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
- Handicap Accessible
- 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
The french "Northern Riviera" has many interesting towns and magnificent beaches which have "substantial tidal flows-- which accentuate these sandy beaches at low tide"!! On many of these beaches there are also wonderful hotels... BUT, the iconic Grande Hotel in Cabourg is one of the very best! It has been the location of movies and has hosted many signatories over the years. The Hotel also has a wonderful "formal dining room" as well as outdoor cafes with panoramic views of the very long, yellow sand beach! The Hotel has also earned TripAdvisors' coveted "Certificate of Excellence". It is definitely worthy of a visit.... which will prove to be "most memorable"!!
I hope that this Review has been helpful.
I have always wanted to visit this hotel, and finally booked a weekend at end March, beginning April. We got off to a (very) bad start, as while my wife awaited my return from parking the car, she wondered into the restaurant from the reception area to admire the beautiful view from the large window. As she entered the restaurant, she was told she could not go any further, so as not to disturb the diners (who were finishing lunch at this time). Quite how they would have been disturbed was not clear, but my wife promptly left the restaurant. We immediately decided that , rather than make a fuss, we wanted to cancel our dinner reservation at the restaurant for Sunday night that we had made 2 weeks earlier. When the duty manager got to hear of this episode, we did at least get a sincere apology from him.
Leaving aside this bad start, the hotel is very beautiful: we had a sea view room on the top floor, where at high tide you could hear the waves below. The room was very spacious and elegant, as was the very large bathroom. Although the sea view is obviously very attractive, it comes at a price , and the rooms we visited on the other side have a very nice view of the gardens in front of the hotel and are peaceful.
Two things that I didn’t like about the hotel: the first is that I really appreciate the evening turn down service in a 5* hotel, it is a service not provided by 4* hotels, and the standard of the evening service tells you a lot about the quality of the hotel; here the service was minimal: the bed was made, but not much else. Disappointing. The second thing was that although a complimentary bottle of water was provided the first night, it was not for the second night. At nearly €400 a night, I thought they might include a free bottle of water, as they very courteously did ( 2 bottles in fact!) when our car was delivered to us from the hotel parking on departure. Little touches like that make a big difference.
Overall though, we really appreciated the beauty of the hotel and the site, the stylish room with that noise of the sea, the friendly and very helpful reception ( especially Florence, who booked us an excellent restaurant in the town) and finally the excellent breakfast in that beautiful dining room, with the view that my wife finally got to appreciate! We hope to back, and next time I hope I can give 5 stars! We may even try the restaurant.
We had the pleasure of spending two nights here as part of a small tour group. The rooms were spacious and comfortable. The breakfast was outstanding and the service in general was fantastic. The only lapse was so bad that I am compelled share it. The only service I can recall that was worse happened in 1974 when a waitress at Sambo's threatened to kick my ass because I didn't order coffee with breakfast.
The second night of our stay, we went into the bar. Debbie was pondering a glass of champagne that was listed on their bar menu. Since her taste runs to dry or brut, she asked the server, "Is it sweet?". He put his hand on his hip and said, "It's Champagne" "Champagne is sweet". Debbie replied, "I mean is it dry or does it run sweet?" He said "Do you know anything about Champagne?" At this point, rather than get into a debate as to the relative sweetness of different Champagnes she said, "Never mind, bring me sparkling water" I ordered a Martini and was spared any lecture.
A few minutes later, the server returned. He placed some bar snacks in front of us, set down my Martini, then placed a glass in front of my wife, poured about an ounce of water in the glass and stood there holding the bottle. She looked up at him, dumbfounded. "Don't you want to taste it? Make sure it's not too sweet?" Debbie burst into laughter and assured him that it would please even her uneducated palette.
His rudeness was so over the top that we were amused rather than offended. I share the story because it is interesting, not because I am angry. I do not hesitate to recommend the hotel. The Grand Hotel is a beautiful property with (mostly) great service.