Published by Lyn on 2 October 2017
We stayed at Hôtel Arène when we stopped in Orange recently to check out the amazing ancient theatre there. Here's what we liked about the hotel.
Hôtel Arène in Orange is a quality hotel with regular bedrooms as well as a few self-catering apartments with kitchenettes for sharers and families.
There are 'modern' and 'traditional' rooms, which the hotel says are preferred by different types of guests. I preferred the sleeker modern finish in the rooms I checked, but had no problems either with my more traditional room. It was clean and had everything I needed after a day on the bike.
Right in the town centre, the hotel is a good base for exploring the highlight of any visit to Orange: the ancient theatre in the centre of the city. Orange is also on the Via Rhona bike route, and is linked to other routes in Provence via the local cycling network. Local market day is a Wednesday (check), which is worth trying to catch if you can.
The staff were wonderful. We arrived quite late around 8.30pm and I needed to make an important call home to Australia at 9pm, missing any chance to duck out for some dinner. This was no problem for the hotel. A quick word with the manager moments after checking in and I was escorted to the restaurant and presented with a menu. Half an hour later, while I was still on the Skype call (super fast wifi, BTW), there was a knock at my door and a large tray with three courses was set out in my room. And it tasted just as good as I imagine it would have in the restaurant downstairs.
3. Bikey stuff
The hotel is accredited with the tourist board as accuiel Vélo. There's a large garage underneath for bikes (the garage is coded and access is via reception only) but bikes can also be taken to bedrooms.
My room was ideal. Comfy bed with super pillows, plus a walk-in Italian shower. The hotel has a spa area that's free for guests to use. There was also a pool when we visited, and the manager said this was going to be upgraded over the winter.
I know I tend to go on a lot about breakfasts in my reviews, but over the years I've come to realise how important they are to some of you out there. In particular there was the lady who emailed wanting the names of hotels on her bike route that could guarantee at least five eggs every day for breakfast. There are no such problems here. The buffet is well-stocked and you can make special requests as well. As with most French hotels, the breakfast is not included in the room price but costs €14 extra.
Hôtel Arène is a good option if you're looking to stay in the part of Provence and prefer a hotel that's a step up from your standard city centre hotel or B&B.