once we have received your deposit, you will receive detailed information about the location of the property and all details to contact us during your stay. You will be given choices of where we should meet you. After we have met at the agreed meeting point, you will be personally taken to the apartment.
WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL?
The 25% paid on booking the apartment is not refundable. Any other monies are the owners monies and it will depend what cancellation policy the owner has chosen. Owners decide between a FIRM, FLEXIBLE or RELAXED policy. You can see which policy they have chosen on the listing page in the PARTICULARS section. When funds are due to you, to comply with money laundering regualtions, our refunds can only be made by direct payment back to the credit card the monies were received from. In some cases you may incur your bank's small handling charge for this service. We cannot refund monies any other way to avoid the risk of inadvertently “cleaning” money. We thank you in advance for your understanding. Should you wish to claim for any lost monies through your insurance company, then we will assist as far as we possibly can.
HOW DO I KNOW MY HARD EARNED MONEY IS SAFE?
We bank with Lloyds TSB in the UK. All monies received are held in a trust account until a guest has vacated the apartment. Owners are only paid after our guests have left. We have been vetted and approved for merchant bank status. Guests can make payments via a secure line. In the event of a dispute, guests have the right to challenge the payment and our merchant bank will hold the money until the dispute is resolved.
FOREIGN & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE (FCO) TRAVEL ADVICE
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) issues travel advice on destinations, which includes information on passports, visas, health, safety and security and more. For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office click here.
WHAT TIME CAN I CHECK IN?
Our standard check-in time is 4pm, if you have opted for our standard Meet and Greet check-in. We will facilitate an earlier check-in where we can. If an earlier check-in is important to you, then you have the option of choosing a Hello&Go Travel Extra or a Transfer with keys. Both can be ordered on the Travel Extras page up to five days before your arrival. These options secure an earlier check-in time of 1pm. If you are arriving after 8pm, then you have the option of either choosing a special late arrival meet and greet service at a cost of £72, or a special late arrival taxi transfer from the airport or train station. The driver of the taxi will provide you with keys to the property. We cannot guarantee meetings after 11pm, it is in our agents' discretion if you are delayed and will depend on their personal circumstances. If it is possible that you could be delayed until after 11pm, please take a note of airport hotel. Details are on your Pebbles Passport. You do not need to check in after hours. To avoid any charges, you are welcome to stay in a hotel and check in the following morning at no charge.
WHAT IF I WANT TO CHANGE MY DATES?
Changing dates will require us to update the owner, the cleaners, our assistants, and the calendars. There will therefore be an admin charge of £50 to £100 for date changes for the same apartment once your deposit has been received. We may not always be able to accommodate date changes, but will try to do so where possible. If we cannot change your dates and you no longer wish to stay with us, our cancellation policy will apply. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information.
WHAT IF I WANT TO CHANGE MY APARTMENT?
Changing apartments will require us to deal with two owners, update two sets of calendars, updating assistants and cleaners for two apartments. There will therefore be an admin charge of £150 for apartment changes once your deposit has been received and the confirmation form sent out to you. We may not always be able to accommodate apartment changes, but will try to do so where possible. If we cannot accommodate a move to another apartment and you no longer wish to stay with us, our cancellation policy will apply. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information.
WHAT IF I AM UNHAPPY WITH ANY ASPECT OF MY STAY?
We would hope that we can rectify any aspect of your stay which has been unsatisfactory. If we cannot resolve any complaint for you, then we consent to a mediator being appointed by Dispute Settlement Services Ltd. DSS has extensive experience in the travel industry and will seek to resolve any disputes quickly and efficiently.
Guests, if preferred, can complain through our French regulating body. To do so requires a level of French which is why, in the interests of protecting our guests and in the spirit of co-operation, we also offer avenues of redress in the UK.
We seek at all times to keep complaints to a minimum and hope that if one arises we will be able to find an amicable resolution.
WHAT TIME IS CHECK OUT?
Check-out time is 12 noon. Later check-outs can be secured for a fee on our Travel Extras page, up to five days before arrival. We do offer a luggage storage facility in our office. This is situated at 37 rue de l'Hotel des Postes, in close proximity to the Tramway and Place Massena. This service is free.
If you have a late flight on your departure day, then please consider using this service since we can never guarantee you will be able to leave luggage in an apartment after the 12 noon check out. Outside of opening hours we have an arrangement with the Hotel Lafayette (32 rue de L'Hotel des Postes) where our guests can leave luggage for a small fee. The price is 20 Euros, payable at reception. This is a price per group, no matter how many suitcases and bags. Use of toilet facilities and Wi-Fi is included in the price.
