Rouen isn’t that big of a city when compared to other French capitals, providing it with a small-town feel and more family-run restaurants, cafés and inns rather than large chains. To support this movement, choose to stay in a boutique property when you visit. These are our picks for the best boutique hotels in Rouen, France.
Hôtel Le Cardinal
Hotel Le Cardinal faces the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a location that affords all 15 of its rooms a decent view of the Gothic structure from the window. Rooms are fresh and minimal with neutral tones, parquet floors and provide just the basics: WiFi, a small desk, and a flat-screen TV. Not that much time will be spent in the room anyway because its central location will make it easy for you to discover all that Rouen has to offer. The hotel’s address is on a pedestrian-only street, meaning no noise from traffic and guests would be stepping onto French cobblestone lanes as they venture out to explore.
In a classically Norman half-timbered house, Le Vieux Carré provides a homey, bed and breakfast feel in a serviced hotel. Its 13 rooms are each decorated in a different motif to cater to any preference – some floral, some colourful, and some more subdued. Their salon de thé offers a tea service from a well-curated selection (that they rotate every six months) and home-made baked goods served on their charming courtyard terrace from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. If tea isn’t your thing, they have fresh pressed juices and hot chocolate on offer as well. There’s also a restaurant, open for lunch only, with an extremely well-priced menu and home-cooked dishes.
Nestled among the beautiful houses of the Old Town and on a quiet pedestrian-only street, Hôtel De La Cathédrale is housed in a 17th-century building and features comfortable and tastefully decorated guest rooms. A delightful back patio adorned with shrubbery, flowers and trees makes it a cozy spot to take part in their afternoon tea service with loose-leaf options.
Hôtel Dandy is located in the heart of the Old Town, just 400 metres away from the Old Market square and Church of Joan of Arc. The hotel offers 18 rooms decorated in Louis XV style, using toile de Jouy linens and duvets, gold accents and glass chandeliers. Its prime location is also a mere 10-minute walk from the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Musée des beaux-arts of Rouen. Enjoy breakfast either buffet-style in the hotel dining room, or in your room upon request. For those who can’t travel without their beloved pooch, dogs are permitted to stay overnight here.
Les Initiés is a convivial spot combining a laid-back bar with inviting rooms, some of which are lucky enough to have a view of the neighbouring and ornate Palais de Justice. Owners Christelle and Phillippe provide a warm welcome to all guests, whether they’re just stopping by for a pint in the pub, a bite to eat on their street-side terrace, or looking for a place to spend the night.
Nearing the banks of the Seine and around the corner from the Gros-Horloge, the Hotel de Paris is a two-star contemporary hotel with light, airy rooms. WiFi is free throughout the hotel and a gourmet buffet breakfast is served each morning. The hotel covers the basics and that’s all you pay for. Nightly rates are extremely reasonable considering its central location.