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“Off the beaten path in Provence” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Bonne Etape

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La Bonne Etape
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Chateau-Arnoux
Certificate of Excellence
Lawrenceville, New Jersey
Level Contributor
39 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Off the beaten path in Provence”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 June 2013

Pleasant accommodations far from the glamorous towns on the Riviera, about an hour and a half on the highway from the Marseille airport. The original house dates from the eighteenth century, roses were in the bloom on the trellises and the young staff tries hard to please.
The room was comfortable if not fancy, just enough storage in one dresser and two small closets, spacious bathroom with side-by-side sinks. The shiny Grohe fixtures in the walk-in shower are probably the only touch of modern.
Our window opened to the garden where M. Gleze, the owner and chef, grows his herbs and flowers, and our door opened onto the outdoor pool. Be sure to dine at La Bonne Etape every night, the fine dining restaurant is worth more than its single Michelin star. Every dessert we sampled was outstanding, and so are the breads and pastries at the breakfast buffet.
This is a good base from which to travel through the small towns of the upper Provence; the highlight for us was Moustiers, a spectacular little village built on a sheer rock wall about an hour's drive east, renowned for its ceramics.
And finally the rates at La Bonne Etape were the best value of any of the four hotels where we stayed on this trip to France. Great little getaway, highly recommended.

Room Tip: Room 19 is by the pool and the garden and away from the street.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank EmilDE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bonneetape04, Propriétaire at La Bonne Etape, responded to this review, 23 June 2013
Dear Sir,
Thank you for the time you spent sharing the sharp details which highlighted your staying with us in Haute Provence, area where many assets we are proud of cannot be found on the Riviera, as you noticed.
Every recommendation you posted is so concise and precise, thank you !
Should the restaurant.michelin.fr read your rating and agree with you !
As you might have noticed during your stay, every room is different and can be felt more or less “fancy” according to everybody’s taste, you are right.
Thank you also for underlining the perfect position of La Bonne Etape for travelling around.
Château Arnoux is so near to the Aix en Provence tgv station and the Marseille airport as well, you are more than right !
Hoping we will have the pleasure of welcoming you again for another “great little getaway”, thank you again !
Best regards
Jany Gleize, Chef de Cuisine, Maître de Maison.
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233 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    153
    54
    15
    8
    3
See reviews for
28
175
3
3
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Aups, France
Level Contributor
24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2013

We stayed here for the weekend to celebrate a birthday and enjoyed it very much. We were very well looked after,Thank you .and also very lucky with the weather and were able to enjoy swimming in the pool.Hopefully we will come again one day,The offer was from Groupon,which was very good value.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank antonia w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bonneetape04, Propriétaire at La Bonne Etape, responded to this review, 7 June 2013
Dear Madam, dear Sir,
Thank you for taking time to post a comment on this site.
I am glad to know you thoroughly enjoyed your staying with us (you live in Var not far from our place, if I remember well) ; we all will be happy to welcome you again, as you intend to come back.
Best regards
Jany Gleize, Chef de Cuisine, Maître de Maison.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Mexico
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2013

We recently stayed three nights in a junior suite at La Bonne Etape. We had a wonderful stay! The town is very quaint and the hotel is lovely! We appreciated the exceptional service provided by the hotel staff. Special thanks to Nicolas on the staff who really went above and beyond to make our vacation there special!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JMillerNM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bonneetape04, Propriétaire at La Bonne Etape, responded to this review, 13 May 2013
Dear Madam, dear Sir,
Sorry for not answering before,
I am very happy you were thoroughly satisfied with your staying with us in La Bonne Etape.
The whole staff and Nicolas join me to thank you for sharing this advice on Tripadvisor.
Hoping we will have the pleasure of welcoming you again for another “special vacation, above and beyond…”
Best regards
Jany Gleize, Chef de Cuisine, Maître de Maison.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
French Riviera
Level Contributor
77 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2012

We just spent 3 days in a junior suite at La Bonne Etape. It is a 4 star hotel by government standards. The room was spacious with lovely antique furniture covered with the same cloth as the drapes. The bathroom however was 3 star with pink tiles and difficulty to shower (bath with just a shower head). Maintenance is below par with amateurish repairs. The 2 beds made into one had good mattresses and sleep quality was excellent. Breakfast (not included in room price) is at 23 € per person and provides one of the best continental breakfasts with fresh pastry, cookies, … and most delightful home made fresh fruit juices (red peach juice, cherry, …).
Eating is provided in one of 2 restaurants: “La Bonne Etape” (gastronomic) or “Le Goût du Jour”. See restaurant reviews.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jr_hummel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bonneetape04, Propriétaire at La Bonne Etape, responded to this review, 8 November 2012
Dear Madam, dear Sir,
Thank you for taking time to post your advice and nice comments on the room (spacious, … lovely )and breakfast (one of the best … most delightful ).
The bathroom you describe will be completely renewed during our closing time in January. (a severe leak during the season made this repair necessary )
I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you again in the future so that you may appreciate the changes in the rooms.
With best regards
Jany Gleize Chef de cuisine, Maître de Maison
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2012

We really liked La Bonne Etape, the hotel. It has an old-fashioned charm - comfortable rooms filled with antique furniture and books to read, a pretty garden and good-looking swimming pool. Plus utterly charming service.

