Dubbed the White City for its chalky limestone structures, La Rochelle is one of the most popular destinations on the western coast of France. This magnificent coastal city, perched on the Bay of Biscay, invites nature lovers to explore a wealth of treasures on the land and under the sea.
La Rochelle invites visitors to roam through its cobblestone streets and unravel the hidden mysteries of its legendary explorers and rich historical heritage. The local food scene is incredible, and one can explore a diverse array of traditional French flavours paired with award-winning wines.
From trendy boutiques and hotels to gorgeous historic mansions, here are my favourite cool and unusual hotels in La Rochelle (in no particular order)…
1. Greet Hotel La Rochelle Centre – a unique, retro and trendy accommodation featuring an outdoor swimming pool, terrace and bar
A free-spirited venue famous for blending prized antiques with upcycled crafts, Greet Hotel has a welcoming ambience and a wealth of family-friendly amenities.
This boutique hotel offers 65 air-conditioned rooms, and each room is designed to accommodate up to 5 people, making them perfect for family reunions.
Guests can lounge around in the outdoor spaces, splash around in the outdoor pool and end their sightseeing tours with flavorful cocktails at the onsite Le Pearl Bar.
The location is ideal for discovering rewarding coastal trails that lead toward the ocean and planning day trips to Fort Boyard and Oleron Islands.
- To book, check prices or availability for Greet Hotel La Rochelle Centre
2. Maisons du Monde Hôtel & Suites – La Rochelle Vieux Port – an upscale, funky and Insta-worthy in a location perfect for partying Millennials and Gen Zs
A glamorous new addition to La Rochelle’s emblematic Old Port, Maison du Monde welcomes travellers to explore the city from a central location and recharge in luxuriously styled guest rooms.
A masterful combination of style and functionality, Maisons du Monde offers the perfect setting for every traveller. For instance, serenity seekers will adore the calming atmosphere of the Saint Martin Room, while art lovers will fall in love with the Baroque-style interiors of the Florence Room.
The Madras Room is an exotic Indian escape, while large groups with children can explore family rooms to enjoy ample space and high-end amenities.
- To book, check prices or availability for Maisons du Monde Hôtel & Suites – La Rochelle Vieux Port
3. Maison des Ambassadeurs – a cool and trendy upscale hotel with Instagrammable features perfect for Millennials and Gen Zs
A luxury hotel situated at a 2-minute stroll from La Rochelle Market, Maison des Ambassadeurs offers 58 rooms and suites, a world-class spa, an onsite restaurant and a bar. This glamorous venue pays tribute to the French ambassador Albert Bodard, and his spirit can be felt throughout the interiors of the two buildings.
The marine-themed guest rooms have a soothing ambience, adorned with enormous windows to offer panoramic views of the courtyards, gardens and terracotta rooftops of La Rochelle. The onsite Bodard Bar is renowned for its wine collection and seasonal cocktail recipes.
The hotel’s Arco Restaurant is one of the city’s most popular fine dining spots, specializing in Asian, French and South American flavours.
- To book, check prices or availability for Maison des Ambassadeurs
4. Le Champlain – a newly renovated, modern and stylish hotel steps away from local popular attractions
Le Champlain offers 39 rooms and suites, a 1000 m2 French garden, an onsite restaurant and bar, and an ideal location in the heart of La Rochelle, only 5 minutes away from the Old Port.
Established in a 17th-century convent, the building was acquired by the Brisson family and renovated into a luxury hotel. The lineup of accommodations features great offerings for all kinds of travelers, including Standard, Superior, Deluxe, Prestige, and Suite.
This 4-star hotel offers indulgent amenities, and all rooms are well-equipped with luxurious bedding and smart appliances. The onsite restaurant is quite popular for its gourmet buffet – an assortment of savory and sweet treats served every Sunday.
- To book, check prices or availability for Le Champlain
5. Hôtel Saint Nicolas – an industrial-chic, stylish and hip accommodation ideally located for those ready to explore around what the city has to offer
Hotel Saint Nicolas invites visitors to experience La Rochelle from the lavishly decorated confines of a historic townhouse set in the city’s heart. This privileged location is ideal for saving up on commuting costs, as the Old Port and city centre are a stone’s throw away.
The guest rooms are styled with patterned furniture and soothing colour palettes, featuring in-room appliances and complimentary toiletries. Guests can browse through a lineup of Standard, Superior, Executive and Family rooms to find the right setting.
