Hotel Review: Cour du Corbeau
Published: November 2009
For Brits in particular, Strasbourg doesn’t conjure up the most enticing of images. The home of the European Parliament is usually characterised as a bustling hive of Eurocrats on the make, a city of post war office blocks jostling at the Euro trough. But as one of Europe’s oldest cities, originally a Roman fortress on the Rhine, it should come as no surprise that Strasbourg is actually hugely historic. The European Quarter lies outside the old city proper where cobbled streets and half timbered houses run alongside quaint canals; as pretty as vintage Disney, one could almost expect to see Pinocchio skipping down the street. For the first timer, I can give no better recommendation than a stay at the new Cour Du Corbeau hotel to ensure complete immersion in the past without sacrificing any of the comforts of the present.
This charming 16th century building is accessed through its own half-timbered courtyard, surrounded by staircases and galleries; one can almost imagine a Shakespearean audience throwing flowers down on you as you enter. Inside, the aesthetic alters radically. The design is contemporary, almost modish, though ancient beams gloriously intrude through the stark white ceilings. The lobby is an airy space, gazing out onto the cobbles, white accented with furniture in velvety reds. In the rooms, greys and plummy purples predominate, chairs are a take on the ancient regime, beds are large and modern with huge studded headboards. The bathrooms are dark but roomy with separate bath and shower. Amenities are limited; there is no restaurant though the attractive gallery bar doubles as breakfast and tea salon; breakfast, by the way, is spot on.
The hotel opened in May 09 and I visited a month later. It struck me that some design choices were flawed. The glass floor leading into the bar off a sandy courtyard was already showing serious wear and tear. It will be interesting to see how this 500 year old property maintains itself in its latest incarnation.
Internet access was extremely erratic but even more irksome was the charge. When more and more hotels are offering free internet, why a new property should decide to charge is beyond me. I posed this question to the manager of sister hotel Regent Petite and his answer “Because the owner wants to!” irritated me even more. Also like all European hotels, rooms would benefit from an iron and ironing board. And the newness of fixtures and fittings caused problems. My plug was so stiff I didn’t manage to close it once during my 3 days. The real stars of the property however are the staff; exceedingly helpful, they also managed to provide some great restaurant recommendations.
Despite the misgivings, I am happy to recommend this property. Surprisingly, Strasbourg isn’t awash with great accommodation. The Cour Du Corbeau is a 4*,there are no 5* in the city, and as 4* go, this is one of the best.
Hotel Review: Cour du Corbeau
Gareth has been with TRAVEL CHANNEL since its launch in 1994. He has produced and presented on TRAVEL LIVE and THE TRAVEL BUG, produced ESSENTIAL... and reports on TRAVEL TODAY. He is a regular contributor to the website. In 2010 he produced the hit series THE HOLIDAY SHOW which he also co-presented with Ginny Buckley. Gareth’s passions are history, culture, food & drink.
For more information on the Cour Du Corbeau