Where to stay for Mont Saint-Michel

Reply

Dec 4th, 2017, 06:18 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 177
Where to stay for Mont Saint-Michel

My wife and I will be visiting Mont Saint-Michel in mid March.
I have read many Fodors Posts and cant decide if we should stay in Mont Saint-Michel or just outside.
Many say stay inside to walk it after most people leave. Then others say stay just outside and see it at night. Most of the inside hotels seem to have alot of steps which we can do, but dont enjoy.
I have looked at Hôtel Gabriel outside and it seems reasonable. We arrive by car.

I appreciate any advice I could get on this stay.
Bindery is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 06:20 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,013
If you are visiting for an overnight, there's no doubt that you should stay in Mont St-Michel itself. It's not even close for me. Once all the tourists clear out, it's a totally different experience. Though I'm curious about what others think.
doug_stallings is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 06:57 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 71,295
I stayed in area of several hotels opposite Mont on mainland and reveled in visage of illuminated Mont at night from there and went to the island after tourists have left too. Staying on Mont is great but for folks like me on low budget not possible. Motorists especially will find hotels opposite the Mont easier to use.
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 01:50 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 71,295
A side note for motorists - if coming from Normandy like Bayeux area be sure to drive thru Avranches and go to the Botanical Garden in there as there is a marvelous view of the Mont hovering in the distance and go down to the shore there too for other mesmerizing views - I put myself in well-worn shoes of medieval pilgrims who must have been so so euphoric seeing their goal getting closer and closer and closer and...

and drive on side roads along the coast to the Mont - views of it glimmering across the usually sandy bay the whole way.

http://us.france.fr/en/information/s...t-saint-michel
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 02:03 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,361
I visited in mid-March, too, and stayed on Mont St-Michel. It's so unique I don't understand the arguments to do otherwise. If it costs a bit more, for just a night, most budgets have some wiggle room for something extraordinary. I think of it as akin to a choice between staying in a castle or in a place with a view of the castle. I chose the romance of the place and recommend it highly. You can stay not-on-Mont-St-Michel any other day.
MmePerdu is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 02:06 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,114
A number of years ago, I stayed in Mont St- Michel and walking up to the abbey in the evening has been one of my most memorable European experiences. I agree completely with Doug, the place takes on a totally different ambience once the tourists are gone. My walk was in the dark with some moonlight. It almost felt as if I had stepped back in time.
historytraveler is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 02:16 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 71,295
But motorists like OP would have to carry luggage from car up stairs, etc. And could leave nothing of value in car - I stayed opposite the Mont and walked over to it at night and spent a few hours roaming around -yes neat but you need not stay on the island itself to experience that. The walk at night over the causeway was ethereal. (Not sure how late the shuttles from car parks go.)

And if staying on island, which is neat of course, be sure to walk over the causeway or take the shuttle to the car parks for the neat view of the island illuminated from afar.

So even though hotel guests can park inside the walls the trek to your hotel for folks with mobility problems especially could be harder than parking right near to your room as the hotels opposite the island offer.

Useful info for motorists:

http://www.bienvenueaumontsaintmiche...rriving-by-car
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 02:32 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 583
We stayed on the island for one night and it was fantastic. We arrived by car but packed an overnight bag before arriving so that we didn't have to bring all our lugguge into the hotel. Touring the monestary after dark was one of the best memories of the trip, as we had it almost completely to ourselves, and it was eerie and beautiful lit up at night.
russ_in_LA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 02:41 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,530
russ_in_la -- you left yout luggage in the car? Is it an attended parking lot?

Any specific recommendations for places to stay?
yestravel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 03:39 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 71,295
It would be so much nicer yes just to pack a light bag for the night. I assume hotel parking is attended? Russ? And one would assume well patrolled?
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 04:50 PM
  #11
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,562
I’m very glad I spent the night on Mont St. Michel! I found it truly charming after day trippers had left, and I was glad to visit the Abbey before the onslaught of tour groups the next morning.

I visited the Mont before it was restored to island status, and had a parking space through my hotel in a protected lot on the Mont side. But IIRC, I took my suitcase with me – I remember a long-ish gently uphill walk to lodging that was closer to the bottom than the top -- the Hotel Le Mouton Blanc, which I can’t personally recommend, but check it out to see if it meets your needs. I just took my time, and the only problem was with the departing hordes, not the walk itself.
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 05:00 PM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 177
I do appreciate the replies. From the replies I wonder if staying by the shuttle and using it to visit during the day and at night (website states it runs until midnight) would be reasonable. The cost isnt the real issue, but every hotel I check on the island states there are alot of stairs. We are older with bad knees and we can do stairs, but like to avoid them when we can.
Bindery is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 05:00 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 583
I don't remember if the parking lot was attended, but we had a car with a locking truck (not a hatchback) and didn't have anything valuable in there anyway. I suppose if my dirty clothes had been taken it would have saved me from doing laundry when I got home. ;-)
russ_in_LA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 05:38 PM
  #14
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,562
When I was there, one needed to climb stairs to see the abbey itself. Has that changed?

Staying on the Mont might give you a way to split the climb into two part -- to your hotel, then to the Abbey -- rather than trying to do it all at once. (And, of course, to your hotel and then to your car for the reverse.)
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 05:43 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,692
We stayed on the Mont and I agree the atmosphere was wonderful after the crowds departed. However, the hotels are poor and overpriced, and the restaurants are about as bad as they can be and still be in France. Your call.
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 07:51 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 583
I agree regarding the food. Probably our least enjoyable meal of that trip.
russ_in_LA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 09:00 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,361
I doubt it's the food that's the draw.
MmePerdu is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 4th, 2017, 09:40 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,697
I prefer the hotel zone on the mainland. The free shuttle runs to the Mont very regularly until late so you would not at all be depriving yourself of the atmosphere at night, which I would not describe as "fantastic" but "creepy."

I stayed at the Mercure last time, and it has a shuttle stop right in front.
kerouac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 5th, 2017, 07:12 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,114
It was years ago when I stayed at La Mère Poulard. While my room was fine it was rather basic. I dined in their restaurant and had their famous omelette and a cheese platter for dessert. Everything was excellent but, perhaps, things have changed in the ensuing years. One reason I don't recommend hotels and restaurants I haven't been recently.

I suggest you do some research regarding hotels and restaurants as well as how manage a trip up to the abbey for those with mobility issues. All such information is readily available online. Google a bit.
historytraveler is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 5th, 2017, 07:29 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 28
We decided to not stay on the Mont or across from it. We were staying three nights in Bayeux, so did the Mont as a day trip. We headed out late morning, enjoying the drive and gasping at our first view of the Mont. This was the year before the re-construction, so we parked and walked over. I took Rick Steves' advice and went outside the gate and around to the left. It was a pleasant (but steep) stroll up the outside. There was almost no one there. We entered near the abbey. My husband walked back along the inside while I toured the church. There were several school groups at the entrance, but it didn't take long to get away from them. I walked down along the rampart and met my husband. The crowds near the bottom were ridiculous. We had planned to eat, but instead drove back to Bayeux in plenty of time for dinner and drinks. Along the way we stopped to see the German cemetery for another perspective on things. Lots of ways to visit, I guess. Do what seems best for you.
buferson is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:31 PM.