France 2013 Guidebook
Best and worst accommodations:
Best: p. 478 L'Oasis Sarladaise Chambres, Near Sarlat
Why: Your listing provided accurate information and clues about what to expect. As a walker, I risked going there, and their hospitality surpassed expectations. We managed fine with little or no English.
They let me use their computer to check my e-mail.
On the first morning, Fred took me to the Sarlat train station, where he helped me book a bus to Les Eyzies by way of Le Buisson. The highpoint of my entire trip was seeing the cave art at Grotte de Font-de-Game. They helped to make that possible, given the difficult and sparse public transportation available to me during the off-season. I had arrived in Sarlat by bus from Souillac, and thus had not been at the station prior to get the necessary local travel information.
On the second morning, Fred drove me to Beynac, to give me a head start on my walking day-tour. Because of the time saved, I was also able to walk to Domme that day, in addition to my intended Castelnaud and La Roque-Gageac.
On my last morning, Fred gave me a ride to town. I enjoyed the market day with the extra time, before my bus left from the stop in town (place Pasteur) for Souilllac.
Evan Lovell in Vancouver, WA USA 05/10/2013
Best: Hotel Manoir Manoir de Rigourdanie
Why: The classy grounds and room made me feel like a millionaire with the million dollar view. Host Patrick is delightful
alan karbousky in Santa Rosa, ca USA 05/08/2013
Best: Hotel Duquense Eiffel
Why: Excellent hotel near the Eiffel Tower and Napoleans Tomb. Very nice, but small room (expected in Paris).
Scot Kudcey in Easton, Ma USA 04/28/2013
Best: La Sauzette, Cazilhac, Carcassone
Why: New owners (Luc and Magali) moved from N. France. Delightful 2 nights there March 17 - 19 2013. Best stay during the 2 week driving trip. Excellent included breakfast and very helpful in planning sights to see.
John Grayson in Xenia, Oh USA 04/01/2013
Best: Le Manoir les Minimes
Why: The concierge was probably the most friendly man we met in France, complete with allowing me to practice my French with him, instead of switching to English whenever he felt I didn't understand. He even helped me and coached me with phrases here and there! I ended up getting really sick while we stayed here and he brought tea and biscuits up to the room and offered to call pharmacies, was so thoughtful, asking how I was every other morning that I came downstairs. Truly a lovely experience.
Caitlin Arnold in Mountain View, CA USA 03/08/2013
Best: La Ferme du Pressoir
Why: Delightful rural setting, delightful hostess - Odile speaks little English but it doesn't matter - , over-the-top wonderful breakfast, best cider we ever tasted ANYWHERE! A little hard to find, but we used our GPS and coordinates Odile sent us and it worked fine.
Phil Bach in Bountiful, UT USA 01/14/2013
Best: Mas Perreal but all were good.
Why: The hosts and really great rooms. The Mas d'Aigret at Les Baux was terrific but the restaurant was uneven. Somehow Rick has missed mentioning the Hotel des Tullieres in Nimes. Wonderful and endlessly helpful English hosts (Andrew and Karen). In old city just location 10 minute walk from TGV, etc. station. Large room with balcony, elevator, quiet in the evenings, a/c, TV, wi fi or internet access. 78 Euros in season
Eric in PT, Wa USA 11/27/2012
Best: Paris - Hotel du Champ de Mars
Why: We have stayed at Hotel du Champ de Mars at least three different times over the years. The location is excellent and I expect we'll continue to stay here when we are in Paris. Some posters have complained about the owners attitude but we've not seen that. I believe they are just more reserved than we Americans.
Jann Evans in Henderson, NV USA 11/09/2012
Best: Hotel Beaubourg
Why: First off, they had a room available, the room and bathroom was clean, lovely and the staff was wonderful. The breakfast room was adorable and the staff had us feel very welocme.
Worst: Saint Merry
Why: They were closed, charged our Visa for a deposit. Did not answer any e-mails, and since we have gotten home, found several blogs where other travelers had the same issue. Showed up with reservations, and the hotel was closed.
Diane Thibaudeau in Marietta, GA USA 11/02/2012
Best: Hotel Relais Medicis
Why: Friendly staff, comfortable room, big breakfast, proximity to Luxembourg Gardens
Jamie Benson in Nashville, Tn USA 10/18/2012
Best: Hotel le Chaptal, Amboise, France
Why: Helpful personnel, flexible on reservation changes. They also had a good breakfast with great coffee.
