We planned to completely unwind in Lille last weekend and I chose L'Arbre Voyageur as our base. Unfortunately it didn't quite meet our expectations in that regard because there wasn't really anywhere to relax, read, chill or lounge around. Apart from our room and we didn't want to be there all day.
Ok, there's a couple of tables in reception but who wants to sit in reception? There's also an outside courtyard which looked pleasant enough but was utterly useless in the rain. I have to admit I went for the wrong option this time but (obviously) that's not the hotels fault.
There's no denying this is a gorgeous place to stay with a luxury feel in a fantastic location populated by the friendliest most helpful staff. A great place to come back to after a day of exploring this lovely city.
There's is also a bar but that was shared with upmarket restaurant "Jane" and seemed to closed most the time we were there. However; when it was open their cocktails were very good, albeit on the expensive side.
Things we liked about the hotel; As I've already said; the staff were so friendly, helpful and spoke good English, which made life much easier for us. They were happy to help with recommendations or book restaurants for dinner. When we asked about late checkout (we had an evening train back to London) they happily gave us an extra couple of hours absolutely free.
The fab location is unbeatable. Just across from Grand Place and Vieux Lille (Old Town), while both Lille Europe and Lille Flanders stations are less than a 10 min walk, even with luggage.
Our room (53) was a decent size, quiet, with comfortable beds, a lovely big walk in rainforest shower. A toilet separated by another wooden door. My girlfriend made sure the plush L'Occitane toiletries disappeared into the case straight away, so never got the chance to use those. The wardrobe was tiny though, so don't expect to hang a lot of clothes up.
The minibar is completely free and replenished every day with soft drinks, water and snacks. We thought this was a nice touch. If you stay for two or more nights you can swap maid service for a drink at the bar, but my girlfriend wanted those toiletries and snacks in the mini-fridge. Good idea though.
On Sunday morning the breakfast room was in Jane restaurant (until 11) and it was absolute chaos! We had to wait a while for a table but in all honesty staff struggled to cope. Everything ran out, we then had to wait for plates, cutlery and glasses. Patience was required here but an old couple in particular were just plain rude to the staff, absolutely no need for it.
On Monday morning breakfast swapped to the burger restaurant (until 10) and couldn't have been more different, it was much more of a tranquil affair. Interestingly we weren't offered the option of eggs to order on either occasion even though they tracked us down to ask for our room number. I only knew they were an option after seeing others eating them, but I had to ask. Think the hotel could make more effort to let customers know about this, especially as their guests are paying extra for breakfast - or at least I did. Other than that the variety and quality of food was very good.
Be aware that if you come for the weekend virtually nothing is open in town on Sundays, the odd coffee shop or restaurant but that's about it. And this continued into Monday morning with a lot of places still shut. But at least the Christmas market was up and running.
If you plan to go out for dinner I highly recommend booking somewhere otherwise you may well struggle. We had reservations at "N'Autre Monde" which was excellent.
The safari decor theme throughout could've been tacky but is actually really tastefully done, in fact we loved it and it certainly helped make this a very stylish hotel indeed. So in short, an enjoyable stay with nothing to complain about at all, a great place to stay but just not quite what we were looking for on this occasion.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 4 Star luxury Hotel l'Arbre Voyageur, BW Premier Collection® is the new address downtown. Ideally located in the heart of Lille, it is less than 300 meters from the Grand Place and 500 meters from Lille Flandres and Lille Europe stations or the metro. In this new jewel of 48 rooms including 3 Suites, this former Consulate Lille is an invitation to travel, with its luxurious rooms and its unique decoration. We cultivate the difference, and every room is unique. With two restaurants and a bakery with a gift shop, we will welcome you around our patio with a florist and a wine cellar too. Aware of the many environmental issues, everything has been created here for comfort and sustainable development. Fully air-conditioned and equipped with high speed Wi-Fi, and through our solar panels, we minimize our carbon footprint. We have the desire to create a place of encounter and exchange, where responsible enjoy every day experiences is a currency. Cultivate the difference, for unforgettable moments of life. We rely on the talent of our teams to rhyme enthusiasm with professionalism and care with generosity; share the best addresses, it is our job and we do it with passion for your pleasure. ... more less
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