Château de la Motte, Liessies (hotel and restaurant)

The location

The hotel is located in a very green park, next to some water. The surroundings are peaceful and quiet, if a little bit remote. We had chosen the hotel as a stopover before boarding a ferry, but the road to Calais was still long.

The room

There is a sensation that time has stopped somewhere in the eighties when you enter the hotel. After a steep set of stairs and a corridor, this feeling is reinforced when you enter the room. I had to kill quite a few flies and a couple of spiders, something I had not encountered in a hotel for quite a long time. The room itself is fairly spacious, but has got a very dated feeling to it, as eloquently demonstrated by the covers on the bed. There is also wifi, but neither of us were able to connect.

The evening meal

After exploring the room, we went down to dinner in the large downstairs dining room. Over an excellent bottle of Volnay from Olivier Leflaive, we had a nice visit from the owner of the establishment. This is something we had very rarely encountered before and is certainly something we would like to see more often.

The rest of the dinner was of an acceptable standard, in particular the starter, a tasty rabbit paté, although the dated feeling carried on: both the rabbit and the main, some guinea fowl, were adorned with far too many vegetables.

The breakfast

A major disapointment: low quality juice and pastries, smelly eggs. We had to refill on the ferry.

The price

Including the night, drinks and food for two, two “breakfasts”, the bill came to a reasonable 201 euros. Although we will keep nice memories of the welcome we received, the low quality of the breakfast and the slightly disappointing food will have us looking for other options should we want to stay in northern France again.

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Hôtel La Chouette, Puligny-Montrachet

The location

This hotel was the first stop on the road to our holidays. Located in the home of legendary white wines, it is within reasonable distance of Beaune, where we attended a concert, and is a good base to explore the vineyards of Burgundy.

ImageBe aware that it is more a B&B than a hotel (as it says on the hotel’s website): we had to ring the bell quite a few times before being granted a rather frosty reception.

The room

The room itself is fairly spacious, a comfortable bed (no duvet though) and the quiet location ensure a good night’s sleep. There is an internet connection provided by cable, although you might find it difficult to access if you are using a VPN. The bathroom is equally large, though one might lament the lack of a proper shower cabin.

The breakfast

Replete with baroque singing and an excellent Japanese dinner, we woke up to a warmer welcome and an excellent breakfast. Breakfast is served in the large communal room downstairs and you will have to enjoy the company of other guests (all English-speaking in our case). Our hostess had prepared a very nice range of eggs, pastries, bread, jams, fruits and cooked fruits. Judging from the Nespresso machine, espresso coffee might be available, but you will have to ask.

The price

Not cheap, in the region of 140 euros including two breakfasts. From the number of foreign numberplates in the village, you are, however, paying a lot for the location.

Hotel Favor, Düsseldorf

Location

This new hotel is located near the Königsallee, and within easy reach of the historic city centre. The reception feels a bit small and was very hot on the day I arrived. With only one employee manning it, I had to wait a while before being able to check in.

Düsseldorf felt very pleasant that night, with lots of people out to enjoy the terraces without too much excess. This part of Germany feels very succesful in this respect, combining high levels of personal wealth with social cohesion.

The room

My room was small but efficiently organised, with a small bed. The bathroom is also quite nice, with a proper shower cabin. Wifi is free and easy to configure, although you cannot use two devices at the same time with the same code. I also found the room was quite quiet. A free bottle of water is provided, which was appreciated on this hot July day.

I was nevertheless less pleased with a certain amateurish feeling that I cannot really explain: but, for instance, I found the card did not open the door to my room anymore when I came back from dinner.

The breakfast

A fairly ordinary affair; some cooked offerings, but nothing is cooked on demand. Espresso might be available but you will have to say the magic word.

The price

129 euros a night including breakfast on this occasion. Nothing outrageous, but some room for improvement, which means I will be looking at other options next time I stay in the pleasant city of Düsseldorf.

  • Schadowplatz 7  40212 Düsseldorf
  • +49 0211 4476990

Hotel Rathaus Wein and Design, Vienna

The location

The hotel is located outside outside Vienna’s old town (a 20 minute walk to the cathedral past the spectacular Hofburg), near the Parliament and the town hall. The neighbourhood looks mildly arty without being dodgy at all. The efficient metro is also quite near, at the Volkstheater station.

The room

The quiet coolness of the room was most welcome after the scorching June heat. The shower, quite unlike any other I have seen due to its spacious feel, large area, and high ceiling, was also very welcome. There is a nice touch, with a free jug of water. Wifi is also easy to use, while the bed, although adorned with the now infamous two duvets, is very comfortable. Some might find the room a bit barren, and the high ceiling might make it a bit echoey.

The breakfast

There is a decent offering; some form of cooked breakfast is also available (just eggs though), although you will have to ask. I certainly would not have found out were it not for the other guests. The nicest feature is probably the fruits, which are very fresh and tasty.

The price

At 157 euros a night including breakfast, this is a good option. The city of Vienna does, however, offer many other attractively priced options.