When planning my weekend trip to Burgundy, I had a hard time deciding whether to stay in Beaune or Dijon. One of the reasons I ended up choosing Dijon was because of Hotel du Palais. Not only was it a great price (79 euros a night), but it was centrally located and, most importantly, the hotel was dog friendly! Even though a train ride to Dijon is only about an hour from Paris and a road trip would end up taking about 3 and a half hours, I had it in my mind that this was going to be a family trip, complete with me, Rio and my dog Tyler.
What used to be a two-star hotel is now rated three stars, thanks to owner Sandrine and her partner’s updates. I can tell you how clean the color-themed, Ikea-furnished, modern rooms are (very!), the pleasantly satisfying breakfast with homemade honey cake, pastries, meats, cheeses, coffee, and freshly-squeezed orange juice, how it’s an easy 6-minute stroll to sights like Notre Dame, Place de la Liberation and Musée des Beaux-Arts, is right along the Owl’s Trail walking tour, and literally 2 minutes away from a plethora of restaurants, but that’s not won me over for Hotel du Palais. What won me over was the amazingly friendly service that goes above and beyond to make sure you’re happy and taken care of.
To give you some perspective of just how nice the owners are… let’s just say the hotel could’ve kicked us out after our first night. What?! Oui, c’est vrai. After being stuck in traffic for approximately four hours, Rio, Tyler and I didn’t make it to the hotel until about 9:45pm… about 45 minutes after I was supposed to have a reservation at Pourquoi Pas. In a panic, Rio parked the car while I checked in, asked Sandrine to let the restaurant know we were running terribly late, and quickly rushed Tyler up to our room (#5, with the purple color theme) and left him there as we then practically ran to the restaurant in fear they wouldn’t still take us at such a late time. (It’s not “the city” where Parisians don’t eat until 9pm, after all!)
During dinner, Rio was stressed that Tyler was going to be barking up a storm since we did, after all, just abandon him in some strange hotel room without even getting him settled in. I told him to relax… until I checked my cell phone at 11:30pm and saw a text message and two missed calls from the hotel. Apparently, the (very nice) text said that Tyler had been barking and could we please quickly manage this inconvenience as he was bothering the other guests. Damn you, Tyler! We basically rushed back to the hotel, and Tyler was quiet as a mouse while we were there.
The next morning, I hoped I could exit the hotel lobby without the owners noticing me, but yeah, that didn’t happen. The owner asked to speak with me and instead of threatening to kick us out or make me feel bad about Tyler, he actually apologized to me! Me! He was incredibly nice about the whole situation and wondered how we could resolve the issue of Tyler being a barking maniac. Meanwhile, Rio had quickly skedaddled out of there with Tyler as he gets a jail-out-of-free-card for dealing with all Frenchies since he doesn’t speak a single word of the language. Well, apparently, Tyler had been barking for a full hour the night before and the owner actually went to the room and took him for a walk to help calm his nerves. What?? That was unbelievably nice! And it gets better… the owners then offered to watch Tyler in the lobby while Rio and I had dinner during our second night. Seriously! I said it was ok and it would be too much to ask of them, but they insisted and said they didn’t mind at all. Granted, they probably didn’t want the other guests to complain… but still! When we came back from dinner that night, I found Tyler laying on the floor next to the owner vegging out, looking content and peaceful (and silent). Hooray!
In terms of things that are “negatives”, I can only think of two minor things:
1) There is no parking at the hotel so you have to walk about 5 minutes to the parking lot. The hotel does give you a parking ticket so you don’t have to deal with paying for the tickets with the garage though.
2) The walls are a bit thin, as we could hear our neighbors coughing/hacking and chatting sometimes. But it wasn’t that big a big deal for us.
Overall, the location, cleanliness, price, and, most of all, the service, makes me highly recommend this hotel. Go to Burgundy and stay at Hotel du Palais. Period.