The Mermonts hotel-pension

27 April 2017

The "Periwinkles" building, located on the Francois Grosso boulevard number 7 in Nice, is an art-deco-inspired building. Before being transformed into a residential condominium, it was for about twenty years the hotel-pension "Mermonts" (sea moutains).

This address is the meeting of Romain Gary with the city of Nice, it‘s all his teenage years and also the end of his mother's life ... Here began in 1927 this story, evoked by Roman Kacew, alias Romain Gary, in his great autobiographical novel "The Promise of the Dawn":

"It was during this time that my mother made her best deal, the sale of a seven-floor building in the old Carlone boulevard, today Grosso Boulevard. For several months, she was tirelessly tracing the city in search of a buyer, knowing well that there was a turning point ... It was quite by chance that the buyer presented himself. One day a Rolls-Royce stopped in front of our house. A little gentleman got out, following a beautiful young lady. Not only the little Mr. Jedwabnikas bought the building, but also, struck, like so many others before him, by the business spirit and the energy of my mother, he entrusted to her the management of the building, accepting immediately the suggestion of transforming a part of it in an hotel-restaurant. Thus was born the Hotel-Pension Mermonts ... Thirty-six rooms, two floors of apartments and a restaurant ... ".

According to my information, the hotel desk was at the current location of the Istra real estate agency; In the neighboring local, it was the restaurant with its kitchens in the basement. The hotel had 2 lifts, including one for the service staff. Romain Gary lived on the top floor, he tells in "The promise of dawn" the view he had of his room on the Buffa street.

A temporary commemorative plaque was affixed on 18 June 2010 by Serge Cajna, and the official plaque was inaugurated on 2 December 2013 by the Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi.

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