Hotels in the Ardennes, please (cut from another thread)

Nin

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Only a stone’s throw from Calais or the Dutch / Belgian ports, it makes an excellent area for a long weekend or even longer.

Bods rave about the alps but here, within spitting distance of the coast, you can find, hairpins, sweepers, nadgery little roads, big rivers, small streams, woods and forests, lots of hotels and cafes (all keen to accommodate people on motorbikes) without any real effort at all. You can even get ‘epic’ and ‘awesome’ views, without struggling for oxygen.

I’ll post up a link to where we rode when I’m back.

Go! Enjoy!

Best Hotel Reccs?

Bearing in mind I'm more Arsey than Timolgra if get my drift ...
 
Best Hotel Reccs?

Bearing in mind I'm more Arsey than Timolgra if get my drift ...

What are you insinuating ?

I love a spot of wild camping. I even have proof !!!



I’m betting Ricardo included the Hotel de la Poste in Bouillon in his little jaunt.
Fab place with big #bikermatesecure garage and perfect spot for people watching whilst having a Leffe Blonde.
 
The only problem with the Hotel de la Poste is if you get a good room such as the corner rooms that look out over the river and back past the roundabout they’re great value for money but if you get one that looks out over the back they’re dingy little holes and if it’s a busy weekend the chances are that’s what you’ll get.

Everything else about it is really good but if I’d had one of the bad rooms the first time I went I wouldn’t have gone back.
 
Wapping will have more detail than me, I;m sure, but my Ardennes recommendations are:

Montherme - a lovely Logis de France hotel at the top of the hill. Hotel le Franco-Belge. Rooms aren't particularly special but you get a small balcony and the restaurant is great value.

Spa area - Hotel le Soyereu. A bit away from town but very peaceful and lovely views. Posh restaurant but only a couple of evenings a week. For other nights it's a ten minute ride into Spa or Francorchamps.

Vianden - lots of hotels and I've stayed in two: Hotel Heinz and Hotel Petry. Both good, but when we stayed in the Heinz we got a great big suite for the price of a room. Loads of eating and drinking places close to both.

Stitch those three together with some lovely roads and you have yourself a great long weekend.
 
I like Bouillon and Hotel de la Poste, must of stayed there 5 or 6 times, and back again soon, prices seem to vary a bit depending on time of year / day of week (I assume) and now the pound is worth bugger all it can seem a bit pricey - but so is everywhere else!

Echternach was my favourite spot until The Grand Hotel closed late last year, not found a suitable replacement yet :-(

Durbury is a nice little town to stop at, with plenty of places to eat / drink, as is La Roche en Ardenne, but not found a great Hotel there yet.

Bastogne is another good town, but a little way out from the best roads, I tend to prefer Bouillon or Durbury these days as I have been to Bastogne a few times and visited the museum, but going back this time as my buddy has never been there (anywhere)

Also spending a night in Diekirch for the 1st time, one of the advantages of the rand Hotel closing is I now have a reason to try new places.
 
Best Hotel Reccs?

Bearing in mind I'm more Arsey than Timolgra if get my drift ...

Hotels are personal things, some will not stay anywhere that does not have a lockable garage to stable their steeds in, whilst others are happy to leave their awesome on the street. Me? I will use either method and employ a little common sense. On this trip we used the Ibis Budget hotel in St Omer and the Poste hotel in Bouillon. Here’s an example of why:

I chose St Omer as it’s a convenient town to stay in, if you plan on travelling over on the Chunnel in the mid-to-late afternoon or evening. We caught the 15:30 train, arriving in St Omer at about about 18:00 by the time the three of us had filled up at the petrol station. Why the Ibis Budget and not one of the other hotels (including a regular Ibis) in the town? Easy. I made the bookings late and wanted the ability to cancel should one or both of the bods with me not make it. The Budget hotel was cheaper (by about euro 30) for the one night in question, it has a better car park, has two petrol stations conveniently close at hand, is easier to get to than the other Ibis and is only 10 to 15 minutes easy walk in to the town’s main square to eat. Thirty euro pays for either a chunk of petrol or the evening meal, so it’s a worthwhile saving. I didn’t want to have breakfast in the Ibis Budget. Why? Because I wanted to ride to Bouillon the next day down the country roads, rather than take the motorway to say Cambrai or St Quentin; this route takes longer, so I figured on leaving at eight rather than the more usual departure of say nine or nine thirty. This got us underway in good time and we could stop after about an hour, at nine, to have a coffee and croissant breakfast in a cafe in St Pol. Time saved, some money saved, it’s a bit more ‘fun’ and it suited me, which (to some extent or another) is all that matters.

Had the Ibis Budget been situated (as some are) a mile or more outside of the town centre or on some dreadful industrial estate (as some are) I would probably have chosen something different or a different town entirely. Had I gone over on an earlier train or even the next morning, I’d probably not have stayed in St Omer at all. Horses for courses, I guess.