Laura Robb in Seattle, WA USA 10/15/2012
Best: Le Manoir les Minimes
Why: Very hospitable. Great service. Great location. Huge rooms.
T Anderson in Falls Church, VA USA 10/13/2012
Best: Mere Poulard
Why: Decent-sized rooms overlooking the water; fun spiral staircases up to the rooms.
T Anderson in Falls Church, VA USA 10/13/2012
Best: Hotel Churchill
Why: Very helpful, and reassuring for our first night in France. Perfect location for walking around Bayeux and catching our D-Day beach tour.
T Anderson in Falls Church, VA USA 10/13/2012
Best: Hotel Relais Bosquet
Why: Friendly staff, view of the Eiffel tower, charming room, but see below.
Worst: Hotel Relais Bosquet
Why: The France book indicated that the hotel would give a 10% discount on top of a discounted rate (I booked direct and had a discounted rate). I spoke with 4 hotel staff and they refused to give me the additional 10% discount. They said that they only give one discount per person, no matter what the France book said. Had I known this, I might have stayed elsewhere.
Kerry Coffman in Orland Park, IL USA 10/09/2012
Best: Hotel Le Monet
Why: Sylvie and Christoph (owners) were fantastic! Loved the hotel and food was wonderful, but most of all they helped us when my husband was ill. Took us to a doctor in their own car, picked us up, helped take us to the bus when we left. They made emergency phone calls back to the states for us. It was amazing. I HIGHLY recommend the Le Monet Hotel to anyone visiting Honfluer
Jane Bailey in Mason, OH USA 10/04/2012
Worst: Le Vieux Manoir, Amboise France
Why: Despite the beautiful grounds and the gorgeous interior our (4 couples) stay was marred by the treatment we received from the owner. Instructed from the onset we were told to lower our voices, by no means leave any marks on the towels, no sitting outside after 10:30pm (at which time the library and living areas are locked so that one's room is the only place to go) and don't ask my partner any questions because he is going senile. What really astounded us was when we learned from the other guests staying at Le Vieux Manoir that we had been described by the owner as "clumsy with no class" while they had heard from each other that they were labeled as "dumb" and "crass." All 12 of these paying guests are professional, well educated and internationally experienced in travel. All of us were in agreement that the owner's behavior was most bizarre. My intention for this post is to make others aware of the conditions for staying at this beautiful place. I have never stayed anywhere where I have felt so unwelcome and bullied.
Sarah Ferguson in Norman, OK USA 10/01/2012
Best: Hotel Kensington In Paris
Why: great location near Rue Cler, Metro & bus - clean small room & nice bath - but the BEST part: open the window with the lovely iron railing, lean out & see the upper third of the Eiffel Tower!!
Linda Hood in Lewis Center, OH USA 09/26/2012
Best: Manor St. Victoire, Bayeux
Why: Like sleeping in a castle, but with modern conveniences.
Worst: Royal Phare - paris
Why: Tight, hot room right above sidewalk. (Request a room fan). Downsides outweighed by proximity to metro & Rue Cler & Eiffel & supermarket
charles butler in Eatonville, wa USA 09/25/2012
Best: Hotel Les Celestins, above; Hotel Muguet so far
Why: Les Celestins: wonderful staff. M. Laurent and Emily spend time, are friendly, down-to-earth, great recommendations re restaurants, etc. Hotel Muguet: great value, good staff help with all aspects of visit.
Worst: Hotel Le Calendal, Arles
Why: Start with this morning, when I needed to catch early train. No hot water for shower. Staff treated me like form of nasty insect when I asked questions. I asked for quiet room; was put on busy hall with banging doors, tromping feet, yelling. I wouldn't stay there again if you paid me. Am posting Trip Advisor as well.
John Cross in Denver, CO USA 09/24/2012
Best: Domaine des Anges, Puligny-Montrachet
Why: Delightful, attentive hosts in a beautiful setting. We hope to go back.
Betty McManus in San Diego, CA USA 09/24/2012
Best: Hotel le Walt
Why: "Boutique Hotel" with le Louvre museum painting in the room and views on Eiffel Tower
Montoni in San Jose, CA USA 09/05/2012
Worst: Hotel des Arcades, Rouen
Why: We rented two rooms and both smelled like there had been a sewage leak. The location is very central, but also very noisy at all hours of the night.
Susan in Pasadena, CA USA 08/23/2012
Best: L'Eveche, in Vaison-la-Romaine
Why: Enchanting location in the medieval upper town, and wonderful, welcoming hosts: Jean-Loupe and Aude Verdier made us feel like guests in their home, rather than just B&B customers. Wall to wall books and art!
