To be clear, this is not the choice for those who want luxury or a hearts and flowers break. It is, however, really good for people who want to sight-see on a budget, or travellers who are on the way down to more southern parts.
This was our 3rd visit to Lille. We have also done four star central hotels, but Olivarius is cheap, cheerful and convenient, with very secure parking. It's a 15 minute stroll to the 4 Cantons Metro stop and, from there, a 1.40 euro journey into Lille Flandres station. What's not to like? The metro is clean, and very regular, with real Lille people on their daily journey to add to the experience. We stayed 3 nights and used the metro for Lille but the car for Ypres (so beautiful as well as movingly steeped in history) and for easy access from the Euro tunnel, which was free through clubcard rewards.
We have also done numerous stopover trips in similarly priced hotels on the way further south. We weren't travelling as a family this time, but commented that the superb and automatically included in the room price breakfast at Olivarius made it perfect for mums and dads who are looking to avoid added costs to their holiday from demanding little ones. Or couples like us who want to stoke up for a cheap day sightseeing. Freshly cooked crepes with nutella, omlettes., usual croisssants etc, babybel cheeses, branded Innocent smoothies, fresh fruit, etc.
The downside - it truly is located slap bang in an out of business park, and we only half joked that it looked like a Young Offenders Institution as we pulled up. There's no popping out to the local shop here, you have to be organised. But the hotel help with essentials such as water on sale at 1 euro a bottle, also frozen meals etc.
All rooms are apartments and well equipped with a 2 ring hob, microwave, fridge, sofa, dining table. It's cheap MFI style furniture. But comfortable and clean, so we ate in every evening to add to the great value of our break. The shower is hot and powerful, and I enjoyed a rare luxurious soak in the bath too.
It can be noisy - if you are off the corridor overlooking the central area (incorporating bar, sofas, you will notice the music, as we did. Again, this area is youth hostel style and board games were in evidence. It's ideal if you are a parent wanting to relax at the bar and know you child can watch the TV, meet others. We've been there, done that, and wanted a little more peace in the evenings. That said, noise died down at a reasonable hour. Over our 3 days, we enjoyed watching an eclectic mix of clients - young families, business people, a wedding party, an all female group of 15 or so motor-cyclists etc. It felt like a community and the staff add to that by their helpful courtesy. It's all very relaxed!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.