A city of historical beauty and gastronomical quality, Rennes, the capital of Brittany, stands out for being one of the most cultural cities in northern France. To complement any visit to this remarkable place, be it with a focus on its art, food, student culture or 2,000-year history, there are few better options than these tops hotels. Read on to discover more.
A peaceful haven in the heart of the city, this 19th-century mansion house is set within an atmospheric old garden. Like an English B&B, there are just three guest rooms, but each has been beautifully decorated by the architect owner, Marie, who brought up her own family here. From the Nespresso machines and the plumped-up pillows to the carefully curated books, she has thought of everything. In fine weather, you can enjoy your breakfast outdoors underneath the wisteria.
For something a little bit different, Le Magic Hall is about as far removed from the homogenised hotel chains as you can get. Plunging you into the world of showbiz, each room is inspired either by the cinema, the theatre, dance or music. There’s also a soundproofed music studio where artists can rehearse before performing in the hotel’s amphitheatre. Afterwards, you can relax in the cool red brick bar where chef Yan serves up delicious seasonal dishes.
At this four-star hotel, the rooms are light, bright and contemporary, each with a large bay or bow window. There are nice little touches, too, including Nespresso coffee machines, iPad docks and complimentary Carita toiletries. The spa comprises a swimming pool, steam room and jacuzzi, plus a fitness area. The Brittany-inspired breakfast is packed with local produce. For a special occasion, the penthouse suite has a private terrace overlooking the rooftops of Rennes.
Located 3km (1.9mi) from the centre of Rennes, this three-star hotel may be a little further out, but it’s friendly, functional and found in a quiet area. Perhaps its biggest selling point, though, is its excellent value. The rooms are small and basic, but they are also spotless. There’s a pleasant enough restaurant with daily specials, plus free on-site parking. Not far from the motorway, this is an ideal stop-off for those on a road trip through France.
This charming boutique hotel occupies a half-timbered building from the 16th century in the historic district of Rennes. Brimming with character, the five guest rooms are quirky and elegant with a touch of English eccentricity in the decor. The cosy living room continues the theme with chintzy furniture set around a huge fireplace. In the summer, a shaded terrace provides a pretty spot for a coffee and your light continental breakfast.
If you prefer home-cooking to dining in a hotel restaurant, this could be the accommodation for you. Located 10 minutes from the city centre, here you will find 90 apartments, all with a fully equipped kitchenette. As well as a small fridge, ceramic hob and microwave/oven, there’s also a dishwasher. All rooms are smart and modern, some have their own terrace. Elsewhere in the complex, there’s a fitness suite, laundry facilities and communal breakfast room.
From the bold, brash wallpapers in the bedrooms to the matt-black fixtures and dazzling white porcelain of the bathrooms, design is very much of the essence at this intrepid two-star property. Certainly, they more than exceed expectations for a hotel of this category. Also, included in the price, an authentic Breton breakfast is served in a vast dining room, reminiscent of a traditional French family kitchen. Well-located in the heart of the old city, all the sights are also nearby.
The highlight of this four-star hotel has to be the heated indoor swimming pool. There’s also a wellness area – complete with whirlpool bath, hammam and massage room – and a fitness suite. Otherwise, bedrooms are smart and modern, and the location is handy, just a two-minute walk from Rennes train station. The cafe serves up seasonal produce with daily specials – as well as a children’s and vegetarian menu, which are still far from standard in France.
A truly stylish way for visitors to enjoy their time in Rennes, The Balthazar offers luxurious quality in a modern setting. Rooms are elegant and monochrome in design; make sure you ask for one with a private terrace overlooking the city. Inside, you’ll also find a spa – the perfect way to ease sore muscles after a long day of sightseeing. What makes this hotel particularly notable, however, is its restaurant, fronted by Michelin-starred chef, Michel Rostang. The simple, French menu is best sampled on the hotel’s tranquil patio.
Just a 15-minute walk from the centre of Rennes, LeCoq-Gadby Hôtel & Spa is a local institution, owned by the same family since 1902. Rooms retain their old-school charm with exposed wooden beams and antique furniture. Make sure you take advantage of the indoor pool, Nordic sauna and steam room, or indulge in a spa treatment using products made from cider apples, inspired by owner Veronique’s childhood. Also of note is the superb Michelin-starred restaurant, complete with a regularly-changing menu to suit the chef’s creative style.
Situated on the first floor of a historic 19th-century building, the charming independent Hôtel de la TA is a comfortable and cultural way for guests to sojourn at Rennes. The enchanting rooms are each individually decorated and some also include very pleasant balconies. Not to be missed is the extensive morning buffet held in the hotel’s delightfully bright, quirky breakfast area.
Just a few paces from the opera house and the contemporary art centre of Rennes, the cosy Hôtel de Nemours is an enchanting establishment that boasts comfortable rooms with big French windows overlooking the quaint cobblestone streets of this historic district. This hotel transports you to another era, decorated with photos of Rennes from the 1900s and featuring traditional floorboards and staircases. For an extended stay, book one of the hotel’s chic apartments which sleep up to four people. Locally-sourced, organic breakfast is included.