Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Getting personal in Le Touquet?

There are more than 7000 chambres d’hôte in France and I have just got back from one in the very swish seaside town of Le Touquet in Northern France. It’s less than an hour from Calais and boasts expansive sandy beaches as well as being a destination for well-to-do Parisians on a weekend break.

What a great idea the chambre d’hôte is! It’s a personal service in a way that a hotel can never be. Rooms tend to be different from the standard box we can expect from a hotel, more like a home. You can get local advice on what to do and where to go without visiting an intimidating tourist office with its line of leaflets and fierce looking ladies behind the counter.

There is the opportunity to cater for families. Your standard hotel rooms tend to cram 2 extra singles into a twin room to make a so-called family room and that’s if they offer it all. Despite a family of 5 being commonplace in France you can forget it the larger family at a hotel.

Breakfast is included and is often copious. We had to go to the local restaurant that our owners also ran which wasn’t terribly convenient but certainly good quality. Our lovely host also sent us away with a terrine de lapin (rabbit terrine) and 4 strawberry cakes that he had spotted my daughter eyeing up.

So what is the message? Personal touch, convenience, good information, offering something difficult to get elsewhere and going the extra mile. Sounds like a good recipe for a brand.

We stayed at le Clos des Chenes

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