With The Palace of Versailles being one of the most popular chateaus in France, and I found out that despite it totally lives up the hype I didn’t really enjoy my visit, I reasoned that visiting other Chateaus in the country must be a good idea. Loire Valley is one of those places with elegant Chateau aplenty. Hence, I have to go there, and I was glad that the Tourism Board of Loire Valley stepped in to organize my trip. Making Tours the base of my visit to the chateaus of Loire Valley, I managed to check into Hotel Mirabeau.
The hotel is named after Mirabeau, one of the only few early shakers of the French Revolution that I knew, hence, I was excited to see what it had to offer.
The hotel looked nothing exceptional from the outside but it certainly gave an impression once I got indoors. The lobby features a beautiful chandelier and pretty maroon curtains framing the entire place from the outside. The lady behind the reception desk greeted us with the most charming smile. First impression, and Hotel Mirabeau got it right! From there, we were given some useful leaflets, maps and swiftly taken to our room. There was a lift to aid those with luggage but since we only came with a backpack each, we decided to take the stairs.
The staff were lovely, welcoming, attentive and were ready to go out their way to help. On the night of our departure, Jeanne asked the receptionist where can she buy stamps for the postcards, but instead, the receptionist offered to buy the stamps and help with the posting on the next day. Every time when we came back from our sightseeing, the staff greeted us warmly and asked about our day (and they actually talk to you, not asking just for the sake of asking). And they speak really good English, that's a plus!
Prior to my arrival, I was told that the hotel is a 2-star establishment. But judging from the condition of my room (which I called affordable luxury), it certainly outclasses its rating! Believe me, I’ve stayed in some 3 stars before that were not even close to half as good.
Our Quadruple room was spacious, simple yet complete with classy antique furnishing, rather grand for a 2 star. We had 2 double bed in the room and they were comfortable. The big windows open to the main boulevard but there wasn’t that much traffic at night I guess, it was quite.
The bathroom was at the foot end of the bed, equipped with a cabin shower and (most importantly) hairdryer. At the other side of the bed, there was a toilet without a sink but I absolutely appreciate the layout where toilets and bathrooms are separated. Unconventional but very convenient. And of course, strong, stable WiFi was available in the room and all throughout the hotel.
One of the downside of the hotel room was-- not having air conditioners. However, it did not bother us that much as we found natural ventilation (opening the windows) sufficient.
Around the Hotel
The hotel is centrally located, a less than 10 minute walk away from the city center, tourism office and the SNCF train station (Gare de Tours)… which is very important to us as we were there to tour the Chateaus via rail. Although it was a fair way to the old medieval center of the city, I enjoyed its proximity to other interesting parts of town such as the Cathedral Quarter and Rue Colbert, where all the restaurants are located. And then, from there you can have easy access to the old town.
We managed to catch 2 light shows at the Cathedral of Tours before departing back to Paris!
The Breakfast Experience
Breakfast is not included in the room rate. It cost €8 but in my humble opinion, it worth the penny. Guest can enjoy a hearty buffet style breakfast in the breakfast room or the adjoining garden terrace. The food was freshly prepared, we enjoyed our wide selection of cereals, fresh fruits, cheese and pastries.
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