Humbled and Pleasantly Surprised in Strasbourg, France

It’s okay to be wrong sometimes

Do you ever find yourself second guessing your decision after making a hotel reservation?

We do… often.

Online reviews and photos can be deceiving, leaving us cautiously optimistic. It doesn’t seem to matter how experienced we get at booking hotels online, we always have a touch of anxiety prior to arriving at our destination.

Did we pick the right hotel? Did we find the right location? Is the hotel baby friendly? Did we pay the right price?

As we mapped out the itinerary for our summer trip to Europe, we began the process of researching and booking hotels. Gone are the days of simply showing up and knocking on doors. We travel with Baby B now, so the thought of lugging around strollers and suitcases in search of a good deal is no longer appealing – but I’m not sure it ever was?

We decided it would be a good idea to redeem some of our Aeroplan miles and use them towards hotel accommodations, specifically for our time in Strasbourg, France and Frankfurt, Germany. We don’t often use Aeroplan miles for hotels, but European hotels can be quite expensive, so it actually made a lot of sense.

An added bonus is that Aeroplan has alliances with over 2,800 hotels worldwide, with several brands that we are familiar with and trust. When we narrowed down the list of hotels for downtown Strasbourg, the ideal hotel was a Best Western – the Monopole Metropole to be exact.

Our initial reaction was one of disappointment.

Let’s be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Best Western chain; it delivers a consistent product and has a solid reputation. But it’s a North American brand, and not one we typically associate with Europe. We wanted a hotel with personality and character, a boutique hotel that captured the essence of Europe.

After all, we didn’t travel all the way to France to stay at a standard North American hotel chain – did we?

But the hotel reviews were very good and it was perfectly situated between the main train station and historical quarters. So we redeemed our Aeroplan miles and hoped for the best.

We were pleasantly surprised – and humbled.

Our perceptions of a European Best Western were completely wrong. This was not a motel on the side of an American highway or high-rise tower near an international airport. No, this boutique hotel, originally built in 1895, has all the personality and atmosphere we were looking for.

I could ramble on about the breakfast and hotel cleanliness, but that’s not what stood out for us. We expect good customer service and comfy beds, that’s the cost of admission in the competitive hotel game.

What impressed us was the hotel’s unique layout and decor, blending traditional Alsatian style with modern fixtures and amenities.

We knew this hotel was not your ordinary Best Western when we approached our room and this stain glassed window was on the door. Guests have the option to stay in traditional Alsatian-style rooms or contemporary rooms, each with unique layouts, furnishings and artwork.

 Our comfy bed for a few days

We liked the antique furniture and layout of the room…

… and the many stain-glassed windows in our corner suite.

Baby B was intrigued by the colourful stain-glassed windows…

and he enjoyed climbing the chairs…

hiding under the table…

… and exploring the shower and bath.

The bathroom in our suite

The view from our corner suite. We do love the architecture in France!

The bright yellow hallway outside our room

The bar and lounge area

Our favourite room – the charming lounge and billiards room with a variety of antique furniture, beautiful area rugs and wooden walls – and, of course, an old grandfather clock. It’s the perfect setting for an intense game of Clue!

For some reason, I found myself wanting to smoke a pipe and sip on some cognac?

The night watchman statue at the lobby entrance

Strasbourg is the capital city of the Alsace region in eastern France, bordering western Germany and northern Switzerland. The medieval city, with its towering sandstone Gothic cathedral and fascinating Petite-France architecture, has become one of France’s most popular tourist destinations.

If you’re looking to visit this cute French city, we give the Best Western Monopole Metropole our stamp of approval. It’s about a 10-minute walk from the Gare du Strasbourg (central train station) and about a 15-minute walk to the Old Town and Petite-France.

Learn more by visiting the hotel website – http://en.bw-monopole.com/

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Aeroplan is one of our travel partners and provided us additional Aeroplan miles to use during our summer trip to Europe. We were never asked to write a favourable review, nor were we asked to stay at this hotel. As always, all expressed opinions are entirely our own. We are supporters and long-time users of the Aeroplan rewards program. Learn more by visiting the Aeroplan website.

 

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About Traveling Canucks

Cam and Nicole Wears are newbie parents living in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. A passion for travel and outdoor adventure has taken them to over 70 countries on 6 continents in the past 10 years. Learn more about their story here. Follow them on Instagram and subscribe to their monthly newsletter.