France Nov 2014: overview and hotels

by | Nov 22, 2014 | International Travel

I needed to go to France for business, so Leandra tagged along to explore the cities of Toulouse and Bordeaux. Getting to Bordeaux and back was quite easy via direct TGV train, which we booked online several weeks out in order to get the cheapest tickets. Once in Bordeaux we took the tram several stops to the Bourse near our hotel, and then walked (and walked!) around the city the rest of the time. Though neither of us speak French we were able to get along fairly well in both cities, and enjoyed the ambiance and autumn nuances of both cities.

Novotel Toulouse Centre Wilson – I had stayed here on a previous trip and liked it, so we returned for this trip. This time we had a quirky room on the first floor, on the front side of the building. Thankfully, the windows facing the street were double-glazed so it was never that noisy. The ceilings were low (Leandra could touch them on her tiptoes!), especially in the hallway.

tolouse1

bathroom1    hallway

But the overall size was quite large with a wide desk, couch and separate chair. A large closet faced the entrance along with a bench for luggage. Housekeeping was minimal, mostly straightening the bathroom, replacing towels and making the bed, but we’re not too messy so it wasn’t a big problem.

Breakfast is served in the ground floor atrium, behind a bank of elevators off the main space and was a good spread with breads, pastries, eggs, sausage, etc. Leandra had pleasant and helpful interactions with the front desk who were able to help her with internet access, restaurant reservations, and an ironing board (not in the room but you can request one). The Novotel Wilson has a great location and remains my preferred place to stay in Toulouse.

Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre – Location, location, location! Right in the middle of the old part of downtown next to the main shopping street, and only a few blocks to many of the famous cathedrals and tram stops. A room was not ready when we arrived, so we maneuvered our bags in to their baggage closet and returned later. Our assigned room was on the smaller side but comfortable and perfectly fine for our needs.

bord-room

We were located down a small hallway with one other room, so it was nicely quiet. Our view was an interior wall, but again quiet, so it wasn’t an issue for us. Breakfast seemed pricey at 14 euros a person, so we visited a nearby patisserie and saved room for a long lunch instead.

The front desk staff was quite cheerful, but their restaurant advice was just OK, and we wish we had made reservations earlier in the week since our top three choice were already booked when we arrived. However, given the location and price I would definitely return to the Quality Inn on a future trip.

Radisson Blu Hotel Toulouse Airport – We had a 7:40a flight, so easy access to the airport was important, and the Radisson Blu is a 10 minute walk or a 5 minute shuttle ride away. Of note for early flights, complimentary coffee and breakfast bars were available in lobby. Also, the shuttle was easy to get on a Sunday morning (no reservations, but runs 24/7).

Our room was on the top floor and a good size with plenty of space for us to pull everything out of our bags and repack for our return trip. The bed was comfortable and the room had quite a few outlets (good for charging all our devices overnight). It was a little strange that there was no outlet for a blow dryer in the bathroom, but that seems to a be trend in European hotels. Also, the towel hooks were already taken by robes so we didn’t have a place to hang our wet towels – not important for a one-night stay, but a small observation.

Our Itinerary

2024 Trips

San Diego, CA (Jan)
Sarasota, FL (Feb)
Valencia, Spain (Mar)
Mallorca (Apr)
Croatia (May)
Faroe Islands (Aug)
London, UK (Sept)
Bari, Italy (Sept)</br />Rome, Italy (Oct)
Frankfurt, Germany (Oct)

2022 Trips

Florida (Feb)
NC Mountains (Apr)
Washington DC (Apr)
Valencia, Spain (May)
Hilton Head, SC (May)
Pacific NW (Jun)
Long Island (Jul)
Florida (Sept)
Chicago (Sept)
Poland (Sept)
NC Mountains (Nov)
Euro Xmas Markets (Dec)