Tim Kirk and Linda Lee in Long Beach, Ca USA 08/11/2012
Best: Hotel Eber Mars - Paris
Why: We spent 4 days here and Mr. Eber was a very gracious & friendly host and he helped us navigate the bus system. Although the hotel was under renervation, no work was done off hours. Our room was yet to be done but it was clean and roomy and fairly priced. This Paris neighborhood was a great place to stay and tour the city.
John B Lucanera in Orangeburg, NY USA 07/16/2012
Best: Hotel Splendid, Avignon
Why: Claude was wonderful. I had originally made a reservation in Cavallion (at a hotel that was a complete dump, but I didn't know it at the time). I cancelled my reservation as soon as I got there, walked across the street to the TI and asked them to help me find a hotel in Avignon.
The lovely ladies there called around, found Hotel Splendid and made my reservation there. I opened my guide book and YOU had it as one of your recommendations - if I had only used the book when I was originally making the reservations, I would have been saved the misery of taking a train from Avignon to Cavallion and finding such a horrendous hotel waiting for me at Hotel du Parc. I should have realized that the fact you don't even mention Cavallion in your book was a clue - it never occurred to me that it would be the ghetto that it was.
Claudine Schneider in Seattle, WA USA 07/09/2012
Best: Hotel Reine Mathilde
Why: Easy to find, free parking, nice people and a great little brasserie for dinner. Wonderful for our first night stay.
Elizabeth Katz in Menlo Park, CA USA 07/09/2012
Best: Au Charme Rabelaisien in Amboise (Loire Valley)
Why: Just as the guide book described, "Drop-dead-gorgeous place run by drop-dead-charming Madame Viard". She truly was charming! Plus...very friendly, welcoming, & helpful. The breakfasts were lavish with tons of bread, cheese, jelly, yogurt, fruit, & beverage choices. Yummy fresh squeezed orange juice every morning.
We used this as the end of our journey in northern France and, after our leisurely breakfasts, we were able to sightsee for part of the day and then come back & completely relax by the pool or in our room before heading out for dinner. It was a little slice of restorative heaven after 10 previous days of jam-packed sight seeing and go-go-going.
Worst: Grand Hotel Leveque - Rue Cler, Paris
Why: Very blah...dingy...smelt 'old' (moldy? mildew?) & when cleaned, it smelt of very strong chemical smells so much so that we had to keep windows open for hours to get rid of them. VERY SMALL BATHROOM...when we sat on the toilet, our knees hit the wall in front of us - very literally, my husband (6 ft 4 in) had to sit on it sideways to use it.
Unlike other posts I've read, we didn't have problems with the staff..they were polite & friendly. The location was great.
Cindy in Lancaster, PA USA 07/08/2012
Best: Grand Hotel Continental, Reims
Why: We didn't know what to expect but were so happy. Our room was fantastic (chandelier and a full size couch)! The staff was delightful and helped with restaurant reservations and recommendations for which champagne houses to visit and setting up bookings. We wish we had stayed more than one night!
Jenn in Toronto, ON Canada 07/08/2012
Worst: Young and Happy Hostel
Why: I booked 7 nights at this hostel via the internet before I arrived in Paris. Having used Rick Steve's guidebooks during previous travels and always staying in his recommended hotels, I felt confident that this experience would be similar. Having arrived from the US that morning, I reached the hostel at 11:30 am to discover that I would not be allowed to enter my dorm room until 4:00 because housekeeping was cleaning. This happens everyday and you are not allowed to use your room. When I returned at 4, I went to my room on the 5th floor. Although I had booked a female dorm, I was sharing with 3 males. Years worth of dirt was caked onto the base boards of the floors, black mold was everywhere throughout the room, there were no outlets in the rooms, and the only shower to be had was shared between 25 people and was on the second floor. The shower itself was absolutely disgusting. Black mold all over the walls and shower curtain, the door was rotted a foot above the floor, there was hair everywhere, and the water temp could not be changed. You push a button, the water runs for 10 seconds, and then turns off. You have to keep repeating this process as you shower. I was so disgusted and in such disbelief that I dressed, went downstairs, and politely said that I would not be able to stay for the duration of my visit. The owner asked me why and I said that it was simply too dirty. He looked appalled and asked me where it was dirty and and I replied, "Everywhere." I said that the mold was a huge problem for me, as well as the shower. He began to get very defensive and said that his hostel is always full and everyone loves it. I didn't argue, but instead found another place to stay. As wonderful as the location is (and it truly is), this hostel is the worst I've ever stayed, and I've stayed in many. Do not go here. It's worth it to pay more money and stay somewhere else. Mr. Steves, you should really take this place out of your guidebook, as having it in your guide works to set the bar of your recommendations much lower than I believe you would like them to be.
