Published by Andrew on 26 April 2018
Britta Sorensen reviews the Inter-Hotel Confluence in Damazan which she visited on a recent cycle break.
- Guidebook for cycling the Canal de Garonne - Bordeaux to Toulouse
- Guidebook for the cycling the Canal du Midi - Toulouse to Sete
Avenue de la Confluence, 47160, Damazan
Depending on your perspective, this hotel is either perfectly situated opposite the toll barriers off the main ‘autoroute’ between Toulouse and Bordeaux, or on the edge of a not-so-quaint business park, 10 minutes' cycle ride away from the canal path on the outskirts of the village. If you're arriving by car and using it as a safe and convenient base for journeying along the canal, then it's perfect.
5 things I liked
1. Cycle-friendly. After a long 102km bike ride along the Canals des Deux Mers, I was looking forward to the overnight stop at this new ultra-modern hotel. It's located just off the motorway and about 10 minutes cycle from the canal. As I checked in, I was already thinking about a hot shower to soothe the aching muscles and restaurant meal to replenish my energy levels. The friendly reception service was very efficient and the secure lock-up bike shed was available as soon as check-in was complete. The secure shed can only be entered when accompanied by staff using a key code and inside bike racks were available to hold up bikes and fix bike locks for extra security if desired.
2. Breakfast. The plentiful buffet breakfast was ideal for filling up prior to a long day’s cycle ride, especially if you like your own freshly squeezed orange juice and self-cooked pancakes. There was generally a great selection including cereals, pastries, yoghurt, meats, cheeses, bread and boiled eggs. The quality of the coffee from the coffee machine was decent, or if you prefer tea to wake you up, then there was a wide selection. The breakfast room doubles up as the restaurant for the evenings. The décor is light, airy, and modern.
3. The room. Although the bed could have been king-sized, the room was perfect for a night’s stay, with a coffee maker and bottle of water provided on the side for guests, plus some sweets on the bed. There was a phone and TV as you might expect. There was hanging space, although one space was directly above the kettle, which seemed an odd layout. However, apart from that it was very quiet and the walk-in shower was most appreciated. There is air-con although I can’t vouch for its efficiency since it wasn’t hot outside during my visit.
4. Food options for cycling. Next to the hotel, there was boulangerie and a fruit 'n' veg shop – perfect if you wanted to buy any snacks for stopping at the relais points along your cycle journey. There was also a Casino supermarket in the village itself.
5. Toilets available. If you needed a toilet in Damazan, there are some conveniently located in the village centre. Handy even if you're not staying at this hotel.
I arrived on a Saturday night after a long day of cycling and was not impressed when I found out that the restaurant was closed. The hotel is probably more of a business hotel and for transient business overnighters in the week, so it wasn’t very busy on the weekend, hence it closed the restaurant – this could change during the summer season though. It’s worth checking when you make the booking if it will be open as the eating options are limited if you don’t have a car. The options for eating ‘out’ are limited to a small village restaurant called the ‘Les Arcades’ with a good menu choice; I recommend that you book a table in advance, as when I went there it was full and the other possible restaurant recommended by the hotel and the Casino supermarket were also closed.
Luckily, on this occasion, I had parked the car at the hotel, using it as a base to explore both ends of the canal. This meant that I had the flexibility of driving to Buzet for a meal, which incidentally does have an amazing restaurant – I enjoyed all six courses!
The hotel restaurant does look like it would serve good food though and a sample menu is shown below.
Avenue de la Confluence, 47160, Damazan
About our reviewer
Originally from Lincolnshire in the UK, Britta Sorensen has lived in the Tarn-et-Garonne in south-west France since 2014. The UCI Grand Fondo Championships were held in Albi in 2017 – practically on her doorstep. She competed in the qualifier race and was there on the World Champs race day to help out on one of the ‘ravito’ stations near her house. When she’s not out on her road or mountain bike, you’ll find her arranging endurance training camps in Tarn-et-Garonne.