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La Monnaie Art & Spa Hotel
Ranked #7 of 48 Hotels in La Rochelle
Certificate of Excellence
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
174 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“average +”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2013

We spent 2 nights there and the location is great just a short walk from the center and the Port. They have private parking ( fee ) but you will need to reserve in advance. Our room, Suite Albane, at the 1. floor was to the garden/parking and very calm surrounding.
The Hotel has several very interesting designs in the public area as well as in the room but should not sacrifice functionality for style. The bathroom is just too dark with its blue light, to put on make up is a guessing game and the outcome could be ' Frankenstein '. Also the bathroom is small and has a shower which doors don't close properly, means one will need to hold a foot against the door to avoid hitting ones back. We did comment on this at check-out time.
Our suite ( 289.00€ ) had 2 rooms, the bedroom had a safe which was not mounted, does that help the thieves ? 1 small bottle of mineral water just in the first night, it was not replaced as empty, so we used the minibar and got billed. The living room we did only use to store our suitcase. Due to a thunderstorm they had problems creating the room-key so we were offered a tea/coffee and waited in the lobby. Unfortunately the next day it did not work anymore, so back to reception to get a new one. Overall an interesting place and breakfast for a fair value. With a few changes it could become real great.
Overall the Hotel

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank R113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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549 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 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 (22)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bath, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2013

Our second night of this trip was spent at this rather odd hotel. Listed as an "Art and Spa" hotel, we saw neither the Spa or enjoyed the "Art". Was trying far too hard to be chic and trendy, but it felt rather soul-less and cold, and the staff coolish as well. They did upgrade us to a nice room at the rear of the property overlooking the courtyard and small car park which was a nice gesture. The room was rather sparsely furnished with quirky light fitments and a fairly comfortable bed, but it was the bathroom that let it down. Very dark with "mood" lighting (not what you need in a bathroom), a helpful magnifying mirror, but you could barely see what you were doing! The shower tray was of perforated metal (uncomfortable on the feet), shower OK, but the door could not be shut properly. The corridors were dark too (lit eventually by automatic lighting but this needs a more ready response when coming in from the bright light outside). Breakfast was acceptable but nothing to shout about. Style or comfort - give me comfort every time.

Room Tip: Rear courtyard rooms have the best light and our quiet - no passing traffic, boat masts in the harbo...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gabywiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin
Level Contributor
55 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2013

We splurged and booked the best rooms in the hotel (106) but even at €315 a night we felt we had got good value - two large rooms and a sitting room, beautifully furnished and equipped. Towels - always a good indication - were numerous, fluffy and included some apparently designed specifically to mop up from the "wet-room" shower. The decor, especially in the dark narrow corridor, was occasionally OTT but generally fun. Breakfast was superb and the coffee machine apparently left on all day without charge.
However it is people who make a hotel and without exception they were great. I had booked parking for a small car but arrived in a big white Volvo (I said we splurged!). This had to get into an underground car-park which was very difficult but the young man who helped was not only efficient but shared in the "fun". Once into the hotel everyone over four days gave the same impression of actually enjoying their work. As is often mentioned the French can be patronising unless one speaks the language perfectly but here they got it just right - appreciative of my efforts but happy to try their English if I got stuck.
One little quibble: their driving instructions could be clearer. Follow signs for Vieux Port then to Parking Jean d'Acre and you will get there in the end. It will be worth it.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank robertopw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
103 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2013

The Art & Spa bit of it's title is very misleading. There is a Spa, in fact it is in the cellar, no windows or fresh air and is completely dark. To use it, one has to rent the entire spa, which consists of 2 electric massage tables, a jacuzzi (in the dark), some showers also in the dark and a sauna - that's it and you rent it for 130euro for 90 minutes for its entirety. The hotel itself is decorated with funky furniture and lighting, but most of the walls, floor and ceilings are dark grey. With the minimalistic lighting we found that we had to walk 6 paces in pitch black down a non lit corridor before a sensor light came on. On arrival, we found the hotel staff not very friendly. However, the location is excellent and that is the only good thing we have to say about the hotel. If you've got the patience to read why here goes: We could not switch the two strip lights off in our room, so had to sleep with the lights on all night. The 'designer' free standing light flickered dangerously, so we pulled the plug on that. There was an annoying buzzing coming from the bathroom, which we could hear all night, and there was a musty smell from there too. We could not use the controls of the central heating/air con, as the light was so poor. In the morning, we were woken with the fire alarm going off. Nobody called us, so we telephoned reception who eventually answered. We had to ask them if everything was OK and they told us yes, that the toast had set off the alarms. In our attractive designer bathroom, the twin shower doors would not close and kept opening inwards into you whilst showering. When we came down to breakfast the room was very, very cold from having the doors and windows open to let out the smoke. They had run out of milk AND water at breakfast, so we made do with black coffee and cereal with fruit juice! Having thought we had been through the worst, when our little safe door would not open, we were horrified to find out that it was not secured to a wall or unit. The problem was solved by the very helpful receptionist who tucked it under his arm and walked it down to his desk to sort the problem out. Although first impressions were a wow from the deco, the functionality was at zero, from the jug of the juice being so big that it was impossible to pour into the little glass that was provided, to lights and buzzing sounds that do not switch off in your room at night and corridors you have to walk down in the dark both day and night. Such a shame. The staff need training, where is the Management here?

