THE TOWN: Nantes is a city in western France on the Loire River, 50 km (31 mi) from the Atlantic coast. The city is the sixth-largest in France, with a population of nearly 300,000 in Nantes and an urban area of 600,000 inhabitants.
For Lonely Planet: “Spirited and innovative, this artsy city on the banks of the Loire has a history of reinventing tself. It was founded by Celts around 70 BC and in AD 937 it joined the duchy of Brittany. The Edict of Nantes, a landmark royal charter guaranteeing civil rights to France’s Huguenots (Protestants), was signed in Nantes by Henri IV in 1598. By the 18th century Nantes was France’s foremost port, and in the 19th century – following the abolition of slavery – it became an industrial centre; the world’s first public transport service, the omnibus, began here in 1826. Shipbuilding anchored the city’s economy until the late 20th century and when the shipyards relocated westwards to St-Nazaire, Nantes transformed itself into a thriving student and cultural hub.”
TOP 3 ATTRACTIONS:
Jardin des Plantes
Les Machines de l’Ile
Château des Ducs de Bretagne
BEST PLACES TO STAY:
Campanile Nantes Centre – Saint Jacques. This 3 stars hotel, rated 8.5 on Booking, is a 10 minutes in public transport from the city centre of Nantes. It offers modern guest rooms, a restaurant and a 24-hour lounge bar. Unlimited free WiFi is available. A superior double room costs 45€ per night with free parking included.
Oceania l’Hôtel de France Nantes. Excellent 4 stars hotel rated 9.1 on Booking and located a 2-minute walk from Place Royale. The interior is designed in a contemporary style to complement the architecture of the 18th-century lobby. The spacious rooms include a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom complete with a walk-in shower. Additional facilities at the Hotel De France include a contemporary bar and a fitness center. The daily rate for a comfort double room starts from 107€ per night with free WiFi included.
Okko Hotels Nantes Château. Located in Nantes city centre, just 900 m from the train station , and rated 9.2 on Booking, this exceptional **** hotel features a 24-hour reception desk and free Wi-Fi and provides 12 private parking spaces. With a modern décor, the air-conditioned rooms include a satellite TV with free on demand channels, a safe, an iPod docking station and a coffee machine. “Le Club”, the hotel’s big communal area, includes a business corner with free computers and a free wellness area with sport machines and the sauna. A souvenir shop with local products is also at your disposal in the same area. A comfort double room costs 109€ per night with excellent organic breakfast included.
Tournament location: Tennis Club du Havre – 213, Rue Edouard Vaillant, Le Havre 76610
How to get: Tc du Havre is far about 9 km from Centre Ville that is about 15 minutes driving. At 8 km there is the local Le Havre – Octeville Airport and from there you need a 14 minutes taxi ride to get in.
Recent past winners: 2016 Martina Di Giuseppe – 2015 Alice Matteucci – 2014 Yvonne Cavalle Reimers – 2013 Daria Salinkova – 2012 Myrtille Georges
THE TOWN: Le Havre is a port city at the mouth of the Seine, in the region of Upper Normandy in France. Le Havre is French for “the harbour”. Historically, Le Havre has always been the harbour for Paris, with goods transferring there between ocean-going vessels and barges which go to Paris via the Seine. It was heavily bombed during the Battle of Normandy. The reconstruction of the town was undertaken by August Perret using reinforced concrete. This project has led to the city being addedto the UNESCO World Heritage List.
For Lonely Planet: “Le Havre is a love letter to modernism, evoking, more than any other French city, France’s postwar energy and optimism. All but obliterated in September 1944 by Allied bombing raids that killed 3000 civilians, the centre was completely rebuilt by the Belgian architect Auguste Perret, whose bright, airy modernist vision remains, miraculously, largely intact. Attractions include a museum full of captivating impressionist paintings, a soaring church with a mesmerising stained-glass tower, and hilltop gardens with views over the city. Le Havre is a regular port of call for cruise ships.”
TOP 3 ATTRACTIONS IN LE HAVRE:
Rebuilt Old Town
Abbaye de Graville
St Joseph Church
BEST PLACES TO STAY:
Oscar Hôtel. Fantastic ** hotel rated 8.5 on Booking and with a very high value for money. It’s situated in Le Havre’s Perret quarter, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It offers free Wi-Fi and views of The Volcan concert venue. A little but comfy comfort double room costs 65€ per night.
Hotel Carmin. Excellent *** accomodation rated 8.9 on Booking which enjoys a wonderful location in Le Havre center ville. The price for a classic double room starts from 89€ per night with free wifi. Breakfast and parking available with an additional charge.
Hôtel Spa Vent d’Ouest. Amazing **** hotel located just 550 m from the beach in Le Havre and rated 8.6 on Booking. It offers free Wi-Fi access, and the onsite 200-mq2 Nuxe spa includes a hammam, 3 massage rooms, 2 lounges and a cardio-training area. A 20 mq2 double room Club costs 120€ per night with wifi included.
