To escape the gray wet weather back home we decided last minute to drive down to France the following morning for the rest of the week. The weather forecast showed sun in the Loire Valley for at least one full day so we quickly booked our accommodation online.
We have stayed at a number of IBIS hotels in the last 3 months and have been very satisfied with the price vs quality value so I went to the Accor website to look for a hotel in the Blois area. Being an A-Club member I had received an email with offers a few days earlier, one of them a 2 nights for the price of 1 at the All Seasons in Blois.
We usually don't use breakfast at the IBIS hotel so normally I would have booked the IBIS rather than the All Seasons as it is a bit cheaper (at IBIS you pay extra, at All Seasons it is oncluded), but at this bargain offer and with some good reviews here on TA we decided to go for the All Seasons, and we didn't regret it!
The room IS on the small side, so this hotel is no good if you're looking for a room where you can lounge in the afternoon or evening. Also if you carry big suitcases with you you will find it hard to find a space for them.
We just needed a place to put our heads down at night and it exceeded all expectations.
The rooms is clean and modern. The bathroom on the other hand is very big with a lovely shower (lovely lights in the showerhead!) and also very clean. The beds were very comfortable (I did notice my duvet cover had a rip but it didn't bother me). We didn't have a desk in our oom, just a small table with one chair and a small stool.
The continental-style breakfast had plenty of choice of extremely good quality (you can even make your own freshly squeezed orange juice). In fact we can say that the croissants here are the best we have ever eaten anywhere, and we have travelled through France a lot: they were to die for! The free coffee/tea/mineral water facility in the lobby is extremely convenient too.
However what made our stay so memorable was the hospitality! The woman at the reception desk who checked us in was already very friendly and helpful (she called the elevator down for us as we got our luggage), also with directions etcetera.
But the night porter (I feel horrible calling him by this name) was the best! He makes sure that the kettle for the coffee and tea is continuously filled with boiled water so you don't have to wait when you want to make your coffee or tea. If you want your breakfast earlier than the official starting time just let him know and it will be ready for you, any time you like (we were on a holiday break so didn't use it, but it's there if you need it). He is also very helpful with advice on where to go and how to get there, and always in for a chat. He personally said goodbye after his shift had finished and as we were checking out, shaking our hands. Now have you ever experienced this in a big chain hotel? It was like staying at a small 5* B&B.
It is a big shame we didn't get his name because I really do want his employer to know what an outstanding employee they have!
If we ever go back to the area (we probably will) we'll definitely stay here again (although I doubt it will be at EUR 40/night again).
As others have mentioned: there is an Intermarche supermarket next door (10 steps) which is extremely convenient. It's hardly a 10-minute walk to the chateau and old medieval centre, so location is excellent!
Also note that this hotel will change it's name to Ibis Styles by mid-2012. Let's hope it will not change it's character!
PS: I mustn't forget to mention the free WIFI this time, which was also better and faster than at most IBIS hotels we've stayed at.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Breakfast + unlimited WIFI included in the price of the room at the ibis Styles Blois. Fully renovated in 2011 and features 52 air-conditioned and soundproofed rooms. In the heart of the city, our hotel is 109 yds (100 m) from the train station + 5 mins from the Château de Blois. Its contemporary design combines modernity and comfort. An ideal base for business trips or visits to the Loire Valley châteaux. Enclosed car park. On-site meeting room. Light meals at the bar or via 24-hr room service ... more less
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