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Hotels in Toulouse France Lodging Guides

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The city centre is the best place to find a Toulouse hotel, rather than the seedier area near the station, and you should be able to find something to suit any budget from the most humble to the most extravagant.

Rock bottom prices and good value can be found at the Hôtel des Arts, 1bis rue Cantegril (05 61 23 36 21) with idiosyncratic rooms in a lovely old building for under €30. St Exupery used to hang out at the Grand Balcon just off the place du Capitole at 8 rue Romiguières (05 61 21 48 08) and, although it has seen better days, it offers central accommodation for €30 40. Perhaps better value for money, the Ours Blanc at 25 place de Victor Hugo (05 61 21 62 40) is also near the Capitole and the covered market and has good rooms for €40 55.

Toulouse hotels can also reach the headier heights of the Grand Hôtel de l'Opéra at 1 place du Capitole (05 61 21 82 66) where such stars as Catherine Deneuve, Christian Lacroix, Serge Gainsbourg and Luciano Pavarotti have lain their heads. Set in a 17th century convent, the Grand Hôtel offers four star accommodation, a Turkish bath and sauna, gym and conference facilities for €125 150 per night. The hotel also has one of Toulouse's best restaurants where basic menus begin at €35 but are worth every penny.

Less forbiddingly expensive but with individually decorated rooms, the Hôtel des Beaux Arts at 1 place du Pont Neuf (05 34 45 42 42) has accommodation in a 19th century house from €70 85.

The places du Capitole, Arnaud Bernard, Wilson and St Georges present the most opportunities for people watching in cafés. The Bibent at 5 place du Capitole is the most exclusive with chandeliers and marble tables while Le Florida at number 12 is more relaxed with a retro feel to it.

Rue de la Colombette on the east side of boulevard Lazare Carnot is a fashionable spot to eat dinner, with a wide choice of restaurants, whilst above the market in place Victor Hugo is a must if you want a decent lunch for under €10 with a free side helping of great atmosphere; the best is Chez Atilla. A few restaurant names to drop include Le Sept Place St Sernin (no need to spell out the address, I hope; 05 62 30 05 30) behind the Basilique St Sernin, where excellent mains followed by even better desserts come on €17 49 menus. For classic Toulouse fare try La Bascule, 14 avenue Maurice Hauriou (05 61 52 09 51) with things like foie de canard and oysters on menus from €20.