When visiting France’s beautiful Pink City, one has to make sure that they have the accommodation that suits the experience. Considering that fact that it is a smaller city, Toulouse has an array of hotels to offer the traveller, however, nothing comes close to the authentic experience of Hotel Le Grand Balcon.
Situated in a corner of the central square – the Capitole, the hotel is at the crossroads to everywhere that needs to be covered in this city. Most of the monuments, shops and restaurants are a couple of minutes walk away. In fact, we hardly had to get on a taxi cab for our entire trip.
The hotel itself is unique in the city. It’s the one truly boutique with a modern edge. Although it is adorned with Toulouse’s signature red brick from outside and the mosaic entrance signals a very different era of architecture, what’s inside is a totally different side of the coin.
The hotel is decorated with the concept of aviation in mind (not surprising considering the fact that Toulouse is the home of Airbus and this hotel used to be the stomping grounds of many famous pilots, whose pictures are hung with pride in the lobby area). Every detail is taken into consideration from the bar, which looks like an A380 bar to the little airplane floating toy in the bathroom. The rooms ceilings are painted with unique sky-scapes of clouds, different in each room.
The design is playfully modern, yet not too dry. It takes into consideration the concept without losing its sense of jolly. The rooms are fitted with all the necessary amenities. The suites boast an amazing regal view onto the Capitole square, which is probably why the hotel has its name.
Although it is a small hotel, the staff are the friendliest we’ve come across in a while in the type of accommodation. The receptionists double as the concierge and are very qualified to do so. Our stay in Toulouse would not have been the same without the guidance of the eloquent and patient staff.
One of the rooms in the hotel stands out like a sore thumb – in a very good way. Because it used to be the preferred room of Le Petit Prince author and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It has not been gutted out to fit the hotel’s trendy new facade. Instead, they have maintained the room as it was, incorporating a hallway to it that has a lavish bathtub and all things modern. The room is eerily reminiscent of that era, with every detail from that time taken into consideration – from the knitted drapery to the loo in the room to the antique desk. It’s truly a sight to see when visiting Toulouse. You can also request to stay in it, if you would like the full experience. Continue reading