If you’ve ever driven on any of the auto routes in France you’ll have noticed that some of the aires – service areas – have hotels. And, if you’re like me, you’ve wondered why anyone would want to stay in a hotel in a service centre on a highway and what the hotels are like.
I’m here to answer those questions.
Apparently someone like me stays in the hotel. I’m on my way to Geneva and, for various reasons, am driving. I was less organized than I planned to be and didn’t leave Montlaur until almost 7.30 pm (19.30h). In theory it’s a 6 hour drive from Montlaur to Geneva. I’m pretty sure this doesn’t include pee breaks. And, oh god I’m falling asleep breaks. And trying to replace the blown fuse that controls the dashboard lights breaks.
I had thought that I’d make it to Valence and then stop for the night but by 11.30 it was time to stop driving. And it seemed a lot easier to just come to the Hotel Montelimar in the Aire de Montelimar Est than it did to go into Montelimar and try to find a hotel.
It’s not terrible, the hotel. I’ve certainly stayed in worse. And paid more. It’s 64.00 euros a night for one person. There’s wifi in the room, the bathroom is kind of dark but the shower is a normal size and the water pressure is terrific. The mattress looks a bit thin but the box-spring is very thick. It’s a single bed and no doubt I’ll roll over and fall on the floor in my sleep but I’ll be asleep and may not notice.
The breakfast buffet starts at 6 am so I can make an early start and spend the day in Geneva before the business part of my trip starts on Thursday.
There you have it. The who, why, and what is it like of an aire hotel on an auto route in France.