It's a cliché but that "home away from home" sometimes exists and in Antibes we found it at the Pré Catelan. This three-star hotel is a cosy and intimate getaway located within easy reach of the sights of Antibes Juan-les-Pins. Holidaymakers looking for a simple but comfortable hotel with charm and personality will fit right in.
Barely a 10 minute walk from the beach at Juan-les-Pins, the Pré Catelan is situated just off the Boulevard President Wilson in a mostly residential area. Shops, bars and restaurants are all within easy walking distance while the centre of Antibes is at most a five minute car ride away (buses pick up and drop off from the Boulevard President Wilson). Nice Côte d'Azur Airport is about 25 minutes from the hotel.
Unlike many other hotels in Antibes Juan-les-Pins, the Pré Catelan is open all year round.
Although the hotel is not waterfront, it does offer guests a reduction off sun lounger hire at two different private beaches in Juan-les-Pins (La Juanita and Les Pirates).
The hotel dates back to the 18th century when it was originally a coaching inn. Today it is a charming, family hotel run by a friendly husband and wife team. There are three floors of accommodation but attention, there is no elevator access so less mobile guests should perhaps request a room on the first floor.
The common areas are awash with art and artefacts (paintings, objets d'art, antique chests, old cabriolet chairs...) of an eclectic style which at first glance appears chintzy but somehow comes together. The hotel owners enjoy sifting through antique fairs and many of their finds have ended up in the hotel (genuine items as well as copies), adding plenty of character to the place. To boost their green credentials, they also insisted on adding energy-saving lamps throughout the entire property.
As far as leisure facilities go, for a three-star offering, the Pré Catelan doesn't do too badly. Guests may use the outdoor swimming pool, nestled in the gardens, the Jacuzzi (10 euros for half an hour with bathrobe and towel) or relax on the terrace with a book. There is also an Internet booth for those who don't have their own laptop computer (WIFI connection is free throughout the hotel).
Guests will surely adore the terrace as much as we did; a haven of peace, relax on the outdoor lounges and watch the squirrels play in the trees, or sit at one of the stone-topped tables to enjoy a glass of wine. A giant palm tree sits in the middle, its trunk wrapped in fairy lights. This is the perfect place to enjoy an aperitif in the dusky light of the early evening. The trees and shrubs add shade and greenery but they also help to keep the terrace feel very private, even if the hotel finds itself right in the middle of a residential area.
There are 24 rooms spread out across three floors, most of which enjoy views over the garden and terrace. Clean and bright, they are lovingly decorated in a Provencal style however most rooms differ in layout and décor. Bedding and furnishings feature warm, harmonious colours, while the bathrooms are mostly very small but functional and adequate. Two of the rooms boast large, furnished terraces, and all rooms have courtesy trays of tea and coffee (no mini-bar) which is a nice touch we don't always see. Overall, while the rooms aren't necessarily brand spanking new they are so cosy and well-maintained that they are comforting to come back to at the end of a long day spent in the sun.
There is no restaurant as such at the Pré Catelan but the hotel does offer a limited menu of light meals available between 12:00pm and 8:00pm. At 14 - 19 euros (£12.35 - £16.75) for basic dishes such as smoked salmon on toast, stuffed vegetables, risotto or lasagne, eating in doesn't come cheap. Meals need to be ordered 15-20 minutes beforehand and can be washed down with a glass of wine or beer, both 4 euros (£3.50). The same menu is available on a room service basis but there is a 2.50 euros (£2.20) supplement.
Breakfast is served daily in the breakfast room on the ground floor, adjacent to Reception. Just as cosy as the rest of the hotel, the breakfast room is like eating at grandma's house in the country... There's a charming mix and match of country style dinnerware, while everything you could need is set up on a buffet in the centre of the room. For a three-star hotel, the variety at breakfast is excellent and much more than expected. Guests can tuck into various varieties of fresh bread and pastries, fruit and fruit salads, yoghurts, cereals, cheese and ham. There are even tomatoes and olives to add a Mediterranean twist to your first meal of the day, while sausages and eggs are available for those who like their fry-ups. The scrambled eggs are especially yummy!
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