I just spent one night at the Hotel du grand Balcon, which recently reopened (Oct. 2008) after a total overhaul. I can't recommend it enough, especially given the other options in its category/price range. Here are my impressions:
Location: Pretty much perfect, right off the Place du Capitole, within easy walking distance to all city center and Saint Cyprien (Abbatoirs museum) attractions.
Check-in/check-out/general service: Everyone was extremely friendly and very efficient, eager to accommodate requests, etc.
Public areas: There is a bar and a breakfast room, both with a sleek, subdued design; both were pretty empty, though. Can't report on the breakfast, since I never understood the concept of paying 20 euros to get a croissant and a café you could get for 4 euros anywhere else.
Room: I stayed in a 'Cosy' room, which, true to its name, was on the smallish side. However, I thought it was very well designed, and it had all I needed without feeling cramped (note to business travelers: there is free wifi, but no desk, just a small coffee table and low armchair; for your consideration). The look is similar to the public areas - sleek, cool, but without annoying distractions or over-quirky design. The bed was wonderful (pillow top, good mattress and pillows), and the bathroom superb - spacious, sparklingly new, a full bath with a wide shower-head (great water pressure, too). Other features - flat screen tv with too many channels; a nespresso machine with complimentary refills (a nice touch), a minibar with ample space to store your own beverages. Very good light fixtures allow for great control (including those bluish reading lamps that don't disturb the person sleeping next to you, in case there is one.)
Value - I got a good deal online, and thought the price-quality ratio was great. The published rates for this room, though (155-180 euros) seem a bit much considering the size of the room. It's still the least pricy of the 4* hotels in the center of town, though that might change once the word gets out.
Conclusion: if you get a good price, go for it; if you feel like splurging, go for it. I plan to stay there again on future trips to Toulouse (which is a great, fun city).
- 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