We’re spending 4 nights in Normandy in mid-September and our main focus will be touring the D-Day beaches and museums. We’ll have a rental car. I prefer small towns to cities and so I was thinking of making Arromanches our base, but Bayeaux looks so picturesque and charming. Which would you recommend? Also, I’ve looked at the Rick Steves recommended lodging in Arromanches and am underwhelmed. Any recommendations on specific hotels in either of these locations?
We stayed in Arromanches at Le Mulberry. The hosts were pleasant and the room suited us. It was all very clean. Breakfast was fantastic and we had a very nice dinner at the inn as well. We liked the quiet little town. If you don't stay there, it's worth a visit for the interesting artificial harbor, pretty beach and a wonderful little museum right on the beach providing details of the artificial harbor and more.
Second the recommendation for Le Mulberry. We stayed for three nights several years ago and loved it. This trip we are renting a HomeAway apartment in Bayeux to just wander the town and re-visit the cathedral and tapestry.
We spent three nights in Arromanches and loved it. The high-low tide swings are amazing. We were there in October, easy to park and stayed at the Hotel de la marine, right in the water.
Great base for all the d-day sights.
My wife and I are just back from a trip to Normandy. We spent five nights in Bayeux, staying at the Hotel d’Argouges and happily recommend it. It was clean, comfortable and centrally located (with off street parking). The staff was very friendly and helpful with suggestions for dinner and places to see. Bayeux itself is beautiful, with a number of good restaurants and sites to see. The Tapestry is a must-see. Our first full day was spent on a D-Day tour but after that we explored Bayeux itself and then the surrounding area by car. Bayeux was centrally located for the sites we wanted to see and driving to them was a piece of cake from there.
Arromanches was an easy drive from Bayeux and we spent a lovely afternoon there (exactly a week ago from today). I cannot comment on any places to stay or eat there as we did neither but it was definitely smaller than Bayeux. It sounds like other folks had equally good experiences in Arromanches, so I’d say you probably can’t go wrong with either.
I hope this helps.
We stayed at Hotel Churchill in Bayeux and loved it. It was our base while touring Normandy. The town of Bayeux is charming.....we loved the Tapestry and the cathedral there......and walking its streets after a day a touring was nice. I would encourage you to visit the British cemetery in Bayeux......we were told by a WW2 scholar that it was the only cemetery that allowed the families to put personal messages on the gravestones.......and there are beautiful flowers growing beside every grave. We got an education just walking through it and reading the comments and ages of the young men that fought at Normandy that are buried there.
Picturesque and charming is a great way to describe Bayeux. If you are going to Normandy this September, you need to pick your town and find a room fast. I made our hotel reservations in January for September, and even then our first choice (Churchill) was completely booked, and we will have to change rooms after the first night at our second choice (d'Argouges).
Even though you will have a car, IMHO you will get so much more out of your visits to the D-Day beaches with a guided tour - unless someone in your group is a WWII historian! Most of the guides seem to be based in Bayeux.
We love the Bayeaux area for so many reasons, history, beauty, beaches that we’ve included it four times in our itineraries. Do you want to be in town where you can pop out to the boulangerie when in the mood for a croissant? Or do you like solemn walks on Omaha Beach pondering the past? Bayeaux is the perfect home base if you are the former. With a car, sleeping in a village on the beach is our preference. Could I recommend La Sapiniere in Vierville Sur Mer on Omaha Beach? We absolutely love it there. Our last visit was September 2018. It absolutely perfect for us. I would take it over Arromanches which has a bit of “Coney Island” touristy kind of feel to me. Vierville Sur Mer is smaller but much more intimate on Omaha Beach with a view of Pointe du Hoc. Try not to miss Memorial de Caen museum in Caen for the most robust interpretation and collection of WW2 information. It gives background, substance and a human element to the actual war sites. Have a wonderful trip!