DO I HAVE TO PAY A SECURITY DEPOSIT?
We take credit card details from you on arrival in the same way a hotel does. We do not charge the card unless damage occurs. In the event of any damage, you are advised to call us so we can assess the damage together. Failure to do this will result in our decision on the value of the damage being final.
ARE PETS ALLOWED IN THE APARTMENTS?
We are afraid pets are not welcome in the apartments.
IS SMOKING ALLOWED IN THE APARTMENTS?
No, all of our apartments are non-smoking.
HOW DO I GET TO NICE?
Nice is a well-connected city with TGV, an airport, and a port. The Nice airport (Aéroport Nice Côte d'Azur) has two terminals and is well served by budget airlines.
Recommended direct flights to Nice:
- easyJet from Bristol, Belfast, Gatwick, Liverpool, Luton, Newcastle, and Stanstead.
- British Airways from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, and Birmingham.
- BMI and its subsidiary BMI Baby. BMI baby flies from London Heathrow and Birmingham. BMI from Birmingham and Nottingham East Midlands airport
- Jet2 from Leeds Bradford and Manchester.
- Fly Globespan from both Glasgow and Edinburgh.
- Nice Airport. A guide to Nice airport including a pictorial map of the terminals and bus stops, phone numbers of all the airlines operating from the airport, parking areas, prices and many more details, contact names, and numbers.
- Sky Scanner. Type in "Nice UK" and Sky Scanner will search the cheapest flights that month on the main competitors, including easyJet, BMI. and Jet2.
An airport shuttle bus (no. 98) operates from both terminals. This bus (€6) is the most convenient and cheapest way to get into central Nice. It leaves every twenty minutes from terminals 1 and 2 and the last bus every night yearly is at around 9pm, and in July to September this increases to nearly midnight. The bus takes you down the route of the Promenade des Anglais, directly into Nice centre. After approximately 20 minutes, it reaches its final destination, the Gare Routière which is in easy walking distance of most Nice Pebbles apartments. For information on the complete public transport network of Nice Côte d'Azur, check the ligne d'azur web site.
For private transfers between the airport and any of our apartments, we suggest using Friend In France who we have worked with for several years. Mira and her team have always received very positive feedback. They wait for you at the airport terminal with a card with your name on it. It's a stress-free way to start your holiday. All drivers speak English and they will be familiar with the location of your apartment. You can book a transfer through our packages page at check out.
Nice can also be reached by TGV. The train takes five and a half hours from Paris. You may find a budget airline ticket is less expensive than the train. The Nice train station is situated at the top end of Avenue Jean-Médicin on Avenue Theirs. SNCF trains are plentiful and frequent to all destinations on the coast between Saint Raphael and the Italian border which makes Nice a fantastic base for exploring most of the Côte d'Azur. If you are planning a trip around Europe, you may want to take a look at the European Rail Guide. More modestly, SNCF still offers good services into and around Nice.
Nice is also easily accessible by car, the fastest route being the A8. However, once in Nice, we would advise that if you are a group of less than four, you ditch the car in favour of public transport. Considering hiring cars for the days you need one, rather than for your entire stay. Car parking is expensive in Nice, around € 20 a day, and with such great public transport options to most of the popular destinations on the French Riviera, you will probably find a car is not necessary.
If you think you will still need a car, or want to explore some of the more remote parts of the Côte d'Azur, then we recommend using Hertz. As well as being based at Nice airport, they also have offices at the train station and next to the Le Meridien hotel. The Le Meridien is a particularly handy place to pick up a car for a couple of days if you're staying at a Nice Pebbles apartment. All their offices open on Sunday morning, which is an unusual bonus for companies operating in France.
WHAT IS PROVIDED IN THE APARTMENTS?
We want to offer a home away from home feeling for all of our guests, so all of our apartments have all the necessary kitchen equipment including a kettle, cafetiere and toaster. The glassware, crockery and cooking equipment are all provided.
As part of a Welcome package we provide a tea towel, washing powder, dishwasher powder, washing up liquid, and two full rolls of toilet paper to get you started. For items such as a microwave please go to each individual apartment and view the amenities; if the apartment has it, it will be listed here. Each apartment is equipped with an iron and ironing board, and a high speed hairdryer. We also provide 2 pillows per person, one set of sheets for the made-up beds, a bath towel and hand towel for each guest, and a bath mat as well as a mini shampoo and shower gel.