But avoid La Bonne Etape, the restaurant. Like many other restaurants in France with a Michelin rosette, it has a vastly inflated view of itself. The pricing is unbelievably steep - the lowest-priced menu for three courses is 73 euros. At these prices, you would expect high class cooking presented with great finesse, but there was no sign of it in our meal. The sommelier is a disgrace, trying to steer us to a half bottle of wine that cost 60 euros. And when we asked for wine by the glass, we had to accept her choice and pricing (10 euros each for a small glass of wine that would cost less than 10 euros a bottle retail). The dining room and service are unbelievably formal - a trip back in time, but not a pleasant experience.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank fairweathersailor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bonneetape04, Propriétaire at La Bonne Etape, responded to this review, 3 November 2012
Dear Madam, Dear Sir,
Thank you for taking time to post your advice. I am glad to read you enjoyed thoroughly both hotel and service.
On the restaurant side, I am not quite certain the right measurement has been used in terms of words to get near to reality.
Please forgive me not to share your point of view on many sides, and I am also really sorry that your perception was not the one people mention when asked about their satisfaction. I can almost say it never happens, happily, that a problem cannot be solved on the spot as long as we are aware of it, should it be as serious as you report.
Your description is not in phase with the comments we receive and miles away from what we are aiming at.
Could you then please be so kind as to help me in understanding this way of qualifying your experience, so that (if I may) you will never wish any more to write after departure, whether in La Bonne Etape or in another place, and find in the future a solution to the possible problems right away, there lies in my opinion the best solution to any problem.
I would be very grateful if you could tell me when and where to contact you so that we will be able to discuss this matter over.
Thank you again.
Best regards

o Jany Gleize Chef de Cuisine, Maître de Maison
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Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
40 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2012

Overall, we had a wonderfull and pleasant stay at this place.
The room decoration was really elegant, with a small terrasse in the garden on the ground floor, and a very (too?) strong lavender smell. I noticed a bite of dust when moving the bedside table to look after one of my kid toy.
The large swimming pool and aromatic garden are very welcoming and enjoyable. Right price for the accommodation from my point of view.

The 2 restaurants are from a very good level, and the Maitre De Maison was very kind and friendly introducing to my son and I the kitchen and later the aromatic/organic garden, letting us enjoy the flavor of some herbs and proposing us to taste a very tender and tasty local lamb on the stove.
Hereafter are some details to know;
We didn't have any view from our room although we were said to be upgraded (on the groud floor) due to our baby stroller (no lift in such traditional building) , and I would say that food (in the gastronomic restaurant) and beverage are a bite over priced compared to the more than acceptable quality and prices of the "standard" restaurant.
Staff are friendly and professional (especially the sommelier), but one of waiter of the gastronomic place should improve in term of product knowledge and have a more smiley attitude (she was below the average of the place).
For our third dinner, in the "standard" restaurant, our kind waiter should have been helped and trained (as he was alone for his first working day), but his attitude, willingness and competence in English forgive him, and the mistake there is not coming from him but from mismanagement...;-)
Once more, La Bonne Etape hold it's name, and thank you M. Gleize to have share with my son and I these perfums, and flavors.

Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank caroennico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bonneetape04, Propriétaire at La Bonne Etape, responded to this review, 8 September 2012
Dear Madam, dear Sir,
Thank you for taking time to post your advice on this site. “no perfection” : I agree, nothing can be perfect, “not far from paradise” : ouh la la !
Your remarks have been noted carefully and solved already for those we had immediately noticed and for which were aware of.
Thank you again for the delicate way you mentioned them and specially for the one we were not conscious of (the smile, which is not normal also and very surprising). This behavior is not what we are aiming at (regular training is being held on this matter).
The right price for the accommodation : thank you for underlining this point.
You enjoyed the decoration of the room, thank you. I am renewing and redecorating the rooms to give the best of the modern comfort, without losing in the meantime the soul of the house .
As you said, (you did not have any view), every room is different, every room furnished in a different style, unstandardized, and it is truly impossible to compare one with another, it is also difficult therefore to match with everybody’s taste, one room has a swimming pool view, the other a garden view, one a larger bathroom, one a separate shower…
A difference in prices in both restaurants, you are right, in the Michelin starred one, menu prices range from 35 € to 110 € for the “degustation” menu (wines from 26 € per bottle 75 cc), while in the “bistro” restaurant, Au Goût du Jour”, set menus prices are proposed from 19 € to 24 € ;
It will be a real pleasure welcoming you another time; thank you again sincerely for your help and your comments.
Yours sincerely
Jany Gleize Chef de Cuisine Maître de Maison
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Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2012

Perhaps unusually for this type of hotel, we enjoyed a luxurious six day break as a family of four (parents and two daughters - 20 & 24). I imagine the majority of people opting for probably a long weekend would be couples there for a gastronomic experience in a beautiful boutique hotel. Were we not lucky then, to spend six nights at La Bonne Etape with Monsieur Glieze and his lovely staff?!

