I always used to drive non-stop down from Dieppe (or Calais) to our cottage, but I was younger then, and a 700 km trip was no big deal.
These days I do what I'm told and we stop about half way down in a reasonably-priced, dog-friendly, hotel that we've now got to know quite well. It's the Ibis at Nord Saran.
It's a well-known chain hotel on the outskirts of Orléans which suits us fine. It's not easy to reach, but I'm getting to know the route thanks to Google Maps; I don't have Sat Nav. It isn't conveniently situated by the side of a main road like most large hotels; but hidden away down complicated side roads. As you can see by the photo, it's not the prettiest of buildings.
The rooms are comfortable, Billy settles down happily in his bed, and the staff are always pleasant. But it does have one major fault.
The so-called 'Restaurant' is absolutely dreadful. The meals are bought-in from some awful factory, re-heated, and served in red-hot dishes. I had one 'roast chicken with new potatoes' dish that was edible, but I've had others that I wouldn't give to the dog. The last meal I had there was 'fish with fresh season's vegs'; it was almost inedible. At the same time Lady M had a pizza which was totally bizarre.
However, their breakfasts are very good. Plenty of choice, and you can eat as much as you like to set you up for the day's drive ahead.
For this year's trip I've taken note of a few local eateries that we might visit, but I have a feeling that we will simply relax with some sandwiches and a bottle of wine, and dine al fresco (al hotel-roomo).
I only have a few strict criteria for hotels in which I stay. The bed must be comfortable, have an ensuite bathroom/loo, be reasonably priced, and have a well-stocked breakfast bar. This one does all of that, and is dog-friendly too. It's just such a shame that their evening meals are so dreadful. I'm not interested in the interior or exterior aesthetics of such over-night stopping places, I just want a bed, a drink, and something in my belly to start the next day.
Strangely I have begun to look forward to our visits to Orléans. It's become a part of the whole travel experience, and I now no longer bother to look for more suitable alternatives.