Nice villas within the central part of the city, at least the kind of fully detached private home most Americans may picture, are extremely difficult to find. Vacation rentals within the city are almost always apartments, which can be quite simple and reasonably priced or extremely luxurious and sophisticated.
Finding a Nice beach villa will be even more difficult, since virtually the entire coastline, from the airport on the western end of the city to Beaulieu sur Mer on the west is taken up with densely packed buildings containing hotels, restaurants, shops, and a few apartment buildings. Additionally, the beaches on either side of these two points are primarily rocky and beachfront real estate is extremely expensive. You will find the rare house just off the Promenade des Anglais, usually on the end under the Colline du Chateau or the end behind the airport. To secure these for your vacations, you need to make reservations as far in advance as possible. These are generally more townhouses than villas, and some will have a view of the sea from the top floor.
Your best bet for finding luxury villas in Nice France will be on Cap de Nice, the long hilly point jutting into the sea just south of Beaulieu sur Mer. This is an exclusive residential neighborhood where private homes and villas are often available as vacation rentals. There is a small beach on the point, and your vacation home will be within walking distance. Another exclusive residential neighborhood is Fabron, located in the hills just north of the airport. This is a newer section of the city, and you can find two- and three-bedroom villas here as well. You will not find a Nice beach villa here, but beaches are nearby. The suburb of Saint Laurent du Var (to the west of the airport) is also a good place to look.
You may be able to find a villa in the exclusive residential neighborhood of Mont Boron, known as Nice's Hollywood. This is a high point just south of Villefranche sur Mer full of opulent mansions and villas, and occasionally one of these will be available as vacation rentals. Here, you can live like Elton John on vacation. In fact, the legendary entertainer owns a villa and spends his winter holidays here. If Nice villas here are out of your budget, you can see how the wealthy aristocrats of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries once lived at the magnificent Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. This beautiful seaside palazzo is set in lush parks and gardens atop Mont Boron. It is one of the city's museums and open to the public for tours.
Some properties that advertise themselves as luxury villas in Nice France are actually bed and breakfasts, that began life as genuine historic Belle Epoque mansions and palaces that truly provide the exclusive atmosphere of Nice villas with the extra bonus of excellent hotel type service and facilities. A perfect example of this kind of property is the lovely Villa Kilauea located in the heart of vineyard country in the hills about six miles north of the city. It is run by a couple who welcome guests as though they were family and has only three bedrooms, which gives you the feeling of being in your own private villa.
Virtually all luxury villas in Nice France will require that you have car rentals as transportation if you want to drive into the city for sightseeing, shopping, and nightlife. Most of the outlying areas and suburbs where villas are available will require 30 to 60 minutes drive into Vieux Nice. Go a little further afield to hillside villages like Eze, and you will find several villas available. Most are quite expensive, especially those on the beaches, because this area is even closer to the exclusive areas around the Principality of Monaco.