The onsite breakfast is a hearty affair, served in the room or the tropical garden. The platter truly warms the heart with its variety of sausages, scrambled eggs, fruit salads, juices and sweet treats.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hôtel Saint Nicolas
6. Hôtel La Monnaie Art & Spa – a creative, unique and design boutique accommodation moments away from the beach, restaurants and market
A 17th-century building nestled near the Tour des 4 Sergents and Concurrence Beach, La Monnaie Art & Spa is surrounded by La Rochelle’s famous cobbled streets lined with museums and historic towers.
This upscale venue is drenched in Baroque-style art and design, featuring a zen-themed environment with elaborate artworks and rare antiques. The 41 rooms allow guests to explore multiple categories, including Comfort, Standard, Prestigious Triple Boxes, Albane Suite and the lavishly appointed Suite La Sirène.
The onsite bar is home to an impressive selection of wines of the Charente-Maritime and Cognac House Normandin, served with gourmet boards filled with salty treats.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hôtel La Monnaie Art & Spa
7. Hôtel Le Bord’O Vieux Port – a funky, bright and cosy accommodation situated on a fun pedestrian street
Located 50 meters from Vieux Port and a 6-minute stroll from the train station, Hotel Le Bord’O serves as a central base to explore every nook and cranny of La Rochelle without splurging one’s travel fund on commuting costs.
This hotel is located in the upbeat and vibrant Saint Nicolas district, the perfect neighbourhood to connect with the artistic soul and heritage of La Rochelle.
This family-friendly hotel has a cosy environment and a wide variety of accommodations, including Small Rooms, Medium or Twin Rooms, and Superior Rooms.
All rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs, air conditioning, fine linens, high-speed internet and bath amenities. Some rooms offer a private balcony.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hôtel Le Bord’O Vieux Port
8. Hôtel François 1er – a themed, hip and urban boutique B&B surrounded by trendy bars, shops and activities
François 1er positions travellers on a tranquil street in the heart of the historic quarters, surrounded by historic homes, museums, restaurants, and narrow alleys lined with antique shops and thrift stores. The Vieux Port is a stone’s throw away, and guests can explore innumerable attractions on foot.
This 17th-century building is home to 34 guest rooms, including 10 Family Rooms and 2 rooms for guests with reduced mobility. The interiors are adorned with a creative blend of contemporary art, street art and old paintings, paying homage to the artistic soul of La Rochelle.
The hotel offers a Listening Room with an extensive library of music and a Reading Room featuring hundreds of books on art, music and travel.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hôtel François 1er
9. Le Manoir Hôtel – a quirky, contemporary and newly renovated accommodation neighbouring the Saint-Jean d’Acre Park
Situated at a 6-minute stroll from the city centre and 8 minutes away from the Vieux Port, Le Manoir is surrounded by parks and offers proximity to the beach. This boutique hotel is the former mansion of a shipowner, featuring 18 guest rooms infused with old-world charm and contemporary comforts.
Le Manoir offers a wide selection of rooms, including Standard, Superior, Prestige, PMR Room and Family Suite. All accommodations are furnished with bespoke furniture, luxurious bedding and appliances to maximize comfort and convenience.
Guests speak highly of the dedicated team, always available to personalize services and address concerns. A gourmet buffet breakfast is served daily in the onsite breakfast room.
- To book, check prices or availability for Le Manoir Hôtel
10. Villa NC30 – a modern, lavish and industrial-style B&B ideal for a family or group vacation
Villa NC30 attracts vacationers with its privileged location in the heart of the city, surrounded by popular attractions and marketplaces. This modern villa is an oasis of luxury, featuring spacious bedrooms, an expansive wooden terrace, and a fully tiled Balinese-style heated pool.
Designed to accommodate more than 10 guests, Villa NC30 is a popular choice for reunions and wedding parties. The villa features 3 themed bedrooms on the ground floor: the New York Room, Stockholm Room and Tokyo Room.
The upper floor features two more bedrooms, a stainless steel chef’s kitchen, a brightly-lit living area and a furnished balcony overlooking the pool.
- To book, check prices or availability for Villa NC30
11. La Belle Amarre – a charming, hip and quirky B&B located in the heart of La Rochelle
La Belle Amarre is ideally located a few steps from La Grosse Horloge, while the city centre is 0.1 miles away, and the Plage des Minimes is only 1.5 miles away. History buffs eager to unravel La Rochelle’s glorious past will find innumerable 17th-century relics and sites in the streets surrounding the hotel.
