I had the great luck to be invited for a weekend at the Nomad Hotel Le Havre at the end of October. I’ll give you Le Havre on paper, it doesn’t necessarily make you dream. And yet I must admit that we had an excellent weekend. Moreover, maybe like me you didn’t know it, the city was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005.
This time it is with one of my friends that I left. Clément from Normandy was not particularly excited about a weekend in Le Havre that he knew well.
Chance of the calendar this weekend coincided with the last weekend before the 2nd confinement. This gave it an even more appreciable flavor. To see the sea and to take the (big) air before finding the comfort of our apartment for several weeks, it is priceless.
So you have to ask yourself what we did during those 2 days!
Leaving Paris we first took the direction of Etretat located only 35 minutes drive from Le Havre. The objective was to arrive there for lunch. Objective reached but we had not anticipated the world… We were not the only ones looking for escape before a possible reconfinement.
Not without difficulty, we finally found a place to park after the fire station (I give you the info in case you want to go there on a busy weekend, don’t thank me ;D). Let’s start looking for a restaurant. We searched all the potential addresses, without success unfortunately: everything is complete with a queue in front. In spite of everything we were in period of curfew, we didn’t want to spend hours waiting and not enjoy the place. Fall-back solution: sandwich at the bakery to eat in front of the sea and the cliffs. There are worse you will tell me and I confirm it to you. When in November I was looking at the view from the window of my apartment I thought that really we were not so bad.
We then take advantage of the afternoon to walk on the famous cliffs. At each detour the views are breathtaking. The contrasts of colors are also superb. We do not get tired of it. If you go there, I can only advise you not to stop at the first cliff above the arch. Follow the path, it is very practicable, you will get away from the crowd and will be able to fully enjoy the landscapes that Etretat offers us.
As already mentioned we were in period of curfew, so I will not be able to advise you THE super restaurant of Le Havre. We opted for the option to dine in a brasserie right next door to have time to enjoy our meal without running. Nevertheless we ate well and the welcome was warm. If you are tired after your first day and want to play at home I recommend Le Marignan.
The day after, between a jog along the beach and a walk in the city center we discovered Le Havre. Well I can see that the architecture may not be the most elegant that exists. Remember that the city was completely destroyed during World War II. So it had to be rebuilt quickly. However, I found it very pleasant that the streets are wide and planted with trees and so I enjoyed walking there.
In addition, the city has a large beach with a beautiful promenade. It’s really a nice space. Especially as on Sunday there are many people to walk there, it is very lively: sportsmen, families, walkers…
Once again we hadn’t anticipated enough and it was sold out but my mother had advised me to go and visit the Perret show apartment. It is an apartment refurbished as it was originally, after the war. It allows you to discover the proposals made to rehouse families at that time. Moreover it contrasts with the austere exterior architecture where the beautiful part is made to the natural light contribution.
It is a modern hotel located right next to the train station. I stop you right away: the hotel is very well soundproofed we absolutely do not hear the trains from the room and especially the station of Le Havre it is not Gare de Lyon. So even if you have a very acute hearing tell you that there won’t be 50 trains in the evening.
As soon as you enter, you have the possibility to buy a stainless steel water bottle. There is also a filtered water fountain if you are not a fan of tap water. The bedroom is an open space where the bathroom is integrated in the living space. Again, don’t panic, there is a curtain if you want privacy! Speaking of shower, you can control, on the tablet that controls the whole room (shutters, TV…), the amount of water you use. It’s very educational on water management. You even have the possibility to select “Water saving” when you make your reservation. You will then be allocated a quantity of water and receive a discount.
A booklet is available in the room. It summarizes the operation of the hotel, lists the eco-responsible choices made during the construction and development of the hotel. You will learn, among other things, that :
- the carpet of the corridors is produced with recycled fishing nets
- Rainwater is used to flush toilets.
- the comforters are made of recycled fibres
Other ideas for getaways around Le Havre
By staying longer we could also have gone to Honfleur which is just across the Normandy bridge. But we already knew it. If this is not your case, I can only encourage you to go and discover this very pretty city and its port. You also have the possibility to discover Deauville and Trouville.
In any case Nomad Hotel Le Havre is an excellent place to come and make eco-tourism in the region. Moreover if you choose to come to Le Havre by train, buses are available to take you to Etretat and Honfleur.
And you know each other Le Havre ? Did I make you want to go beyond your priorities and discover this city?