I’m fortunate to have visited France on many occasions (although I’ve still got SO much to see!) and have stayed in some beautiful places. To help make your search for accommodation easier, I thought I’d share the hotels, B&Bs and apartments that I have stayed in and would happily recommend to friends.
We stayed at Le Meridien Etoile as part of a conference my husband was attending and were pleasantly surprised. The hotel is huge with over 1,000 rooms, so there is always plenty going on in the public spaces.
Our executive room was quite spacious and featured all the things you’d expect of a 4 star hotel, including free WiFi, flat screen TV, desk and lovely furnishings.
The bathroom was well appointed with bathrobes and slippers provided for guest use. There were no tea/coffee making facilities in the room but a machine dispensing ice (free) and hot drinks (€2) was located on each floor.
Breakfast was buffet style with one of the biggest selections I have ever seen, but, due to the size of the hotel, the restaurant was always very busy and often required a short wait to be seated. The hotel also has its own Steakhouse restaurant, Jazz Club, fitness centre and souvenir/gift shop.
I’d never stayed in the 17th arrondissement before but the location of Le Meridien Etoile was perfect as a base for both business or leisure travellers. Immediately across the road is the Paris Convention Centre and Palais Congress shopping centre and it’s about a 30 minute walk to the Arc de Triomphe. A train from the nearest Metro station, Porte Maillot, takes 15 minutes to reach Hotel de Ville. (Stayed 2014)
Ever since I first laid eyes on the Hotel Baltimore, I vowed to stay there one day and I did just that this year.
The hotel is located on Avenue Kleber, one of the 12 avenues that runs into the roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe, and is just a couple of blocks in the other direction to Trocadero and the Eiffel Tower. Part of Accor’s MGallery collection, the hotel was a good base for our stay.
Our room, a Classic double, was, like most in Paris, small but nicely furnished and included tea/coffee making facilities, minibar, iPhone dock, flat-screen TV and free WIFI. The bathroom featured a good-sized shower. The buffet breakfast, included in our rate, was fantastic, with a huge selection of hot and cold foods to choose from.
The hotel has a small fitness centre and parking (at additional cost) is available nearby. There’s an on-site restaurant and bar but we dined elsewhere after asking concierge, Sebastien, for a recommendation. (Stayed 2014)
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Beaune (Burgundy-Franche-Comte), France
Maison Chaudenay (Apartment, Cottage and B&B)
Just outside of Beaune in the beautiful Burgundy wine region of France is la Maison Chaudenay. My family and I stayed here in 2008 when it was owned by an Australian/New Zealand couple and whilst it has now been sold to a French couple, I am confident the high standard of accommodation provided continues.
The property offers both B&B accommodation and a self-catering apartment and cottage so there’s something to suit everyone’s needs. We stayed in la Cuverie, a 2 bedroom self-catering apartment and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The accommodation is finished to a very high standard and as the owners live on-site it means there’s always someone around to point you in the right direction of restaurants, wine tastings, activities, etc. The property is situated in Chaudenay, a few kilometres from Beaune so a car is essential to make the most of your stay. With all those caves (cellars) close by, there’s exploring to be done!
At la Maison Chaudenay WiFi connection is available, there are bicycles for guests’ use, an outdoor summer kitchen and 2.5 acres of beautiful gardens to enjoy. Highly recommended. (Stayed 2008)
UPDATE: The property now offers only B&B rooms.
Riquewihr (Grand-Est, formerly Alsace), France
In Australia we are more used to the Best Western name being associated with motels in rural towns rather than a more traditional (and perhaps, upmarket) ‘city’ hotel, but a couple of the nicest hotels I’ve stayed at in Europe have belonged to the Best Western franchise. The Hotel Le Schoenenbourg in Riquewihr is one of these.
Perfectly located just outside the old town walls, it’s only a couple of minutes’ walk into the heart of the village. The hotel’s interior and fittings reminded me of a German-style chalet with lots of timber used throughout.
My parents’ and sons’ rooms on the rear side of the building looked out onto a steep hill covered in beautiful grapevines whilst our room had a superb view of the hotel’s pool with vines in the background.
Room facilities included air-conditioning, free WiFi, tea and coffee making facilities, a good sized bathroom with bath tub and a separate toilet. The hotel doesn’t offer rates that include breakfast but it is available for €12.50 per person per day and there was plenty of cold foods to choose from. Ample car parking is available free of charge.
(Update: I again stayed at the BW Hotel Le Schoenenbourg in 2014 and enjoyed my stay. The pool came in very handy as the days were hot and we used it every day.)
Annecy, (Rhone-Alpes), France
Les Tresoms sits on a hill overlooking beautiful Lake Annecy but is only a five minute drive or 20 minute walk into the Old Town.
We had booked a traditional forest view room at the 4 star hotel and although it was beautifully decorated and furnished, it was quite small. The tiny bathroom did fit a bathtub and the usual hairdryer and toiletries were also provided.
In the room itself there were no tea/coffee making or ironing facilities, but free WiFi was included and the bed was extremely comfortable. Our room rate didn’t include breakfast which cost €25 per person. The breakfast selection was OK but I felt it was over-priced. We ate breakfast elsewhere after our first morning.
Certainly one of the highlights of the hotel is its pool and spa facilities. There’s an indoor and outdoor pool which guests can use and spa and salon facilities are available for a cost (we didn’t indulge). The outdoor pool, alongside the hotel’s two restaurants and terrace bar, was a great place to relax on a sun lounge with a drink and book in hand.
