[by Marjolein] The 5* L’Hermitage Gantois Hotel, located in the centre of Lille in northern France, is the perfect spot for discovering the city or a stopover before driving towards the Normandie coast.
This charming hotel with 89 rooms combines history and modernity. History because it is a classified monument (parts originate from the 15th century) and modernity because of the minimalistic pre-rusted wing that was added in the 21st century.
The Gantois started its life as a hospice. A wealthy magistrate whose nickname was Le Gantois built the first wing and this is nowadays the façade of the hotel. Over the centuries more wings have been added. As a result, the Gantois Hotel has three charming courtyards with flower beds and trees. It gives a feeling of enjoying the countryside, despite being in the middle of town.
L’Hermitage Gantois courtyard view
We reside in an Executive Double room in the historical part of the building. Think thick stone walls in the corridor, leading to a wooden door with a hand-painted sign above it: Saint Germaine and Saint Benoit will keep us safe!
I enter to a classic sitting area with a view to the sunny courtyard. There’s a minibar, a Nespresso machine and chocolates to try (I did). The bed is very comfortable with lots of different cushions.
The bathroom is not only spacious, it also has oodles of thick fluffy towels and a wide range of amenities. Most of them are by by The White Company. Looking up from the bath, I admire a saint esprit on the ceiling. A reminder of ancient time in this building.
I love the old wooden doors which separate bedroom from sitting area and bathroom. Before dinner we make use of the swimming pool, located in the contemporary wing of the Gantois Hotel. Too bad all treatment rooms in the spa were fully booked; I would have loved a facial with Decléor or Carita products…
L’Hermitage Gastronomic Restaurant
L’Hermitage, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant is situated in a vaulted room painted a (very) rich red. This restaurant – also breakfast room – has a lively atmosphere. All tables are occupied with happily chatting people. One side has windows that look out onto the modern glass ceiling lobby which doubles as bar area.
Maître d’ and sommelier Laurent takes excellent care of us and recommends a bottle of Chassagne-Montrachet. It’s a complete coincidence that this is hubby’s favorite white Burgundy. We both enjoy the Menu Découverte that takes us from langoustine to John Dory, local cheeses and a very colorful and pretty desert. I like the John Dory dish best: it comes with plenty of delish vegetables.
The breakfast is a buffet with a variety of breads, cereals, fruits, juices and egg things. I resist the temptation to start the day with a mimosa. Better to keep a clear head when a shopping expedition is on the horizon!
What to see or do in lovely Lille?
After roadtrippin’ for two weeks through Normandy and Brittany while being a total culture vulture, I did not see a single decent clothing or shoe shop from the inside. So, I’ll admit: shopping comes first in Lille. Especially with big name boutiques like Louis Vuitton, Hermès, La Perla, Wolford, Yves Delorme & Free Lance.
Plus a variety of local boutiques, like Mademoiselle Chapeaux’ hat store, nice galleries and antique stores. Must plan a trip with some girl friends because I saw more than I could handle in one day. After all, Lille is only like a three-hour drive from Amsterdam… Alors, au revoir, Lille!
our stay at the L’Hermitage Gantois Hotel is by invitation on behalf of Chapter Fifty. We only accept items or collaborations that answer positive to the question: “does it match my lifestyle and those of my followers?”.
We will not promote anything that we would not wear, eat, sleep or see ourselves. Authenticity is very important to Chapter Fifty.