Having read other reviews on this site, I have one foot in the camp of Jmatt,London and Andy D,Amersham. We were here for one night, mainly because they could not accommadate us for three.
I'm puzzled because this is operated more like a relaxed B&B, yet a brochure in our room said it had won awards for being in the Top 50 & Top 100 hotels in the world. I doubt I'd put it in the top 100 hotels in the UK, and I don't wish to sound cruel by saying that. From what I had read about this chateau, my expectations were very high, mainly because of the emphasis of the owners
designer background. frankly, I was disappointed. There are some very nice
aspects in the interior of the property but nothing really stunning. The rear courtyard and swimming pool area are nice, but they could look even better.
The courtyard furniture was looking decidedly worn. The 'manicured' gardens
mentioned in the same brochure do not meet my understanding of the word.
On approching, I noticed the wooden front door was stunning, but really dirty.
Now, I understand it had not rained for over a month prior to our arrival, so things were a little dusty, but such an edifice should be shining to entice you in.
A bit of elbow grease each day wouldn't go amiss. Having said that, the modern glass door beyond it was gleaming.
My wife and I were greeted nicely by the receptionist and advised we had been given an upgrade This seems to be a regular occurrence given the reviews and I applaud it. She also asked if we would like anything to eat or drink. We opted for tea in the rear courtyard and it was delivered in minutes by a friendly lady.
We too were provided with a key and told to take it with us if we went out in the evening, as the hotel is locked at a certain time.
We were also told that there would be no-one on reception from a given time in the evening (can't remember what time) until 9am, although
a telephone call should catch the owner or a member of staff, should we require anything before then. It was then I realised this wasn't a 'usual' hotel.
There is no doubt this accommodation is in a wonderfully quiet area.
Our room was large but uninspiring given the designer background. A lovely large bathroom though, with a stand-alone bath,large rain shower and separate toilet. Aah, the toilet, that's another story. What did I say about a quiet area?
Upto arriving here we had made stopovers in cities with the inevitable disturbed sleep, so when we saw this location we expected an undisturbed
night. Regretablly, it was not to be. Whenever the toilet was flushed a high-pitched squeal came from either the cistern or pipes. It also occurred intermitently at other times - maybe due to flushing from above. Also, a couple of containers for toiletries/makeup were dusty. Just to add to the 'noise factor',
and no reflection on the hotel, someone was firing a shotgun at about 8am - not our night really!
At dinner we had to seek someone out to find where we were sitting. As it happened a waiter came around a corner and sorted us out. No maitre d here then. The food was wonderful, service a little slow as the 2 amiable waiters
rushed around to serve all 14 in the dining room. If memory serves me right we were in the dining room for 2 hours.
Peter dealt with us at check-out and, as has been said, appears to be a very friendly, laid-back chap. I mentioned the squealing toilet to him and he seemed to take it on board.
So, puzzled I still am. If I'd read that this accommodation was laid back, and relaxed, and not to expect 5 star treatment, my expectations would not have been so high. We did not dislike it, but, in my opinion, it's not what it says on the tin. It could be a superb hotel, but needs money and attention spent on it. I see on the internet it's for sale; that could well explain some of the shabby element of the chic.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chateau de Massillan is a small Luxury Hotel and Gastronomic restaurant located in the heart of Provence's famous Cotes du Rhone wine region. In 1550 it was owned by Diane de Poitiers the famous lover of King Henry II. In 2001 it has been transformed by it's Interior designer owners stylishly mixing the old with the new. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chateau De Massillan Hotel Avignon