Hôtel Lou Cigaloun is a thoughtfully designed and exceptionally managed midrange hotel in a convenient location. It excels at virtually all aspects a traveler would look for from a three-star hotel - location, sanitation, sleep quality, and most of all, hospitality.
Lou Cigaloun is located just inside Blvd Édouard Daladier, a semi-circular traffic artery that surrounds the old town. Orange is small and flat, so anywhere in the old town can be a good location. The proximity to the Blvd adds the convenience for car travel. Gare d’Orange (train station) is about 1Km away, and the bus stop for Avignon across the post office at Blvd Édouard Daladier is 500m away. The main tourist sights of Théâtre Antique d'Orange and Arc de Triomphe are all within easy reach.
The entrance to the hotel leads to a fairly spacious reception hall and a cozy lounge. There are some artworks and antique-like pieces here and there, and an interesting wall painting can be seen at the staircase next to the reception. On the reception desk is a photo book that shows the renovation process of the hotel; it has pictures of the owners working on the rooms, and you can tell that the owners are personally attached to this place.
Indeed, the gentleman who took care of us from the check-in to check-out was among the finest hosts we had the pleasure of meeting with. He was cheerful, courteous, honest, efficient, fluent in English, and most of all, proactive. Upon check-in, he promptly produced a city map and quickly marked half a dozen recommended local restaurants, adding some explanations. It was June, the prime time for the biannual SNCF (French national railway company) strikes (one in June and another in November). Realizing that we will be leaving by train, he checked the SNCF website and found valid connections for us. The SNCF “real-time traffic information” (on http://www.infolignes.com/) turned out to be wrong, and the website would hold onto the wrong information right until the ghost train’s departure time, but that’s another story. As we started going to our room, he quickly grabbed both of our luggage and carried them all the way to the room upstairs, insisting he can handle both. Only when he opened the door for us did we realize that he gave us an upgrade to a lovely quadruple room. Upon checking-out, he offered to keep our luggage until the train time, before we asked. We could clearly see that he genuinely cares about his hotel and his guests.
Our room was not only lovely but clean, quiet, and intimate. It was furnished with firm and comfortable beds, a wooden desk and chairs that go nicely with the room decorations, two built-in closets, a flat-panel TV, and a number of books in French and English. The bathroom was spacious, impeccably clean, and thoughtfully built. Way too many independent hotels, in putting their rooms together, do not think of ergonomics or ease of use or what travelers would need. Here, mirror is at the right height, washbasin minimizes water spills, and toilet paper holder is at the right reach. The large shower booth has two shower heads; one extendable and another for rain shower. The booth also has a water-tight door, ribbed floor to prevent slipping, and a well-functioning drain. No mold, no water stains. Attention to details is apparent everywhere; even the room key ring is cute and artistic.
Simply put, Hôtel Lou Cigaloun is a midrange independent hotel at its best, a true crème de la crème. It is a product of great effort and love, and is meticulously maintained with superb hospitality. As the readers can see from our review score distribution, we reserve the full 5 points to only the truly outstanding. Lou Cigaloun is certainly one such hotel, and we fully recommend this gem that befits the charming atmosphere of Orange.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A charming destination on the edge of Provence, Orange is the ideal place from which to start discovering the region: prestigious cultural sites, historical heritage, local products and wine-tasting.Ideally located at the heart of the old Roman city, not far from the ancient theatre, Hotel Lou Cigaloun welcomes you to its 17th century building. ... more less
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