On this trip we stayed at Lameloise, and two smaller guesthouses. Bernard Loiseau was supposed to be the highlight, but left us with very mixed feelings, so I will just list pros and cons.
- room was lovely - huge and well appointed. Full set of TV channels and good guestbook, and a bowl of fresh walnuts to crack and nibble on
- pool area was very pleasant. it is however very small - the size of a normal domestic pool, and did not have enough loungers for even half of the hotel - we were lucky but many subsequent visitors came down in their robes and slippers expecting to relax in the sun by the pool, and there was nowhere for them to sit.
- spa facilities seemed nice - we visited but didn't use
- valet parking
- quiet and well layed out grounds
- Dominique Loiseau came around at dinner time to each table to say hello which was a charming touch
- location - the outside of it honestly looks like a Travelodge which we were not expecting
- lack of staff - when around the pool, there were no staff at all - you had to search them out for a drink which was annoying, then service took ages
- noisy children - the pool area was invaded by a man and his 8 year old daughter, who jumped in the pool and spent 40 minutes splashing, shrieking, and carrying on a conversation with her father at about 8000 decibels. You expect this in a Hyatt, not at a hotel that prides itself on discretion, relaxation and serenity.
- restaurant - our dinner was sub-par compared to the other food we had. Our fixed menu included the signature dishes of Bernard L'Oiseau such as the frogs legs with garlic puree and parsley (bland and tasteless), a strange poultry dish with a huge chunk of foie gras that was raw, and a giant chocolate dessert with very strong orange sauce that was absolutely hideous - like a giant strong jaffa cake. The waiters mainly spoke no english at all, and we felt we were left alone much longer than the french speaking guests. Food was plonked in front of us with very short explanation. the included wine was also much less than at Lameloise, and lower quality - no attempt was made to ask us our preference or provide suggestions.
- breakfast - we had this in our room which was nice, but even in a superior room it was set up with one person sitting on the room's only chair, and the other expected to perch on the end of the bed to eat - not very comfortable. Also, the order was incorrect which necessitated some calls down to the kitchen where only french was spoken.
- language - in the other hotels of this calibre that we visited, the staff had a grasp of English, and would respond to our adequate french in English in a seamless way, making us feel like welcomed guests. In this hotel, only about a third of the staff spoke English, and then only if you addressed them in English. I am happy to try in french, but would expect in a hotel of this calibre that they would be more accommodating to international guests. Even when asked to speak slower, they continued to rattle on in french, only just restraining their rolling eyes.
- bed - our large bed was a "zip and link" which I really dislike, particularly when the join in the middle is bumpy and sunken
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel belongs to the prestigious Relais & Châteaux network of independent hotels and offers luxurious accommodation in delightful surroundings.Relais Bernard Loiseau features 32 spacious and luxurious rooms and suites, a library room with a chimney for quiet and peaceful evenings in the wintertime, a billiard room with French billiard, an outdoor swimming pool and a spa in order to make your stay as relaxing as possible.Enjoy the hotel’s privileged location to discover a region with a tremendous cultural and culinary heritage. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Relais Bernard Loiseau Hotel Saulieu
- Le Relais Bernard Loiseau Saulieu