La Rochelle is a seaport on the Bay of Biscay. Its origins go back to Roman times, and there are still the remains of Roman villas and salt evaporation ponds at Les Minimes. The city has an illustrious past as a strategic centre and has a long and bloody history which culminated in the 1628 siege de la Rochelle when Cardinal Richelieu sought to quell the powerful protestant Hugenots. The best places to stay in La Rochelle provide the visitor with a wealth of things to see and do, and most are ideally situated to make the most of this charming city.
La Rochelle retains its close connection with the Atlantic; it boasts the largest marina for pleasure boats in Europe. Life revolves around the ‘vieux port’ with its myriad bars and restaurants.
The gothic gateway of the 14th century Porte de la Grosse Horloge leads to the old town with its arcaded streets and architecture of all styles from medieval to ‘belle epoque’.
There is so much to experience in La Rochelle from the Botanical gardens, boat trips to Ile d’Aix or Fort Boyard, St. Louis Cathedral, the canals of Venise Verte to the Franco folies music festival and more. Hiring a bicycle is a great way to get to know the place and explore the surrounding countryside.
La Rochelle enjoys a mild Oceanic climate; it seldom suffers from either extreme heat or cold. Though obviously the best times to visit (and the most popular) if you want to make the most of the beaches are the warm summer months.
Transport links are very good - there are a range of low cost airlines who fly to the city, or you can catch a train (TGV) or ferry.
Due to its popularity there is a wide range of accommodation to be found and the best places to stay in La Rochelle wary from the cheap and cheerful to something to suit those who like a bit of luxury.
An art and spa hotel close to the beach. Modern art and sculptures throughout, boutique furnishings include chandeliers, leather chairs, all within a 17th century ornate building. Large rooms and suites with all the mod cons, top of the range spa, and excellent business facilities.