Having decided, almost on a whim, to try La Rochelle for a weekend break (mainly on the basis that we could fly there cheaply with Ryanair from our home town of Cork, Ireland) we went looking for a convenient hotel. We generally try to avoid standard modern hotels as we prefer more authentic and even quirky hotels where possible. My wife was not convinced that a Best Western was our kind of hotel although the excellent reviews on Trip Advisor were reassuring. In the event the choice turned out to be a good one as Hotel Champlain is very authentic hotel of great character which has retained loads of its original quite opulent features. It is very conveniently located a short distance from the main shopping thoroughfare and near to the bustling market clearly frequented by locals even more than tourists. The harbour area, which would be the main tourist drag, is a few more minutes (about 10) away. La Rochelle abounds with restaurants and a great variety of shops. We stayed in one of the premium rooms which were in the original part of the building - there are more rooms in a newer extension. The room -overlooking the gorgeous garden - was bright and airy, furnished with good quality old style (possibly antique) furniture and with a very large and very comfortable bed. There was a more modern and very well appointed bathroom en suite. There was a good selection of breads and fruits and other items for breakfast which we were fortunate to be able to consume on the garden terrace. This would only be possible if you are blessed with the warm sunshine we had on the second morning of our stay. The breakfast was little pricey at €12 perhaps but difficult to fault otherwise. Coffee from a very fancy machine was of better quality than we managed to get out and about in La Rochelle. The staff, though, are what really make this hotel stand out. All the staff we encountered at the reception, in the dining room, cleaning the rooms etc were all lovely. Everyone had a welcoming word even if they did not all have fluent English and their tolerance of our indifferent and limited French was different from our previous experience of tourism in France. All in all our expectations were exceeded all around and we would be very happy to stay again in Hotel Champlain if the opportunity arose.
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western La Rochelle
- La Rochelle Best Western