Published: May 28th 2012May 28th 2012
The brand new boutique Best Western Blois Chateau is centrally located in the Loire Valley and serves as an excellent base for exploring the area’s castles and chateaux. It is located just over 2 hours from Paris on the motorway, but can be tricky to find upon arrival in Blois. The address does not yet exist in most GPS units and will try to send you to the Blois Castle in the center of town. Just follow the street signs pointing uphill in the direction of the main train station and you will find the hotel across the street.
A tiny reception area greets you and a handicapped elevator lifts you to your room. It moves very slowly, but has more than enough room for 2 people and 2 suitcases which is a rarity in a small European hotel.
Our room was located on the 2nd
floor and overlooked the railway station. Luckily, few trains run through the station between 9 PM and 6 AM, so it was fairly quiet in the evening, even with our window open. The room supposedly had A/C, but it wasn’t turned on yet for the summer season.
The room was decorated in
red, white and black in keeping with the rest of the hotel’s color scheme. The queen size bed was very comfortable with high thread count linens, and had nice little reading lamps attached to the head board. There was a small laminate desk, open clothes wardrobe and safe and a nice size flat screen TV. There was enough room to place one suitcase on top of a folding luggage carrier which is another nice plus in a European hotel room.
The bathroom was well outfitted with a glass enclosed rain head shower and double sinks on a laminate base. While the décor looked lovely for a new hotel, the construction materials seemed cheap and somewhat shoddy, so I wonder how well the rooms will hold up after a couple years of regular use.
There was a general use lounge on the second floor with tables and chairs and drinks available for purchase from the front desk. A buffet breakfast was also served here daily for an additional 8 Euros per person. Complimentary wi-fi worked well throughout the hotel and the front desk had an ipad that could be borrowed in the lobby area for those who didn’t have
their own laptop, which I thought was a nice touch. There was free parking in a few street spaces in front of the hotel between 6:00 PM and 9:00 AM. Otherwise, pay parking was available across the street in the rail station parking lot for 7 Euros per 24-hours.
An Asian wok restaurant was attached to the hotel and offered 15% discounts to hotel guests. While we didn’t eat there, it did smell good and was packed both nights of our stay. A small bistro was located 1 block away with a nice bar area and full service restaurant with moderately priced continental and French cuisine. The train station across the street also had a nice coffee shop where we enjoyed delicious lattes and fresh baked croissants for breakfast for about 3 Euros per person.
It was a pleasant 10-minute walk downhill to the town center where a few restaurants and bars remained open past 7 PM, when it seems that most of the town rolls up its sidewalks. Pizzerias, brasseries and cafes were among the choices. Two of our favorites were Café Chineur and Les Tres Cles. Both restaurants offered three course local French food prix fixe menus for 25 to 30 Euro per person in addition to a la carte specials. Most of the action in this town occurs during the day when tourists visit the Blois Castle and enjoy lunch at one of the many sidewalk cafes. There are also several patisseries where you can get a delicious baguette and then stroll along the riverfront and enjoy an alfresco lunch picnic style. Walking here from the hotel is recommended, since parking in the town center is at a premium.
Overall, this was a pleasant stay and you couldn’t beat the location as long as you don’t mind the walk downhill and the steep climb back up after dinner. It is a very good value for a new hotel and puts you within 1 hour of several castles and chateaux in the Loire Valley.