Lya Gillott in Fort Collins, CO USA 07/06/2012
Best: La tour de Cause/Dordogne region
Why: Caitlin & Albert went out of their way to solve rental car issues, and help us thoroughly enjoy our stay in the area while awaiting a replacement vehicle which would be adequate for 5 adults. Accommodations were superb! We'll go back again!
Jim & Kathy Machir in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 07/06/2012
Best: Le Mas d’Aigret, Les Baux De Provence
Why: The property is lovely, the location is spectacular, and the staff are professional, but also gracious and amicable.
Worst: people who complain about small hotel rooms
Why: By North American standards, all hotel rooms in Europe are small. I rent a hotel room to sleep, not to do gymnastics, so the size of any given room is irrelevant. It's a waste of time to mention it in a review - sort of like complaining that the cheese in France is too smelly or that the road signs are all in French.
Marie in Pasadena, CA USA 07/04/2012
Best: Chez Leslie
Why: I stayed 2 nights at Chez Leslie in Alsace. Her 4 rooms are near the train station, which makes it a good place for those who are not driving and want to get around the area easily. Leslie is very helpful in planning your days there and we enjoyed sitting in her garden drinking wine, eating snacks, and playing with her cat Fuzzy. The Alsace room is large and nicely decorated. We also stayed one night at the Hotel Turenne in Colmar because Chez Leslie was booked. We had a room in the back, which was large and seemed newly remodeled. It was a good choice also - farther from the train station, but closer to the old town than Chez Leslie.
Jim Perschbacher in Atlanta, GA USA 06/17/2012
Best: La Ferme du Pressoir
Why: This place was the highlight of our week in France, and was worth the price of the guidebook alone. Odile was an incredible hostess, providing breakfasts each morning of pastries from the local boulangerie, and omelettes with eggs gathered from her hens. The farm itself was so relaxing and a great escape from city life. We'd go to sleep to the sounds of the frogs and wake up to the roosters crowing. We had picnics out by the cows, Odile would bring us cheese and bottles of homemade cider, we'd play with the farm dogs, it was pure bliss.
Jordan in Atlanta, GA USA 06/13/2012
Best: Hotel Burrhus, Vaison La Romaine
Why: Good service and help, great location on town square, great room
Worst: Le Boulevardier, Lyon
Why: Room was dirty
Dave Hook in San Jose, CA USA 06/11/2012
Best: Hotel Vila Lara, Bayeux
Why: Absolutely beautiful, this new hotel is well located, helpful, and very worthwhile. More expensive but worth it if you can afford it. The owners and staff were very helfpul in arranging restaurants and giving advice on self-guided tours.
S in Riley, VA USA 06/05/2012
Best: La Barde in Monfort
Why: New owners Marie-Christine and Phillippe Peeters could not be more helpful and delightful! Beautiful setting that feels off the beaten track but is very close to everything. The communal kitchen was a real plus in allowing us to take advantage of fresh food purchases from the village markets. Our room was spacious, clean and comfortable. Would go back in a heart beat!
Randy Thomas in Medford, NJ USA 05/27/2012
Best: Honfleur's La Cour St Catherine, Hotel Tour de L'Horloge in Dinan, Le Blason in Amboise, Chartres' Hotellerie Saint Yves
Why: All four excellent value and competetive prices, an authentic experience in historic buildings. Friendly and helpful staff at each. Do continue recommending the wonderful breakfast at Saint Yves.
Marian Allender in Kirkland, WA USA 05/26/2012
Best: Hotel de Rigourdaine
Why: Peaceful, beautiful setting; very helpful owner; great location.
