Monday, 1 November 2010

F1: Sleeping in the Fast Lane

I recently had the experience, for the first time in my existance, of spending the night in an F1 hotel. Although F1 have hotels on 4 continents, the vast majority are in France and, as most of the long distance travelling I've done in France has been by train, I had never had the pleasure of staying in one until now.

For anyone else who's never been to one, F1 hotels are the hospitality industry equivalent of Ryanair. Ours was located at the back end of an industrial estate and just a stone's throw from the motorway. For 29 euros a night, you get a room that can sleep three people, a towel that might just be big enough to dry the entirety of an adult human as long as they were under 5 feet tall and even a sticker across the opening of your bedroom door to prove that it hasn't been used by someone else prior to your arrival. A polite notice in the bathroom requests that you flush the toilet when you've finished using it. Some F1 hotels are completely unstaffed in the evenings; you just check in using your internet reservation number and credit card. (Maybe Ryanair could take idea this on board and be the first company to offer pilotless aeroplane flights.) Ours, however, had a very friendly receptionist who seemed genuinely pleased to see us and point us down the corridor in the direction of our tobacco-scented non-smoking rooms.

In fact, most of the 6 hours or so that we spent in the hotel were perfectly acceptable and some aspects were even pleasant. But something about the fluorescent lighting, the bare walls and that invitation to flush the toilet meant that even after only 5 hours' sleep, we were happy to get out of there as fast as possible.


  1. For a few more euros a night, there are a couple of other better options out there. The "B&B Hotel" chain are usually brand-new and nice and are about 40€ per night. "Etap Hotels" are another option for around 35-40€ night. The "Hotel Première Classe" are also around the same price, but are little less nice - but still better than a formula 1. Etap & Première classe also have rooms for 3 people too.

    Anyways, so you may pay a few more euros for them, but all three give you private bathrooms & free wifi (and better lighting LOL).

  2. I guess these would be all the big, attractive looking hotels we drove past to get to the very-well-hidden entrance of our lovely F1 :-)

    Thanks for the tips!