We have just returned from a trip to Normandy and a stay at the Villa Lara...where do I start to sing the praises?? Is it the location in the charming town of Bayeux that was virtually untouched by the war, literally 2 blocks from the famous Bayeux tapestry? Or perhaps its proximity to the Normandy Invasion beaches (approximately 20km away)? Or that it offers the comfort and amenities of a brand new hotel - large, quiet rooms, with incredibly comfortable beds and soft linens, a spacious bathroom, a delicious breakfast in an attractive setting (don't miss the lemon-strawberry jam!), and a secure and FREE parking lot?
No, the most important thing about the Villa Lara is Rima (the owner) and her staff and how they well they treat you and make you feel at home! We arrived at the Villa Lara at 5:00pm on a Saturday without my luggage, thanks to Air France. Air France had left a message at the Hotel, that they would be unable to deliver my bag until Wednesday (the day we would be returning to the States). The first thing Rima did was to point me in the direction of some stores to buy some necessities as they would be closing in less than an hour and would not be open on Sunday. And then, despite the fact that there is no laundry service on Sunday and Monday, Rima had the clothes that I had been wearing for 3 days washed and folded for me...exactly what you would do for a friend or family member.
Saturday was also my wife's birthday AND our wedding anniversary. Rima and her staff made reservations for us at a wonderful restaurant (L'angle St Laurent) where we were welcomed and feted on our special day.
If you are going to Normandy (and you should, if only to stand at the American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach and imagine June 6, 1944), you MUST stay at the Villa Lara...thank you, Rima!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Villa Lara is a small privately owned luxury boutique hotel with a chic but casual atmosphere in the historic center of Bayeux, along the Aure River in a very quiet square facing the 11th century majestic cathedral and just next door to the famous Bayeux Tapestry. Our 28 rooms are appointed in an elegant French style with 8 different color schemes. All the furniture is made by Moissonnier, a well-known French company founded in 1885. Its cabinetmaking skills have been passed down generations, bringing the past to life with light touches, suggesting without imposing, breathing new life into traditions to make the present feel magical again, and creating jewelry for the hotel while cultivating an offbeat style-such is the spirit of Moissonnier today. All the rooms are accessible by lift and equipped with air conditioning, a minibar, large flat-screen TV and safe. The marbled bathrooms have a walk-in shower and also a separate bathtub in most of the rooms. The rooms range from 30 to 50 square meters with a view on the Bayeux Cathedral. Beds are minimum 1.80 x 2 meters and in most of the rooms can be up to 2 x 2 meters. Wireless high speed internet access is free throughout the hotel, which features a cozy bar/lounge area with a fireplace and a library, a marbled lobby, and a breakfast room set in a traditional French style where the breakfast is prepared and served in front of the guest. Our complimentary fitness center is available 24/7 and equipment includes a treadmill, bicycle, and strength training machines. A private carpark is available with 15 spots and a drop-off space for buses. Although we meet the official government criteria of a 5-star property, we do not have a restaurant, a spa, and a formal bellman at the front door. We do not want to mislead our future guests who attribute these specific amenities to their image of a 5-star property, although we do of course provide porterage and turn down. And, as always, our commitment to 5-star service is at the forefront of our day-to-day operations. ... more less
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