You will have many good memories of Tours after staying here, but your best memory will undoubtedly be your acquaintance with Olivier, the young man who greeted us at the reception desk when we arrived and who looked after us during our three-night stay. He is charming, witty, and outgoing, and he made us feel welcome whenever we saw him. Olivier also served breakfast to us each morning, arriving at the table to take drink orders and offering a tray of various cheeses, butters, jams, and yogurts, from which you selected whatever you wished. Each guest also received a wicker basket with a large fresh tartine as well as a flaky croissant. Olivier always checked back to see if we needed more coffee or anything else. It was a filling breakfast in a cheerful breakfast room where some of Olivier’s musical instruments, including a piano, are on display. (He is a jazz musician in addition to being an outstanding hotel proprietor.) He has an excellent command of English as well, and we enjoyed conversing with him about his music, his dogs (two King Charles spaniels), and his recommendations for places to eat.
We had reserved a room facing the inner courtyard, and it provided fresh air and a quiet atmosphere at night. The second-floor room (#11) was spacious and had a comfortable bed, a desk, an upholstered chair, and a modern bathroom with a convenient walk-in shower (no curtain or glass doors to fuss with). The room and its furnishings were very clean and well-maintained, and our room was serviced every day.
The hotel’s location is ideal: a walk of less than ten minutes from the train station, a short walk to the Place Plumereau, and just a few blocks away from the cathedral and the Musée des Beaux-Arts. The Rue Colbert seemed busy both day and night, and we always felt safe as we walked around. The street is lined with many good restaurants, one of which (Le Petit Patrimoine) is virtually next door to the hotel and served beautiful, affordable meals in a very friendly atmosphere. The reception desk at the Hotel Colbert is not open at all hours, but Olivier provided a security code for the front-door keypad which enabled us to come and go as we wished at night.
We used Tours mainly as our base from which to make day trips to the Château de Langeais and to the Château de Chenonceau, both of which were easily accessible by train, but we discovered many interesting things to see and do in the town. If you happen to be in Tours on a weekend, don’t miss the Saturday open-air market which spills out onto the streets on the Place des Halles and the Place Gaston Paillhou. Right beside the open market, which appeared to be the domain of local farmers, is a large enclosed pavilion called Les Halles de Tours, containing dozens of permanent vendors selling the most marvelous meats, cheeses, breads, and vegetables. This huge market is open every day and well worth a look. You can also purchase a variety of items to put together a very satisfying, inexpensive, gourmet-quality lunch that you can enjoy on a bench outside.
If you’re visiting Tours, the Hotel Colbert should be your first choice for lodging. We thank Olivier for being so attentive and kind to us during our stay.
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- Also Known As:
- Colbert Hotel Tours