I strongly recommend staying at Hotel De L'Amphitheatre when exploring Arles, especially on foot (which is really the way to do it).
We drove to Arles and our GPS had us at the Roman amphitheater insisting we turn left onto Rue Diderot which was one-way in the wrong direction. It then offered another route when we turned around but we decided not to try for the hotel by car any more. We were fortunate to find parking right there in the small parking lot between the Roman amphitheater and the open-air theater ruins. We were able to park there overnight. Just be sure to put a new parking stub after 6PM or so and you can stay there until 09:59 then a 2 hour limit applies, I believe. We just rolled our luggage along Rue Diderot to the hotel passing the small open square mentioned by another reviewer that had a few parking spots (all occupied when we were there) and found the hotel down the street from the plaza. We were glad to be rolling only carry-on sized luggage.
The hotel occupies 2 buildings and you will see the signs on opposite buildings on Rue Diderot. Coming from the amphitheater the reception is in the building on the left. After you enter, immediately to your right, you will see the office. Check in was efficient and friendly. Across from the office is a lounge (or salon) and a passageway beyond that leads to other parts of the hotel The breakfast area is straight ahead down a stone-walled hall with large stone tiles underfoot and heavy wood beam ceiling above. We stayed at a suite but not the Belvidere suite. There is no elevator and so we carried our luggage up the stairs; the staff did offer assistance but we didn't need help. The stone and marble staircase was surprisingly wide and not too steep; we've experienced hauling luggage up flights of stairs far more challenging than these.
The suite was exactly as portrayed in the virtual tour on the hotel's website. You enter a living room with writing desk tucked away in the far wall. Interestingly although there is a large armoire for hanging our coats in it stands across the living room next to this desk, in stead of being right next to the main door. There is a couch and coffee table looking out onto the large picture windows opening onto the large balcony. The balcony has patio furniture and tables to relax at. The view is that of neighboring buildings but it does not seen that there are any windows looking onto the suite. We stayed out there for a little while but being March it was still too cold to remain there too long in the evenings. I can image how pleasant it must be to have some wine out there in the summer. Not facing the street would made for a quiet stay, though Rue Diderot was not a bustling street.
Turn right after you enter the suite and you then pass through a short hall into the bedroom. The bedroom window looks back at the balcony. We had a queen-sized bed that was comfy, A flat-screen TV was mounted on the wall across from the bed. There were end-tables and lamps on both sides of the bed. There is a sizable bathroom with separate bath tub and shower stall. Note, however, that the shower hose/head come from the bathtub and not from the shower stall. Fortunately you don't have to reach over very far. It was a little surprising, at first, but the system worked just fine. There were bathrobes available. Water pressure was good.
The wifi, however, was unreliable
Breakfast was a continental affair served efficiently to you at your table. There is no buffet, but there was enough to eat and drink - a pot of freshly-brewed coffee, milk, fresh fruit juice, small baguette, Viennoiseries (pastries), butter, jams, small madeleines, yoghurt - to keep you fueled for an entire morning. If you have the time you should walk around town and find a place for breakfast (consider browsing your way through the open-air market - more on that below), but at €8.50 and the convenience of eating at the hotel we had no second thoughts having breakfast at the hotel.
We were happy with a restaurant recommendation given us one night for dinner: "Le 16" The restaurant was a short walk away, at least once we found our bearings. The Roman amphitheater and antique theater are just down the block. The Plaza de la Republique with city hall and the church of St. Trophime is nearby. The large public parking structure is down the hill by the Blvd des Lices and is a good option for guests especially those with larger cars (I found the Ford Focus a little too large for the narrow streets in the center of Arles)
Let me throw this in: go the the market. On Wednesdays and Saturdays the open air market (Le Marché d'Arles) takes place along the Blvd des Lices. We were simply lucky to come upon the market on a sunny early spring day and it was a blast browsing in a true "French Market" As mentioned earlier you could make this your breakfast, buying bread, cheese, fruit and eating it all at a park across the boulevard (between Blvd des Lices and the Roman theater).
For those of you still into snail mail and sending postcards, the post office is across from the park.
I can see how Hotel De L'Amphitheatre technically rates 2-stars in terms of the lack of an elevator, room service, restaurant, fitness center or pool, and a dedicated car park among other amenities. If you want all of that look elsewhere. What you will get when you stay here is friendly and helpful service and, if you book the suite, very good accommodations, as well as a good breakfast. The hotel is quaint and interesting. Thrown in the central location to this mix and you have a a combination that can't be beat.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel De l Amphitheatre
- De l Amphitheatre Hotel