Our France 2019 Trip rolled on to Clisson after staying a few days with French friends at their home in Brioux-sur-Boutonne. Our friends joined us at this hotel so it was quite an interesting trip up for 111 miles through the country and we arrived just before 17:00. The hotel is not particularly easy to get to and very much the key is to turn right just before the viaduct into the old part of Clisson. This turn goes into a very narrow little lane, which goes back under the viaduct and down into the banks of the river Sévre; where this hotel nestles between two historic bridges, right on the weir.
The hotel has private secure car-parking on the opposite side of the street from the main hotel entrance which is controlled by a code-controlled electric gate. We had been advised of the code prior to our visit so we were able to easily gain access. This however was the cause of a problem later-on.
Reception is quite small but the hotel only has 43 rooms, so two reception staff (who both spoke very good English) easily coped with guest enquiries and check-in etc. There was a lift to all 4 floors and we were on the first floor.
Our excellent ‘Queen’ room, overlooking the street rather than the terrace and river (shame), was very tasteful, uncluttered, and air-conditioned, tick! We slept well on our first night on the very comfortable king-sized bed: but sadly, the pillows were not good. There were bedside tables, fixed bedside lighting, a large desk with a 100% transparent plastic chair, and a small chair like a pouffe with a back. There was an area to hang clothes and shelves on which you could stack a small amount of clothing just inside the main door. There was a flat screen TV with remote and a telephone. The free Wi-Fi was good.
The bathroom had a small walk-in shower with a hand-held shower head and a rainfall shower fitting. The shower was excellent, always plenty of hot water: also, great body-wash. The sink was large but was slow to drain. There was a large mirror above the sink plus a small vanity mirror on a tilt and swivel fixing. Lighting was good, both from strip lights that were integral to the mirror, and also from a window next to the sink. There was a very efficient towel rail, very useful as we found we needed far more than one shower a day, so the towels (which were good) could be dry on every use. A hairdryer was supplied but it smelled alarmingly of overheating after a short term of use so my partner used her own. The WC was in a separate tiny-little closet off of the main room.
The public areas of the hotel were all very well maintained. The bar bordered reception and the indoor restaurant area. The very large (500M2) terrace could easily seat 150 people and was decked-out with tables and chairs for both casual and dining use, there were also a number of easy chairs and low tables for taking drinks, and bordering the side of the river there were small high-level tables with bar-stools.
There was an outdoor heated pool next to the terrace which was separated by 2mtr wooden ‘modesty’ fence. There were no changing facilities so you had to use robes, provided with towels, and change in your room and then walk through the bar or indoor restaurant to get to the pool.
Breakfast was excellent with the full array of dishes of scrambled eggs and bacon, hams and other meats, bread, preserves, croissants, cereals, fruit, fruit juices, and coffee and tea. The hot drinks came from a machine and normally such drinks are not as good as those freshly made by traditional methods: this machine however did achieve good coffee.
After breakfast I needed to retrieve my map and contact sheet from the car so we had all the information to go with our friends to buy Muscadet wine from the same Cave as we had done in 2016. On arrival at the car-park the key-code controlled gate was already open (a car having just departed). I retrieved my map and returned to the gate which had now closed, and put in the code, which it did not accept. I know very well what the code was because coincidentally it was my year of birth. I tried phoning my partner but no answer, and I didn’t have our friend’s mobile number either. I did have the hotel’s main telephone number which was also displayed on a sign next to the gate. The number was correct but it was out of order. So, I stood there for quite a while (about 10 minutes) before one of the gardening staff came-by on his motorbike and let me out. I went to reception and reported the problem.
The receptionist explained that the code was changed every Monday morning, and also said I must have dialed the wrong number on my phone, so I called the number again and I got the same recorded message from the telecom’s provider. They checked the number on my mobile, made me put it in again and dial: with the same result. The receptionist used his own mobile to call the hotel and he got the same problem. This was all very unfortunate, but so avoidable had guests been advised of the new code in advance. Also, the staff did not seem to be very concerned that their main telephone number for the entire hotel was out of order. No apology was offered and I was far from happy, so I hope lessons have been learned.
We did make good use of the terrace and some use of the pool. Generally, excepting the incident with the car park, service was very good and polite, English was spoken well by all staff we encountered, and we enjoyed our stay. I unfortunately became ill with a severe tummy upset (probably caused by too much rich food) on our second evening and didn’t have a much to eat at dinner, very little sleep on the second night (even allowing for such a comfortable bed), and no breakfast the following morning. less