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“cute boutique hotel with excellent service and some amusing quirks”
Review of Le Grand Balcon

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Le Grand Balcon
Ranked #8 of 130 Hotels in Toulouse
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 March 2011

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.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled on business
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Thank mybusinesstraveller2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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218 - 224 of 589 reviews

Reviewed 22 March 2011

I stayed at Le Grand Balcon on a weekend trip. The hotel was extremely clean and well kept. I got a fabulous deal on a suite and I stayed in room 522 which was an excellent, beautiful room. The drawback was there was no view. The highlight is you are on a floor all to yourself. There is no elevator that takes you to this floor so you have to take the elevator to floor 4 and then take the stairs to floor 5 to get to your room. The stairway was carpeted and was very cool. I did not mind taking the stairs but taking the luggage to the top floor was a bit of a hassle but that is also my fault as I refused help to my room. The cleaning staff was so extremely nice and understanding. When they knocked on my door, I asked them if they could change the sheeting to my bed and she did it very quickly and efficiently and changed out my towels and put fresh towels as well. The next day, she put in new toiletries to my room, gave new towels, brought in new complimentary drinks that were in the fridge, and did a quick cleaning. The only thing I was a bit shocked about was the breakfast buffet. I did not realize that the breakfast buffet would cost me over 40.00 euros. Thank goodness I only ate the breakfast buffet one day. The food was excellent though. My room was extremely quiet. I heard nothing. The tv was a large flat screen. They also had a sofa bed which I did not need to use but for future reference when I go with a friend the next time and stay here. The front desk staff was great. There was one that I was not particularly happy to talk to but everyone else was so friendly and with smiles on their faces. The hotel was close to everything in the main square. I walked everywhere in downtown Toulouse. If you want to go cheap with food, there is a McDonalds just down the block. There is also the cafes, small restaurant businesses, outside venders so there was a lot of options if you decide not to eat in the hotel. The nespresso machine is so cool. It made excellent coffee. I need a machine like that at home. There is a underground parking garage very close to the hotel. Parking I think was about 24 euros a day or 18 euros a day? Don't quote me on this one. Overall, great hotel. I would definitely stay at this hotel again. Also, free wifi!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank chickensoup26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2011

We stayed here two non-consecutive nights (in between we visited Carcassone). The hotel was easy to reach from Toulouse-Matabiau Train station and is just off the city square, Capitole. The staff were charming and helpful, giving us good & perceptive recommendations for dinner. The rooms while small are well designed and give the illusion of space.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank agate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2010

Let me set the scene... 14 days on the road (well, train) suffering the insufficient hospitality of okay but, really, less than adequate hotels. Desperate for comfort, quiet, and peace and wiling to pay a bit more than the usual (embarrassed cough) 50 euros a night for the barely adequate. Arrived here and found something wonderful. The staff was really great - unobtrusive, welcoming and happy to accept that, despite my faltering grasp on their language, I wanted to conduct our business in French. Comfortable room with a fantastic bath and shower. Slept like a baby (and when I wanted to stay in bed late) without interruption. Clean, contemporary decor. My only quibble was that my room had only one window opening on the back alleyway which was too frequently populated by smoking and quarreling employees - perhaps less of a problem if I didn't value the fresh air so much.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled solo
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Thank ChicagoRicky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2010

We booked a Sat. night in a Classique room which faced the street. The hotel is situated in the city center on a busy, narrow street that is just off of, and leads directly to, a lively square with restaurants/shopping. At 2:30 a.m. I went to the lobby to request another room as the mobs of revelers in the street below made it impossible to sleep. I was told that the bars just closed, the noise would soon be ending, and another Classique room was not available. With some persistence I was finally given a key to an upgraded, Privilege room which was quiet. In the morning I learned that the noise did not stop until 4 a.m. When asked if this happens every Sat. night I was told that it is quiet in the summer but when the students return in the fall it is crazy and noisy every Thurs, Fri, and Sat. night. One local told me that she recently moved out of the city center because she couldn’t take the constant noise. We’re no prudes and I can pretty much sleep through anything but this was ridiculous. Moral of the story – if you must stay on a Thu/Fri/Sat evening during the school year, demand an interior room.

Getting there: We arrived on a Sat. late afternoon and it was total chaos. People, cars, bicycles, motorbikes all competing for the narrow roadways/sidewalks. We have driven in many major cities and even the most crowded cities have a method to their madness; that is, everyone seems to work together to keep everyone flowing. Not so here – it was a free for all – people ignoring cars, cars ignoring people, bicycles cutting off everyone - total gridlock. In the midst of this is the hotel. There is nowhere to pull over to unload your luggage and finding a parking space on the street (legal or otherwise) is near impossible. Parking is in a pay, underground lot in the center of the square just beyond the hotel which is in the middle of all the activity.

Once you and your luggage make it to the hotel, it is a very nice property. The hotel is modern and contemporary in design with a relaxing lobby bar and breakfast area. The reception area is a bit odd in that it is simply two small podiums where staff assist guests. Overall, staff was very professional, friendly, and helpful.

Rooms: since we stayed in both a Classique and upgraded Privilege room I can comment on both types. Both rooms, like the overall hotel, were nice, contemporary design, clean, and comfortable. They were similar in amenities with the following differences:
Classique Room: a bit smaller, had a nice, big shower (no tub), no robes, no outlet for blow dryer in the bathroom so had to use an outlet near the floor in the bedroom which meant squatting to dry hair, blow dryer only had cold air – hot air didn’t work.

Privilege Room: More spacious, bathtub with shower, blow dryer on the bathroom wall with hot air, robes. Those are pretty much the extras for the higher rate.

While I would give the hotel itself a 4 star rating, the aggravations of getting there along with the outside noise means we would not stay here again. I gave the location an average because it is both good and bad. Good because it is centrally located for dining/shopping yet bad because it’s the center of the noise.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank cheetahwhisperer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2010

The hotel is in a great location in the old part of the city by the main square. Our standard double room, at the front of the hotel, on the 4th floor was small but very well appointed. We paid 135 euros through booking.com so the value was good. Unfortunately one quarter of the population of Toulouse are students and Friday night (when we stayed) was obviously their big night out! It was impossible to get to sleep much before 3.30am so consequently Le Grand Balcon scores an average not through any fault of it's own but because we had an appalling night's sleep. Make sire you insist on a quiet room, if there is such a thing, at the back of the hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank yungkara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2010

We have a house we are renovating an hour away, so decided we really needed to get to know Toulouse. The staff in the Grand Balcon,were fantastic and all spoke excellent English, despite me trying out my terrible French on them... Room was great and the location simply couldn't be better, although there could be a degree of student joviality in the early hours over the weekend.... We didn't avail of the buffet breakfast, rather we went into the adjacent Capitole square where there are superb cafes all serving great breakfast.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank BiddleDubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Le Grand Balcon

Address: 8 rue Romiguieres | on Capitole place, 31000, Toulouse, France
Region: France > Occitanie > Haute-Garonne > Toulouse
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Toulouse
#9 Romantic Hotel in Toulouse
#12 Business Hotel in Toulouse
Price Range: £95 - £168 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Le Grand Balcon 5*
Number of rooms: 47
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

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