Bike hire is available for €7 for half a day and the hotel’s location close to the lake means that access to lake swimming, boating and tennis is just a few minutes’ away. Free car parking is available for guests. (Stayed 2014)
Avignon, (Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur), France
Located right in the centre of Avignon, Hotel de l’Horloge was a great choice for our two night stay in the capital of Provence. Our room was nicely furnished with a very comfy bed, safe, WiFi (free), TV, air-conditioning and a desk.
The huge bathroom contained a bath with shower above, Provencal toiletries and a hairdryer. There were no tea/coffee making facilities, and no iron but this could be obtained from housekeeping.
Breakfast was included in our room rate and was buffet-style with a good selection of both hot and cold foods.
Parking was available in one of the city’s major undercover car parks about a five minute walk away, with a special rate negotiated for hotel guests (we paid €8.60/24 hours).
I loved the location – it was literally just a few steps from the hotel’s front door to the main square in Avignon where there are plenty of options for dining and shopping. The Palais des Popes is also close by – about 200 metres from the hotel’s entrance. (Stayed 2014)
Collioure, (Occitanie), France
Hotel Les Caranques
Our visit to Collioure was a bit of a last minute decision so I hadn’t done any research on where to stay. A quick visit to the Tourist Office on arrival gave us a few hotels to try and we chose the Hotel Les Caranques which looks across the small bay to the old town of Collioure.
The rooms were quite small but modern and ours overlooked the Mediterranean. Free on-site parking, WiFi and toiletries were provided. Breakfast (at additional cost) was served in a small restaurant – again with lovely views.
Being located on the opposite side of the bay to Collioure’s old town, you need to allow 20 to 30 minutes to reach it by foot but it’s a pleasant walk. (Stayed 2015)
Honfleur, (Normandy), France
Le Cour Ste. Catherine was the base for my four night stay in Honfleur in 2014. The B&B is housed in a beautifully preserved building around its own courtyard. Just a five minute walk from the harbour, Le Cour Ste. Catherine is a restful escape from the hordes of tourists that flock to Honfleur every day.
The French owners are very friendly (but speak only minimal English) and serve up a lovely breakfast each morning. If the weather is nice, you can eat in the courtyard.
Rooms are furnished to a high standard and include all the amenities you’d expect such as free WiFi, a desk and a hairdryer.
With Honfleur’s maze of narrow one way streets (and no GPS in our hire car!) reaching Le Cour Ste. Catherine by car did at first prove a bit tricky. Once we parked and walked to the B&B, though, we were able to get our bearings and navigate a route to the door. Parking out the front is limited but there is a free long term car park nearby. (Stayed 2014)
Toulouse, (Occitanie), France
For my two night stay in Toulouse in July 2017, I opted for the Hotel de Brienne, a 15 to 20 minute walk from the city centre. I had reserved a family room overlooking the courtyard and it proved to be adequate for my husband and I.
Whilst it was quite dark, with only a small window looking out to the courtyard, the room was well-equipped with a small fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, TV, safe and free WiFi.
As it was a family room – and was also wheelchair friendly – it had a single bed in addition to the double bed and a huge bathroom with walk-in shower.
Breakfast was served each morning in the restaurant with the choice of a continental or buffet breakfast available.
The hotel provides free undercover parking for guests – be warned, though: it is the tightest car park you can imagine!
Bruniquel/Montricoux, (Occitanie), France
Our stay at Hostellerie les Gorges d’Aveyron was one of the highlights of our 2017 trip. The hotel is part of the Chateaux and Hotel Collection and is set in lovely parkland, complete with lyrebirds and swans, right on the River Aveyron.
We booked the Junior Suite (there are five rooms in total) and were impressed with the antique furnishings and modern bathroom with corner bath (and separate toilet room). Our room was light-filled and overlooked the breakfast terrace and beautiful swimming pool.
The room featured a very comfy bed, large desk, TV, safe, air conditioning, free WiFi and complimentary bottled water.
As well as the outdoor terrace where we enjoyed a delicious breakfast each morning (ordered the night before), the hotel also has a lovely guest lounge where guests can relax.
A few hundred metres from the hotel, amongst the park, is the restaurant. After dining here on our first evening we couldn’t resist returning the following night. The meals were superb and great value at EUR29 for two courses.
The owners of the hotel take great pride in ensuring their guests have a wonderful stay and are extremely welcoming and friendly. This was highlighted when we sat down to breakfast on our final morning and were greeted by a bottle of local Gaillac wine and a card thanking us for our stay.
I will return!
NOTE: The correct address of the property is 169 Route des Gorges l’Averyon, Montricoux, 82800, France NOT the address in Bruniquel that is listed on Booking.com.
Yvoire, (Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes), France
After my very brief visit to Yvoire a few years ago, I vowed to return and stay a little longer and I did just that in July 2017.
The lakeside village is classified as one of the most beautiful in France and I chose to stay at the equally well-regarded Hotel du Port, a member of the Chateaux and Hotels Collection.
Situated alongside the jetty, the hotel offers rooms with and without lake views. Our room (#2) had a balcony with table and chairs and fantastic views over Lake Geneva.
The room itself was fairly compact but featured a king sized bed, desk, TV, safe, free WiFi, air conditioning and complimentary water. The modern bathroom had a walk-in shower and complimentary NUXE products.
Prior to our arrival we had made a dinner reservation on the hotel’s lakeside terrace and enjoyed a delicious meal of locally caught fish. Mains start from EUR30, desserts from EUR10.
The following morning breakfast was available in the hotel’s breakfast room where a selection of bread, yoghurt, juice, tea and coffee was served.
Complimentary parking is available at the Hotel du Port’s sister hotel, a 10 minute walk away. (You can drive right to the hotel to unload and collect luggage.)
This is an excellent hotel in a lovely village that I would happily return to.
I have personally stayed in all of the above accommodations and would gladly return for another stay. All of the stays were paid for by me except where mentioned otherwise.