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Some folks see Reims as a final opportunity to stock up on champagne, and have one final excellent French meal before Calais. But if you're just stopping over here you're missing out on some wonderful sights. Not to mention tastes. If you're looking for accommodation recommendations go straight to our guru's list (for self catering options we recommend our online partner, Booking.com). Otherwise here are some good reasons to visit Reims, and some of the best places to stay in Reims to enjoy them.
Beautiful Sites of Reims
Notre-Dame de Reims is something quite special. Something to rival Notre-Dame de Paris even. A triumph of Gothic architecture, there's a 13th Century rose window at one end and hundreds of statues lined up along the facade. And to mark the cathedral's 800th birthday in 2011, a vast modern stained glass window was installed.
But it's historic as well as beautiful: 33 French kings were crowned here - Charles VII watched by Joan of Arc. Next door is the cathedral museum.
Reims has many beautiful buildings, some of the loveliest of which house museums, galleries, champagne - and possibly you if you stay in one of the swankiest hotels!
The mishmash of architecture, heavy on the Art Deco, is due to the fact that Reims was on the front line of both WW1 and WW2. And here, on the 7th of May 1945, Germany officially surrendered. In what's now called the 'Surrender Museum'.
Champagne, but only three hours from Calais
Taittinger is among the most famous of Reims' champagne houses, and the only one you don't need to book ahead to get a cellar tour of. Eight are open to the public.
The 'house' was once a church and the cellars go down several levels, to those cut into the chalk in Roman times.
Don't be put off by the famous name, it's worth visiting Taittinger because it's one of the few champagne houses which still turns its bottles by hand.
Of the other more famous brands Mumm is the most easily accessible from the centre of town. And Pommery is quite close to Taittinger.
Definitely visit several champagne houses before you start making your purchases. They all have different stories, some of which are incredibly romantic.
The best excursion in - or out - of town is the 45mile Montagne de Reims Champagne Route.
The post war restorations included several lovely wide boulevards. Along which are a string of lovely Art Deco cafes and restaurants. And there's the charming covered market and pedestrianised sections. Add to this Reims' four Michelin starred restaurants and you have yourself a foodie heaven.
- For proper old fashioned luxury one of the best places to stay in Reims is the Château Les Crayeres. It's a five star château. With a Michelin star chef. And a wine list which includes over 400 champagnes. This is also one of the best places to stay in Reims for couples looking for romance. And one of the top choices if you're looking for a champagne country escape.
For Michelin starred cuisine
- L'Assiette Champenoise is one of the best places to stay in Reims for wine tasters. Several of Reims' eight champagne 'caves' are within walking distance. The accommodation is modern and luxurious. And the restaurant has two Michelin stars, so it's perfect for foodies. And surprisingly it's also good for families, as lots of its rooms are large enough to accommodate an extra bed without needing a whole suite.
For access to the Champagne route
- If you're looking for somewhere special the Château de Rilly is one of the best places to stay in Reims. It's beautiful. And on the edge of the Montagne de Reims, where some of the finest of all the champagne grapes are grown.
For an apartment
- For a wide range of self catering accommodation from simple studios to penthouse flats, check out the selection with our online partner, Booking.com.
Still undecided? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay in Reims, or feel free to call or email one of our gurus for advice. Alternatively you can widen the net and explore all our Champagne recommendations.
Best Hotels in Reims
La Closerie des Sacres 3 rooms from $84Lavannes, Champagne
These former stables provide an authentic French farmhouse feel with the comforts of a charming B&B. Breakfast is included and there are plenty of games and activities for kids on site. With access to the kitchen and BBQ, a perfect spot for families or groups to relax and explore the local area.Sights nearby - Explore the Champagne region just 30 mins awayLocal markets - Discover the local town of ReimsGreat walks - Parc de ChampagneFour poster beds - For romantics.Recommended by - Sawdays
Chateau de Rilly 15 rooms from $141Rilly-la-Montagne, Champagne
An attractive chateau on the edge of a Nature Reserve and at the foot of the Montagne de Reims. Chic and spacious rooms in creams and yellows, excellent restaurant, and a spa with all the works. A luxurious spot.Cooking classes - Check for timings.Spa
Le Clos des Terres Soudees 5 rooms from $183VRIGNY, Champagne
Exceptional boutique hotel. Just five discreetly modern bedrooms - high end design elements accompanied by classical furniture and antiques. An excellent restaurant serves gourmet cuisine and an extensive wine list. Romantic and indulgent.Romantic BreakLocal markets - Good for local colour.Sights nearby - Well located for major sights.
L'Assiette Champenoise 35 rooms from $204Tinqueux, Champagne
A traditional looking timbered house with uber modern interiors. Excellent restaurant serves gourmet cuisine and has an extensive wine list. Huge rooms and suites with private balconies and jacuzzi bath tubs.Foodies - Arnaud Lallement's cuisine has earned two michelin starsRestaurant - Two Michelin StarsPrivate Hot Tub - The terrace suite has a private double jacuzzi tubSwimming Pool - Indoor Pool
Chateau Les Crayeres 20 rooms from $376Reims, Champagne
An exceptional Five Star chateau with a Michelin star chef and beautiful rooms. Luxury, romance, and the finest attention to detail throughout. Classical furniture and sumptuous fabrics. With 400 Champagne labels it's a very sophisticated hotel.Good wine list - 400 Champagne labels.Foodies - Michelin star chef.5* Luxury - Very high service standards.Four poster beds - For romantics.Recommended by - Relais & Chateaux, Fodors