Randy in Medford, NJ USA 05/19/2012
Best: Les Floret-Gigondas Fr
Why: The grounds were lovely.A nice patio overlooked the mountains and local vineyards.The hotel, 11 rooms, was about 1/2 mile from town.The room was comfortable, very clean, and the owners,Thierry and Dominique, were extremely accomodating
Mary Ellen & Bill Evans in bedford, Tx USA 05/06/2012
Best: les cordeliers in Sarlat
Why: Chris and amanda were more than accommodating, the rooms were large , beds comfortable and breakfasts delicious.they even moved our bags to the next stop for us!!
deirdre phillips in coboconk, on canada 02/27/2012
Best: Moulin du Fief Gentil, pg. 392, 2012 France book
Why: One-of-a-kind unique experience most travelers will find hard (or impossible) to replicate elsewhere. I hate to publicize it too widely, as it's FAR from a mass tourism experience. This is an opportunity to share an evening with some genuine, 'real people,' locals, in a gorgeous, historic setting, eat excellent homemade food, and gain a more intimate insight into one slice of France. Experience hospitality at its very best! Slow down for an evening and just enjoy meeting some new people.
Jerry Walsh Skelly in Paris, France 02/20/2012
Worst: Grand Hotel Leveque, Paris
Why: The hotel room and furnishings were run down and worn out. It was depressing to return to the room each night. Hotel wifi did not work, and hotel staff were indifferent. This hotel should not be recommended!
Jeff Evans in Springfield, IL USA 01/13/2012
Best: Hotel Valadon
Why: Location was perfect...loved Rue Cler, access to subway, walking to Eiffel, and all the cafes and restaurants.
Micki Turner in Chicago, IL USA 12/17/2011
Best: Hotel Nevons, Casa Pairal, and the Du Chateau
Why: The Hotel Nevons in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is great. Everyone there is super nice, many speak English,and the rooms are huge in the newer wing . The price is low and they even have a secure parking lot.This is great for the Sunday market because the town is packed and we walked to the Market. The Casa Pairal in Collioure is a Reais du Silence and is very nice. In high season I am not so sure how silent it would be , but we were there in the Fall and had a room on the garden. Lovely. The breakfast buffet was the best one we had.The Du Chateau is right across the street from the castle in Carcassone, but you would think is was in another town. Very quiet. You can see the Castle, but not the hoards of people. The rooms are very high tec. The people there are very nice and although it is not inexpensive, it is lovely .
J. davis in Lebanon, Oh USA 11/24/2011
Worst: Le Moulin du Fief Gentil in Blere
Why: My husband and I booked Le Moulin du Fief Gentil in Blere, for several nights, in order to tour the Loire Valley. Arrived back at the B&B after our first, very rainy day of chateau-hopping. We were soaked to the skin and used all four of our towels for showering and drying off that evening. Needed to use these towels the next morning, although they were still really wet. Left the B&B after breakfast, having dropped the used, wet towels on the floor to let the cleaning crew know we needed fresh, dry towels. Arrived back at the B&B that evening to find that the same wet towels we had left on the floor, were hanging back up in the bathroom - still soaking wet. When we complained to our proprietress, Fleurence, she pointed out that the B&B's hand-out states "for your comfort, towels are changed every two days". This being a rather unique B&B policy, we thought Fleruence should have specifically pointed this "rule" out to us. That she did not make an exception to the two-day-towel-policy, given the weather conditions, was even more upsetting. Would not recommend this B&B - found Fleurence a little too rigid with her guidelines.
Barb & Tom Gaggiano in Sturgeon Bay, WI USA 11/19/2011
Best: Le Petit Versailles, Beynac
Why: This charming B&B, also called Residence Versailles was the best of our 2-wk trip. Jean-Claude and Francois have a lovely home, just outside beautiful Beynac. Our room was large, very comfortable, very clean, with delcious home-cooked breakfasts. We also booked a dinner, cooked by Francois, served on the pretty outside terrace, which was so delicious!! A 3-course regional meal, served with Bergerac wine - highly recommended!! The rates at this B&B were perfect, too!
Ann in Plymouth, MN USA 11/13/2011
Best: Hotel le Chamonix
Why: http://www.hotel-le-chamonix.com/eng/index.html Inexpensive during off-peak season. We had a room with panoramic views of Mt. Blanc and various peaks. Breakfast extra cost. Best WiFi signal on 1st floor and in the lobby. Great bakery and TI are located across the street. 5-10 minute walk from Chamonix-Mt. Blanc station. English staff.
Kay Ishii in Renton, WA USA 10/30/2011
Best: Hotel Duquesne
Why: Wonderful service, location and the rooms may be on the small side, according to some, but they are delightful. We stayed a week and will go back again.
