Le Grand Hotel Cabourg – MGallery by Sofitel
What We Love
- Luxe grande dame with a prime seafront position and a private beach
- Two restaurants, La Plage and Le Balbec, serve local specialties
- Great jumping-off point for exploring the Normandy coastline
What To Know
- There's a casino next door
- Rooms overlook the sea or the garden
- Free WiFi
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Cabourg served as the inspiration for the setting of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, and the Grand Hotel, a five-star grande dame right on the seafront, was his literary base between 1907 and 1914. Plenty of Belle Epoque features remain, including parquet flooring, chandeliers, gilded plasterwork and grand columns. The 71 guestrooms were completely refurbished in 2011 with a modern look: sizable windows, sleigh beds with padded headboards and bold patterned wallpaper. The snazzy bathrooms come with twin sinks, flattering lighting and old-style tubs, but it’s the public areas that are best for soaking up the sumptuous decorative flourishes of a bygone era, from the grand piano and tapestry rugs in the lobby to the retro deck chairs on the private beach. Tuck into regional specialties at La Plage or Le Balbec, and finish with a Normandy cheese plate.
In the Area
To the west of Cabourg you’ll find Normandy’s D-Day landing beaches and several sights of significance, including museums, cemeteries and memorials. History buffs should head to Bayeux to see the 229-foot long Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts William the Conqueror’s conquest of England, starting in 1064. The city of Rouen, about a 90-minute drive from Cabourg, is worth visiting for its sublime Gothic cathedral, the subject of numerous paintings by Monet.
How to Get There
This hotel dominates both the small city of Cabourg in Normandy and the 6km-long sandy
beach on which it sits. Grand and "chic", it was the playground in the 1950s and 1960s
of the French aristocracy. That belle epoque atmosphere is still present in its
stately lobby, restaurant and tea room. The (more expensive) rooms facing the ocean
have large balconies, and are worth the extra cost, I think.
My room, with balcony, had all the modern amenities a demanding traveler
could desire. There was an eye for detail in he design: plenty of plugs everywhere,
a perfect bathtub / shower with great hot water control, expensive
sturdy furniture, comfortable chairs, and progressively dimmed lighting.
Plus The New York Times at breakfast every morning.
The service was impeccable---fast and polite. In my view, it was a tad "forced polite",
almost a caricature of the way French waiters are portrayed in American movies.
The breakfast buffet is extensive.
The bed was huge and comfortable. The sheets were not changed all week,
and I can only surmise that this is ecologically motivated, as even
the laundry bag is bio-degradable.
There is no way that this hotel does not deserve five stars. There are
a few weaknesses. The carpets in the corridors and rooms are old, and
should be replaced by classy tiles or wooden floors---it's the modern
way, better for the health, and more stylish. Also, the wifi did not work
in the rooms upon my arrival---it took 24 hours to fix that.
a beautiful hotel right on the beach. We booked a room on the third floor with Sea view. Incredible when you wake up in the morning.
Room is quite large and cozy (small dining table and couch).
Breakfast was very good.
Service was nice. Highly recommended
Lovely old hotel on the beach, lots of beautiful streets around. Easy walk to eating places and shops. Room and bathroom very spacious overlooking the English Channel. Breakfast was well done with local fruits and cheeses. Will visit again.
Great hotel, right on the beach front. Rooms are very nice, the toilet is separate from the bathroom which is slightly weird. The breakfast was very good and well presented. Clearly this isn’t a cheap hotel though.
1. Both the views into the picturesque town of Cabourg or the sea are equally lovely in my opinion. But on Friday and Saturday night it gets busy in the square so you won’t sleep much during the warmer months until the restaurants and bars in town close. As an example we were woken at midnight by someone repeatedly pressing their car horn.
2. The air conditioning wasn’t good in our room and it was very warm inside despite outside temps of only 12-14 degrees. So request a fan!
3. In the evening the restaurants in Cabourg and in most places don’t open until 1900hrs European time so have a big or late lunch. If your starving then you will have a 15-20 minute drive to the nearest fast food restaurant. Similarly breakfast places don’t seem to open until 0730-0830. So that’s why we had breakfast at the hotel a few times.
4. Parking is free outside the hotel in the square but it gets busy in the evening (worse on Fridays and Saturdays). If you can’t find a space I just drove a few times around the square and usually something opened up. But be careful they do park very close so it may be tight to get your car out.
5. There is a fridge inside the room, it’s not great but better than nothing so there’s a carrefour (supermarket) express store just down the high street where you can get a few drinks, snacks etc.. if you need to go to a bigger store I would suggest the carrefour at Mondeville 2, it’s just outside Caen and has pretty much everything you will need there.
6. Lots of people don’t speak English (understandably) and not all restaurants have English menus but a lot do so you can get away with not speaking french in the main but a few words of french does go along way, even if it’s being able to ask “do you speak English, please”. Thankfully virtually everyone at the hotel did speak English.
7. The hotel restaurant cooked a special dessert not on their normal menu (floating island) for me at my wife’s request which was a lovely thing for them to do as it was my birthday. So they will try and make your stay a special one, if requested.
8. The food at the restaurant was expensive but very nice, small portions but many courses so you shouldn’t leave hungry.
Have a lovely time.
This was the best hotel I have stayed in for at least 50 years, of a kind I could never normally afford. We had a brilliant room on the second floor overlooking the sea. The service was excellent. After thinking we would not do so, because it would be too expensive, we ate in the restaurant twice and really enjoyed our meals.