My wife and I were staying outside of Paris in order to attend a trade show. On a whim, we decided to get a TGV ticket and head to Provence. Best decision of the entire trip by far!
Arles in February is not "happening", but there was plenty for us to do. We were there for only Friday and Saturday nights, and the Friday night was decidedly a good idea, as Sunday there is precious little to do besides soak up the light and architecture (which is enough for me - but the shops etc. on Saturday, as well as the larger selection of places to have a coffee, meal, or drink, were very welcome!) Sadly, most of the sites we would have seen were closed for winter renovation, so we will have to come back. And we certainly will!
As for Le Calendal: excellent location, right next to the Amphitheater, which is obviously recently-cleaned, a beautiful golden color. We walked around many of the historic sites easily from the hotel, and had quite a good meal a couple doors down at a typical Provencal restaurant (l'Escaladou). There are few other good places to have a bite or a drink within a few minutes' walk (we wanted to hit Le Criquet, but it was closed for the season), as well as the main pedestrian shopping street in this part of the city (where I picked up a wonderful bright orange hard suitcase to house the various souvenirs we managed to pick up in spite of the low season and limited time we were there).
I loved the lobby and cafe - spread out in an organic, evolutionary fashion, well maintained, cluttered slightly with stuff of interest to various parties (kids toys, games, books, souvenirs ...) - comfortable, atmospheric (but not kitschily so), a place I would have been happy to laze around for the majority of the day, especially since there is free and fast WiFi. The cafe serves both the hotel guests and non-guests readily, has quite tasty fare, Leffe Blonde on tap, and seemed at least during the time we were there to be very well frequented. Possibly because all the employees were So Friendly.
We didn't sample the spa (the entrance to which is outside in the very nice - and reasonably large - enclosed patio), but perhaps will when the weather is warmer.
Our room had a nice rooftop seating area (overlooking what was once a courtyard but now has a modern pyramid-glass rooftop), adjoining one other room. The room was big enough, exceedingly quiet, with comfy beds and a good shower.
Highly recommended for any type of travel - business, tourist, kids, etc. Nothing fancy, but everything I would ever want. We'll definitely be back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The HOTEL SPA LE Calendal in Arles ideally located between the Antic Theater and Amphitheater, in historical center. A charming hotel, comfortable and stylish. A "restaurant d'été" with provencal dishes is open in season from mid march till mid october at lunch . The Spa Aux Bains du Calendal offers roman baths and roman ambiance (adults only +18 years old). Hot Bath - massage shower and Hammam. Large variety of massages also available . ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Calendal Hotel
- Le Calendal Arles