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Monica Jan 27th, 2002 04:45 AM

Avignon hotels/base for 7 nights?
Greetings fellow fodorites. I've been reading up on Provence (still have much reading to do) and am considering Avignon as a base for my trip (if I can find a partner) in May. I'll be taking the train from Paris to Avignon. I'm considering Avignon as a base because I figure there will be more choices in restaurants for dinner than in a small village. I want to see the "big name town" such as Arles, Orange, Nimes, Aix, etc. and figure the drive from Avignon would be the easiest, but then again, that's why I'm here asking my questions.<BR><BR>For a hotel, I'm looking for a 2-star, under $100/night with private bathroom. I only found a couple of suggestions on this site. I'd like to be in a central area in Avignon, or at least within walking distance. <BR><BR>If any one has suggestions for hotels in other location, I am open to hear about them. <BR><BR>Any restaurant recommendations are also appreciated.<BR><BR>Would 7 nights in Avignon be too much or should I break it up and pick a 2nd location to stay? My thinking of Avignon was the ease in pick up and drop off of the rental car. Again, I'm all ears!<BR><BR>Thanks in advance!<BR><BR>Monica<BR>(formerly [email protected])<BR>

Betty Jan 27th, 2002 05:24 AM

This site offers several 1 and 2 star hotels in the center of Avignon. If you go back to the home page you can choose other types of accommodaton or towns. Sorry I can't give any personal recommendations here (I prefer self-catering.) I think Avignon is a good choice as a base for seeing western Provence. In addition to the places you mention, you could also easily get to the Camargue and the Luberon hill towns (highly recommended). Good luck!<BR><BR><BR>

Fred Jan 27th, 2002 06:10 AM

IMO 7 nights is too much. You should divide your time between that part of Provence and the eastern part - the area north of Nice and Cannes with St Paul de Vence, Vence, Eze, etc. As for Avignon, I would prefer to stay in St Remy. The problem with Avignon is that it's a good size city and you could have plenty of traffic getting in and out. St Remy is a very charming, small town, very convenient to others and easy in, easy out. For Paris information e-mail me: [email protected]

adrienne Jan 27th, 2002 06:41 AM

Hi Monica,<BR><BR>I haven’t stayed over in Avignon but friends did at Hotel Mignon which is centrally located. They thought it was a good value for the money – not fancy but clean and adequate. They also were driving and the main complaint was the amount of time to get out of Avignon in the mornings with all the traffic conjestion. The only time I was in Avignon was on a Sunday and there wasn’t any comuter traffic then. I second Fred about St. Remy. It’s a more charming town with lots of shops and restaurants. It’s easy to navigate during the week and very central to the towns you want to visit. I also thought it was much prettier than Avignon. There have been several postings on this site about places to stay outside of St. Remy. Personnally, I prefer staying in a small town since there are many restaurant choices and you can walk around after dinner.<BR><BR>I disagree about splitting your time between Provence and the Riviera. Each deserve at least a week…I’ve spent a week in each several times. Of course, I don’t like to zoom in and out of a town. I like to savor each place, walk around, sit in a caf&eacute; and soak up the atmosphere and sightsee. My favorite towns in this area are St. Remy, Uzes, Lacoste, Roussillon, Aix, Ile-sur-la-Sorgue and more I can’t think of at the moment.<BR><BR>If you are looking for a unique place to stay I can highly recommend a place just outside of Apt. It’s in a tiny village (not even a bakery). It’s a small chambre d’hote run by a delightful couple – Camilla and Pierre. They offer scrupulously clean accommodations and breakfast and dinner. The dinners are cooked by Camilla and served family style at a tressle table with wild flowers and candles. One of the great things about this place is that you get to meet other people staying there over dinner and can compare notes. My girlfriend found this place one Friday night and booked in for one night. We ended up staying six nights since the place was so wonderful. They have a back garden you can sit in for a pre-dinner drink or if you’re in the area during the day you can picnic there. It’s up on a hill and after dinner we would go outside and look at the lights of the Luberon and listen to the frogs croaking. Just outside their front door is a natural spring and each morning people of the village would come to the spring and fill up their milk cans with fresh water. I can’t rave enough about this place. This type of accommodation is not for everyone but if you like a bucolic setting accessible to the sights then this is your place.<BR><BR>If you like, I can give you more info on the area in an email. <BR><BR>Adrienne<BR> <BR>

