Hotel recommendations?

Hello! We’re planning our first trip to France, in June. We’ll be in Toulouse, Montpellier, and some as-yet-undetermined small town in Languedoc-Roussillon.

We’re hoping to get some input from folks who know these areas - the first question is about hotels. We have found that often the kind of hotels we like aren’t yet in the guide books.

Does anyone know of a hotel that comes close to our ideal? We appreciate any leads.

Our ideal hotel:

  • primarily non-smoking (we’re both very sensitive to smoke)
  • preferably no pets (we’re both highly allergic)
  • small, friendly, with family-style dining or kitchen privileges
  • encourages interaction between guests, knowledgeable about the area and happy to share advice
  • nice area within walking distance of center of town, easy access to public transportation
  • rooms have either two beds or king-size bed

    We don’t care whether bathrooms are shared.

    English-speaking staff would be helpful, but we both speak enough French to get by.

    Your opinion:
  • What is a reasonable cost for this?
  • Can we expect to be able to extend our stay? or is it important to book an entire week? We’re aiming for flexibility.

    Julie & Rick

    (posting also in the Toulouse group, I hope) :slight_smile:

Hi Felicity
I’m sorry -I don’t quite understand - are you having issues with the messaging facility on SFN? Please let James or I know. Thanks! Catharine x

Hi Felicity -
Well, this is what I get for lurking so long on this very excellent site - I have searched for a method to send a message, and finally see that I can’t!
I’d rather not have my contact info splattered all over the internet - a bit stumped about what to do.
We’re keeping our schedule very open, but expect to be going through Carcassonne on our way back to Toulouse, probably between June 22 and 24. If that’s too loose, doesn’t work for you, you’re having second thoughts, I completely understand. It would be lovely to meet you though - hope we can figure out a way :slight_smile:
thanks again for your very kind offer,

Hi Julie,

Thanks for your reply.

Sorry, I haven’t heard of Lac de Montbel.

You won’t be disappointed with spending time in Carcassonne [esp. La Cite], and having a walk around parts of the canal. It is VERY pretty around Roubia and Ventenac between Carcassonne and Narbonne.

Luckily you will be in Carcassonne before the school holidays begin, as it becomes EXTREMELY crowded in July & August.

Hope you have a great trip when it comes around.

Best wishes,


Thanks Phil - Carcassonne is now definitely on our list, and Beziers is certainly moving up. I saw something about the boat jousting at Sete - it does look like fun, but I think it’s not going on while we’re there (will still keep an eye out for one tho). We’d like to spend some time in Perpignan/Collioure.

I’ve heard of Lac de Montbel - do you have an opinion about this place?

Hi Julie,

As this will be your first visit to France, and the fact that you mentioned that it is your intention to visit Toulouse and Montpellier; do yourselves a big favour & allow a day in Carcassonne, approximately half way between the above two cities. It has the usual smattering of cheap / reasonably priced hotels, Etap [about 50 euros], F1 [29 euros] as well as a few further up market hotels.

Carcassonne itself [two towns in one with La Cite and Cite Basse], as well as the nearby Canal du Midi will make your trip to France worthwhile on their own; and once you are in or around the Montpellier area, Sete & Agde are a must, especially if you catch the boat jousting at either of these venues. Beziers too is worth a walking tour, with the river, canal and cathedral areas well worth a visit.

If you want any further tips, please let me know.

Best wishes,

Phil Espley [in Marseillette, near Carcassonne]

Good news! Plus a little bothersome news :slight_smile:

The smoking ban does work and the smokers do respect it but it means you sometimes have to forgo the pleasure of having a drink on a terrace as that’s where all the smokers have been exiled to. But it’s a lot better than sitting at a restaurant table next to half a dozen heavy smokers. Or being given the worst table on the grounds that it is the no-smoking area, as used to happen.

thanks Terry - that’s a lot of good information. It’s hard to wrap your arms around a new city, especially trying to picture how easy it will be to get around - this helps!
re smoking - there’s “banned” and there’s “culture” - we’d just like to stack the deck as much as possible, but realize there will likely be a cloud here and there :wink:

This cle vacances site has a great idea/tool! Last-minute holiday homes - if that doesn’t provide all the flexibility we need, I don’t know what will :slight_smile:
thanks again!

One possibility in Montpellier is the Campanile Millenaire, also called Campanile Montpellier Est, I think (Google Campanile or Louvre Hotels). It will cost you around 90 Euros a night for a double room. All the rooms have just been refurbished. It has its own restaurant and is within walking distance of the tram, which will whisk you into town in no time at all, and the Odysseum where there are a dozen restaurants, ice skating rink, shops, multiplex cinema, aquarium and a MacDonalds! It’s also within walking distance of the Millenaire Clinic which has an emergency department. But hopefully you wouldn’t need that! If arriving by car it’s right next to the A9 motorway. The manager and his wife are very pleasant and undoubtedly speak some English. As to smoking – smoking is banned in enclosed public places in France and this applies to hotels so far as I know.

thanks Rachel - I’ll take a look!
We’ll rent a car for part of our trip, but for the cities, we want to see how well we can get around by foot, bus, and train. We’re hoping to mix in a little bit of tourism with a lot of “how is it to live here” and daily-life culture.

thanks Celeste - this looks about as perfect as we could ask for :slight_smile:
(assuming this is the site:
We are hoping for a nice mix of city and village - cities of course are easier to find out about. We’re both into music, and it looks like Heidi is too - lovely!

thanks for the names Sheila, I’ll check it out!

Vivien - good idea! I’m kinda stuck - you’re talking to a planner, married to a seat-of-the-pants traveller. We’re trying to go his route this time, so all I really know (and that could change - have to keep telling myself that) is we expect to be in Toulouse for about a week, then Montpellier for a week (hoping to train up to Nimes for the bull fight festival), then somewhere (small town? beach town? lake?), then back to Toulouse for a few days. We fly in (arrive June 1) and out of (leave June 26) Toulouse.

We are leaning more towards the B&B, inn, gîte, hostel, since we like the atmosphere generally found there.

Speaking of which! Felicity, that’s an amazing offer! I’ll Msg you :slight_smile:

Meanwhile, you can see a bit about how we live in Costa Rica: JulieAndRickInCostaRica

thanks again,

Hi Julie -you can have my double room in Carcassoonne if you you would like- depends on days you are thinking about as have best friend arriiving 25th so she will need the 2nd bedroom. Right in the the centre of town so good for walking in La Bastide & 15 mins from la Cité. Cost?- dinner or two!Fx

Hello Julie and Rick,

Many SFN members run charming B&B in the Languedoc. Post your dates and ask for quotes! Generally a nice room with private bathroom and breakfast for 2 is between 60 and 80 euros per night. I think most people expect non-smoking rooms these days, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Ìf you prefer a more traditional ‘hotel’ set up, message me with your budget and I will give you some suggestions.
I’m sure you will have a great time anyway, June is a lovely month to visit.

Hi Julie

We stayed in the Ibis Hotel in Montpellier for over a week. Didn’t see any animals. They do have smoking rooms I believe but are confined to one floor. Very centrally located just off the main drag and beside a shopping centre. We joined their loyalty programme, Accord and have clocked up enough points almost for a free stay next time. In Toulouse, we stayed in Kyriad. It’s only 2 star but is on Canal du Midi and across the road from a great bar, Le De Danu, owned by an Irish former rugby player. You could also check out Ibis in Toulouse.

Hope this helps.