Anyone staying in the Solitude Hotel for the first time would not be aware of how amazing it was to be in this hotel less than a month after the floods devastated some main arteries of this town and took businesses away in the flood waters. I have stayed in this hotel 3 times before on successive pilgrimages to Lourdes. It has a reputation for being one of the best in Lourdes and I am always happy to be back in it. This year, it was truly astonishing to see the place up and running so smoothly despite the awful deluge that brought so much of the town to its knees.
The hotel's air conditioning was not working as it was damaged in the flood, but apart from this, the hotel was running like clockwork and showed the experience of its staff in its smooth running of meals and room cleaning etc. Arrivals and departures at this hotel are handled quickly and efficiently and the routine of feeding busy, hot, hungry pilgrims is a smooth operation for this hotel.
The location is excellent; a 5 minute walk takes you to the shrine gates and as the hotel is set slightly off the road, it exudes an air of calm. From the roof top terrace there are panoramic views of Lourdes and the surrounding Pyrenees. There's a pool which is effectively inside a rooftop conservatory but there is room outside to sit or sunbathe.
The staff are very busy; the restaurant is always nonstop at set mealtimes but yet the staff always managed to serve everyone quickly and kept tables topped up with jugs of water. The food is reasonably good but all requests for alternatives to the set menu were met with quick, friendly service. Most staff have a very good understanding of English and were very helpful.
There is a shop which sells most of what a returning pilgrim probably shops for; medals, rosary beads, candles and a range of religious objects and gifts as well as perfume etc. There is 10% off for guests. This is an advantage for anyone who dreads battling their way through packed streets and shops for the obligatory souvenirs!
The rooms are well cleaned and kept in good order. Televisions are in all rooms (channel 28 is the only English channel) but some rooms have bigger bathrooms than others. Some rooms also have balconies. On booking, you could request both!
There is a sizable foyer and bar area, great for chilling out after meals, or on return from the shrine or town. It is a very sociable area and has a lovely ambience. On hot days, the terrace overlooking the river, with its tables and sun umbrellas just off the main bar, is a great place to retreat and cool off!
There are two plasma TV's in the bar which have sports channels and it was on one of these that we all watched Any Murray win Wimbledon. For any visitor into sport, go to the bar and request a channel. They are very obliging.
The public phones were not working when I was there and I needed to ring home. The reception staff permitted use of another phone and were very helpful. The only criticism I have is that there are some floors more noisy than others and as I am a light sleeper, this has been a problem twice in this hotel, but in each instance, I was moved to a quieter floor. Avoid the 4th floor as this is above the laundry which kicks in at 4am! It also gets the sound of bins being emptied at the same hour! The ground floor is also noisy at night especially when rooms are close to storage cupboards which are also on the 4am shift!
I think that Lourdes is hectic at the height of the pilgrimage season and this hotel is more than well equipped to cope with an endless turnover of huge groups arriving and leaving day and night. It is done smoothly and expertly. I hope to return to Lourdes again and I will be staying in this hotel because it just does everything so well. Big thumbs up to everyone at the Solitude!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Uniquely located on the banks of the river Gave at the entrance to the Sanctuaries, the La Solitude Hotel boasts spacious, soundproofed and air-conditioned rooms equipped with flat screen satellite TV and free WiFi. 24 rooms have been equipped to welcome disabled people. Its restaurant overlooking the fortified castle serves gourmet cuisine and plentiful buffet-style breakfasts. This international class hotel has a bar, brasserie, heated panoramic pool, spacious meeting rooms, a store and car park. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Odigeo, Agoda, Priceline, TripOnline SA, Traveltool, S.L.U., Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Hotel La Solitude reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- La Solitude Hotel