This is just the sort of hotel discovery you hope for when travelling in France. Affordable, full of charm and personality, but not suffering from the kind of old-style “charm” that sometimes translates to lacklustre service or neglectful maintenance. Au contraire, pleasant surprises abound at the three-star Auberge de la Côte d’Or.
For starters, although the Burgundian ocre frontage of this old 16c Relais de Poste lies at the very heart of Semur on a busy little road right opposite one of the Medieval gates of the old town, you should not let that put you off. The road is only busy in the brief rush hour and the newly refurbished rooms have double-glazed windows anyway.
Once inside it’s a calm and welcoming environment. The renovation of this fascinating old building is testimony to the passion and enthusiasm of Véronique Jobic, a local hotelier, who acquired it in 2003. A painstaking programme of renewal is visible everywhere, with restored stonework, exposed beams, fresh paintwork and even the restoration of two beautiful caves discovered during the works.
Rooms are unique shapes and sizes offering a wide range of choices for couples or families and all are well equipped with comfortable beds and period furniture, free wifi and flat screen TVs. En suite bathrooms and shower rooms have been kitted out with expensive tiling, basins, drench rainfall showers or bains balneo, Jacuzzi baths. There’s no garden but there is a small outside terrace and the quirkily designed licensed bar area serves tapas snacks.
This is a three-star auberge so don’t expect fine dining and fancy room service, but as a base to explore the beautiful town of Semur and the surrounding area, it’s a great choice.
Auberge de la Côte d’Or, 1 rue de la liberté, 21140 Semur en Auxois, Tel: +33 (0)3 80 97 24 54. 10 rooms, from 118 euros per night.