Worst: Le Mas d'Aigret in Les Baux
Why: The hotel smelled of cigarette smoke from employees. Also, the rooms are very small and tired. Nice location, but that is about it
Patricia in Chico, CA USA 10/26/2011
Best: Hotel Tardif, Bayeux, 2011 book, p. 283
Why: It's everything that's described in the Rick's guidebook! Lovely in every way and Anthony is the icing on the cake. He's very helpful and kind. My companion's birthday was during our stay and he helped me make it very special by chilling our Moet & Chandon champagne (from the tour) and arranging for a gift basket to be delivered to our room. He's the best!
Worst: Grand Hotel Continental, Reims, 2011 guide, p. 980
Why: Room number started with "000." Don't EVER get one of the rooms that begin with these numbers. Felt like I was in a dungeon! After the front desk clerk told us the room was down "a couple of steps," we soon learned it was 14 steps & a spiral staircase. Down a long, narrow, dingy hallway, we found a small, dingy, hot (due to the mini-fridge INSIDE THE CLOTHES CLOSET) room. View was a restaurant where the employees would smoke outside your window, so trying to get any fresh air was impossible. Would've moved but all hotels were sold out. And, "helpful Maxeme" was nowhere to be found at the front desk! Met other Rick Steves' followers who stayed at the Hotel Azure and said it was wonderful!
Maureen in Tempe, AZ USA 10/22/2011
Worst: page 781 2011 FranceHotel La Jobette Antibes, France
Why: This hotel has too small of rooms, horrible beds, showers with no curtains and an intimidating host whereby guests only speak in a whisper in a compact courtyard. This is not a welcoming place at all to stay. In fact, it has made us wonder about your recommendations and if you have reviewed your recommendations recently.
Carla Watson in Lincoln, NE USA 10/22/2011
Best: Hotel des Consuls in Sarlat
Why: A very well-run hotel. Everything in the rooms was clean and maintained. The bed was super comfortable. The free laundry was great. The Wi-fi (free in the lobby 3 Euro/day in the room) worked most of the time.
KAL in Issaquah, WA USA 10/15/2011
Best: Hotel Ibis, City Center, Beaune
Why: Very clean and modern. Easy walk to all the city highlights.
Worst: Hôtel des Célestins in Lyon
Why: Closet-sized "double" room and no functioning elevator. Way over-priced, especially compared to other Rick Steves' recommended hotels.
Marilyn Hawkins in Ashland, OR USA 10/12/2011
Best: Domaine Corgettes in St-Romain, Burgundy
Why: Very friendly owners, and a great place to be during harvest! Quiet, quiet, with excellent breakfasts. (OK, it wasn't entirely quiet during crush, which was going on across the courtyard but I loved it because it reminded me so much of home.)
Why: Not at all bad, but Hotel Relais Medici on rue Racine felt a bit stuffy to me.
Kate in Sonoma, CA USA 09/16/2011
Best: There were many great places...I'll name a few.
Why: Hotel Jardin de Eiffel...the view...WOW! Chateau des Arpentis in Amboise was stunning and so inexpensive. It had everything and more. Chateau de Chorey les Beaune...what better way to visit arguably the world's greatest vineyards than to stay in an actual winery with a host who had stories of his family's vineyard history.
Donna Fraser in Orlando, Fl USA 09/10/2011
Best: Ferme du Pressoir outside of Bayeux
Why: A nice break from city accomadations; Odile works hard and so does her family on the farm;enjoy the drive there from Bayeux through the countryside; breakfast was ginormous (can pick your own eggs for the omelette!); honorable mentions go to Clos de Amboise, Belle Etoile In Dordogne,Couer de st Catherine in Honfleur (Mme. Giaglis did our laundry gratis!) and Hotel de la Catedral in Rouen..all were excellent recommendations
A Forster in Miami, FL USA 08/21/2011
Best: Hotel de L'Esperance (Paris)/HOtel Regence (Arles)
Why: Paris-Lovely location in the 5th arrondissement. Helpful staff. (Of note-There is a 1/2 flight up or down to carry suitcases as the elevator stops every 2 flights) So much to enjoy in the area even if you are done "touring" for the day. Shops, tons of restaurants. The market at Place Monge, place de la Contrascarpe was our favorite hangout.//Arles-Very helpful hotelier arranged a car rental for us and made a dinner reservation for us. Room was clean, cool and had a lovely view of the Rhone River.
Maureen in Grayslake, il USA 07/18/2011
Best: Hotel Agnes Sorel in Chinon
Why: The new proprietor, Christine, was friendly, helpful and a complete delight! She speaks English fluently and went out of her way to make our visit enjoyable. We arrived without reservations and were grateful to find a comfortable room available in the courtyard. Christine gave us suggestions and description of several gastronomique restaurants nearby and made reservations for us at the one we chose. It was one of the best dining experiances of our three week trip. We ended up happily extending our stay there two more days before moving on.
