As the name suggests it is where we break up long journeys and discuss what we find out about the places where we stay.
Generally though these hotels are functional with no frills with their biggest attractions being convenience and situation near to motorways. Of course, there are some chain hotels found in city centres. For several years, when we were rushing around France on our yearly visit to our cottage we would stay at one of these hotels but generally now we tend to look for something a little different.
So Why Did We Choose The Hotel Balladins Dijon Nord?
Very simple…… We had purchased tickets for a Mark Knopfler concert in Dijon. It was to be in the Zenith Arena in the Commercial Centre to the north of Dijon. Several weeks before the concert I checked with booking.com for a hotel. With the concert due to start at 8pm on a Sunday I thought dinner may be a problem so we took a packed dinner for the evening. I had found the location of Zenith using Google Maps. There are several chain hotels close by but booking.com suggested the Balladins. It appeared to be just a few minutes walk from the concert arena. Plus the price of €53 and whatever the dog would be was an excellent price.
The hotel room was comfortable though quite small. It was quite clean but there was a smell of smoke. The other big plus was it allowed us to travel with our dog, Beau. This meant we could use the evening as a stop over on the way to see our son in England. There was a private car park and there was someone on duty all night. It is always good to know there is some surveillance.
As we had booked the EuroTunnel the next afternoon we decided not to include breakfast and we paid for the hotel on arrival. The young lady receptionist wasn’t overly friendly but on talking to her as to why we were there – she hadn’t heard of MK nor Dire Straits – I got a smile from her by saying it was a concert ‘pour les vieux!’ Sorry Mark!
After getting to sleep gone midnight, the alarm went at 5 am so Beau could have his morning constitutional. We were on the road by 6 and heading off towards Calais. We made good progress with the early start so much so we had time to make a detour to buy a couple of cases of Champagne from 2 brothers Bruno and Benoit Hennequin. They run their individual vignobles with their respective wives Catherine and Joelle. We know their father, Michel, better through a very close friend that lives close to our cottage in the Lot. Michel and our friend Georgs, were together during their military service. More about their Champagne in a post planned for the near future.
We were lucky to find someone in, we quickly purchased our cases and hit the road again for Calais.
Would We Recommend the Hotel Balladins Dijon Nord?
Without doubt we would recommend this hotel. It all depends on what you are looking for. For us it was convenient: close to the concert arena, close to the motorway and it allowed us to bring our dog. It has a pizza restaurant, which we didn’t get to try, and it is not expensive. There were plenty of like-minded people with 01 or Swiss registered cars staying over night in this and other chain hotels for the concert. So.. I think we made a good decision overall.