We do not provide the following: linen and towels for a sofa bed, extra towels and linen (although these can be provided at extra cost), beach towels, kitchen roll, or endless supplies of toilet rolls. If you wish to purchase a package that provides you with these items, please consult our packages and special offers. Please check the white box on the individual apartment pages to check if the apartment has the amenities such as a washing machine, Wi-Fi, TV connection, etc. All the apartment amenities are listed there.
SHOULD I PACK ANYTHING FOR EXTRA COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE?
Between April – November, it is worth bringing mosquito repellent. You can pick it up, but if you’re very susceptible, and already bitten, it can spoil your holiday. Insects can be vicious in the South of France.
Standard paracetamol / acetaminophen and other mainstream painkillers have to be bought over a pharmacy counter in France, so it is often easier to bring your own.
We also suggest ear-plugs and eye masks for very light sleepers, staying in a city.
Whilst we try to offer a hotel-style service, we are limited in what we can supply. Space is a premium in Nice city centre and our team have to distribute supplies all over the city and are limited in what they can carry, often on foot. We also can’t micro-manage the stock levels of certain standard kitchen items whilst keeping prices competitive for all guests.
For these reasons you will not find things like salt, pepper, tomato ketchup, cling-film, kitchen foil, extra toilet roll (more than the two rolls we supply), kitchen roll etc in the apartments unless other guests have bought them and we’ve decided they are in a good enough condition to be left for future guests’ convenience. If such things are important to you, and you don’t think you will be wanting to do much grocery shopping, then please pack some in your luggage and bring with you.
Since many apartments now have SMART TVs, you might want to bring your login to NETFLIX, or bring DVDs.
WHAT ABOUT SOFA-BEDS?
We do not list sofa-beds, nor provide linen and towels for sofa-beds in our listed prices. If a sofa-bed is in the apartment, it is for owners use only. Occasionally we will make an exception and allow sofa-bed use in exceptional circumstances, such as a guest coming to stay for just a few nights with longer staying guests. Guests who book apartments with sofa-beds always do so on the strict understanding that the sofa-bed is a bonus and if circumstances arise where the sofa-bed can no longer be offered, no compensation will be given and we cannot move guests to a bigger apartment. This is because when sofa-beds break, many owners choose not to replace them, and they are not offering them as part of the listing. Additionally, in rare circumstances we may not be able to offer the apartment to you and need to offer you a move (for example a serious leak from the above apartment) and the price you have paid may not allow us to find you an alternative at a similar cost when we need to pay the new owner their listing price. If the visiting guest need for a bed is paramount to the overall satisfaction of your stay, please book an apartment that had enough proper beds. Guests also need to book a linen and towel package (which will be refunded if at the time of your stay we can no longer offer the sofa-bed).
Why are extra linen and towels so expensive?
We hear you! Unfortunately Nice is an expensive city and professional laundry is not much cheaper than dry cleaning. Unlike a hotel we do not have the facility to do laundry in house and then wheel it up on a trolley in a lift between the hotel floors. Instead, it has to be picked up, delivered, taken back and forth from apartments and laundered too. If we explain that our service laundry charges us €2 a pillowcase, we hope you can see how a full bed of linen and towels can add up. Service laundry is one of the major expenses of our business.
Wi-Fi IN THE APARTMENT
Not all of our apartments have Wi-Fi. The ones that do are advertised as such. Wi-Fi access is provided free of charge, unlike hotels which charge around €30 a day for use. Please respect that we have decided not to charge for this service and that occasionally the local network can fail, or sometimes the modem is not compatible with your laptop. We have found that laptops using MS Windows tend to work in the apartments most of the time, but there can be difficulties with Macintosh. Like a hotel, we cannot take any responsibility if your individual laptop does not work in an apartment or if the signal fails, though we will of course try our best to get you hooked up. We are not technical engineers and problems can be outside of our expertise. Often a signal failure will need the assistance of the provider and this can take several days or weeks to resolve. The same policy applies with cable TV or a phone line. Where we cannot resolve a technical problem for you, we can give compensation of a maximum of £20 per 7 days to allow you to use an Internet café, go to the cinema, or phone home. This is offered as a good will gesture as compensation for your disappointment.
