We were late. We were driving to Saumur and had indicated to Le Patio's host Romain Legrand we would arrive by 5:30pm. Romain told us he had a function to attend that evening, but he would be there to meet us. Unfortunately, major roadworks brought highway traffic to a standstill and our estimated time of arrival blew out. My partner phoned Romain with a revised estimate of a 6:30pm arrival. Romain said that was fine. And then another phone call...we hoped to arrive by 7pm. When we finally arrived at Le Patio shortly after 7pm, I fully expected Romain to be a little "testy" given the lateness of our arrival. But there was no sign of any annoyance from him, quite the opposite in fact, and he expressed sympathy for us in having to contend with French road maintenance! He led us to our room (the Blue Suite), explained the breakfast procedure, passed on some local restaurant tips, and bid us a good night.
Long ago, Le Patio once once used to function as a post office. I don't know how old the building is, but there are signs of age in its general appearance. Our room was very spacious, and its bathroom more than adequate. The room is tastefully furnished, but it's fair to say that the furniture offers more in looks than in comfort. Assuming the other rooms are of similar condition, one could imagine investing a small fortune modernising the place replacing the old with the new, a "facelift" of sorts. But upon reflection, I like it just the way it is. "Shabby chic" is how one reviewer described Le Patio, and I couldn't agree more. Take a walk around the streets of the town's centre, visit the nearby Château de Saumur and soak up the ambience of the place. And as you enter the courtyard of Le Patio and make your way back to your room, you recognise this charming Chambre d'Hôte is entirely consistent with its surrounds. If I had one criticism to make, it would be the lack of internet service from within our room. Perhaps that has now been corrected. A strong wi-fi signal can be found in the ground level dining area.
Much has already been written about Romain and his genuine warmth as a host. He does indeed strive to make his guests' time in Saumur as enjoyable as possible. Restaurant tips, maps, advice on tourist attractions...it's the "standard" we come to expect from hosts with local knowledge to offer. But there are some hosts who exceed the standard, and go beyond what is expected in providing superior service. We had mentioned to Romain one morning at breakfast that we were looking forward to our evening hot air balloon ride over the Loire Valley. Due to poor weather, the trip was cancelled, but fortunately for us, we were notified by e-mail that another spot was available the following evening. We expressed our interest in taking that spot but when we did not receive confirmation back from the hot air balloon company, we got a little concerned. Romain simply took charge and with a couple of quick phone calls, got the confirmation we needed.
The offer of complimentary drinks in the courtyard is something that Romain places some importance in. At the end of one long day, we returned to Le Patio quite tired and wanting to simply relax and enjoy the cool quiet of our room. Romain was in the courtyard sharing some drinks with other guests and called out to us to join them, but we politely declined. On our last night at Le Patio, before heading out for dinner, Romain again invited us to join him for some champagne - this time we gratefully accepted. Just little gestures of hospitality perhaps, but entirely consistent with the man, and his attention to detail in taking care of his guests.
Our decision to spend 3 nights in Saumur before finishing the French leg of our European holiday in Paris proved to be a good one. Saumur and its nearby surrounds have many attractions worth visiting. Our stay at Le Patio and meeting Romain was certainly a highlight of our trip.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Odigeo and Priceline so you can book your Le Patio Saumur reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.