To give an alternative example of where I have stayed: The cafe at Cap Gris Nez. This is not a hotel at all, it’s a cafe / bistro (they speak a tiny bit of English only) but they have three or four rooms upstairs, which I only discovered by chance after stopping there for a coffee for years. It’s basic, shared toilet and bathroom (some people refuse that) and the owners are friendly. That they do not speak English will put some off completely *. The motorcycle parking is outside, which will put some off, for sure. The menu is in French (it’s what they and most of their customers speak) and will include moules and other ‘bottom dwellers’ which will not suit some punters from the UK. I like the place, others will hate it or simply not stay there at all, no matter what.


* I can get by in schoolboy French. I don’t speak Japanese, Croatian or Spanish. That would not put me off staying somewhere similar in Japan, Croatia, South America or Spain. To me it’s part of the fun. Learn to count to say, five or at a push 10, to say please and thank you and maybe the local word for beer and give it a go. It’s free and nobody will shoot you.
 
To me a hotel is more about what you (the punter paying the bill) want out of it, than anything else. For example, if I were staying for a few nights in the alps, using the hotel as a base, I’d probably find somewhere in a small town or large village, to give me a bit of choice when going to a restaurant or bar. I rarely book full or half board, preferring the flexibility. More than anything I’d look for a location that was on a crossroads or T-junction. Why? Because that, would give me choices in which direction to head out the next day. Strategists, with good reason, try to dominate crossroads in wartime, think of Bastogne, for example. The same reason applies to to us. If you stay in hotel in a town with only one road you have only two choices on leaving, left or right. Even less choice if the hotel is up at one end of a blind valley.
 
Just back from the Ardennes

I am thinking of Bastogne oddly enough - as the base for our 4 days away.

Thanks for all the suggestions.


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The cafe at Cap Gris Nez. This is not a hotel at all, it’s a cafe / bistro (they speak a tiny bit of English only) but they have three or four rooms upstairs, which I only discovered by chance after stopping there for a coffee for years.

And the scene of some of the funniest "Wander-based" happenings:

The non-functiong Zumo 550 - "Who sold you that shonky pile of shite?" - "Well, you actually"
"What is in the fish soup?" - "Err, fish?"
The collasping chair.
The missing shoe.
The use of the bath mat due to a forgotten towel...
I could go on but ....
 
Oh I have to contribute to Chas’s comment, what about the time someone toppled over on his bike into the flower bed outside the Poste, or the group being led down a block turning during a cycle race and one group member stopping at the junction and putting his foot down into a ditch and toppling completely over. Aaahh those were the days, great wanders.
 
The collapsing chair came very close to trapping my, finely formed, man nuts in a grip that would have required les pompiers to release, with feck all help from my so called ‘friends’

Happy days.
 
The detour due to the bicycle race, that precipitated a member’s tumble into a ditch, came up over the weekend. Happy days, again.
 
I like Bouillon and Hotel de la Poste, must of stayed there 5 or 6 times, and back again soon, prices seem to vary a bit depending on time of year / day of week (I assume) and now the pound is worth bugger all it can seem a bit pricey - but so is everywhere else!

Echternach was my favourite spot until The Grand Hotel closed late last year, not found a suitable replacement yet :-(

Durbury is a nice little town to stop at, with plenty of places to eat / drink, as is La Roche en Ardenne, but not found a great Hotel there yet.

Bastogne is another good town, but a little way out from the best roads, I tend to prefer Bouillon or Durbury these days as I have been to Bastogne a few times and visited the museum, but going back this time as my buddy has never been there (anywhere)

Also spending a night in Diekirch for the 1st time, one of the advantages of the rand Hotel closing is I now have a reason to try new places.

The last hotel we had in la Roche was over a morgue ; very quiet; and the bike was safe parked round the back;:D
 
The collapsing chair came very close to trapping my, finely formed, man nuts in a grip that would have required les pompiers to release, with feck all help from my so called ‘friends’

Happy days.

In reality, the rapidly closing plastic chair's split seat would probably have chopped off my love berries, like a guillotine. Leaving the fire brigade’s attendance as a mere formality.
 
Listening to the inane but hilarious ramblings of a few of the aforementioned in the Bistro at Cap Gris Nez played a key role in convincing my now wife - on our first trip abroad on the bike - that I was a reasonable bet.

Whether this was because she saw the company I kept and from that deduced that I must be a decent cove, or instead I just looked good by comparison, is something we may never know.
 
Listening to the inane but hilarious ramblings of a few of the aforementioned in the Bistro at Cap Gris Nez played a key role in convincing my now wife - on our first trip abroad on the bike - that I was a reasonable bet.

Whether this was because she saw the company I kept and from that deduced that I must be a decent cove, or instead I just looked good by comparison, is something we may never know.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/S28tILqie1o" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

.....
 


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