Info: The club, located in Hajdóczyho 11, has 16 clay courts, one modern 4 stars hotel, lounge bar and restaurant, a playground for children and many other facilities. The admittance is free. Old town is just 2,6 km from courts. Closest airport is Bratislava Airport at about 35 minutes driving.
THE TOWN: There is a little town in Western Slovakia with about 70,000 citizens and at about 47 km from Slovak capital city Bratislava, that for the high numbers of churches within the city walls has been nicknamed The Little Rome or more recently The Slovak Rome. Just for this Trnava would be worth a daily trip from Bratislava, if in more we add that in the second week of February will be held the traditional Itf event Empire Women Indoor, we’ll have a good reason to stay at least one night in this cute city. Of course to get in Trnava is possible by car or by train or public buses from Bratislava. In alternative you could come from Wien which is far just 131 km.
TRNAVA BEST ATTRACTIONS:
Town Tower and City Center
Dobra Voda Castle
Mala Synagoga Trnava
BEST HOTELS TO STAY:
Of course official tournament Hotel Empire but the problem is that during the challenger could be completely full because reserved to players. But you can just try to see if there is some room available last minute here.
Best value for money is undoubtely 3 stars hotel La Pension which offers beautiful accomodations to customers. There arte two kinds of apartments: Standard are large 33 mq2 and prices start from 49€, Superior are 80 mq2 and start from 69€. Both offer modern furnishment, kitchen and free wi-fi. Superior gets wide living area more.
IMPIQ Hotel. Modern hotel, located in a calm zone of Trnava but not so far from old city, offers a new building, modern designed rooms, a very good restaurant, free parking area and wi-fi connection. The prices for a 24 mq2 single business room start from 79€. The full buffet breakfast is included.
THE TOWN: Grenoble is a city of around 158,000 inhabitants located in the French Alps. Crossed by two rivers, the Drac and the Isère (“the lion and the serpent“), and is surrounded by three mountain chains, the Vercors, Chartreuse and Belledonne. The city is renowned for its universities on the campus and for its scientific research centers. Lonely Planet writes about Grenoble: “Known as the ‘Capital of the Alps’, Grenoble boasts great museums, excellent dining, effervescent nightlife, outstanding quality of life and a superb public transport system. Home to a slew of high-tech industries, the 1968 Winter Olympic City is the focal point for a wider metropolitan area of more than 650,000 Grenobloises and Grenoblois, nearly 10% of them students.The city is dramatically sited among the looming massifs of the Parc Naturel Régional de Chartreuse and Parc Naturel Régional du Vercors, with clear sight lines to Mont Blanc itself. Cut by the swift-flowing River Isère, Grenoble delivers mostly mild weather thanks to its low elevation.” TOP 3 THINGS TO SEE IN GRENOBLE:
Vercors Regional Natural Park
BEST PLACES TO STAY:
Logis Institut Hotel. Very good ** hotel located in the heart of Grenoble just 200 mt from station and 800 mt from Bastille Cable Car. Rated 8.1 on Booking, this accomodation offers 15 mq2 double rooms with ensuite bathroom at 59€ per night (free wifi included, breakfast available with a further fee).
Ibis Styles Grenoble Centre Gare. Wonderful *** hotel situated in an ideal position in the city heart, this Ibis accomodation features a design bar and the free wifi. Rated 8.7 on Booking, it offers modern double room at 115 € per night breakfast buffet included.
Park Hotel Grenoble – MGallery by Sofitel. Excellent **** hotel in city centre located directly on the edge of Paul Mistral Park, this Accor accomodation gained a very high 9.2 rate on Booking. Here you can enjoy meals prepared in its exclusive lounge bar. The price for a classic double room of 29 mq2 is 129€ per night with free wifi. Parking and breakfast are available with additional fees.
Logis Hôtel Val Florès. Great **hotel solution for tennis fans. Infact this accomodation is located just 15 minutes walking from tennis courts. A small (11 mq2) standard double room price starts from 79€ per night breakfast not included.
Hôtel Maïtagaria. Top *** hotel for value for money. Rated 8.6 on booking, it offers standard double room for 97€ per night, superior double room for 111€ per night. Always without breakfast.
Hotel Windsor Grande Plage. Panoramic **** hotel located direcly on Biarritz promenade. Rated 8.7 on Booking, this hotel offers simple double room at 161€ (breakfast included) and terrific sea view junior suites at 369€ per night.
Le Regina Biarritz Hotel & Spa. The best *****hotel in the region, directly on the beach, is located in a fantastic Belle Epoque building. Number one hotel on Tripadvisor and rated 9.0 on Booking. Prices for a classic double room is 266€, while for a superior ocean view double room is 338€. The breakfast is not included and costs 26€ daily.