If you are staying in Angoulême, I can recommend the Mercure Hôtel the France. It’s location is perfect, right in the heart of town. We stayed there for 5 nights and we could walk to the restaurants, shops and sites in the old town in just a few minutes.
We walked to the hotel from the train station and I timed it, it was 12 minutes with three kids and suitcases so it’s really fine (8 minutes on the way back by the way as the road is a bit steep so you walk up towards the hotel but you walk down to the station).
One could take a bus but walking is nice cause you can spot the cartoons on the walls. Angoulême is mostly known for its yearly cartoon strip festival so you will see quite some cartoon characters on the streets. Follow the cartoon trail to see some 20 walls painted by the Cité de Creation, an association of mural painters.
Helpful and friendly staf
The receptionists are all very friendly and helpful at the Mercure Hôtel de France. We were in town looking for Wes Anderson, but they gave us some really nice tips to visit Angoulême when we were not spotting filmlocations 😉 They also were very relaxed about us changing the dates of our reservation 3 (!) times.
On the last day of our stay, my daughter got bitten by a dog on the street, and they were also extremely helpful, fetching water for her and talking to the doctor on the phone. Really nice.
We had a suite on the first floor with a double bed and a sleeping couch for two. The room was very spacious and very light. The hotel is opposite the covered market, an interesting iron and glass building. The glass is thick so we did not hear the cars and busses. It was nice and quiet.
The design is nothing special really, as it’s a Mercure and all the Mercure rooms look a bit the same but I didn’t mind at all. The color scheme was nice and the furniture was comfortable.
My kids especially liked the light in the bath. It would change (you could switch it off) all the time and so the water would look green, purple and red. They did not want to get out of the bath anymore! One part of the room (you could even close the door to have two rooms, if you wanted some privacy – or if the smallest wanted to sleep and the big ones did not) also had changing colored lights.
Breakfast was so so
The only thing which I was not very positive about was breakfast. The price is relatively high and the quality could be better. My son loved the fact that he could bake his own egg though 🙂
We had breakfast in town most of the time. There is a nice bakery around the corner and a cute little park so, if the sun is shining, it’s a much better way to start the day.
The building itself is nice. It was the house of the family Guez de Balzac. Jean-Louis Guez de Balzac was born, and died, in Angoulême.
It’s a beautiful historic building with all modern amenities. There is a parking and a restaurant. You can eat inside but if it’s nice weather, there is also the possibility to eat in the nice garden. The kids just had room service one of the evenings, some club sandwiches and fries which were good.
There are so many restaurants in the neighborhood that we chose to eat out most of the time. (Tip for pizza’s/Italian food: try Little Comptoir. Prefer some easy cosy French food? Go to Le Lieu-Dit. Both are in Rue de Genève).
So we say yes to Mercure hôtel de France, no to the breakfast, yes to the beautiful town. Did you ever go to Angoulême? What’s your favorite French hotel?