We stayed in seven hotels and bed and breakfasts on our walk between St Bertrand de Comminges and Oloron this September,but this was definitely the best.
The hotel is a good two kilometres from the main road near Sevignacq Meyracq. Because of its distance from our planned route,we almost cancelled but I'm glad that we didn't because from the moment we saw the lovely old building with shady courtyard set in wooded hills,we knew it was going to be good.
Our room was big,with a double and a single bed and plenty of storage space.It wasn't bang up to date but it was modern in style,clean and airy with a view over the countryside.The bathroom had a good sized bath with loads of hot water.Breakfast was house made croissants,pain au chocolat and bread served in the farmhhouse style dining room.We paid 71 Euros.
We had dinner in the restaurant. We forewarned the hotel about my wife's vegetarianism and the care the chef showed in his production of an excellent soup,stylishly presented salad and an excellent plate of local cheeses was exemplary. My main course of local lamb with dauphinoise potatoes was terrific,an opinion confirmed by one of the many couples dining that night. My dessert was a fruity concoction,beautifully presented and full of clear,fresh flavour.There is an excellent range of wine by the glass,half bottle and bottle,much of it from the South West and of a sensible price.Service was caring and attentive.The house cocktail that I started the meal with was a wicked pleasure.
All this would have been more than acceptable even before we found that the hotel was doing a "Buy one,get one free." deal that night on dinner but at the price we paid,it was simply the best restaurant value that I've had in thirty years of visiting France.At the full price,the meal was worth the detour.Two menus are advertised at 15 and 29 Euros but the cheaper version seemed to be for lunch only,at least while the "BOGOF" was operating.
The chef has done some walking himself.He took interest in our route and described his own journey to Compostella when we came across him during the restaurant's downtime.Everyone we spoke to in the place was friendly and helpful and the number of people taking lunch and dinner there reflects the clear quality of what is offered.There were accents in the dining room from around the world,so somehow the place has become known.I hope those diners don't react with horror to my adding a little to its fame but I couldn't keep this place to myself because it deserves all the recognition it can get.I'm surprised that the place hasn't been reviewed here before.
The area has plenty to see and any number of walking possibilities and there are spa treatments of varying ferocity available a few minute's walk away.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hôtel les Bains de Secours is situated 20 km south of Pau, at the entrance of the Ossau Valley, one of the most beautiful Valleys in the Pyrenean mountain range for the variety of the naturals sites and where you will see the rich culture and strong traditions. ... more less
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