Your first impression of Villa Thalassa is ‘this can't be it'. Surrounded by multimillion€ Villas, the 4 story hostel built at the turn of the century has a huge terrace that almost hangs over the sea. Inside there are rooms ranging in size from 4 to 10 beds with the ladies sleeping in the top floors of the villa and the lads sleeping in one of the three rooms in a building at the end of the garden.
Reception is relaxed, you'll find the guys in charge talking on the terrace from about 5pm and you check in pretty much all night. In fact, if you arrive before 10am you can check in, in the morning. They'll give you a huge sheet to sleep in (best folded in half to sleep between), show you to your room and give you a bit of a background to the hostel if you want it.
If you want something to eat they'll give you a three course home cooked meal at about 7.30pm but you've got to tell them early. It's all home cooked food with a light starter like a salad, a main course like paella or chicken and pasta, a selection of processed cheeses and a pudding which can be anything from a tiramisu to yoghurt. It depends on the chef so butter them up. There is always more so you don't need to worry about going hungry. The same applies for breakfast which is simply baguettes, jam, butter and hot choc/tea/coffee served between 8 and 9 so ask if you need anything.
In the evening Villa Thalassa is relaxed. After dinner it's pretty much the norm to relax on the terrace overlooking the sea playing cards, drinking or just listening to the guy who brought a guitar (this place seems to attract them). The terrace closes down about 11 so it's pretty much back to the bunks. Luckily though, the villa has introduced a new scheme for people who want to try out the nightlife. They have introduced a Guardian who looks after the hostel at night. He will let you back into the hostel at any time during the night. So if you're up for it you catch a train into Nice for a night out. If not you can walk along the coast path into Monaco which is possibly even more amazing at night.
After breakfast between 10 and 5 the hostel is closed for the staff to clean and prepare rooms. You can easily jump on the train and head to one of the many towns along the French coast or into Italy. Alternatively just sit on one of the most dramatic beaches along the cote d'azur at plage mala, a 5 min walk around the coast.
Villa Thalassa attracts all sorts of people young and old. Most people find out about this place through word of mouth. Almost everyone ends up staying another night or two once they see the place. It is also full of people who come back year after year, even bringing back their kids eventually. In truth, most people just come to chill out on the beach and have a bit of fun. The hostel is cheap, its safe and its friendly, but most of all it has the best location I have ever seen.