Published by Lyn on 27 September 2017
I stayed at the Grand Hotel in Avignon while cycling in Vaucluse. For creature comforts and bike-friendliness, it's hard to beat.
I enjoyed my stay at the Grand Hotel in Avignon. Having arrived into the station after a long day travelling, it was the perfect place to relax. The proximity to the city centre meant it was easy to duck out for a bite to eat and a wander around the old city centre before hitting the hay.
The hotel is four-star – so with rooms starting at €80, it's not super budget, but it gets cheaper if you have a cycling partner or if you're travelling with a family and appreciate the extra space and comfort. The hotel also has apartments for self-caterers. As you can see below in No. 2, it's also ideal if you're travelling with a bike and want the extra reassurance on knowing the hotel is safe and secure for your bike and all your kit.
Five things we liked
Right next to the train station, it's ideal for anyone coming into the main Avignon Centre station (note it's not the TGV station – that station is a bit further south, just outside the city centre near the river, and is linked to Avignon Centre by train shuttle). My room was well insulated - even though it opened on to the terrace, I could hear nothing from the station or people relaxing on the terrace after I'd shut the doors. It was lovely to open them intoths sunshine in the morning, though. The city walls are just across the road, making it a great spot from which to explore the old town centre of Avignon.
2. Bike facilities.
The hotel was recommneded to be by Valerie, the cycling guru at the Vaucluse tourist board. There is a massive warehouse-style room at the hotel with a bike stand. There is plenty of room here for one or a hundred bikes. This would be a good base if you needed to get a hire bike delivered or if you needed to store bike boxes during a trip. The hotel also won brownie points for its pre-ride ...
Yep, five stars here for filling up before a day on the bike. There were cereals and breads, mini-pancakes, yoghurts, a slection of meat and cheese, and lots and lots of fruit. Eggs came scrambled or you could boil your own in the egg boiler machine thingy.
4. Friendly staff.
The staff were super friendly and went out of their way to offer restaurant recommendations and other local support. There was a function on when I came back to the hotel after dinner, the bar area was quite full and the bar staff were all busy. The lady on reception happily poured me a glass of wine and invited me to wander off to the lounge area for my night cap. There were a lot of Japanese, American and English guests when I stayed and every member of staff I heard could speak English very well.
5. Versatile accommodation.
I was very lucky as I was given a large room with a double bed and a sofa bed, so it felt quite palatial on my own. But if I'd had the kids with me (or if I was travelling in a group), it would have also been perfect as the little lounge area with the sofa bed actually had a sliding door to close it off from the main bedroom, effectively making it a two-roomed apartment. There was also a kettle with tea and coffee (a real treat at a French hotel). The shower was hot and the bathroom sparking clean (and yes, there are freee little toiletries). The room opened up onto a terrace which was lovely in the morning sunshine.