Bedroom, Hotel de Garlande, Avignon.Surrounded by narrow streets and high, old houses, the attractive, budget-priced Hotel de Garlande is in the heart of Avignon's inner walled city, with all the associated attractions and drawbacks. logo

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Its eleven rooms are dotted along narrow spiral stairs and some open directly onto the staircase. They're decorated in intense colours: a deep, moody blue, for example, or a shocking pink.

The one we stayed in came in bright burnt orange and a slightly odd shape (pictured above): its interconnected sleeping and sitting areas came wrapped, almost like a mini-suite, around a generously sized bathroom.

The mattress was firm and comfortable, and extras such as a hairdryer, iron and free wi-fi were available. The desk is manned by day but you require a door code for access after hours.

The hotel is fairly quiet but, in honesty, not for you if you are a very light sleeper. The rooms are susceptible to noise from those on the floor above (try to get a top-floor room). If you look out on to the street, sounds of buskers or bar-goers waft up and you may hear the early-morning passage of the rubbish collectors.

Facade, Hotel de Garlande, AvignonHowever, to be fair, these caveats apply to many old hotels in the walled city and in other respects the Hotel de Garlande represents excellent value.

A booklet with useful numbers and local information is set out in the room and the helpful concierge will point you towards the best local eateries.

D'Ici et d'Ailleurs, an extremely good organic restaurant, is just a few doors away, as is La Cigale, where you can buy fresh juice, bean coffee and pâtisserie, all better value than the hotel breakfast, served in a windowless inner room, for which, as usual in France, a supplement is levied.

Visited September 2011

Where: 20 rue Galante, 84000 Avignon. Tel: (+33) 4 90 80 08 85- Fax : (+33) 4 90 27 16 58. Book a room at the Hotel de Garlande


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