I stayed here for two nights while in Toulouse on business. I booked at the last minute which resulted in a 30% discount over standard rates. I was in a "prestige" room on the 4th floor. It was about the size of a standard hotel room in the US which means that the rooms are smaller than one might be used to if coming from the US. For a solo traveler the size is fine. The furniture was relatively new and everything was in good shape. My bed was very comfortable and the windows had excellent soundproofing against the street noise - which is quite significant. The windows are absolutely necessary. The climate control worked well the first night (I like it cool) however for some reason the second night the room was a bit hot even though I had the thermostat turned all the way down. It was not enough of a problem for me to complain.
The decor of this hotel is very much like the "W" chain in the US - very modern and black walls with recessed lights. White and black leather furniture all in a modern design. The hotel has an aviator theme apparently Saint-Exupery, the famous aviator, stayed at this hotel many years ago as a regular so they have the Saint-Exupery suite and the entire hotel has "cloud" motif on the walls including all the guest rooms (mine as well). My room had just a shower and it came equipped with a rubber airplane toy perhaps due to the theme.
The room had some unexpected amenities. It had a nice single cup espresso machine that include three espresso packets - one in decaf which was great for me. It also had a cooler stocked with several bottles of water and juice. The many lighting controls from the bed headboard was a nice touch. The very large and prominent flat panel TV was very nice and worked well. The room also comes with a fragance in a bottle with some sticks honestly for me the smell was overpowering in a small space but fortunately I was able to send it away and air out the room. Wifi service worked reasonably well and was included with the room.
Room service was quirky but reasonably priced and good. I am attaching a very funny photograph from the room service menu in which they translate "crudites" into english as "crudness". The english translation of the menu was really awful but fortunately I speak and read some french so this was not a hardship and mainly provided me with several minutes of very entertaining reading. I posted a note on my facebook page about the crudness and got many funny replies from all my facebook friends. Along these lines the hotel staff speaks limited english but it is really rather limited I had to use quite alot of french when I was there and it was not a problem for me because I speak better French than the hotel staff speaks in English. Just beware that if you do not speak any French you might have to work a bit to communicate although the staff is very friendly and they try hard and want to succeed. They also speak some Catalan so if you know Spanish you might be just fine at this hotel.
The room service hours are limited but the food was high quality and one can order a fixed price "menu" for 25-28 EUR depending on the type of foods you want - it includes an appetizer and main course almost too much food for me and thus a reasonable value.
The hotel is small so not too much staff one night the front desk person brought my food up on a tray and she tripped and fell as she was trying to get to my room and the food went all over the floor out in the hallway- she was very apologetic and i felt terrible. The replacement food arrived in a very short time later I was pleasantly surprised.
The breakfast is 19EUR a bit pricy for breakfast but very high quality and it includes the option to take daily vitamins they have pill dispensors with vitamin C, some wheat germ oil, vitamin B and other things along with the breakfast. The breakfast includes hot eggs and sausages as well as many many cold options. I was quite satisfied with the breakfast.
I had laundry done when I was there it was done on time and good service although I have one complaint I requested no fragance for the laundry as I am allergic to perfume laundry detergent - and the clothes came back smelling of lavender something like the
ecological detergents I know that use lavender but still it is a perfume smell that I did not like. I'm now rewashing the clothes at home in borax to try to get rid of the smell.
Overall I was really happy with the staff and the quality of the premises at this hotel and the complications were both relatively minor and somewhat amusing at times.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Legendary Hotel from the 30's, LE GRAND BALCON re opened in its historical location in the center of Toulouse, Place du Capitole. Real embodiment of the french airmail history and its famous pilots, such as Saint Exupery, Mermoz, and Guillaumet. The design associates luxury and charm in a poetic yet modern signature evocating the dreams and the freedom of these pioneer pilots. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Grand Balcon Toulouse