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“Great service, poor facilities”

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Hotel de France et de Guise
Ranked #14 of 29 Hotels in Blois
Reviewed 9 July 2011

First off, the good things: Location, it is RIGHT NEXT to the Blois Chateau. Suggested parking is up the street in a parking structure for 5.50 euro per 24 hrs. (They pipe in classical music into this very clean, well lit parking structure.) The downtown pedestrian walk area is less than a 5 min walk, along with lots of restaurants, shopping, the river front, etc about 10 min walk. The reception is great. Hosts were knowledgeable, sincere and just really nice people. The breakfast staff were younger folks who were also very solicitous. The water pressure in the shower was EXCELLENT. The view was of the church next door, which was light up lovely at night. Breakfast was typical continental fare (croissant, baguette, cereal w milk, yogurt, coffee, orange juice). Now, the unfortunate things: The building is OLD and very oddly laid out. It seems as if walls were just put in to section a large room into several very small ones. The room was barely large enough for the bed. There was no place to put our small carry on sized suitcases. The bed was a small double bed, not the typical two twins put together. There was no A/C in the room, and no air circulation thru the hotel since there are several unusually placed doors thru the crooked halls. The weather was an unbearable 99 degrees during the day. At night, with no wind, gnats were swarming. This meant that we struggled with keeping the windows open or closed. Closed, it was stifling hot. Open, the noise from to street (honking, catcalls at all hours of the night) and the gnats were misery. Plus we could hear right thru the very thin walls. I could hear my neighbors using the bathroom, showering, watching TV, walking thru their room on the squeaking floor. The carpet in the rooms were a very worn, ugly brown indoor/outdoor carpet. There were cut out triangular pieces of wood nailed to the wall on either side of the bed to be used as night stands. The walls were a very old, cheap wall paper, with holes which looked like the room had been treated for termites or worse. The bed was very uncomfortable. And with it being so hot, we needed to ask for the sheets to be changed (they don't usually change them daily). The closet had strange hangers in them, like they were purchased from several different garage sales. The bathroom had some kind of wallpaper made to look like a parquet floor, but it was warped from water. The shower was very small, the tiles old...but at least it was clean. The plastic towel rack was broken (falling out of the wall) but the maid just kept putting old screw back in the hole and balancing the towels on them. When I took a towel from the rack, it just fell to the floor again. It is truly sad because I believe this hotel could be lovely, especially with the great people that run the place. It just really needs a significant overhaul. I won't stay here again unless that happens.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TandCfromHawaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 7 August 2011

Good evening,

We thank you for your review and are happy that you have appreciated our situation and services.
We have bought the hotel four years ago and every winter we improve the confort and security : all the beds have been changed three years ago , the TV 2 years ago and last winter , we have renovated the electricity in the fifty rooms and we will go on to revovate.

So we hope to welcome you in the future,
Kind regards,

Annie & Jacky Barilleau

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90 - 96 of 368 reviews

Reviewed 15 June 2011

I am reluctant to put the word "bedbugs" in the title of the review, unless I believe the problem has been endemic and that the staff's response is woefully inadequate. Bedbugs can turn up anywhere - but when they do, there needs to be at least an apology.

First, we found the staff to be anything but "generally English speaking." Yes, there two lovely people who did speak English and hotel is very well situated and the rooms are large by French standards, but smelly/musty and (looking back), an odd smell we couldn't identify. The second night of the stay we woke up in the night with blood stains on the sheets and the feeling of creepy crawiies. We had checked the mattress before using the bed, but we quickly discovered a ledge behind the bed filled with bugs and feces and molted bedbugs - not vacuumed in weeks, as the bugs had gone through several stages.

Went down to front desk and tried to communicate in French about the problem. Neither employee gave any response at all. One began to look at a computer. I asked if they would go up and look at the problem, no response. I thought they should at least know what the evidence was and where the problem was. They looked completely unsurprised and uncaring. After waiting half an hour or so (we had to leave), I finally said we had to check out but that we were very unhappy about the expense and concern of having to now deal with bed bugs.

