When I start narrowing down potential routes for an upcoming bicycling vacation in France, I start checking out lodging possibilities. My first stop is the Logis Hotels website. Founded in 1949, the Federation Internationale des Logis is Europe’s leading independently-owned hotel chain, with close to 3,000 hotels, most of which are in France. Don’t be mislead by the word chain. These are small independently-owned hotels, and many are actually run by the owners. As a matter of fact, the owner may be the first person you see when you arrive.
The ambiance of each hotel is unique and reflects the local area; all Logis members share the same dedication to providing customers with a welcoming and friendly environment and comfortable and modern accommodations at a fair price. The best part of Logis hotels is that they are renowned for the quality of their dining. Many Logis hotels are home to the best chef in the region, just another reason to look no further than this chain when planning your bike trip to France. Logis chefs spotlight the regional cuisine of their area, including cheeses, meats, seafood, produce and local wines and drinks. Some of the Logis which are located in Burgundy, Champagne, Alsace and the Loire offer special wine tasting stays, which are a great addition to any biking trip.
The Logis Hotels use a unique rating system for classifying member hotels and restaurants. The “fireplace” classification is used for hotels and is based on the Logis formula of comfort, facilities, services and ambiance, and hotels are awarded from one to three fireplaces.
Each level provides guaranteed comfort and authentic charm at an affordable price, one fireplace being the most basic, three fireplaces the most luxurious. There is also a new category of lodging that has been created to recognize exceptional establishments that embody the highest level of excellence and uniqueness, Logis d’Exception. In addition, the Logis offers over 1,600 hotels especially devoted to families: special menus for kids under 12, fun kids activities, baby cots and high chairs.
Logis restaurants are classified by the number of “pots” which reflect the expertise of the chef and the taste and quality of the product it produces. The Logis restaurants’ classification includes four categories. One pot indicates local cuisine featuring traditional and regional recipes served in a warm and friendly setting. Two pots indicates a comfortable restaurant with attentive service, and regional cuisine with more gourmet overtones. Three pots signifies an elegant restaurant featuring gastronomic dining that is both refined and creative, meticulous service, in general, a fine dining experience.
The fourth category is Table Distinguee. This classification requires that the restaurant be recognized by at least one of the following during the last year: one or more Michelin stars, one or more Bottin Gourmand stars or two or more chef’s hats from Gault et Millau. Regardless of the number of pots, each Logis restaurant has daily menus of the day that offer the highest quality food at a reasonable price. When I was biking this summer in the Loire Valley dinner at Hotel La Breche in Amboise, which has one pot ranged from 15-26 Euros, and dinner at Domaine De L’ Arbrelle which has three pots ranged from 25-41 Euros.
The Logis website is very easy to use. You can search for hotels by town or by criteria. You can download the GPS coordinates for most of the hotels which is especially handy if you bring your GPS with you on your bike trip. Most hotels offer discounts during all but the most crowded time periods, so always ask if you do not see any discounts listed.
After a day of cycling, the four things that I look forward to the most are a hot shower, a really comfortable bed, a great dinner with local cuisine and a hotel that reflects the region of France that I am in. Logis Hotels offers all this and more: a warm and welcoming environment, affordable and comfortable lodging and great regional food, the perfect combination for a bicyclist in France.