Écusson is the charming historic center of the budding Mediterranean French city of Montpellier. Within the area of small winding streets and medieval buildings you’ll find an abundance of things to do and places to see, from unique museums and galleries to not-on-the-high-street shopping and a wealth of great bars, cafés and restaurants. For your downtime, we’ve rounded up the best hotels and places to rest your head in Écusson.
Baudon de Mauny is a stunning boutique guesthouse whose eight rooms feature a stylish blend of contemporary design features and period details. The 19th century building has been converted and fully renovated to ensure the most comfortable of stays, while still retaining the original high ceilings, striking fireplaces and stone facade. The modern furniture and contemporary artworks contrast with the historic features of the former hôtel particulier to great effect. The guesthouse is ideally located for you to explore the winding streets of Écusson and discover the best of what this ancient area of the city has to offer.
IDA Chambre d’Hôtes is situated just a couple of roads back from the quarter’s main shopping avenue, on one of the narrow streets which are so typical of the ancient area of Écusson. The central location is great if you want to check out some of Montpellier’s unique shops and one-off boutiques while you’re here. The four rooms have recently been completely renovated and are kitted out with everything you could need. The décor is stylish and elegant, and the private balcony is the perfect place to have your petit-déjeuner in the Montpellier sunshine.
Just on the border of Écusson is Hotel Ulysse, the charming 3-star hotel where you will receive the warmest of welcomes. Rooms are clean, spacious and fully equipped with all the essentials. The hotel’s large and luminous dining room is where the extensive breakfast buffet is served, but if it’s warm outside, make the most of Ulysse’s outdoor terrace. Hotel Ulysse is a little further out from the Place de la Comédie, the beating heart of Écusson, but it is still within walking distance of all the amenities. Here you can be assured of a good (and uninterrupted) night’s sleep.
You’ll be able to spot the Hôtel du Palais from the vintage tables and chairs set up underneath the hotel’s welcoming candy-striped awning. The wrought-iron balconies and old stone facade ooze an old-worldly charm that continues once you step through the front door. Each of the 26 fully equipped rooms is decorated with mismatched vintage furniture, and artworks depicting the local area adorn the walls. The charming hotel is just around the corner from Montpellier’s own Arc de Triomph and the picturesque Jardins du Pêyrou – check them out while you’re here.
On the other side of Montpellier’s beautiful Jardin des Plantesyou’ll come across Acapulco, the cheap and cheerful hotel housed in an old converted mansion. Rooms are simple but contain everything you’ll need for a stay in the city. The hotel offers a varied continental breakfast for 6.50€ and the restaurant opens again in the evening for dinner. Acapulco is equidistant from both the historic center of Écusson and from the more modern Hôpitaux-Facultés area of the city, so it would be a great choice for anyone hoping to discover a wider area of Montpellier.
Hotel d’Aragon is a 3-star boutique hotel situated in the very heart of Écusson. Just a stone’s throw from the central Place de la Comédie, from where the winding streets of the old town spiral outwards, Hôtel d’Aragon is an ideal place to stay if you want to just get up and start go – you’ll be in the epicenter of the city’s goings-on. However, you needn’t worry about the noise of the city disrupting your stay – all rooms are soundproofed to ensure you have a perfect night’s sleep. Rooms come with all the necessities and a private bathroom. You can upgrade to a Privilège room for the jet shower.
Price: Mid-range – high-end Watch out for: the ornate Juliet balconies
Nid’Oiseau translates into English as ‘birds nest’ and you’ll certainly feel comfortable in this cozy home away from home. Housed in a converted mansion, the bed and breakfast features high ceilings and tall windows that fill each room with light. An eclectic mix of furniture, paintings, sculptures and other knick-knacks fill every possible space but the rooms never feel cluttered. The Centre for Contemporary Art and other Écusson attractions are nearby, but there’s enough artwork dotted around Nid’Oiseau to keep you occupied for hours. Breakfast, which is included in the price, is perfect taken in the communal dining room or on the spacious balcony.
Montpellier’s Royal Hotel is just a couple of minutes’ walk away from all of the city’s main attractions, including the Place de la Comédie, the Musée Fabre and the impressive Corum. The reception is open 24 hours a day so you can be sure of a warm welcome no matter the time of your arrival. The hotel is stylishly decorated from top to bottom and the rooms are cozy. Enjoy the buffet-style continental breakfast and, once you’ve had your fill, you need only step out of the front door to be in the heart of the old town of Écusson.
Price: Mid-range Watch out for: the central location
Suite du Merle Blanc is a beautiful, fully-equipped apartment located in a 14th-century building in the center of Écusson. The spacious and brightly decorated apartment is perfect for couples, families or friends who want to visit the city, and can accommodate up to four people. Everything you need for a hearty breakfast under the exposed wooden beams of the kitchen-cum-dining room is provided. Écusson is brimming with great cafés and restaurants, but if you’d rather eat at your leisure in the comfort of the Suite du Merle Blanc, a dinner with wine can be provided for a charge of 40€.
You’ll find this charming 3-star design hotel just on the other side of the beautiful Jardins du Pêyrou. The 18 stylish rooms, housed in a converted 19th-century mansion, are all uniquely and elegantly decorated. The shaded garden to the rear of the hotel is a calm oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city and makes a perfect spot to enjoy the Hôtel des Arceaux’s breakfast, served until midday. Look out for the organic food and artisan craft market which sets up shop just in front of the hotel on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Price: Mid-range Watch out for: the views of les Arceaux