Nancy Jan 27th, 2002 07:20 AM

Monica,<BR><BR>In my research, the best site I found for hotels in Avignon is the one Betty mentioned. There are several mentioned there at prices well under $100. A couple of them never responded to my email request, but we did chose Hotel de Garlande at 56 Euros per night for a double bed and private bath. It used to be a private home. I don't believe they have air conditioning. I noticed that parking is listed as 50 FF for 24 hours. At any rate, the hotels under this site have good descriptions, pictures, access maps.<BR><BR>If you look into Arles, Hotel Le Calendal has gotten good recommendations on this board. We've booked there as well for a few nights. Friends who have stayed there recommend it also. Our price is 70 Euros per night (parking additional) private bath, double bed.<BR><BR>We are staying in Vaison La Romaine later in our trip for a smaller town feel at Hotel Le Beffroi. All of these towns are so close together, but we wanted a different feel for Provence.<BR><BR>I've just started the restaurant research and really did not find too much on this board. Will be interested to see what other recommend.<BR><BR>

Betty Jan 27th, 2002 07:28 AM

Come on, Adrienne, let the rest of us in on your amazing find! I stayed in rental homes just outside Apt in 2000 and I'm trying to guess where this might be.

Sue Jan 27th, 2002 07:37 AM

For a charming, inexpensive 2 star hotel near Avignon, I recommend Hotel d'Atelier in Villeneuve-les-Avignon, right across the Rhone from Avignon. It is a small village, but there are some good places to eat, inc. Le Prieure, which is a first rate hotel. <BR>D'Atlantan (3 star, I believe) in Arles is also a good choice.

Monica Jan 27th, 2002 07:39 AM

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I will definitely look into a place other than Avignon since it sounds like the traffic is bad getting in/out of the city. I do want the week in the area I mentioned. Not really interested in the Riveria, at least on this trip.<BR><BR><BR>Adrienne, yes, I would be interested in hearing more about that place! Please email me to the address above as well as my old email: [email protected] For some reason this new one is not working properly.<BR><BR><BR>

Monica Jan 27th, 2002 07:45 AM

Nancy, when do you plan to head to Provence?

adrienne Jan 27th, 2002 08:19 AM

Hi Monica and Betty,<BR><BR>The chambre d’hote is located in Saignon, 4 km from Apt. There is also a traditional hotel in the village but they were booked and we saw the chambre d’hote on the way out of the village. It’s very much like a B&B. I’ve looked up the information from my stay there in 1997. At that time a double room was 600ff and dinner was 125ff. The fax and tel number is (0)4 90048501. The address is 84-400 Saignon.<BR><BR>Adrienne<BR><BR>

Monica Jan 27th, 2002 09:28 AM

Thanks Adrienne!

mimi taylor Jan 27th, 2002 09:32 AM

Adrienne, we stayed there also. The hostess owner speaks russian as well as french. There is a little dog and a pet rabbit running out back where breakfast is served. The hotel by the fountain is the Presbytere. Very good food, I might add. Kamila's email is [email protected]<BR>And as Betty said, it is fun at dinner. There was a family from Lyon at the table and after eating the father and son played the piano and we had a long discussion with the other guests on french films

Nancy Jan 27th, 2002 11:31 AM

Monica,<BR><BR>We will arrive in Avignon May 10th and in the Provence area until the 17th, then to Cote D'Azur. We are going back to Provence for a couple more days before our final days in Paris.<BR><BR>And the Arlatan in Arles is also supposed to be another good choice if you stay in Arles.<BR><BR>We had a hard time deciding on which towns to base ourselves (which is why we ended up dividing things around) so I know how confusing it can be. <BR><BR>I've noticed several mentioning that driving in and out of Avignon can be difficult. A friend of mine said that it is like driving in and out of Siena, but not quite as bad. Anyone else have an opinion on that?<BR><BR>I don't know if you have taken a look at but that helped me on making some plans for villages to visit. Also, Most Beautiful Villages of Provence book has been a big help.<BR><BR>Nancy

Monica Jan 27th, 2002 11:56 AM

Hi Nancy,<BR><BR>If driving in/out of Avignon is similar to Siena, then it shouldn't be too bad. My biggest concern is getting from Paris to ______ to _____ to pick up my car rental, then do drop it off later. Avignon seems so convenient to do that. But will have to do more research. I've also started looking at the web site you mentioned. I'm planning to leave Paris, arrive Provence the 12th and stay until the morning of the 19th. Maybe we can hook up and have a fodorites get together!

mimi taylor Jan 27th, 2002 12:02 PM

another option for you is to drop the car off at the avignon airport and take the plane to Paris.We enjoyed that one year.

