The L’Arbre Voyageur eco hotel has just opened up in Lille in what was once the Polish Embassy. It comes courtesy of the Best Western Chain and though the building does look somewhat dated and officious, inside the 48 bedrooms have all the mod cons of a four star hotel with more than a dollop of quirky design.
Though decor and colours vary from floor to floor, the jungle theme stays consistent. Colour schemes reflect those you find in nature such as green walls dark wood, palm patterned wallpaper, light wood floors and even jungle wallpaper with frolicking monkeys. In fact its name translates as the Traveller’s Tree, after a tree found in Madagascar. This tree has leaves so huge they can provide shelter to those travelling through.
They have a small courtyard where palm trees grow to give the air of the tropics and their logo is reminiscent of the tree.
They maintain an eco ethic and so have solar panels to provide some of their energy.
It has a fantastic location a short walk from Vieux Ville and Grand Place and all the shops. It is also close to the international Eurostar train station making the hotel ideal for those looking for a short break in the city. Families can use the interconnecting rooms.
There are only 48 rooms and all are pretty spacious (from 25 sq metres). Some en suites at the top end come with both a bath and a shower room, others come with one or the other but all showers are spacious with a rain shower head. One even has a jacuzzi. Sinks are unusual, they are not bowls with a plug hole, but a slanting base with a slit where the water runs away. All have lovely Occitaine products.
Beds are doubles, and there is a sofa double bed too if you are sharing.
Each room comes with a mini bar and everything in it is free – crisps, chocolate and soft drinks. There’s also a fully stocked Nespresso machine and huge smart TVs. Large double glazed (so no street noise) windows let in lashings of daylight.
Incidentally, as part of the eco values, if you are staying more than two nights and choose to forgo the housekeeping service you will be rewarded with a drink at the bar which can be alcoholic or soft.
Food and Drink
There are two restaurants. Ma Reine (my queen), which has an impressive crown chandelier and whose tables are decorated with smaller crowns. Burgers seem to be the in thing in Lille right now and Ma Reine is right on trend with a variety of burgers and cocktails on the menu.
The other is an a la carte restaurant called Jane, whose leopard print wallpaper and orange seating gives off a stylish safari ambience. Jane also has a bar area.
Attached to the hotel is a bakery (they make it themselves in a nearby location) and a florist where locals shop too.
There are no facilities as such other than very good service.
Is Wi Fi available?
Yes and it’s free throughout the hotel.
What’s near by
The hotel has an excellent location a few minutes away from the go-to meeting point at the Grand Place where the ornate former bourse (stock exchange) and the lovely Gare du Nord newspaper’s headquarters are located.
Gare du Lille and Eurostar is only a few minutes walk away as well, so you won’t need a car unless you wish to leave the city.
Make sure you also read our guide to Lille: Lille – a Flemish city in Northern France
Rooms start from 110 euros per night.
Lille does have an airport but if you are coming from UK, Paris or Brussels, cathing the Eurostar train is the most convenient mode of transport. Especially if you want to catch a connecting train to somewhere else in France.