TV IN THE APARTMENT
Not all of our apartments have television. Basic French television is not great and there are certainly no English channels. For this reason, some apartments have chosen not to hook up to the TV and just have an LCD screen with a DVD player. Some DVDs are provided, but we would encourage you to also bring some of your own in case the ones in the apartment are not to your taste. Where there is a connected television, this will be advertised as such in the highlights box on the apartment page and in the apartment description. Some of our apartments have a cable package. This will have at least one news channel in English. It will also have some music channels that play English music. Some of our apartments have more English channels, and even SKY. If they do, this is detailed and advertised in the white box. Occasionally, the cable TV signal can fail. If this happens, our guests will need to rely on the fall back of DVDs. We are afraid that we cannot be held responsible for signal failures.
WHERE CAN I PARK?
We think the best map of car parks is at Nice Plan Ville web site. Go to "Transport" and then to "Parking". Move the cursor on the page to move the map around to where you want to be. You can print the map for a good reference to bring with you. It is only in French, but it is easy to navigate. Expect to pay around €30 a day for parking.
WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE?
Nice enjoys a similar climate to other Mediterranean cities, but has the advantage of being protected from the wind by the surrounding hills and mountains. This enviable micro-climate assisted by Nice's proximity to the sea means there is still a mild climate in winter and the heat is reduced in summer. You should enjoy sunshine all year round and it is not unusual to slip on a t-shirt as early as February. Average monthly temperatures for winter (November to March) range from 9 to 13 degrees C. and in summer (May to September) range from 17 to 23 degrees C. BBC Weather and Meteo France are good sources for long- and short-term forecasts.
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
It is advisable for you to have your own comprehensive travel insurance that will cover all liabilities incurred by you in France. This is not limited to, but will include any accident, injury, accidental damage to property or persons that you may cause. Most policies provide, as part of the general cover, third-party personal liability insurance at no extra cost so it should not cause you any problems to obtain it. Travel insurance will also assist in lost luggage, any expensive accidental breakages, or if you are a victim of crime or have a medical emergency. Please do not ruin your holiday by not taking out insurance.
If you're looking for travel cover, we suggest Globelink Travel Insurance. They offer competitive rates and a comprehensive range of policies from single trip to annual cover. We particularly like the different levels of cover they offer, such as backpacker cover, economy, and fully comprehensive.
WHERE CAN I OBTAIN A MOBILE PHONE DURING MY STAY IN NICE?
We recommend Cellular Abroad for international cell phone rentals and prepaid SIM cards.
I HAVE AN APARTMENT AND WOULD LIKE TO ADVERTISE ON YOUR SITE. CAN I JOIN IN?
We are always looking for great, well maintained and stylish properties to add to our Pebbles' portfolio. Please contact us. If you would like to find out more about us first, you can you take a look at Riviera Pebbles where you will be able to find out more about our services.
I AM INTERESTED IN BUYING AN APARTMENT. CAN YOU HELP?
A lot of past guests who have visited us see the great potential of buying in Nice as a holiday home and long-term investment. So this is quite a popular question for guests at the end of their stay. We now carry our own portfolio of properties to buy in Nice and Owners are also selling their rental apartments through us. We are a fully licensed and insured estate agent in Nice.
I NEED A LAWYER TO HELP ME UNDERSTAND SOME OF THE FRENCH LAWS APPLICABLE TO ME. CAN YOU HELP?
French inheritance laws are very complicated and very different to English inheritance laws. If you die in the UK your French property will still be subject to the rules of succession in France. Unlike in the UK, in France you are not able to simply dispose of your assets in France as you wish. The surviving spouse is not always protected.
If you need to draw up a new will to take into account your French property, then we recommend you speak with Lindsay Kinnealy at Pannones in Manchester. Pannones is a well known and respected law firm and Lindsay's knowledge on the law in France is very impressive. She heads a team of lawyers who deal with all aspects of property abroad and speaks fluent French. She can help not just with wills and probate but with any legal issue which might arise with your French property. If you also have properties in other European countries, her team can also help.
Lindsay can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Her department offers various fixed packages charged either at their hourly rates or at a fixed fee. As most issues are individual, you are likely to prefer a bespoke service tailored to your individual needs and/or budget.
I NEED ADVICE ON FRENCH TAX. CAN YOU HELP?
Property Tax International is an expert in the filed of not only French tax but in International property taxation. Naturally, there is a mandatory tax requirement with the acquisition and ongoing rental of a French property and by combing the experience and in-depth knowledge of our in-house accountants we can provide a hassle free and cost efficient tax filing service ensuring you are fully tax compliant at all times.
If you need to file an Income tax returns or have any questions in general on French tax, please do not hesitate in contacting Property Tax International and speak to one of our team who will gladly assist you with your enquiry. Email email@example.com Web: www.ptireturns.com , Tel: +353 56 7797320 or UK: 0203 1474783.