Betty Jan 27th, 2002 01:26 PM

Thanks for the info, Adrienne. We spent a little time in Saignon and enjoyed a dinner at the Auberge du Presbytere (you must have read my mind, Mimi!) If I recall correctly, one of the owners was half French, half American, but had spent most of his life in France. Made it more pleasant for those in our group that did not speak French. We also discovered some self-catering apartments called les Terrasses de Saignon, owned by two ladies who run the little store directly across the square from the Auberge. We didn't see the apartments themselves but the ladies showed us pictures that looked very nice. To return the favor, let me tell you about a restaurant we enjoyed (ate there 3 times!)in Caseneuve, which is the other side of the N100 to the east of Apt. Not much to look at from the outside, so much so that I hesitated to go in the first time, but turned out to have really good food at reasonable prices and the couple who run the place are delightful. It is called Lou Canove. I'm not sure there was even a sign but it's about the only restaurant in Caseneuve so just ask someone. Hope you both (Monica and Nancy) have a great trip. Wish I could go with you!

Christina Jan 29th, 2002 07:18 PM

I'm not sure this posting is working so this is a test before I write more...

Christina Jan 29th, 2002 07:30 PM

ok... I don't agree that 7 days is too long to spend in the Avignon area at all. There is tons of stuff to see from that point, it's a very central location, and I agree with you that rushing around with a few days in that area and a few days on the Riviera is not a good idea as there is so much to see in Provence. I just spent a week there last summer (not right in Avignon, in Pernes-les-Fontaine) and didn't begin to see everything I wanted.<BR> If you do stay in Avignon, I'd suggest the Hotel Angleterre as a very good choice. It is a 2-star, always recommended as one of the best budget choices in Avignon, AND it has free covered parking and is on the main street from the train station porte leading into central Avignon, so would be a pretty good point for driving. It would get trickier driving further into Avignon. Here is its URL:<BR>Hotel Mignon might be a good choice but would involve a little more driving, although it is near public parking and they have a deal, they say. It looks adorable on their web site but I'd be a little leery as it used to just be a one-star until fairly recently, I think. I think Angleterre would be a better bet.<BR> As for driving, I don't know vs Siena, Avignon is larger than Siena (about 100K pop). Avignon is a good spot for train trips (Arles, Nimes, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Orange, etc). I might want to stay outside a city that size with a car, also (well, I did, but I'd been to Avignon before), but I think the Angleterre could work. Avignon is a lively city with plenty to see and do, and lots of good restaurants so will be nice in the evening. Be sure to visit the Petit Palais museum which has a superb collection of Renaissance Italian art.

Monica Jan 31st, 2002 01:51 PM

Greetings. I'm back from a 3-day conference (boring!). I spent some of my time day dreaming about my upcoming trip. I've decided to spend 4-5* nights in Saint Remy (hotel recommendations anyone???) and 2-3* nights in Avignon (*depending on the market days and if we'll have a car). I also posted another message about having a third travel partner, my cousin. She'll give me a definite answer tomorrow.<BR><BR>I emailed and received a response from hotel Garlande and got a decent price for 2. I wrote again today to see if they have tripple rooms. <BR><BR>Fred, I'm going to stick with the Avignon/Nimes/Orange/Arles, etc area and visit the eastern area another time. If you have hotel suggestions for Saint Remy (for 3) I'd love to hear about them.<BR><BR>Anyway, thanks for everyone's suggestions and comments.

Nancy Jan 31st, 2002 04:07 PM

Hi Monica,<BR><BR>If our times and destinations work out, we would enjoy meeting up with you and your friends. I can email you our tentative plans, just let me know if that is okay. <BR><BR>3 months, 1 1/2 weeks......<BR><BR>(Betty, thank you for your kind wishes! I am working on polishing the limited French that I learned from the Boullion side of my family!)

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