Van Gogh, Romans and even bull fights; Arles is an unusual French city in many respects. Although being the inspiration of a great artist does not set Arles apart from other French cities (after all, the country has spawned so much creative genius), bullfighting is one of the more surprising pastimes in the Provence-based city. Despite bullfighting being largely unpopular elsewhere, Arles has one of the world’s most famous bullrings: the Arles Amphitheatre, which was built nearly 2,000 years ago by the Romans. Fortunately, you can visit when there aren’t blood sport events taking place. Plus, there are plenty of other historic spots dotted throughout the city too, including the Alyscamps Roman necropolis. These Roman sites were issued with UNESCO World Heritage status back in 1981.
But whatever your reason for visiting Arles, hotels are in ready supply throughout the city, catering to all manner of travellers. Finding the right hotel for you can be time consuming, therefore we have narrowed down the list to just five of the best Arles accommodations. We’ve made our selections based on a variety of considerations, including location and proximity to the main sights of Arles, the value for money, cleanliness and comfort, among others.
From €351/ night
At Hôtel & Spa Jules César, the onus is on providing more to guests. That means everything from valet service on arrival to spa treatments and pampering befitting a celebrity. Rooms have individual designs with a plethora of motifs from Rococo to Pop Art. Expect plenty of in-room amenities and extras like a minibar, coffee machine and iPod docks. When you’re hungry, there’s room service or you can try the Provençal cuisine at the hotel’s gastronomic restaurant, Lou Marquès. Even the setting of the hotel is special, inside a former Carmelite convent, ensuring that every little detail is as brash and ambitious as the hotel’s eponymous Roman general.
From €348/ night
Hotel de l’Anglais is a smaller boutique hotel that is set outside the warren of tight streets of the historic centre but still within 400m of the Arles Amphitheatre. The hotel enjoys a minimalist approach to decor, with light, airy bedrooms tastefully decorated in pastel tones. Ensuite bathrooms often have two sinks, along with chairs, a coffee machine and hypoallergenic linen throughout. The hotel has an adults only outdoor pool that is open year-round, along with a comfortable lounge area for guests. Breakfast is included in the price here.
From €183/ night
With the riverside path along the mighty Rhône only a minute away in one direction, and major landmarks all close by, Maison Volver is a great hotel for those who want easy access to both. Renovated in summer 2020, the linen and beds are extremely comfortable here, while the hotel is also highly rated for its levels of cleanliness. Quality toiletries are provided in the rooms, along with bathrobes, flatscreen TVs and air conditioning. The hotel has its own restaurant serving snacks and coffee, which you can sup at your leisure in the pleasant outdoors dining space.
From €298/ night
Villa M is a smaller boutique hotel housed inside a beautiful old building right in the old centre of Arles. Rooms are among the comfiest and cleanest in the city, decorated in warm tones and with plenty of space. They come equipped with all the amenities one would expect at this level of quality, including a coffee machine, toiletries and a safety deposit box. The breakfasts served at Villa M every day (included in the price) are another major plus point of the hotel, and can be taken outside on the pretty veranda. On some days of the week, the local market sets up right outside the hotel, so you can get right into the Provençal flow of things the moment you set foot outside.
From €154/ night
Another top hotel set inside a beautiful old building is Hôtel de l’Amphitéâtre, which also has perhaps the best location of any hotel on this list too. This is especially true for anybody who is not arriving by car, for the central location is not ideal for parking. But the presence of Arles Amphitheatre as a neighbour is a laurel that the hotel’s owners fortunately don’t rest on. The smaller rooms are quite basic, but aren’t lacking in comfort or cleanliness. A kettle, flatscreen TV and desk are all provided. There’s also a pleasant, leafy terrace available to guests.