I did not stay here, but worked for the family. Domaine de Clos is a fantastic retreat, set in acres of fruit trees, about 20 minutes drive from Nimes. It was an abandoned farm house but has been lovingly restored, giving it a classic old french feel. The grounds are extensive, with a swimming pool, childrens games, barbeque areas, chill out zones. It is family run and consists of self contained 'houses' and apartments. Breakfast is served in the dining room, or outside on good days. I had a hectic job and loved coming down here for a swim to get away from it all. Taste Sandrines chocolate cake, it really is divine.
Classic french charm, family run so not at all commercial. Mme Ausset has a great little boutique where she sells a variety off products with french charm. Homemade jams, regional wines and olives, clothes, books and furniture. Workshops and winetasting ran by local carftsmen, cooks and designers take place in the summer. Table d'hotes served twice a week in the summer in the dining hall, also, prepared 'plats froids' (cold meals) available on request. Also runs business team building weekends.
We spent our first night in France in this hotel, and if the rest of the places we stayed in for the next 2weeks were as nice as it, we would have returned home quite happy. The people there were as friendly as they possibly could be. Our room was perfect, complete with en suite, Cable tv, which we didnt really watch,and a great view onto one of the main streets.
The only problem was telling the cleaner ladies in the morning that we didnt want them to clean our room!!
Most of the chain hotels are within a stones throw of each other on the large development to the south of Nimes, known as Ville Active.
It's full of supermarkets, shoe shops, car showrooms and the other stuff of sprawling suburban France.
On the other hand the modern hotels have to compete with each other and there is an efficient bus service (route D) into town.
If you are driving, it means you can avoid all the hassles of parking in town.
The hotels range from the cheap as Chips 'Formula 1' brand through to the Holiday Inn and Hotel Mercure brands - plus several others besides
Hotel Louvre et Terminus, Orange
79,27 € per double room per night (2001). We paid 53,36 € (350 FF in 1992)
good rooms, restaurant, a small pool. Beware of stiff-upper-lip octogenerian Brits that come in herds to do cultural stuff...
we got off the train after 3 tiring days in Avignon. There were 2 hotels near the station. This one won (about 60 strides!).
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