Hôtel Du Puy d'Alon, Souillac, March 14, 2012—
IT OCCURS TO ME I've written nothing about the hotels. We've stayed in a lot of them, these last three weeks, and there wasn't a one I wouldn't go back to, though one or two would have to adjust its price first. Nearly all of them offer wi-fi, though not always dependably in the room; nearly all have websites. Except for the first, which was chosen for us — and splendidly!— I booked most of them through bookings.com, which has a good iPhone app but also works well online. For information on the nearby restaurants we chose, see Eating Every Day (http://eatingday.blogspot.com). If you don't mind, I'll just mention them in the order we found them:
•Hotel Herberg & Appartementen De Smidse, Molenweg 9, 6285NJ Epen, Netherlands; +31(0)43-4551253. A fine old-fashioned place, two storeys, no elevator, on the outskirts of a village across the road from open fields; good rambling all around; decent simple food in a pleasant dining room, efficient, pleasant staff. Great for a three-day stay with friends.
•Hotel-Restaurant Le Relais, Place du Monument 22, 4900 Spa, Belgium; +32 087 77 11 08. Very pretty spacious room up a flight or two, old-fashioned, okay breakfast, well situated, cheap.
•Hotel Val de la Cascade, Petit-Coo, 1 - 4970 Stavelot, Belgium; +32(0)80/68.40.78. Well off the beaten track and at an amusement park-like development set next to a cascade, I can't imagine staying here except in the depth of off-season, unless you have kids to entertain. Still, the room was big and comfortable, the dining room almost snug and romantic.
•Hotel Ardenne Les Myrtilles, Rue du Vieux Marché 1, Vielsalm, 6690 Belgium; +32 (0) 80 67 22 85. Recently affiliated with the Best Western chain, right in the middle of town, surprisingly good restaurant, comfortable room.
•Hotel Burg Hof, Burg Reuland 43, Burg-Reuland, 4790 Belgium; +32 80 32 98 01. We stayed in a clean comfortable bare-bones room in a new building across the road from the big old hotel-restaurant on the edge of the village, goats and chickens in the yard just outside our window. Nice bar, decent restaurant.
•Hotel Oberhausen, Oberhausen 8, Oberhausen (Burg-Reuland), 4790 Belgium; +32 80 32 94 97. One of our favorite places, partly for the delicious pannekoek, partly for the sweet, airy, comfortable room, greatly for the lusty, good-humored, helpful mevrouw running the place. In a country setting in a tiny border village, another great post for rambles.
•Hotel Daytona, Hauptstrasse 3, 54689 Dasburg, Germany; +49 65501530. The only place for a number of kilometers, this was basically a make-it-work choice. Run by a Dutch couple, it's oriented to motorcycle tourists, and the town itself doesn't have much to offer. Still, the staff were very helpful and pleasant, the room clean and comfortable, and a bus runs right past, two or three times a day, most days anyway.
•Café Hotel de Ville de Bruxelles, 15 Grand-Rue Vianden, L-9410 Luxembourg; +35 2621186547. Don't ask me why a small old-fashioned hotel owned and operated by a couple immigrated from Portugal has a name like this; its not important anyway; what counts is the ingratiating warmth of the people, the pure heart of their work, and the truly excellent bacalhau they gave us. Quiet, comfortable, on the main street of a very picturesque town.
•Hotel Bristol, 11, rue de Strasbourg, Luxembourg-Ville, L-2561 Luxembourg; +352 48 58 29. Small quiet clean room, elevator, decent breakfast, nice (but smoky) bar, easy one-block walk from the train station, cheap. Oh: and friendly.
•Hotel Central, 2, rue Victor Millot, Beaune, 21200 France; +33 0380247724. Another very old-fashioned hotel with a pretty, quiet room overlooking a quiet street just off the central place and close to good cafés and a quite good restaurant (Ma Cuisine), with a nice bar and a friendly staff.
•Hotel Restaurant Le P'tit Monde, 54 Rue Du 4 Septembre, 24290 Montignac, France; +33 0553513276. Perhaps the grimmest of the hotels we've slept in lately, but clean enough. The price seemed unnecessarily high and the staff a little cool, but there's a fine restaurant (La Chaumière) right down the street.
•Hôtel Du Puy d'Alon, 1 Rue De Pressignac, Souillac, 46200 France; +33 0565378979. A kilometer from the center of town, thus the nearest café, bar, or restaurant; a pleasant room with stenciled wallpaper; quiet; comfortable.