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Driving to alps - stops en-route

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
libby, A typo - I meant to say NON chain hotels and watering holes!!!!!! Embarassed
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DAVID SNELL, my only encounters with chain hotels on our journeys south have been negative, so will not be included by me. I can't think of anything worse than holing up at the side of a motorway or in an industrial park. Send shivers up my spine.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Newcastle airport, Geneva Airport.
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Frosty the Snowman, not until 14th Decemebr though, and they don't take dogs.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Useful thread! Smile
I've had a lovely stopover recently in Troyes, though that was in summer. And if you can't leave the UK until late, we had a good night out in Arras, about 100km from Calais.

Next time, I'm planning on trying this place in Burgundy (via LayMyHat)
"Chambres d'Hôtes, situated in the picturesque countryside of Southern Burgundy, providing vegetarian evening meals.
Here you will find comfortable accommodation in our early nineteenth century wine grower's house. We offer good food and wine, served in a relaxed atmosphere."

http://www.lesbattees.com/
which is very convenient and looks lovely.
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'Fraid my lot would not go for veggie meals no matter how nice. I could cope, but the carnivorous men would object.
rolling eyes
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Earlier this year we stayed at la maison de la noisette near Cremieu, we were travelling Paris to Les Arcs so if you can make the Lyon area its a leisurely drive the next day.
See their website
Can recommend their hospitality, food, comfort and English. A very pleasant break , Cremieu is worth a visit alone being a walled town
John
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
firebug, I absolutely agree with you in your choice. With a bit of time and research there are loads super little places out there waiting to be discovered by us.

This makes me think with all the talent and enthusiasm we have on this forum, we ought to think about bringing out some guide books based on members experiences, and knowledge. David Goldsmith with all his journalistic talents might be a good person to ask about such a project.

I remember a few years back BBC Southern Counties Radio asked listeners to send in recipies for a book the proceeds of sales were donated to Children in Need. I know because my wife had her recipe for Xmas pud published! Very Happy

En route Hotels to the Alps and Special places to Stay in Ski Resorts might be quite interesting topics based on member recommendations. I am sure lots of you would purchase such a publication if it was going to a good cause. Sorry I've gone of the topic a bit but just a thought for the evening.
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We recently stayed at the Hotel Vincent in Nuit St George, a 3* found through the Logis de France guide, highly recommended with a superb restaurant. We were on our way to La Rosiere but we liked Nuit so much we stayed there for a few hours next day just to wander about rather than dashing straight off, bought some wine too.
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David@traxvax, Exactly my point - the dash to the Alps doesn't have to be just a dash. With a bit of careful planning you can make it part of the holiday experience
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Quote:

the dash to the Alps doesn't have to be just a dash

It does if you have to be back at work Monday Very Happy
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Frosty the Snowman, you only need an overnight stop though, Leave Saturday, arrive home Sunday evening. Shorter for the southerners of course.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Helen Beaumont, But that means I need Friday off and possibly Thursday if I want to get skiing in on the Saturday, and I prefer Sunday-Sunday as the slopes are so quiet on a Saturday.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Frosty the Snowman, suit yourself , I am fighting a losing battle persuading you that there is much more to France than the ski slopes of La Rosiere. Once you've bought your chalet there, you'll be able to come and go on whatever day you please, and try it. wink
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Helen Beaumont, Who mentioned La Rosiere Puzzled rolling eyes wink Laughing

I'll let you know that I am even having a small sojourn to Austria next season Shocked Shocked Shocked Little Angel
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Frosty the Snowman, and I am off to Switzerland. Very Happy Very Happy
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libby, I'd recommend troyes, as others have said beautiful city centre, ignore what Agenterre said about it being a dump, maybe he stayed in another troyes?
I've also stayed in a hotel near to troyes in the Foret d'Orient see this link http://book.bestwestern.com/bestwestern/productInfo.do?iata=&promoCode=&corpID=&propertyCode=93632

Nice hotel, golf course, swimming pool. Set in the forest, other places on interest in forest such as some big lakes. 15 mins out of troyes.
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libby,

Need the some info on driving to the alps myself: http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=28691

Anybody?
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Well, thank you all... we've been and we're back!

Libby, the little pielette and myself have used all the advice above and had a great week in chamonix. Thought I'd just bung a bit of feedback on here by way of thanks.

The pielot family have been a little thrown by the arrival of the pielette and so we decided to break the journey before hitting the ferry in the UK - I know that this is a wasted day on a ski holiday and I think since the wee one (7 months) was well behaved, we wouldnt bother again. But our lie flat child seat was definately a huge bonus as she does like her kip!

