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“It is what it is.......”

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Hotel balladins La Rochelle / Aytre
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Aytre
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
235 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“It is what it is.......”
Reviewed September 8, 2013

.........and I admit my heart sank a little as we checked in. We'd travelled by car to La Rochelle for a couple of days look-around of the area and just wanted a basic, reasonable-cost hotel for two nights. Hotels in La Rochelle itself tend to the pricey as it's a popular tourist destination and a natural stop-off point for places like the Isle de Re.

Basic and reasonable cost was what we got. There's a large car park at the rear of the hotel. Access to rooms is by corridors which are open to the outside (i.e. no doors - I imagine in winter the wind whips through the place a treat) but the room doors are solid and, as advertised, pretty much soundproofed. We had no worries about security.

The rooms are small and very basic indeed - not even a kettle. Space for using a pc at a desk is limited. The TV, a good quality Samsung flatscreen, shows only French free-to-air channels. Then again, we are in France! The bed has a foam mattress and is fairly firm and comfortable. Sound from the dual carriageway a 100m away can be done away with simply by shutting the window - again, excellent soundproofing. There's no aircon, but we had no problem during our September visit. Our room was spotlessly clean and the maid service did a great job the next morning.

The small ensuite bathroom is excellent. A really good shower and again, spotlessly clean. If you were wanting to impress your wife / girlfriend / partner / whatever with a romantic weekend away you wouldn't (or shouldn't!) choose this hotel; if you're just wanting a functional place to break a journey, it's good. Breakfast is good value at €7.50 for a help yourself bread-roll and croissant buffet - good value compared with the rip-off prices in cafes along the harbourside in La Rochelle, anyway!

I didn't use the (smallish) swimming pool but it looked clean - and cold.

Some stuff worth knowing:

I happen to think that tagging the hotel surroundings as an industrial estate gives an incorrectly critical impression. There's a mix of retail outlets, franchise car dealers, offices, yes, a builders' merchant, and other hotels. Nothing scary here.

Rooms at the hotel are on three floors with no lifts. If you have a problem with stairs, try for a ground floor room.

Rooms which are odd-numbered are at the front of the hotel away from the dual carriageway and so may be quieter (but the soundproofing really is as billed).

Conversely, even-numbered rooms are at the back overlooking the car park. If you're travelling by motorbike and feel more comfortable being able to keep an eye on it, go for an even room number. In fact, if you're a biker and can get any one of room 12, 10, 8, 6 or 4 on the ground floor you can park your bike right under the window. We really didn't feel that there was any particular security issue, though.

WiFi implementation is good and the service runs a good data speed. Logon doesn't require your email adddress although it's asked for. With Windows and Android the server recognises the device after first logon, and asks if you want to reconnect. With iPad (of course, Apple being a law unto itself as usual) you need to create a new logon each time.

There are several restaurants nearby and just down the road (a few minutes walk) a really good Chinese restaurant which does an all-you-can-eat buffet each evening. Have a two-minute drive round on arrival to find the other restaurants and determine the walking distance.

A bit worryingly, by the time we checked out of this place I was starting to feel quite fond of it........ :-)

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank lawdylawdy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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106 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
237 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2013

having made the mistake of reading reviews after making my booking, I agree that this hotel is basic, with small rooms, outside the town on an industrial estate next to a motorway. However, our room was spotlessly clean, freshly decorated and with a nice shower room. The pool was well maintained. The free wifi worked very well. Bed a good size. So if you have a car and want a cheap base with a summer swimming pool, it is OK. Very good Chinese buffet restaurant Asia within walking distance.

Room Tip: Request a pool side room as they face away from the motorway.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank peediewife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2012

We had to drive to the tourist office in La Rochelle in order get directions to this hotel as I'd forgotten to pack the GPS Navigator. It's located about 10 minutes from La Rochelle in Aytre driving in the direction of Poitiers. In an industrial estate, though quite a spacious one, it wasn't too difficult to find after being given directions from the tourist office, though it would have been otherwise.

Ample car park and the receptionist staff were very welcoming and helpful. The rooms are in concrete blocks with open walkways, a bit like social housing flats (HLMs) and were small though functional. The bathroom was like a plastic pod and had restricted room for movement, though OK for one night.

Breakfast room (by reception) was good and there were tables outside. The buffet was adequate and the staffing team and management were superb with excellent hospitality skills. We bought our tickets from them for the Aquarium at La Rochelle which is where we headed after breakfast and checking out.

Overall this hotel was great value and it was what we wanted for our 36 hours in La Rochelle. I was a lot cheaper than staying in town, which in our opinion was over-rated and over-priced.

Room Tip: As there are no lifts, try and get a room on the ground or first floor.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Candoguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
STOKE MANDEVILLE
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2012

Not used to motel type hotels so having a bedroom door opening to the outside world was disconcerting but the friendliness of the staff was reassuring. The room was spacious, (we were upgraded to a family room), clean and comfortable. Breakfast was plentifull and varied, (not English of course).
excellent value for money.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gary-and-Viv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penzance, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2011

Our Sat Nav was on strike and we found this place horrendously difficult to find. We actually were near it once but turned around as we did not expect it to be situated at the far end of an industrial estate hugging the motorway. That said, the staff were very polite and helpful, the bed was comfortable and the room was clean. The bathroom was actually a very small wet room with the wash basin outside in the bedroom, but it was ok if you put the bathmat outside of the wet room door - it was actually quite a clever use of space and the shower worked well. The room was clean and the breakfast was good too. We only stayed one night, which was fine. The hotel was obviously set up for business travellers rather than tourists. The swimming pool looked nice but we didn't have time to try it out as we spent so long trying to find it. We stayed in nicer places on this trip for around the same cost.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sue S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2011

Good, clean and basic accommodation close to La Rochelle and beaches. Good value for money, as when looking for accommodation in La Rochelle itself, it seemed quite pricey. There is a swimming pool here which we didn't use, but would be good for keeping kids entertained. Staff were friendly and the breakfast was basic and buffet style, although perhaps slightly overpriced for what it was. The croissants and baguettes were not the freshest. On-site parking facilities were great.

This hotel did us just fine for our 3 days in La Rochelle, however it is only good if you have a car. We had to drive everywhere, even to dinner every night as there are no restaurants close by to walk to. Be aware this hotel is in an industrial area - you would not stay here for the location! The bathroom was very annoying as there was no curtain or door on the shower, so EVERYTHING got wet when you had a shower - the toilet, the floor and the vanity. It was honestly the most ridiculous design we had ever seen!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jessica K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel balladins La Rochelle / Aytre

Property: Hotel balladins La Rochelle / Aytre
Address: 25 rue Blaise Pascal | ZA Belle Aire Nord, 17440 Aytre, France
Location: France > Nouvelle-Aquitaine > Charente-Maritime > Aytre
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Aytre
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel balladins La Rochelle / Aytre 3*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Renovated in 2016/2017, the balladins La Rochelle / Aytré hotel offers modern and comfortable rooms, all equipped with flat screen television with satellite channels and can accommodate up to 4 people depending on the type of room. Ideal for a moment of relaxation, also enjoy the swimming pool and its terrace. For added convenience, a 24-hour key machine is available free of charge. A varied sweet and savory all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet is served everyday in our restaurant. For the most connected, free and unlimited Wi-Fi access throughout the property is available, as well as digital tablets on request at reception! Free parking is also at your disposal and you will be able to park without worries during your stay with us. ... more   less 
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