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Hotel de l'Ecu Hotel 0 star
Easyexperts
7, rue Auguste Carré - 21500 Montbard Montbard, France -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

A property full of history and character, the Hôtel de l'Ecu is a good choice for both couples and families looking to spend time in and around Montbard. It has 23 basic yet comfortable rooms, some interesting public places and, possibly the main pull, an excellent in-house restaurant which attracts many a non-guest too. A family-owned and run hotel, the place has a homely feel and good, friendly service. Hôtel de l'Ecu is a unique hotel worth looking into if you are passing through the area.

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  • Family
  • Well located
  • Gastronomy
  • Charm
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    Location 10.0 /10

    The Hôtel de l'Ecu is situated in the heart of the small town of Montbard, around an hour and a quarter's drive from Dijon. The hotel is within driving/cycling distance of the town of Buffon which is known for its forge and which also has a museum based on the life of the naturalist/industrialist who gave his name to the town.

    Accommodation 7.70 /10

    There are a total of 23 guest rooms at the Hôtel de l'Ecu, some of which are quadruples meaning small families can share. Due to the nature and age of the building each of the rooms is different in set up and size so there are no real categories as such. The décor changes from one room to the next but all have at least one queen bed whose bedding matches the curtains. There is a desk in each room (some glass-topped, others solid wooden affairs) as well as wardrobe and a seating area (if there is room) in the form of either armchairs or a sofa. The flooring in the rooms varies between parquet, lino and carpet and even within each room the décor doesn't necessarily match nor have any apparent theme. They are however comfortable, if in some cases a little small, and some effort has been made in some of the rooms with pictures and vases etc. They are all pretty quiet as the town is not a very busy one, especially at night, and their bathrooms are all pretty decent, some coming with tubs while others, such as ours, with a large walk-in shower and a very contemporary basin and mirror (which did look a little out of place next to the rest of the dated room décor). All rooms have a flatscreen television, minibar and hairdryer. In terms of views, there aren't any especially interesting ones to be had so don't worry too much about choosing on this basis.

    Overview 8.20 /10

    If you have any doubt at all if the building you are looking at is your hotel then simply raise your eyes to between the shuttered windows of the second and third floors and any ambiguity will be erased by the huge lettering spelling out 'Hôtel de l'Ecu' in Bordeaux (or should we say Burgundy?). The smart lobby, which has a strange mix of styles from different eras, has two neatly arranged seating areas to the right-hand side with small coffee tables with flowers surrounded by comfy leather armchairs. To the other side of the room are a small bar and a working fireplace (lit from October to March and more seating. Other notable features of the space are the black and white checked flooring, the sombre water colours and the presence of plants. The reception desk is tucked away at the back of the hall and is manned by either Gérard or Isabelle Coupat, the friendly couple who run the hotel. The lobby also doubles up as a place to enjoy a drink before heading on to dinner. However, if the weather allows, you could do this in the courtyard just off the corridor leading to the restaurant where plants and flowers climb up the walls surrounding it. There is of course no lift in the building so if you have trouble with stairs then you can ask for help with your luggage, especially if you are in a room which is relatively far from the lobby. The hotel as a whole is in good shape and is kept clean and tidy.

    Food and drink 8.20 /10

    The main pull of the hotel is arguably its restaurant, both in archaeological and culinary terms. While the main dining area is nothing special, there is a vault at the back dating from 1676 which is decorated with old kitchen ware including pots, cutlery and plates as well as an oven and butcher's table which gives a rustic feel to the space. Even when the restaurant is full, there is a muted atmosphere which is a shame, though luckily the food and service make up for this disappointment. Specialising in charolais beef and local produce, the food is fresh, full of flavour and innovative and presented eloquently. Unsurprisingly the wine list is biased towards the wines of the region and is extensive. There is a set menu which changes every week while the à la carte menu alters every couple of months.

    Breakfast, which is a continental buffet, is served in a dedicated room at the front of the hotel, which, similarly to the dining room, seems to lack atmosphere. A grandfather clock sits in one corner of the room whose stone floors are 300 years old. The ceiling beams are also remarkable for their natural state. The rest of the décor is pretty dated and the Burgundy paper placemats bring an unwanted commercial element to the table.

    There is a small bar in the lobby from behind which the staff serves pre-dinner drinks.

    To know

    Hotel de l'Ecu is a family-owned and run property whose building dates in part from the 16th century and partly from the 17th. Each year the hotel is closed or a week or so in February or March and the restaurant closes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between November and March.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, mountain bike

    • Animals allowed

    advantage

    • Full of history
    • Family-run
    • Excellent restaurant

    disadvantages

    • Some rooms' décor a little dated

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10