Due to being out of the country until the 11th hour we made a last minute booking to use a logis de france in Beaune on the way down. In practice I think this is about as far south as I would like to push it, if that was the first stop. A minor quible with the Logis website was that you cant actually book on line - you actually submit a request which they get back to you with, but in the end a follow up call was required in order to confirm details before leaving the house.... but... actually the place they confirmed was full and so my next top tip is make sure that you give your contact number as a mobile! - luckily they called us on route and an alternative was sorted out! Minor snag was that the map printed from google didnt show the new place..doh. (still all you sat nav gurus would have that one covered!). Baby demanding food/getting lost in Beaune delayed us significantly and despite a polite phonecall in my best franglais the landlady wasnt entirely pleased with our 11pm arrival. hey ho. 115Eurs. breakfast was good. Beaune was pretty but the wine a bit oversold/overpriced. Touristy as briefed, but then we were tourists and on our summer holidays.

MGM in chamonix did the job (booked for significantly less through the Pierre and vacance website than some of the british websites). Mind you though, we have still to actually figure out why so few of the french places have proper double beds - Is having a mistress really the french solution?!).

For the way back, having not really made the most of our evening in Beaune, we decided that we may as well cut and run and use a Formula 1 in Reims. Ironically we actually made much better time on the way back and would have probably gone for somewhere of a higher spec, but that said it worked pretty well. F1 website easy to use. room for 3 (double plus a single bunk above) But here is the BIG one that I failed to spot on the website - shared showers/wcs. 31Euros is dirt cheap and everything was great, but even I would have paid out a couple of euros more for an en-suite in the Ibis/novotel/similar next door. The F1 was in a small development of hotels and there were plenty of 'brewers fayre' type restaurants providing reasonably priced grub for the likes of us. Not classicaly french but OK, and we'd spent plenty on dining in Chamonix by this stage.

On balance though, for a pelt down to the alps I think I would probably plan a onestop strategy, probably stopping a little further north of Beaune on the southbound leg and given that I would likely be arriving late and heading off early then one of the chains near the autoroute would get the vote - no getting lost in the village at night and max time on the slopes! snowHead

Northbound, Reims worked well and allowed plenty of time for duty free shopping and lunch in Boulogne. Speedferries did us proud on our cheap ferry ticket - would recommend.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
blimey, that was a longer post than i expected to write!
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pielot, but always useful and interesting to hear how things have actually panned out. Your point about the difficulty of planning ahead is well taken - we've given up doing that, and we just see how we feel; thrash on till 10pm and stay in the first dump off the motorway, or stop at 5 pm and have a quality evening. Often depends on the weather. In summer, maybe have a high quality picnic around 7, then drive another couple of hours and a late stop. Permutations are endless. Sounds like your first trip "en famille" went well.
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RachelQ wrote:
Helen Beaumont wrote:
ended up in a Campanile, in the middle of an industrial estate, with the worst food I have eaten in France.

We've been there too Shocked Worse than disgusting - I swear they were serving road kill for dinner.


I've stayed a couple of times at the Raisin de Bourgogne (164 rte Dijon 21200 BEAUNE). It is just off the motorway junction. The advantage is it has a restaurant and bar. They even cooked us food when we arrived around 11pm having been caught in a snowstorm. Yes there is flock wallpaper but that's pretty normal in French hotels. The problem with Beaune is that it is on the American tourist trail so expensive for the chic town center hotels like le Cep.

Bourges - excellent cathederal with farting gargoyles, strikes me as a bit off the beaten track unless you are driving down from Cherbourg. Rheims should be a stop off, never been there but it was where French kings were crowned at one time. Pity nearly all French towns are surrounded by slums and industrial estates.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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davidof, our main problem was finding somewhere open just after New Year, and on a SUnday evening, most of the places we usually stay seem to shut.
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pielot, you must have the same lie falt car seat as us. It was invaluable for last season for us when Emerson between 9 weeks and 16 weeks on our various trips. At 8 months this summer we moved him into the forward facing and that was a result too - he was fed up with the lie flat and rear facing by then! Glad you had a successful trip!
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If you are heading for Morzine you won't want to stop in Geneva as it's only about 1.5hrs from your destination.
Have you thought about Dijon or Chalons - they are roughly half way.
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Beaune is a good overnight stopping point particularly as the Novotel just off the motorway (and easily found) has family rooms for 5. A short drive into the town centre gives a choice of restaurants and supermarkets. Toofy Grin
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Does anyone know of a place that will accept dogs? My Parents are driving down to Morzine, and would prefer to break the journey so they can walk the pooches..
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
norris, nearly all French hotels are happy to accept your dog. Where are your parents planning on breaking the journey? We take our dog with us and could make some suggestions.
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You know it makes sense.
Helen Beaumont,

I would have thought about half to Morzine, not really fixed on a location - any ideas would be much appreciated! Madeye-Smiley
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Chalons-en-Champagne, is probably a bit too far north for you, but there are two town centre hotels that accept dogs, and there's a nice park to walk them in along the canal nearby.

http://www.hotel-le-pot-d-etain-chalons-en-champagne.federal-hotel.com/ (they do normally have a website, but it seems to be down).

http://www.le-renard.com/

Rooms and breakfast are better in the top one, although both are in centre of town, next door to one another) The Renard has a restaurant, but there are several around, and all have been happy for the dog to come with us for dinner.