The aim of our stay was relaxation with enough cultural or outdoor amusement to keep us from bickering amongst ourselves. The pool provided the most obvious and delicious escape from the balmy heat of Provence in June and kept us happy for much of our time. Perhaps a very simple pool drinks and snack menu, especially including fruit from the garden, could be provided as an extension of the current telephone service?

Chateau Arnoux itself is nothing special (although a short walk up through the old village reveals picturesque little streets), but the surrounding area provides enough activities to keep more inquisitive minds occupied. The Gorge du Verdon is worth the journey for the drive alone, with an optional hike for the adventurous at the end. Other highlights included a short trip to an olive oil 'Moulin' and the L'Occitaine factory.

Our rooms were charming (I say 'our' noting emphasis in previous reviews on individuality) each with its own terrace or balcony. The bathroom is one was certainly far superior but both were furnished with antiques in what I felt a tastefully unpretentious fashion.

No review of La Bonne Etape would be complete without a thorough rendition of the dinner. We opted to dine in the restaurant twice and sampled both the A La Carte and Set menus. Monsieur Glieze is a creative and delicate chef, making exceptional use of local Provencale produce, especially that of his own garden - in which guests are encouraged to wander. A highlight was the real honeycomb dessert but for a very sweet tooth only! However, we were treated even further to the delights of Monsieur Glieze's kitchen by attending an afternoon 'Tapas and Garden Party' cookery demonstration. Having stayed for six days, both girls were also welcomed into the kitchen the morning before for a private lesson. This is the perfect example of what a warm and friendly host one will meet in Monsieur Gleize. La Bonne Etape also boasts an encyclopaedic wine list. So extensive that guests would benefit from being able to peruse it prior to dinner - I would suggest a copy in each room. Monsieur Gleize himself is happy to provide extensive knowledge of each and every bottle and is in no way biased towards the pricier options when recommending a partner to his food.

The alternative restaurant, 'Gout du Jour', provided an adequate alternative for us on two evenings. Easy on the wallet, dinner certainly showed none of the creativity in presentation at La Bonne Etape and not much variation in terms of sides. Nevertheless the quality of the food was evident despite its simplicity.

A minor quibble we had, if forced to find fault, was that, used to a very high standard of service at La Bonne Etape, particularly at reception, the service at breakfast was rather slow. Apart from that, and the slightly lethargic service at the pool, we felt welcome as privileged guests at La Bonne Etape.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank flem_sarah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bonneetape04, Propriétaire at La Bonne Etape, responded to this review, 8 September 2012
Dear Ladies, Dear Sir,
Thank you for sharing your feelings about your staying with us in June
I am glad to read one week in La Bonne Etape was a “luxurious family break” you enjoyed so much. “perhaps unuasually” : Nothing is usual anymore, habbits change as fast as weather does in Scotland, and everything that is not yet becomes exceptional.
We will take great care of your suggestions :
You were right, the service at this time of the year, at the pool and breakfast, were not at their best, I do apologize about that. It has been rapidly improved since. I wish we will have the pleasure of showing those improvements during your next visit.
Cooking lessons on Saturday afternoons are becoming more and more popular. I can now propose an “à la carte” cooking session for groups of 8 to 10 persons, on request, same as you took advantage of in June.
None of the rooms is the same, as you noticed, and each of them is liked for a main different reason.
What a great idea to have a copy of the wine list in the rooms ! Thank you ; people will then have the leisure of wandering in the vineyards for a dreamy journey and they may discover the good value of the wines, from 25 euros to much more expensive prestigious bottles. Those pricy bottles are by far very good value compared to other restaurants of the same level, comparing of course what can be compared, same producer in a same area with same producer in the same area.
You personally are really aware of that but please forgive me to mention that here as I am not thoroughly certain everybody is aware of that.
You understood well what the restaurant “Au Goût du Jour” wants to be : we prefer concentrating mainly on the quality of products and simple preparations, to keep this level of affordable menu.
In the garden now one can enjoy the bewildering scents of the jasmine smelling blossoming clerodendron tree and ripening Szechuan peppercorn aromas.
Fall is coming, summer is still there, a blessed season to appreciate, calm, warm ; wandering in the Haute Provence hills brings to your soul the fragrances of hyssop and sariette.
We will prepare game very soon, mallard duck, venison, some grouse, partridge, “lievre à la royale” a little later.
Thank you again for helping us improving our service. I hope to welcome you again. Best regards.
Yours very sincerely
Jany Gleize Chef de Cuisine, Maître de Maison
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Additional Information about La Bonne Etape

Property: La Bonne Etape
Address: Chemin du Lac, 04160 Chateau-Arnoux, France
Phone Number:
Region: France > Provence > French Riviera - Cote d'Azur > Chateau-Arnoux
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Chateau-Arnoux
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — La Bonne Etape 4*
Number of rooms: 18
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
La Bonne Etape Hotel Chateau-Arnoux
La Bonne Etape Chateau Arnoux

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