Brittany: Town and water in north-west France


brittanyBalthazar Hotel: Kick-start your day
Wherever you go on the planet, you know when you’re in a Sofitel. All the hotels have an elegant, contemporary feel. The receptions are inviting, the décor cool and refined. The Balthazar Hotel and Spa, in the heart of Rennes, is no different. It could not be better placed, just a short walk from the Parlement of Brittany. Impressive in scale, established in an elegant townhouse, it somehow manages to reduce itself when you arrive at the reception and you are immediately looked after by the staff. In this case, the receptionist pointed to where I would have my breakfast the following morning.

Sofitel hotels always do a great breakfast, and one thing they are renowned for is that each hotel offers something local to kick-start your day – I recall the succulent herbal sausages in Marseille. So what else but delicately-cooked local pancakes to go with an impressive hot and cold breakfast, in an open breakfast room with high ceilings and a sense of calm?

Once I had wandered the old, cobbled streets of the old town, there were places in the hotel where you could simply pause and enjoy a well-earned break, such as The Nuxe Spa, the leafy patio and La Table de Balthazar restaurant, renowned locally for its Sunday brunch.

With 56 rooms and three suites, the hotel boasts WIFI, excellent room service and valet parking. A recent innovation ate the Sofitel hotels is MyBed™, offering customized comfort with a king-size bed that is divinely soft – I would have slept on in the elegant bed linen if it wasn’t for the thought of that inviting breakfast. It allows its guests to personalize their MyBed ™ by choosing the pillow that best suits them.

Balthazar Hotel & Spa Rennes MGallery by Sofitel

How to get there: Tickets for this journey were booked on, the European rail expert and official online distributor of high speed train tickets in France and Europe. The mobile application and the website are dedicated to bookings from Belgium for all train journeys in France ((TGV, iDTGV, Intercités) or international trains  (TGV, Thalys, Eurostar, Elipsos,TGV Lyria, TGV France Italie, TGV France Espagne, CityNightLine, Italo). The online calendar makes it possible to book the best deals three months in advance on more than 200 train journeys.