Further south you could look on www.logis-de-france.com and search for dog-friendly ones on there. The chain hotels take dogs too, but you are more likely to find somewhere nice to walk the dog away from the autoroute.
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Helen Beaumont,

Great Thanks. I shall pass on the details. I may well be in the car also, as can't turn down a free ride to the alps, even if I have 2 doggies slobbering on my shoulder!
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norris, Very Happy Very Happy
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We stopped at the Logis at Magnant (near Troyes) last year - http://www.le-val-moret.com/. Very convenient if you don't like leaving stuff in the car over night as it is built a bit like a motel so you can drive right up to your room. We had a nice meal in the restaurant, the bedroom was light & modern and the shower in our room was one of the best I've used (the really powerful sort that doesn't save any water over a bath as you don't want to get out!). It is literally just off the motorway so very convenient - probably not perfect for a long stay being so close to the motorway but good for a convenient stopover.
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We're driving to Austria in Feb - early morning tunnel, then going to head for Munich . Does anyone have any recommendations on places to stay maybe round Munich, or towards the Austrian border. Hopefully we can get a good way down, then just a short run up to Ellmau the next day.
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I seem to get asked this question a lot, so I've started putting many of these suggestions into my blog (with credit to snowheads!). So here is my version, in glorious colour thanks to the kind permission of many flickr users. I'm continuing to add to it so suggestions and comments are welcome. Smile

http://www.chamonixchalet.info/features/driving-to-chamonix-stops-en-route-to-the-alps/
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You haven't specified where you are going, this will be the harsh reply but without experience of a sprog, my advice is don't stop get the timing right on change overs and miss the traffic. On a trip to Meribel I stopped at Albertville. To get up and have the hours drive without the traffic was worth the hack the day before.
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Helen Beaumont, We have just returned from Serre Chevalier after having enjoyed a super week of ski-ing staying at the Hotel Le Plein Sud in Chantemerle. Helen we left Dover on 20th Dec and stopped, at your suggestion, at the Hotel Renard in Chalons-en-Champagne. The whole distance from Calais to Serre Chevalier was 630 miles so for us Chalon at 200 miles from Calais was a convenient distance taking us 3.5 hours on the autoroute.

Here is the web address of the hotel :-
http://www.le-renard.com/

This is a 3 star Logis de France which turned out to be a really nice typically French hotel situated in the centre of the town. The hotel bistro restaurant was excellent and very reasonably priced at 39.90 euros for 2 courses and glasses of wine and a beer. The real bonus of this hotel for skiers was for an extra cost of 7 euros one could park the car securely in the locked rear courtyard of the hotel. Therefore we had no need to unload the vehicle of ski kit etc. for safety.

Below is a breakdown of costs for our hotel stay in euros

2 x Menus 29.00
Drinks 10.90
Room 74.00
B'fast 21.40
Secure Parking 7.00
---------
Total 142.30


Thanks for the tip Helen Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


Many years ago, 40 in fact, we stopped at the Hotel Angleterre in Chalon when it was a lowly 2 star hotel. Now we have discovered that this is 4 star establisment with a restaurant boasting a Michelin Rosette. So for a real treat or special occasion one might stay here.
http://www.hotel-dangleterre.fr/en-default.htm

It is not that expensive actually for what one will get. Very Happy

So for me forget your Campaniles, Premiere Classes, and Formule Is, and give me a good middle of the road French hotel and make it part of the overall holiday experience. Cool
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I have stayed in places in several countries I have discovered through Alistair Sawday's "Special places to stay" and never had a dud. Try the B & Bs - they are very superior B & Bs, often something like (for example) a converted 14th - 18th century monastery run by a couple one of whom is an artist (they had joined together 3 of the monks' cells to make each suite in the part we were in - they had art exhibitions in the refectory and chapter house). See http://www.sawdays.co.uk/accommodation/france/ I really cannot recommend this series of books too highly (or you can just use the website). We now tend to plan our holidays principally using these.
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really suprised some people did not like troyes, we stayed there in april on the way back from valloire, the old town is piture postcard pretty, all wooden overhanging buildings, lots of nice restaurants and suprisingly for france good nightlife! Would highly reccomend a stay in the old town, lots of nice boutique hotels at about 120 euro's.
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I've booked this place http://www.hoteldelaposte.info/ in Langres, anyone any experience of it, looks nice enough for a stopover and it's not too far off route. As long as I can get a nice meal and a few 1664 Blanc's to follow it'll be OK.

Agree with avoiding the chains though I stopped in a "PREMIERE CLASSE" a few years ago, it was everything but. AVOID.
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