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Normandy Information

Old Oct 20th, 2015, 10:36 AM
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Normandy Information

I am planning a short 2-day trip to Normandy for my manager and his family in December. They are staying in Paris and would like to take a train to/from Normandy for a short visit. I visited Normandy in 2004 and stayed at a small inn in Bayeaux. I can't recall where I stayed.. it was so long ago. They have a large budget and would like to stay in a high-end place-- could be a small inn or larger hotel. I'm trying to determine which town is the best. They'd like to be in a central location that allows for touring the region. I will also be hiring a private guide to take them around for a tour on one of the days. I called American Express Platinum Travel and they said I really needed to narrow down the location before they could assist.

Can anyone suggest a town, hotel and/or private guide? I'm happy to book on my own (don't have to use Amex). Just a bit overwhelmed at the options.

Also, the trip is for late December. I know it will be FREEZING... but that's fine too!

Thanks in advance.

jennymary is offline  
Old Oct 20th, 2015, 11:29 AM
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I think nearby Caen is a bigger town and has some higher end hotel options. There is an interesting museum there, also, and with a private guide, that location would be fine. But their 4* hotels are all modern types, I believe (Mercure, etc). They should be comfortable, you know your boss' taste.

IN Bayeux, I think the highest end hotels are these:
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 11:39 AM
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oh, in Caen is the peace museum. Given it's larger, there would be more dining options, probably, and it is the first stop on the train. But personally I really like the above Villa Lara hotel (haven't stayed there, just looks very nice), and I think Bayeux is more central for the WWII sites.

THis is one of the 4* hotels in Caen, more modern. It looks nice, as I said, a matter of taste. If your boss recoils at the Best Western brand, might not like it, but that's just a franchise and all level of hotels are in it, locally run, in Europe. On the other hand, if he or she is the type to like typical high-end modern business hotels, and trusts American "brands", could like it better.
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 11:47 AM
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You can check out Hôtel Barrière Le Royal Deauville (, a 5-star luxury property about an hours drive from Bayeux and Ver-sur-Mer.

You can arrange a car and driver so that they can visit the beaches and surrounding area, or have the hotel take care of it for you.
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 11:54 AM
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Hotel Barrière is indeed a perfect choice.
pariswat is offline  
Old Oct 20th, 2015, 12:08 PM
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Thanks for the prompt replies. I'm going to look into the Hotel Barriere and Christina's suggestions for Bayeux. Since they are staying in Paris for most of their trip, they don't necessarily need to be in a busy area for Normandy (i.e. Caen). I just searched on Fodors for all hotels in the $$$ or $$$$ range in the Normandy Region. Here is what I came up with:

Chateau D'Audrieu (Bayeux)
Hotel Barriere (Deauville)
Ferme St. Simeon (Honfleur)
La Petite Folie (Honfleur)
Le Manoir des Impressionistes (Honfleur)
Auberge ST.-Pierre (Mont St. Michel)
La Mere Poulard (Mont St. Michel)

Do any of you know anything about them? I'm hoping once I book the hotel, the concierge (or Amex concierge) can recommend a guide. Otherwise, I'm sure I can find some recommendations online. Again, Thanks for the help so far!
jennymary is offline  
Old Oct 20th, 2015, 12:53 PM
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I think they have to first decide whether they want to stay IN a town or in a more remote location OUTSIDE of a town. If they don't want to have a car, the remote location would be very limiting overall but esp. for dinner. Depending on the dates, some (most?) of the chateaux-turned-hotels may not be open.

My first luxury idea is Chateau La Cheneviere, but it's closed in December. We had a lovely stay at the Chateau d'Audrieu several years ago, but it is also closed in December.

We've also stayed IN Bayeux at Chateau d'Argouges and would stay there again. But there are many options IN Bayeux that you can consider. Do a search on I think Bayeux is a great location for touring the D-Day sights of Normandy, and the town itself is interesting. The Bayeux Tapestry is worth a visit.

