If you’re travelling to Paris via Charles de Gaulle airport on business or stopping over, then there are plenty of hotels within a five mile radius from the airport to choose from. We recently tried and tested the Hotel Novotel Convention & Wellness Centre in Roissy-en-France, just outside Paris and quite close to Charles de Gaulle airport. While there was a lot going for this hotel, we found it needed to offer just a little more to make the wellbeing experience complete. Here is our independent review.
Hotel Novotel is a large, modern hotel with 289 rooms, relaxed friendly bar and restaurant, along with business and wellness facilities. It is situated right next to a small French village and is the close to main transport links, including motorway, rail and air.
The Hotel Novotel Convention and Wellness Centre is approximately 3 miles from Charles de Gaulle airport. It’s very easy to get to and as with many of the hotels in Roissy-en-France area, it is frequented by a free shuttle service.* Which means you literally hop off the plane, walk through the airport and catch a complimentary bus to the front door of the hotel. Virtually, hassle-free!
For informal business meetings, there is an open plan bar area which offers a warm friendly environment for business meetings and a relaxed dining restaurant.
If you wish to have something a little more formal then you might find the hotel’s purpose built meeting area more suitable. The Hotel Novotel boasts 13,000 square feet spilt into 17 rooms. The rooms cater for business meetings ranging from 4 to 400 people in a variety of layouts. They all benefit from natural light (great if suffering with jet lag), sound proofing, air conditioning and are connected to the internet. Copying, printing, and faxing facilities are available. A plenary room with video projector and wall-mounted screen is also available to hire.
If you’re travelling across three or more times zones and/or have business meetings to attend the next day, then a good night’s sleep is imperative to your ability to perform. Fortunately, we found the air conditioning in the rooms easy to operate and quite effective at the setting we personally required. The curtains were light proof and the rooms are sound proofed. The beds were comfortable and the pillows more on the soft than firm side.
Advertised as ‘simple, tasty, healthy and balanced’ cuisine, the main restaurant menu consists of a choice of meat cooked using a griddle, along with a selection of fish and vegetarian dishes. You can order a sauce to go with the griddled meat option, but we found these tended to be cream based. Side orders of vegetables such as green beans are deliciously cooked with herbs, but watch for added fat content if you wish to consume lower fat/calories. Classic dishes such as creamy risotto, slow cooked lamb, tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce are also available if you fancy something higher in energy content and have no need to strictly control fat, carbohydrate or salt contents. Healthy desserts and starters are also on offer.
Unfortunately, the menu didn’t offer any additional nutritional information. But if you need to choose healthy options, then this was one of the easiest menu’s we’ve navigated. If you have a special dietary need, as one of our party did with an allergy to peanuts, then the staff were extremely professional in their assistance. But you will need to explain carefully what to avoid as the waiting staff didn’t appear to have access to an ingredients list and relied solely on the chef’s cooperation. Our advice is to go prepared with a list of foods to avoid or contact the hotel in advance. In our case, we had to explain the need to avoid ingredients which might contain peanut derivatives, such as vegetable oil which could contain groundnut oil (peanut).
For breakfast you can choose from a variety of breakfasts on offer. The restaurant offers a range of foods in a buffet style. Healthy options included whole fresh fruit, fruit salad, prunes, dates and apricots, juice, a range of yoghurts, cereals, including oats, toast, a selection of bread, boiled or scrambled eggs, cold meats and cheese. There were other classic options available if you decided to include a less healthy option.
For those of us that rise early, then there is an early bird breakfast offering, served at reception from 4 am to 6 am with unlimited croissants, fruit and orange juice. Not entirely healthy! And some might prefer, for example, to choose from a selection of breads or yoghurt pots rather than croissants. A City Breakfast also operates at the bar, and for those of us suffering with the adjustment of sleep times, a continental breakfast is available as room service when you are ready.
Facilities are open from early morning (6.00 am) until late at night (11.00 pm).
Available in the hotel is a variety of options to help you unwind. We enjoyed the indoor heated swimming pool, although it was a little cooler than we had expected. There is also saunas, Jacuzzi, a water bike and massage therapy sessions available to help relax shoulder muscles and back.
Fitness and exercise
The hotel also boasts a modern fitness facilities. There was plenty of equipment to choose from, with two bikes, and several running machines, as well as various weights. The use of the gym is included in your hotel stay, so making use of it makes good sense when away on business. Water and towels are provided just outside the gym facilities so you needn’t worry about bringing these with you from your room.
If it’s a walk in the sunlight or a light run in the morning, then the park about 100 metres on the right/behind the hotel is really pretty. It’s also flat! And what’s more it’s a lovely walk to the village where you can pick up some supplies or linger over a light snack or meal at one of the many restaurants.
Access for those with personal needs
The hotel offers 8 accessible rooms for those with disabilities. There is also a ramp access and reduced mobility facilities.
We found the staff extremely helpful and friendly, so if you have any personal needs which need to be catered for, then they are easy to talk to. Again, we would recommend contacting the hotel in advance.
* Shuttle buses operate from 5.15am to 00.20am between airport terminals and the hotel. This hotel is on the Gold circuit.
© Extravitality 2015