Worst: Hotel de la Tour Eiffel
Why: Beware of how you pay and check that the correct amounts are being charged. We stayed there for six days and were in a rush to check out the final morning. We were over charged by €84 and there were no replies to e-mails sent by us after discovering the error. Upon our return to Paris the following week we spoke to the desk clerk who acknowledged the error (we had copies of e-mails from them stating the rates they agreed to give us) and said that they would refund this amount to our visa account number which was given to him at that time. Result – no refund after two months.
Steve C. in Marysville, WA USA 07/16/2011
Worst: Maison Martin Jund, Colmar
Why: We had reservations for a week but left after the first night. The room was just dirty: dead bugs in drawers in both the kitchen and bathroom, hair on the bathroom floor, toothpaste on the bathroom door, dust on the shelves thick enough to write your name. We explained to the owners why we were leaving. They seemed concerned but did not offer to give us another room or clean the room we had. We paid for the oen night and left.
Mike Haire in Petaluma, CA USA 07/13/2011
Best: Mme Christine Lrcher in Reims
Why: Immaculately clean, friendly host, amazing breakfast and beautiful spacious accomodtionsb
Worst: Miison Martin Jund Colmar
Why: Really run down ("ramshackle" as per Rick is really kind) and dirty. Needs major repairs. Owners not really interested.
Andrzej in West Vancouver , BC Canada 07/12/2011
Best: La Ferme de la Sauzette
Why: Lovely retreat in a bucolic setting among vineyards a short distance from Cazilhac. Charming hosts and their children were eager to help us make the most of our four-night stay. Partaking in their table d'hote was a memorable experience. What a fabulous way for foreigners to experience life in this beautiful part of the country.
J. Lehv in Nw York, NY USA 06/21/2011
Best: Hotel Sevigne, Paris (Marais)
Why: Fantastic location for the money. The bus and metro, a good pizza restaurant, super market, and patisserie are right across the street. A good wine shop is just a few blocks down Rue San Antoine. Buy the fixings and have lunch or dinner in your room and watch the world go by through your balcony window.
Gary P in Ramona, CA USA 06/20/2011
Worst: Hotel Champ du Mars
Why: Unfortunately I have to say we will not stay there again. Yes, price is good but the main reason is the attitude of the owners-bordered on the surly. IMO they are proficient enough in English to be very sarcastic. Don't need that from a hotel. They come across as being indifferent to needs/questions, etc. of guests.
Susan Jennings in Atlanta, Ge USA 06/15/2011
Best: Hotel D'Alibert, Caunes-Minervois
Why: My husband and I were utterly charmed with this amazing 16th-century mansion and consider it a completely unique hotel experience--we were amazed by our gigantic room and the castle-like interiors of the hotel, including stone arches, columns, staircases--just loaded with atmosphere. And Frederic is delightfully unique, too. The restaurant was excellent as well.
Linda Sherwin in Fayetteville, GA USA 06/12/2011
Best: Le Petit Versailles
Why: What a nice place.Surrounded by trees above town.Great food.The owners,Francoise and Jean-Claude,could not have been nicer.On the day I was leaving,I hadn't picked up my car yet(rail/drive pass),I was going to take a taxi to Sarlat.They said they had planed to go shopping there later that day.But instead they went in the morning so they could give me a ride.Very nice.
Worst: Again none
Why: While my stays with the monks at Carcassonne and at Hotel Primo in Colmar were very inexpensive.(To balance the Beynac,Sarlat,Arles,Paris stays). They worked well and came exactly as descibed.
Brad in Santa Rosa, Ca USA 06/10/2011
Best: Hotel d'Alibert in Caunes Minervois
Why: Hotel d'Alibert and the restaurant were both excellent. We must have had a "huge" double room that Rick notes because it was the largest hotel room I have ever been in. We measured it as at least 25 feet by 25 feet, with additional space for a large bathroom. It was like staying in a castle. Of all my many trips to Europe this was unique. And Frederic was very good to us. I think this was a much better choice than to stay in Carcasonne if you have a car.
Jim Perschbacher in Atlanta, GA USA 06/04/2011
Worst: L'Assiette Normand, Bayeux
Why: Rick - you have got to get this restaurant out of the book. It's awful, a real tourist trap (we should have known not to eat next to a major tourist site).
