Car Park Nightmare! And other niggles.
It has always been made clear to us, when booking a room here, that spaces in the hotel’s underground car park could not be reserved and it was “first come, first served”. Fair enough… And we have nev... more
It has always been made clear to us, when booking a room here, that spaces in the hotel’s underground car park could not be reserved and it was “first come, first served”. Fair enough… And we have never had a problem before.
When we arrived, we were told that there were spaces remaining, but we would have to go down to the second level. Then when we entered the car park, we found an abundance of empty spaces on the first level but the receptionist came running down to insist that we drive our larger-than-average car down the narrow ramp to the level below – telling us that the upper places were being kept for people who had already checked in but gone out again. In other words “reserved”! We obeyed but very nearly got stuck on the very tight bend in the ramp and spent much of the night worrying about getting our again.
In the morning, a more helpful receptionist told us that the “up ramp” was even more difficult, which filled us with dismay, but she offered to come down with us and control the traffic so that we could at least go up the “down ramp”. She also knocked the parking charge off the bill, but this stressful experience will seriously colour our readiness to book here again, especially at busy times of the year.
Some other more minor issues also detracted from our stay:
The superior room we had booked turned out to be a little larger than the others in its category, as it had a sofa that could be converted into a bed. The problem was it had already been so converted, despite the fact that we had only booked for two adults, and all its cushions had been stuffed into the wardrobe area, along with a load of spare bedding, which together wiped out all the available storage space! We converted the bed back into a sofa ourselves, so that room looked less like a dormitory, and insisted that the receptionist (he of car park fame!) took the spare bedding away, but we could have done without this further hassle on arrival.
Breakfast used to be the highlight of a stay here: a superb buffet served in the top floor breakfast room with stunning views of the town and surrounding countryside. This had been closed down for social distancing reasons and a much more limited buffet was being served in the rather dark bar and conference room areas on the ground floor. Admittedly this was charged at 9.50 Euros compared with 16 Euros before, but the choice and quality of individual items was distinctly inferior. Also it didn’t even feel very safe in terms of social distancing. Too many people were milling round the rather tightly packed buffet table and there was no sense of how people should circulate safely around the rooms . Other French hotels used recently have had one way systems and well spread out buffet selections to avoid such problems, even in some cases staggering arrivals by asking guests to book a time for breakfast.
All in all, one of our preferred stopovers has managed to lose a lot of its shine. less
Best Western Plus Hôtel Alexandre VIALATTE IMBERT, Service clients/Réception at Best Western Plus Hotel Litteraire Alexandre Vialatte, responded to this review
I personally took care of your departure and I can assure you that we are attentive to the satisfaction of our guests.
Your remarks are precious to us, thank you for having formulated them. Our parking lot is indeed quite narrow, but it is a rare advantage for an hotel in the city centre of Clermont-Ferrand. I am sorry to read that it has caused you so much trouble. During the summer season, we advise our guests to park on level -2 as priority in order to keep the last available spaces on level -1 so that we can have a quicker overview of the last available spaces. Having sensed your apprehension about moving up from level -2, I accompanied you to help you with the manoeuvre. You thanked me warmly for this attention and I offered you the car park to apologise for the inconvenience. We had to revise our breakfast service to meet sanitary standards. We have chosen the buffet, in our room on the ground floor, with individualised service and we have nevertheless kept our local suppliers (dairy products, pastries, bread...). I am sorry to read your disappointment, but you were informed of these changes by email before your arrival.
I hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you again in the most favourable conditions to provide you with the best possible experience in our Literary Hotel.
General Manager of the Hôtel Littéraire Alexandre Vialatte ****