This was the ONLY hotel in Europe where we stayed that they didn't have those metal legged things to put your suitcase on. There was one small piece of furniture that I used for my bag, but mostly we had to put our bags on the bed and my husband had to put his on the floor. We worried terribly about spreading bugs to others on the train and tried to segregate our luggage. We examined the luggage carefully and tossed a lot of clothing.

By contrast, our next lodging at an entire titled closet area with two metal racks for luggage, metal hooks on the walls, and everything else that's recommended to help stave off this problem

The man at the desk comped us our breakfast - 16E and absolutely nothing special about that breakfast (American coffee). They seem to cater to large bus groups, which is probably why they have the bedbug problem - the people on those tours have little choice about where they stay or about changing rooms and are too tired to check for bugs. Their luggage is all dumped in one big bin and so if even one room has bugs, everyone on the tour gets them. And then they stay at Hotel de France and de Guise, which has a huge breakfast room to accomodate bus tours

Yes, the view is fabulous and the location is great, most of the staff is very nice. But the cleanliness level is deplorable. When people say the room needs updating, I think they are referring in part to the oldness of the wooden furniture, the cracks and crannies were pests can hide, and the indoor/outdoor carpeting that is also a potential home for bedbugs - as well as the not-clean baseboards. We should have known better and usually check a little more, but we were coming in tired that first night and it was not until the second night that we noticed.

We are glad we noticed. I think that only a very thorough fumigation of the rooms (if they're in the baseboards, they are spreading everywhere) will suffice to fix the problem and as high season is coming up, it is probably too late for them to do much about it this year.

Very cold weather kills bedbugs. Had they taken the problem seriously in the wintertime, removed all the old wooden chairs and tables (these are not nice antiques, they are old old furnishings) and not just replaced the mattresses (but should have used plastic mattress covers too) - they would not be getting this room from me.

This hotel came close to ruining our stay in the Loire Valley. We have travelled many places and never seen a single bug, and our anxiety level about it was high - no one knows how they're going to react to something like this until it happens to them. We did everything we could to wash our clothes and check our bags before we departed - but we were offered no help in that task and no compensation for the mounting bills we're paying for pesticides and cleaning at home.

The complete lack of apology from the desk staff (not the nice lovely woman who seems to run the place) is my reason for the terrible service star.

This place was cheap - but not that cheap. I'd say that a hostel or campground would have been better (if we had had one more night, we would have slept in a campground). Naturally, after the bed bugs bit and there was blood on the sheets, sleep quality was destroyed.

Breakfast was the least enjoyable of any we had in France or Italy. Internet did work but for one device at a time. Parking was a nightmare, from our point of view as newcomers and we had to ask people on the street about the payment requirements at the place recommended (never did figure out how to get into the parking from the right direction). Parking is downhill a bit and maybe 500 meters from the hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank LeBiscuit D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 18 June 2011

Madam,

We do have an annual pest control like most of the hotels. We have signed a contract with an american well-known firm and they come regularly during the year and exceptionnally when we call them. That is what we did after your departure when the receptionnist reported this fact.
We do are concerned about this which is not a problem of cleanliness or old building, this kind of insects are brought by travellers and it exists in 2 stars hotel as well as palace.
Due to our long experience in different countries, we always sign contract for pest elimination which can not be treated with usual cleaning products.
Therefore, we are surprised about what you have written concerning groups as it can be brought either by individuals clients or groups who are also respectable persons and we consider them as individuals even if it was a small group of 27 persons.
We are sorry that we ( the owners) were not present at your departure. We are always joingnable even during the night and would have taken a better attention to your request even if everyone at the reception speaks fluently english .
Please accept our appologies for all inconveniences.
Best regards,
Annie & Jacky Barilleau

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Reviewed 4 June 2011

We stayed for one night in a triple room. The deco of the room was a bit tacky with a blue theme but otherwise clean and quiet. The host was very friendly, spoke fluent English and provided a lot of useful information on the area. The location was also good being right next to Chateau Blois and within walking distance to the old town. All in all it was good value for the rate we paid.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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Thank lppst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 7 August 2011

Good evening,

We thank you to have taken time for writting your review and are pleased that you have appreciated our hotel and services for its value.

