Arriving at the small airport at La Rochelle, we took bus number 7 to the Place de Verdun in La Rochelle town centre. It cost us 1 euro 30 each. Just four stops later and in less than 20 minutes, we had arrived.The Ibis hotel is a very short, level, walk away on Rue Fleuriau and takes less than 5 minutes.
Most of the reception staff spoke English and were very helpful. There were no bedrooms on the ground floor but there was a lift to all floors and the breakfast room. Free wifi and air con. is available throughout the hotel.
Our double room on the first floor was on the small side and the ensuite, with shower only, was even more compact but the rooms were easily cooled with the A/C .
The double bed was clean and comfortable with poly/cotton bed linen and good quality pillows. Black-out curtains, plus nets, kept out the strong afternoon sunlight for a relaxing siesta, while it was so hot outside.
There was a large family room next door to us, number 118, which seemed good value. It had a large,single bedroom with three single beds in it next to a large double bedroom and also had a larger bathroom with a bath.It cost 150 euros per night. We did not hear any noise through the walls, when it was occupied.
We would recommend this hotel as it is so conveniently situated for those, who prefer to travel by public transport, as there is limited street parking. Local supermarkets are a short , level walk away. A visit to the excellent Aquarium is a must and well worth the 15 euros adult entry charge. All information is in French and English. It has a good restaurant with pleasant views. There is also a wide choice of restaurants in town, which stay open till late, creating a great lively atmosphere.
For beach lovers, we would recommend a visit to Chatelaillon Plage, which is a short train journey south and an easy walk from the station. Restaurants, cafes etc are nearby.
Also the Ile de Re, a small island near La Rochelle, is easily accessed by bus from the Place de Verdun.
When we went there, we visited several parts of the island, using our Day Rover but we liked St Martin de Re the best. We enjoyed seeing the town's famous donkeys, wearing their culottes, giving children rides and we enjoyed our delicious lunch at Le Phare restaurant, overlooking the quaint harbour.
All in all, we had a great week's holiday in a beautiful part of France.