Published by Andrew on 25 November 2016
Richard Peace stayed at the Hotel Aguado in Dieppe while cycling the Avenue Verte London to Paris cycle route. It's also on the EuroVelo 4 Central European route.
The first thing that strikes you about the Aguado is the great location on Dieppe's seafront, with expanses of lawn laid out in front of the hotel and rolling chalk cliffs away to the west. Dieppe is a wonderful port town and the start of the French leg of the Avenue Verte London to Paris route (you land at the ferry port here from Newhaven). It's also on the EuroVelo 4 Central European bike route that stretches all the way from northern France to Ukraine. The Hotel Aguado is around 10 minutes' cycle from the ferry port.
5 things we liked
1. The atmosphere. The welcome screen on my room TV tells me that this emblematic hotel of Dieppe is from the pen of George's Feray (awarded the prestigious scholarship award, the Grand Prix de Rome). And it is clear from the moment you walk into the lobby that the hotel still retains the ambience and some of the period features if if not original decor from the 50s. No doubt being in the same family for three generations has helped achieve this.
Whilst not original 50s, my lovely large room was very sympathetically decorated with black funky furniture that certainly had that 50s feel about it. If go you away on a break, it's nice to feel transported back in time as well as being transported through another country, right? If I came back at a busier time, the lovely looking period cocktail bar with piano might have been in full swing too.
2. The secure bike storage is just that: the spacious utility room would take several more bikes, though mine was the only one there (perhaps not surprisingly given that it was November in northern France).
3. Quick and easy access to wifi in the room.
4. Room with a view; even though it was late autumn and the weather wasn't great, the views of the pale blue sea and the cliffs of the 'alabaster coast' to the north still got a 'wow' out loud when I first saw them. So do ask for a sea view, and the higher up the better (my fifth floor view was panoramic).
5. The breakfast. Fuelling up at the start of the day is important and the Aguado was undoubtedly the best chance to fuel up I had all day (indeed on any day during this trip along the Avenue Verte). There was a massive choice of different kinds of cereral, bread, brioche, pains au chocolat and croissants, yoghurt, fruit juices ... I could go on. All served in a spacious breakfast room with a view of the sea. Just a pity I couldn't spend all day there.
The other interesting thing about this hotel is its location. If you're cycling the Avenue Verte, the route passes through the pretty harbour area, avoiding the seafront. So if your accommodation is on the seafront like the Aguado, you can see a side of Dieppe you might not otherwise. An archway under the hotel means the harbour area is only a two-minute walk away too.
There is a string of restaurants along the seafront, many clearly seeking to provide a touch of elegance for visitors (I particularly liked the sound of the Passion Normande cocktail on offer at one establishment), and at the far western end of the front, you can climb up to the town museum in the Chateau de Dieppe which will give great views.
30 Boulevard De Verdun, 76200 Dieppe (Seine-Maritime, Normandy)
ABOUT OUR REVIEWER
Richard Peace is co-author of the the official guidebook to the Avenue Verte. He is author of Cycling Southern France (UK, US) and Cycling Northern France (UK, US), which includes parts of the Avenue Verte and other bike routes that link into it. See Richard's article here for more on the Avenue Verte.
Plot your accommodation on the Avenue Verte and the EV4 Central European route