Tonight and tomorrow my fellow French compatriots will celebrate Bastille Day. We don’t do Barbecues in France for our national day, instead we go dancing at the balls hosted by firemen barracks in the streets of Paris or on the village squares. We eat grilled merguez sandwiches, drink wine and then finish the night watching the fireworks.
If you are lucky to be in France today, I hope you’ll enjoy this. And if you still need a reason to explore France (beyond the many places I already listed), here is another region to discover : the Franche-Comte. This is where today’s personal travel plans take us.
Jean and his family are on a road trip to their summer destination (which I picked for them, more on this in a later post) and want to break the trip with a stop around Besançon. They’re looking for
- a hotel with restaurant so that they don’t have to get out
- a pool if possible
- a reasonable price for a family of four
- a 50 km perimeter around Besançon
As Jean said “this is not Italy, so it’s a harder challenge ” and it’s true that the likes of minimalist design are not easy to find there. There are plenty of charming places though so here is my selection for them.
Charming boutique hotels and B&Bs in Besançon
- 50 rooms
- from 69 euros for a single room, 139 euros for a vast prestige room
Right in the centre of Besançon, this three stars hotel has been recently renovated and can even offer massages in rooms.
- from 95 euros
Another very central hotel, with a garden though and some classically decorated bedrooms but without being stuffy.
- 2 bedrooms
- One loft, one flat
- From 85 euros for a double bedroom
- Diner from 35 Euros per person
This is actually both a B&B and a rental place. You can either rent the loft for 4 people or the apartment for 6 people. This could be useful if you intend to stay a bit longer in the city.
Welcoming B&Bs and hotels 50 km around Besançon
- 31 bedrooms
- From 135 Euros for a triple bedroom
Similarly to the Abbaye de Fontevraud, this hotel is actually within an historical monument, la Saline Royale, which was a salt manufactury. This could therefore be a cultural as well as a relaxing stop. The hotel has been redesigned by a famous architect and the restaurant is open until 19h in July and August.
- 4 bedrooms
- the room for 4 people is at 165 Euros
As we get away from the city, there is more chance of finding a pool. This welcoming chambres d’hôtes has one and a nice garden too.
A L’Ombre du Chateau Nans-sous-Sainte-Anne
- 5 bedrooms
- one cottage to rent
- prices not visible on the site
A lovely old house well restored with great gardens and several rooms. It’s in the Doubs so getting closer to the Jura region.
- 2 bedrooms
- From 90 Euros
La Maison d’A Côté is located in the heart of Pontarlier and 12 km from the Suiss border. Housed in a 19th-century building, the property offers free Wi-Fi and a terrace. I really like the look of the kitchen. Note that this is on the second floor of an old building so maybe not apropriate if you have lots of buggies/luggage etc.
3 additional ones near Beaune
During my search, I came across a couple nice places near Beaune. They are beyond the 50km radius that Jean gave me but thought that some of you might be interested in them so here they are.
- Five rooms
- From 120 Euros
This one has the perfect combination: minimalist decor, pool, restaurant on Monday night. It’s just before Chalon sur Saone.
- rooms for 4 people from 230 Euros
The building itself is not very pretty but the services are good: rooms are big and nicely decorated, there is a big garden, a pool and a restaurant on site.
- 48 rooms
- from 200 Euros
Of course, as soon as you get in the Small Luxury Hotels of the Word collection, prices are climbing up. If you want a bit of luxury though, that’s one to consider, especially if you like the look of classic chateaux.