Halfway between the Atlantic and Mediterranean, Toulouse occupies a prime position in southwest France. Known as the Pink City, it’s home to pretty terracotta buildings and a vibrant, Basque-infused food scene – book your stay now with Culture Trip.
Toulouse has often been overlooked in favour of the big-screen magnetism of Paris, the vineyards of Bordeaux and the coastline of the Côte d’Azur. But with a lively combination of student bustle, arthouse allure and picturesque cobblestone streets, La Ville Rose will easily leave you tickled pink. Here’s our pick of Toulouse’s best boutique stays.
La Galerie owner Guy is an avid art fan, and the hotel name isn’t the only giveaway. The three guest rooms are bursting with charisma, each reflecting distinctive artistic styles, from Pablo Picasso to Joan Miró. Arty trinkets, prints and sculptures are delicately placed throughout the hotel, which is only a five-minute walk from the Grenier Theatre. A flick of a paintbrush away is Cambard metro stop, which will get you into Toulouse city centre in 10 minutes.
Built in 1890, this traditional Toulouse home has been given a contemporary architectural spin, with four bedrooms including cubic four-poster beds, and colourful ergonomic furniture. The handy self check-in service reduces any rush to arrive during set hours, but try to catch host and keen traveller Marie-Ange, who’ll be delighted to share stories about the souvenirs dotted around the upstairs lounge.
Enjoy a first-class experience during your stay at La Cour des Consuls, an 18th-century townhouse-turned-boutique hotel. Chic rooms reflect the city’s urban style, decorated in monochromatic colours. King-sized beds, rainfall showers and Nespresso machines come as standard. A real highlight is the Michelin-star restaurant, Le Cénacle, which serves Mediterranean fare, fronted by chef Thomas Vonderscher. Enjoy a champagne cocktail in the bar beforehand.
The Appart-Hôtel Clément Ader, with its contemporary design, is perfect for those looking to be at the heart of Toulouse’s most vibrant areas. Choose from a one- or two-bedroom apartment sleeping up to six people, each one kitted out with a fully equipped kitchen, some with a terrace or balcony overlooking the city. Hotel benefits include on-site underground parking and a daily breakfast buffet, as well as a heated outdoor pool, sauna and fitness centre.
Picture yourself waking up in the heart of La Ville Rose with a view over the Place du Capitole. This is what you’ll enjoy while staying at the Grand Hôtel de l’Opéra, formerly a grand 17th-century convent. Book the Prestige room for a romantic weekend away, and ask for the balcony option for views of Toulouse’s pink-tiled rooftops. Downstairs, dine on duck foie gras at the Michelin-star restaurant, Les Jardins de l’Opéra.
The Pullman combines modern, funky interiors with a top location on the new Ramblas in central Toulouse. Sip a cocktail at Le 84 before heading to South West, the on-site bistro for hake with penne and a chocolate caramel fleur de sel tartlet. Other perks include a fitness centre and complimentary buffet breakfast. Families will be pleased to hear that interconnecting rooms can sleep up to seven people, plus children under the age of 12 stay for free.
Located in the historical part of Toulouse, the Hôtel des Beaux Arts is more than just a hotel: it is a sanctuary dedicated to modern art. Each of the 17 rooms has a signature style, decorated by local artists with varying styles from street art to Japanese portraiture. Start your day with breakfast in the vaulted café – expect warm croissants and freshly squeezed juice. Adjacent to the hotel, you’ll find Brasserie les Beaux-Arts, which has been serving French cuisine for 30 years.
Le Grand Balcon is a 1930s boutique hotel in the centre of Toulouse that will charm you with its aviation-inspired decor. Couples should opt for the Deluxe Double with its king-sized bed and Nespresso machine, while the larger Suite accommodates four with views over the Place du Capitole. In-room massages are available on request. If you’re staying over a weekend, you can sleep in: the breakfast buffet of bread, croissants, cereal and fruit juice is available until 11am.
Beneath Villa da Taur’s redbrick exterior, this boutique hotel is decorated with local contemporary artwork, creating an atmosphere more akin to a gallery than a hotel. Standard rooms come with luxury touches, such as rainfall showers, eco-friendly toiletries and an Illy espresso machine. Opt in for the à la carte breakfast with fresh baguette and eggs to order – which can be enjoyed in your room or downstairs at the café.