We hope to welcome you another time ,

Best regards,

Annie & Jacky Barilleau

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Reviewed 19 May 2011

We stayed in blois for 2 nights. We had a view of the chateau and the hotel was well located and there was good parking nearby. The rooms were spacious although slightly old and everything was clean. Couldn't ask for more from a two star hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Tash28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 13 June 2011

Many thanks for your kind review and are happy that you had a good stay in our hotel and lovely town. We hope to see you another time and wish you all the best.
Best regards,

Annie & Jacky Barilleau

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Reviewed 26 April 2011

We much enjoyed our stay here. We drove there upon arriving at the airport in Paris and it was the perfect introduction to France. This hotel is family run, everyone fluent in English and extremely reasonably priced. All on staff are kind and patient. They offered us good information about restaurants, local activities & how to get to them. Our room was unpretentious, clean & had a very good shower. We would give this hotel 5 stars, including quality of room & sleep, but the walls were thin, as is common with non-expensive hotels in France. We had a wonderful front row view to a castle, park, and lovely church right across the street from us. Their location is perfect, everything walking distance, from post office, bank & laundry to eating, shopping, & the gorgeous Loire River. The owner of Balzac, the first tabac/bar located down the corner from them was extremely kind. She didn’t know a lot of English, but managed to communicate helpfully nonetheless. We would definitely recommend this 2-star hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank KheD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 30 April 2011

We thank you very much for your review. It encourages us to give the best welcome and help to our guests.
We will be happy to welcome you in a future time.
Best Regards
Annie & Jacky

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Reviewed 26 April 2011

Don't hesitate, its a good value for money. The best service for a week in France! The hotel is situated just front of the le Château de Blouis. The rooms are ordinary - not big but clean and nice. Please ask the host where to eat and walk, you would not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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Thank alyak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 30 April 2011

We are pleased to read that you spent a nice time with us and hope to welcome you again during your next trip in France. All the best.
Annie & Jacky

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Reviewed 31 March 2011

Before I start I need to say this hotel is run by some very lovely people. I cannot fault them for their service, attitude or willingness to help. I even booked my stay for the wrong month and they still put us up.

It is in a very good location opposite the Blois Royal Chateau and is a good location to use as a base to see all the chateau's in the Loire Valley. However... The room was very tired. It had apricot wall paper, orange decor and the bathroom had baby poo colored tiles in the shower and pink lino and it was swelteringly hot and stuffy. It is in desperate need of a revamp. Even just some new wall paper and new tiling to the bathroom would make a world of difference.

But it was cheap and the service was good so it wasn't all bad. I wouldn't recommend it, but I was not unhappy with my stay.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Bears-bub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 3 April 2011

Good morning,

We thank you for your review and have noticed that you appreciated our welcoming, good services , central position in front of the castle and the lower price.

It's a pity that you did not tell us during your stay that you did not like your room. We spoke together so often and we could have proposed you another room with other colours.
We have bought the hotel four years ago and during the last three years , we have changed all the beddings, TV flat screen, electricity in the 50 rooms and start to redecorate the corridors and some rooms.

We will certainly carry on the renovation in a near future.

Kind regards,

Annie & Jacky Barilleau

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Additional Information about Hotel de France et de Guise

Address: 3 rue Gallois, 41000, Blois, France
Region: France > Centre-Val de Loire > Loire Valley > Blois
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 29 Hotels in Blois
Price Range: £41 - £65 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel de France et de Guise 2*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel is situated downtown , in the historical part and in front of the castle of Blois. The restaurants and shopping area are at a few minuts.There is a free and closed garage for the bikes and for the motorbikes. The underground public parking of the castle is at 2 mns. The railway station is at 5/10 mns walking distance. Free wifi is available , and from the hotel we can get reduction on the price of the castle of Blois, Sound and Light Show and Magic House. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel De France Et Guise

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