My boyfriend and I stayed here for one night in early September. We were visiting Bordeaux for two nights and stayed in a city centre hotel for the first night and were looking forward to relaxing in the surroundings of a fabulous Chateau for the second day and night. We reserved one of a number of promotional packages advertised on the hotel website in advance which included a ’prestige’ bedroom, breakfast, a 7 course tasting menu in the hotel restaurant and a wine tasting. The cost of this was around €470.
Firstly I strongly disagree with how the hotel describes itself on their website. It is definitely not a ‘boutique’ hotel although I am sure that is what it aspires to be. It’s got a long way to go after my experience there. The website states ‘Bordeaux is an unforgettable stay if you are in a charming hotel’. My experience at this hotel was definitely unforgettable but not for any positive reasons. Apologies in advance as my review goes on a bit but there was just so many wrong things about this hotel, I really want to make people aware of what they will experience and to manage their expectations. I wish I had read a review like this as I would have stayed well clear of Chateau Raba.
There is a really small outdoor pool which is supposed to be heated but was freezing cold when we tried it. The sauna that they mention on their website is the smallest ‘sauna’ I have ever come across and would fit two small people (see photo). Moving on to the ‘fitness room’ ,it was so bad it was funny. The equipment looked like it was from the 1980’s and when my bf tried to use it, most of the equipment didn’t work so he had to spent ages trying it fix it in order to attempt a workout. There were not one but two large sofa’s in the gym which we thought was very strange! The ‘jogging track’ that the hotel likes to mention online is basically a pathway that loops around the chateau and it takes all of 1 minute to walk it. We discovered this when we asked where the jogging track was and were obviously disappointed to realise this is what they meant. The website gives the impression the Chateau is set in a large wooded area with lots of walks etc. It couldn’t be further from the truth.
The only genuine positive thing I can say about this hotel is the food we experienced in La Reserve Restaurant in the evening. As part of the package we booked we had a 7 course tasting menu. It was absolutely delicious but the portions were way too large compared to other tasting menus we have sampled in various restaurants. Needless to say we couldn’t eat alot of it so much of the food went to waste. The wines that were paired with each course could have been better and more frequently poured without us having to ask for a top up every time. Unfortunately I cannot be as positive in terms of the restaurant set up and their staff. It was all very awkward, strange and very quiet. Even though there was only one other couple there when we arrived it took forever to get the waiters attention. We experienced this all evening when requiring more water or wine even though there was only 5/6 tables in the entire restaurant. There was absolutely no ambience in the restaurant and this really takes away from how excellent the food generally was. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the food offer at breakfast the next morning. We were expecting great things after such a delicious tasting menu but it was the complete opposite and pretty basic. Probably a good thing as we had eaten so much the evening before.
The room was such a disappointment. It was small and cramped and we arrived to there being tacky swan creations made from hand towels on the bed and lots of fake petals. These creations might be ok in Thailand but it just doesn’t work in a chateau in France. There were also fake flowers in vases in the room which clearly looked fake. This type of hotel and the prices of the rooms demand real flowers as a minimum in my opinion. I like shabby chic in the right kind of set up but when the door handle came off a number of times while we stayed there it was taking it a little too far.
General Things to Note-
We thought it amusing that the hotel had the cheek to try to charge for nespresso coffee at a self service table in the common area. This was by way of an honesty box. In my opinion and for the cost of staying at this hotel, the least they can do is offer complimentary coffee. We also had to drag our own chairs onto the terrace without any of the staff offering to help. On the day we arrived the weather was bad and there was not much to do seeing as the pool was freezing and we could only fit in the sauna one at a time. We obviously couldn’t even take a long walk when it stopped raining! So we decided to sit on the terrace at the back of the hotel, enjoy an nespresso and read/use our ipad/chill out. This we could not do for a while as there was a large group of people who took over the terrace for quite some time so there was nowhere for anyone else to sit. When they eventually left, another group of people arrived for a group lunch inside but with the doors open so there was alot of noise and general activity. I got the impression the hotel is more interested in catering for large groups of people for weddings/special occasions etc and not individual guests like us.
Overall our experience was not at all what we expected from what is portrayed on the website and generally online. The website is completely misleading in every way and this hotel is overpriced. EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING!
- Also Known As:
- La Reserve Au Pavillon Du Chateau Raba Hotel
- La Reserve Au Pavillon Du Chateau Raba Hotel Talence
- La Reserve Au Pavillon Du Chateau Raba Talence, Bordeaux, France
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- La Réserve au Pavillon du Château Raba is a privately owned Boutique Hotel located in the heart of the prestigious Pessac- Léognan wine appellation just 5 km from the centre of Bordeaux.The building, a classified historic monument, set in a centuries-old parkland, has been entirely renovated in 2007 to offer calm, comfort and luxury to its privileged guests. The restoration has been accomplished with complete sympathy to the 18th century heritage. ... more less
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