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Hostellerie Le Maréchal - Review

SOME PLACES LOOK ALMOST TOO GOOD to be true, and Hostellerie Le Maréchal – looking like a make-believe gingerbread house on the water’s edge  – is one. You half expect to see Hansel and Gretel checking in at the front door.

This storybook half-timbered 16th century house sits in the heart of historic Colmar – arguably the loveliest town in Alsace – tucked beside a canal in the much-photographed Petite Venise (Little Venice) quarter. The location couldn’t be better.

Inside Le Maréchal, step into a period residence heaped in charm. Gables, dark beams and medieval quirks are the backdrop. Giant candelabra, old ticking clocks and generous jugs of flowers sit against prettily stencilled walls strewn with plates and pictures.

Lavish rooms (some reached by winding staircases) are all beamed ceilings and pretty hues. Huge four-poster and canopied beds – some set off by pleasing contemporary fabrics – are matched by chests and armoires from the reigns of Louis XV and XVI. All  blend seamlessly with up-to-the-minute comforts.

Canalside terrace

Crooked walls and ceilings come as standard, colours are country-French, and compact bathrooms are anything but old – many boast whirlpool baths, power shower and saunas.

Romance beckons on warm evenings at Le Maréchal’s candlelit terrace tables beside  the canal. The mood inside the hotel’s more formal L’Echevin restaurant is deliciously enticing too. Tuck into ballottine of Alsatian squab with duck liver and truffles or other local signature dishes. 

Colmar’s water-encircled old town is a gem. Take a bateau ride along the canals of Little Venice for views of the town’s original 11th century ramparts. Hot-foot around Colmar’s ancient closely-packed streets to take in its museums and timbered facades, or drive out to vine-clad countryside – you’re in the midst of Alsatian wine country.

Hostellerie Le Maréchal was reviewed for Room for Romance by Mike North

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