If the focus of the trip is D-Day, I wouldn't pick lodging in either Honfleur or Mont-Saint-Michel. Other than the Peace Museum, I don't like Caen and wouldn't think of staying there.
Jean is offline  
Old Oct 20th, 2015, 12:57 PM
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The Hotel Barriere in Deauville mentioned upthread is closed for renovations until spring 2016.
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 01:11 PM
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I loved the village of Bayeux. The cathedral is lit at night and it is beautiful. Great places to dine and I loved walking all over. Tours are plenty there. It is Normandy not Paris and the local hotels have ambiance.
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 01:14 PM
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You'll find some of the best seafood/shellfish in the area in Deauville and Trouville-sur-Mer.

Mont St. Michel would make for a longer day of touring the beaches, especially during the short days in December.

Honfleur is about the same driving distance from Bayeux as is Deauville and is one of the prettiest ports around.

Ferme St. Simeon is an excellent 5-star property. La Petite Folie is a very nice B&B, and a little less expensive then Ferme St. Simeon. There's nothing wrong with Le Manoir des Impressionistes. The price is similar to what you'll find at Ferme St. Simeon, which is located a little closer in, but not much.

The 4-star Chateau D'Audrieu is actually located in the countryside in Audrieu, south of Bayeux.
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 01:20 PM
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The Hotel Le Normandy is closed for renovation until the spring of 2016, but the Le Royal is open.
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 03:25 PM
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We stayed in the Villa Lara in Bayeux shortly after it opened a few years ago. It was excellent. Being in town it was walking distance to the Tapestry and Cathedral and of course to the many restaurants in town. We would stay there again.
waterdog is offline  
Old Oct 20th, 2015, 04:43 PM
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Since they will not have a car I think they need to stay in a town - even if they can find a chateau that is open in December. Bayeux, besides being the home of the famous tapestry, has a number of pleasant hotels and restaurants.
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 05:00 PM
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I'm glad I stayed on Mont St. Michel -- for the experience of seeing it before and after day-trippers. I would NOT have picked it as a base for visiting other parts of Normandy. JMO.

I loved both Honfleur and Bayeux. I think Honfleur would provide a greater contrast to Paris, if that matters. As others have noted, which place makes most sense for such a brief visit to Normandy would seem to depend on what they want to see / do while in that part of France and what mode of transportation they will use.
kja is offline  
Old Oct 20th, 2015, 11:41 PM
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Hi jennymary

I suggest you go for Honfleur or Cabourg as your base. Both are very pleasant any time of year if you don't mind the cold and some rain.

Hotel suggestion - The Grand on the sea front in Cabourg maybe?


Peter Horrocks
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 04:17 AM
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Stay in BAyeux. Get the good day tour of the DDay beaches. Let them spend the other day or part seeing the tapestry. Caen makes no sense without a car and isn't as charming as Bayeux.
MSM is too far.
Honfleur is charming all on its own but I'd suggest a car and staying at least an extra day if they wanted to do that.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Oct 21st, 2015, 04:35 AM
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Villa Lara in Bayeux would be good. I think the Churchhill is good also. It is the ambiance of a small village and great places to walk and eat.
flpab is offline  
Old Oct 21st, 2015, 04:43 AM
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I suggest Bayeux - we stayed at the Hotel de Argouges and found it charming and well located to see the church and the tapestry. We were in Bayeux for three nights and had wonderful food. Search this forum for "Bayeux restaurants". Once you have chosen a hotel, ask them to recommend and make arrangements for a D-Day guide.
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 06:13 AM
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Finding stuff for the boss, tricky.. exactly what happens if it goes wrong.....

Are they fuddy duddy, if so the Deuville Trouville things might do......

I'd go with Christina and aim for the city of Bayeux. (village... mutter mutter)
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Oct 21st, 2015, 10:52 AM
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Near Bayeux, closer to the coast in the Port-en-Bessin area
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