City Escapade at the Grand Hotel la Cloche

@ Grand Hotel La Cloche

If you visit Dijon without spending a night at the historic Grand Hotel la Cloche, you’re missing out on one of the greatest assets of the Burgundian dukes’ city! During my trip through the region (where I explored the brand new Villa Loiseau des Sens Spa, as well as the fabulous Abbaye de la Bussière), I took a break to explore the small city of Dijon. I booked a stay in the city’s only 5-star establishment, the Grand Hotel la Cloche.

Located in the heart of Dijon, the Grand Hotel la Cloche (part of the MGallery by Sofitel collection) is perfectly situated for discovering the city on foot. But it’s the building’s history that first drew me in; I should mention that this history goes all the way back to 1424, at which point it was called the Hostellerie de la Cloche. The place became more and more prestigious as the years passed by, but in the 1970s, its glory days were coming to an end. The building was supposed to be demolished, but thanks to the perseverance of the city’s inhabitants, it was preserved in all its former splendor. 2016 was a year of renewal: following a thorough renovation, it opened its doors again with newfound modernity.

The Historic Center of Dijon

Upon arriving in the lobby, I immediately notice that the renovation has added a lovely contemporary touch to the impressive room with its antique volumes. On top of this, several works by the famous artist Richard Orlinski as well as the Pompon Bear are situated in the garden, imposing a new style. After a quick check-in, I head to my Deluxe Double room which corresponds to a junior suite. There are several categories featured in the establishment’s 88 rooms, from the most basic to the most spacious, embodied in the 5 suites and apartments. With a decidedly modern look, my room matches the image of the urban hotel perfectly.

The room’s best features include a lovely bathroom, separated from the living room by a glass partition (but you can have more privacy with a curtain if you wish), a living room corner with warm colors that brighten the space, and a replica of an artwork on display at the Dijon fine arts museum at the head of the bed. To top it all off, there’s a beautiful view of the place Darcy that’s noise-free, thanks to the excellent sound-proofing.

At the end of the afternoon, it’s the perfect time to discover the 200 m² (2150 f²) spa built under the hotel’s historic stone vaulted ceilings. Both intimate and original, the spa offers a swimming pool, a multisensory experience shower, a steam room, a sauna, and three treatment rooms including one for couples. We’ve reserved a spot in advance, as treatments are scheduled for certain time slots to avoid overbooking.

This spa center works with the prestigious beauty brand Carita, and I got to benefit from their products with my hour-long treatment called “Satin Skin” (Peau de Satin). I have to admit that the name is beautifully suited to the treatment—I’ve never had such soft skin. The session begins with a wonderful skin exfoliation (I’m not usually a fan of exfoliation treatments as they can irritate my skin, but this one is pure bliss!). Then it’s time for a hydrating massage to end this moment of relaxation in the expert hands of my therapist.

Around 8 pm, we head to the restaurant “Jardins by La Cloche” to discover the bistro-style cuisine on offer from chef Aurélien Mauny. The atmosphere in the main restaurant room is absolutely stunning with a gorgeous, colorful painting by artist Françoise Nielly that I particularly adore.

We decide on the Menu des Jardins meal for 37.50 €, which is pretty good aside from the somewhat average service. To prolong the evening, we go to the hotel bar, a landmark site for a number of locals who have come to have a drink.

We begin with an hors d’oeuvre

then it’s time for the poached foie gras des Landes

For my main course, I’m having scallops

Mister has chosen a jazzed up burger with pulled pork—original!

A sweet end to our meal with a citrus tart

The bar: a modern and elegant atmosphere, day and night!

Before hitting the roads of Burgundy again, we build up our strength at breakfast, served in the same restaurant where we ate the night before. During the day, the ambiance is completely different! The great big bay windows in the rotunda bring in a beautiful light, wonderful for waking up gently. As for the buffet, there are a variety of high-quality products on offer, both sweet and savory. Some space is set aside for regional products, a great idea!

@ Grand Hotel La Cloche

The Verdict

An excellent renovation for this Dijon hotel with its rich history! The combination of contemporary elements featuring, for example, flashy colors and modern artwork with the building’s historic look like the beautiful old books and the spa’s vaulted ceilings is a great success. It’s an ideal urban accommodation for discovering Dijon over a weekend!

The façade illuminated in pink for Pink October

I loved:

  • The beautiful view from my room
  • The well-executed decoration
  • The highly qualified spa personnel

I disliked:

  • The somewhat unprofessional restaurant service
  • The spa could use more space

Practical Information

  • Deluxe Double Room starting at 215 €
  • Remember to reserve your room at Booking.com
  • Don’t forget to reserve a time slot at the spa when you book your room! It would be a shame to stay here without checking it out.
  • More information available on their website

Thank you to the Grand Hotel La Cloche for the invitation to explore their establishmentOf course, the content of this blogpost was left entirely up to me!

Do you know the Grand Hotel La Cloche? Feel free to send me your comments or questions by posting them on social media.

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