The unusual building of the Haras gives the hotel a sense of seclusion and remoteness despite it being less than a 5 minute walk away from the bustle of Strasbourg’s river and old town. Converted from Louis XV stables, the hotel is set around a huge courtyard (ideal in fact if you want to exercise your horse…) on an incongruously large plot within the density of the surrounding residential streets.
Most of the rooms overlook the courtyard which is lit prettily at night, and are all spacious and modern. The bathroom was even large enough to house a baby’s cot (ahem) and the blackout curtains held the nocturnal glow from the courtyard at bay.
Also overlooking the central courtyard is another conversion, the highly popular Harras restaurant. Day and night the outdoor tables bustled with diners delighted with the wonderful food and serene ambience. The service left something to be desired but the food and style were faultless.
The Haras staff are welcoming and helpful. The hotel is ideally placed to allow you to follow the river, meander the quaint restaurant district and explore all the history and highlights of this lovely city.
Who knew Strasbourg was such a great city? And if you’re looking to not just wander through streets steeped in history but to also spend a night in a slice of the past, the Cour du Corbeau is an ideal choice (plus it is the number 1 Strasbourg hotel on Tripadvisor).
Tucked away down a narrow lane with beamed 16th century facades pressing down from several stories above, the hotel wins the battle of historic versus modern with neither side losing. Wooden staircases ascend lopsidedly alongside tilted bannisters, whilst the plush bar exudes modern chic. As you move through the hotel you’ll transition from an authentic glimpse into 17th century France into the dimly lit, contemporary reception without missing a step.
The staff put the average guest to shame by happily switching between numerous languages to make sure you get just the breakfast you want (the pastries are delicious!) and everything from parking to pillows is seamlessly handled. The location is also a major plus with lively restaurants and bars at the end of the hotels’ cobbled street, close enough that you are in the heart of the action but at enough of an arm’s length to guarantee a peaceful night’s sleep.
Where fantasy village meets fairy grotto, tree-house meets the ultimate in modern luxury and incredible fine dining meets cosy evenings by the fire, this hotel is a mix of delightful contradictions which are really rather clever.
We stayed in the three story, 2 bedroom Les Barattes chalet. The front door opens into charming domestic bliss, hand selected crockery, antique furniture and an inviting wood burner. If it wasn’t for the cleverly hidden mod cons you might feel like you’d stepped back in time.
The stairs represent the sort of challenge kids will love and will make parents regret having that last glass of wine, but nothing else would work quite as well. You’ll love the carefully chosen small touches like the heart-shaped coat hooks, the basin carved from a slab of wood and the giant iron keys to let you out onto the balconies wrapped around each floor. Upstairs, the bedroom is heavenly, beautifully cushioned and decorated with furry rugs, creaky floorboards and an incongruous flat screen TV/ DVD player.
The food is incredible- crafted with the sort of light-touch and finesse only a French chef can do properly. The team deliver each course to your chalet with a smile and quick explanation before leaving you to your romantic evening. In summer there’s an abundance of pink and red flowers wherever you look; in winter the pristine snow combined with the ethereal blue night lights must create an atmosphere of almost supernatural stillness and beauty. I can’t wait to come back then.
For me, Alpine chalets conjure up images of single beds, scratchy blankets and gloomy decor. Then we discovered the bright, light and uber luxurious Secret Chalet.
The Secret Chalet (built in 2012) is spacious, modern and chic. Perched high above the valley floor it’s nestled amongst the mountains, forests and meadows of the Grand Massif ski area. We first visited in the spring when the cows would wander down the hill and pose through the generous west window, presenting a rustic ‘living picture’. Lazy afternoons were spent in the sway of the hammock and evenings ideal for French style barbeques. With so much to do in the local area we were spoilt for choice whether at home or out exploring.
This place had such a lovely ambience that we couldn’t wait to return, just 6 months later, to enjoy a thrilling winter break. This time we shared the chalet with 5 other couples, and found that after an exhilarating day on the slopes it was a warm and spacious place to spend sociable evenings round the long dining table. We complimented the day’s skiing with night air soaks in the 40 degree hot tub or chatting around the purpose built bar. The under floor heating kept us so cosy we had to turn the heat down, and that’s before we soothed our aches and pains in the sauna! When we fancied some quiet time the separate snug was ideal for reading or a movie, although , as it turns out, also easily able to accommodate a crowd eager to play quiz games on the Playstation and 40 inch TV.
Finally, rounding off the evening with a late night soak in one of the three baths before collapsing into the Egyptian cotton sheets set us up perfectly for another day of snowy adventure.