There are hotel cats and then there is Carmen of Hotel Le Negresco in Nice, France. Visitors to the mythical palace, which sits proudly on Promenade des Anglais and faces the glistening Mediterranean Sea, can find Carmen curled up in Relais, the Negresco bar.
Owned by Jeanne Augier, whose family took over the landmark building with the distinctive pink dome 55 years ago, Negresco celebrates its centennial thru 2013. Madame Augier not only welcomes pets but sets an example. Her two dogs live on the top floor of the six-story Negresco with her. Carmen rules the bar at Negresco.
The 96 guestrooms at Negresco were recently revamped. Each one, individually decorated, is furnished with antique furniture. Historical figures such as Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill and Kirk Douglas, have gathered over the decades at Relais, the English-style bar. But these days travelers stop by and inquire about Carmen.
Carmen, plump as a baby tiger and with alluring green eyes, took time out of her busy day at Negresco to write a first-animal piece for the Negresco’s Centennial magazine.
A love story at Negresco
My flamboyant coat astonishes many. Others, unaware of my incredible good fortune, raise an eyebrow when they find me nonchalantly stretched out in an antique armchair. I must admit, I savour this impertinence, this cheekiness even, with a jubilation that the passing years only sustain, mischievously. My name is Carmen and you will find me purring contentedly in the Negresco’s bar.
Ten years ago Lady Luck took charge of my life. Seeing my hotel’s owner deeply sadened by the death of her beloved cat, Poussy, a kind soul made her a gift of me, just a little kitten then. How strange it was to find myself amidst all this gilding, with paintings of royalty, deep carpets (on which to exercise my claws!) and marble everywhere. I had landed in a fairytale! And my mistress, Jeanne Augier, never tiring of caressing me lovingly. We took to each other immediately and I knew I was going to be happy in these opulent surroundings. With her, every day has been a happy one. She taught me love and I reciprocate ine very way I can. Ours is a love story.
For more on Carmen, just visit the Hotel Le Negresco, like our Lucy did.