Example: we ordered gratinee a l'oignon (onion soup). Supposed to have gratinee cheese, melted on top of toast, floating in a rich onion and beef broth. What we were cynically, and insultingly, served was some tasteless beef broth with a few onion slivers, topped with--get thus--a slice of packaged white bread (much like Wonder Bread with crust removed), not toasted, topped with a dollop of butter (not melted). I couldn't believe my eyes, and for this they wanted 8 euros! Other dishes were not quite as repulsive, but there was nothing special at all. This place does not deserve an RS endorsement. Please update!
Scott Wittet in Seattle, WA USA 05/27/2011
Best: Chez Leslie in Colmar
Why: Only a 5 min walk from the train station and 15 min walk to center of town. Leslie has a very clean and warm B&B. It's a much better value than the expensive hotels in the center of town, and there's free parking.
Mike HAIRE in Petaluma, Ca USA 05/24/2011
Best: Le Castel and Le Tardif, Bayeux
Why: Excellent accommodations, super friendly host, great location. Superior hotels, both of them!
Robbie in Grady, NH USA 05/08/2011
Best: Grande Hotel Jeanne d'Arc
Why: Friendly staff, reasonable prices, good Marais location only four blocks from the St. Paul Metro stop
Mark Adams in Gig Harbor, WA USA 05/06/2011
Best: Le Tardif Guesthouse in Bayeux
Why: We loved this place with all the nice touches. Walking distance to everything. We had a triple and it was large and nicely decorated. Breakfast was delicious (probably the best yogurt I've had.) Anthony was helpful with train information and restaurants recommendations. We'd definitely return when in Normandy again.
Judy Johnson in Alexandria, MN USA 04/25/2011
Worst: Hotel Tardif
Why: Hotel Tardif in Bayeux. Anthony has quite an attitude about Americans which is odd considering many of his guests are from the USA. We found him to be rude and also found the bedding to be very worn. I'm not sure how you can recommend Hotel Tardif.
Steve in Green Oaks, IL USA 04/21/2011
Best: Rue Cler area
Why: The area was close to the Ecole militaire metro stop, close to the Eifell Tower, and the neighbor made you feel at home. We felt very safe and fell in love with the open air style stores.
Karen Sokol in Suwanee, GA USA 04/14/2011
Best: Le Moulin du Fief Gentil
Why: We requested the dinner on your recommendation and found it to be delicious. Madame and the other couple staying at the Moulin joined us and it was just a delightful evening.
Patricia Stenzel in Arlington, VA USA 04/12/2011
Best: Les Caranques,Collioure, France
Why: CHEAP (55E), clean and spectacular view from the lavabo. Friendly staff felt like family.
Worst: Hotel Astoria, carcassonne
Why: The price was right, but I thought the train came across the foot of my bed. Many unexpected thresholds. Tripping a hazard. Poorly lit.
Gail in Concord, NH USA 02/15/2011
Best: Getting your own apartment (France: Homestyle)
Why: My husband and I went to Europe on our honeymoon and Paris was our first European stop. Having our own apartment was one of the most romantic experiences of the trip.
We got to experience things we never would have otherwise, such as trying to figure out what dishwashing machine detergent looked like in Paris and shopping in little markets for food and cooking our own dinners. Most importantly there was no concierge or staff between us and Paris. We were Parisians if only for 5 nights. They even gave us a discount for staying for only 5 nights vs the full week.
The owner of the company was fabulous to work with and the woman who greeted us was nice. There is everything you would want, even a washer and drier! (we had been in Florida for a week before at a friends wedding and family reunion so we arrived with dirty clothes)
On the negative side the bed was so uncomfortable it was almost impossible to sleep on it, there was no air conditioning and we opened the windows to let in what felt like hundreds of mosquitos to devour us in the nights, the toilet seat came off a couple of days in, the shower head would not stay in one place as you bathed and the towels where kind of like rags.
Even with all that, we loved the experience of renting an apartment and would do it again in a heart beat, next time however we will pay more attention to the quality of the bed (we stayed in train stop hostels in Spain with more comfortable beds, this one really was like a slab of wood with sheets over it)
Emma Alvarez in Redmond, WA USA 02/07/2011
Best: Hotel du Champs de Mars/ Paris
Why: Great location. Charmingly decorated rooms. Quiet street. Helpful and friendly owners and staff.
Cheryl Rollin in Seattle , WA USA 01/14/2011