Established in the former home of a shipowner, La Bella Amarre has been extensively renovated to create a warm atmosphere with abundant modern amenities. The themed rooms include Camille, Les Cabines, Les Mousses, and Les Soeurs” Marine et Camille”.
The guest rooms are anchored by an open patio featuring a 10-meter catamaran net – the perfect spot to sunbathe, in my experience.
- To book, check prices or availability for La Belle Amarre
12. ATHOME RESIDENCE ET SPA – a vibrant, contemporary and themed accommodation within walking distance of the Old Port
A student-friendly residence in the heart of the Minimes, AtHome offers a comfortable, home-like environment for students and vacationers planning extended trips. These apart-style accommodations are fully independently available in a variety of units, including Classic Studio, Premium Studio, and T1 Bis Premium.
All units are designed to offer pleasant and well-appointed living environments for 2 or more guests. The apartments are constructed around a 600 m2 garden, featuring multiple secluded spots to sunbathe or read.
The onsite spa offers an invigorating wellness experience with massage areas, a sauna, an ice fountain, a Hammam and balneotherapy. The onsite amenities include a fitness studio, bicycle storage and lounging areas.
- To book, check prices or availability for ATHOME RESIDENCE ET SPA
13. Chambres d’Hôtes Eden Ouest – an authentic, vibrant and charming B&B providing guests with a continental breakfast made each morning from local produce
A traditional French guest house famous for its vibrant colours and abundance of art, paintings, sculptures and stained glass windows, Eden Ouest is a natural habitat for art lovers. The décor has revitalized the period-style spirit of the mansion to create an artist’s paradise, promising an unforgettable sensory experience.
The rooms are whimsical, with distinct themes and original architectural details. The accommodations include the Blue Room, Grand Suite Rouge, the Red Ochre Suite, the Purple Ochre Suite and the Yellow Ochre Suite. All suites offer a larch wooden bath and a private Hammam.
Large groups and families can explore independently owned apartments featuring authentic Rochelais-style décor and abundant amenities to accommodate up to 8 guests.
- To book, check prices or availability for Chambres d’Hôtes Eden Ouest
14. Entre Hotes – a bright, quiet and petite boutique B&B perfect for a couple’s romantic getaway
Entre Hotes is an intimate bed & breakfast offering 5 lovingly decorated guest rooms, a private garden and a home-like atmosphere. This family-owned and operated establishment offers independence and privacy with highly personalized services. The downtown location makes it perfect for sightseers and business travellers.
The extensively renovated guest rooms play up a distinct theme with elaborate décor. The L’insolite Room is a dreamy love nest housed in an old cellar, featuring a private terrace and entrance. The Dune Room has a taupe palette with minimalist wood furniture, and the Aqua Room evokes a sense of serenity with its rich olive-green tones.
- To book, check prices or availability for Entre Hotes
15. Maison Caju – La Rochelle – an urban, creative and elegant accommodation designed to feel like your home-away-from-home
Maison Caju offers a home-like setting where visitors can freely prance around the common spaces, channel their inner chef in the kitchen, and curl up with a book by the fireplace in the living room. I have incredibly fond memories of this residence, devouring breakfast on the patio and doing grocery runs by boat.
Guests have access to an elaborate space for working and studying with a steady supply of coffee. The accommodations reflect a passion for themed décor and styling, and each room is uniquely precious.
For instance, Willy-Willy is a quirky space with a blue and orange palette, and Helm plays up classic English décor. I stayed in Guebli, a desert-themed room with tribal décor and a free-standing bathtub.
- To book, check prices or availability for Maison Caju – La Rochelle
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Scott started his travelling life back in 1999, when he headed off on a solo jaunt to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia with just a backpack, a camera and a spirit for adventure. After that, the travel bug bit hard and now he is always seeking to head off somewhere new. Over the years he has lived in Italy, Qatar, Ireland, UK and the US but his spiritual home will always be Rome as this is the city which most satisfies his unrelenting craving for culture, good food and great football. Scott loves nothing better than to be behind the camera and also runs his own blog and Instagram page. He also counts Melbourne, Cape Town and Tel Aviv among his favourite places. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @scottbalaam