Room Tip: Please read our review in full before considering.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sarah T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sylvette-Lebeau, Propriétaire at La Monnaie Art & Spa Hotel, responded to this review, 12 July 2013
Dear Sarah T

Thank you for having taken the time to share your experience and for choosing our establishment for your stay in La Rochelle.

I am genuinely sorry that you were so disappointed - to the point where you seem to have stayed in a different hotel altogether - and I notice you have also written an extravagantly favourable review of another establishment in La Rochelle: a review in which you have given an opinion on all the hotels in La Rochelle, gained during just one trip.

Thank you for having honestly noted our location ("excellent") as well as giving your view on the service and the cleanliness of our establishment.

If I summarise your review: you found the spa (which you did not actually use, but visited very briefly) too dark, the noise of the ventilation too loud, and the design unsatisfactory. As for the cost of using the spa, you were offered a price of 99 euros (not 130 euros) for an hour and a half's use: our customers do not find that excessive considering that price includes two massage tables, a steam room, a sauna, a jacuzzi, a choice of drinks, towels and robes, as well as chromotherapy showers. So the whole set-up is private and offers total peace and quiet.

You were awoken by the fire alarm around 9.30 a.m. due to a guest having literally let their toast burn in the toaster and that resulted in the other annoyances which occurred during your breakfast. Again, I apologise for this inconvenience.

As for the safe, it is true that it was not attached to the wall. The installer wanted to fix them to the wardrobe (since they are inside the wardrobe) and I refused for reasons of security. We were then waiting for the parts which would let us secure them to a safer support. This work is now done, so the safe boxes cannot be removed - although I have to say, I cannot envisage seeing somebody leaving with a safe in their arms given that we always have a member of staff present at Reception.

Finally I want to reassure you on the subject of your concerns about our management. I manage the establishment: I am present every day and really take to heart the well-being of our guests. I will pass on your kind comment about the "very helpful receptionist" to the member of staff in question: thank you.

All best wishes, and I look forward to welcoming you again to La Rochelle for a stay in more auspicious circumstances.

Sylvette Lebeau
Owner/Manager
+33 5 46 50 65 65
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampshire
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 May 2013

Reading the reviews of this hotel after booking, we were a little apprehensive. However, our 3-day stay was a wonderful experience. The hotel is in a perfect location for visiting La Rochelle; two minutes from the Tour de la Lanterne and a pleasant 5 minute stroll past numerous restaurants down to the quayside. The staff were welcoming, friendly and efficient. Our suite was comfortable with a huge bathroom where the shower floor was mosaic tiles, not the metal grid which others have complained about. The décor may not be what one would expect from a French hotel in a 17th century building, but it was interesting. As the weather was hot and sunny, we declined the spa in favour of the beach, so cannot comment on that facility. We would certainly return to a great hotel in a fascinating city.

Room Tip: On the ground floor at the back overlooking the garden
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shirley M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2013

We had been looking forward to our short Spring break to La Rochelle and the Hotel La Monnaie, having read the previous reviews, but we were bitterly disappointed. How on earth this hotel warrants a four star rating is beyond belief and whose star rating is it anyway? Its shortcomings far outweigh its convenience for shops and restaurants and our first impressions were nowhere near as good as others on this site!

"La Monnaie’s" publicity literature and our booking invoice both stated that “All rooms overlook either the courtyard or the garden”. Do not take this for granted! The hotel has at least two small rooms which overlook the street (Numbers 122 and 222). This, in itself, would not have been a problem if the rooms had been up to scratch in other aspects. Our party was allocated to both rooms concerned on the grounds that "They are next to one another". Well, yes they are, if you disregard the floor that is between them, and Room 222 is by far the worst of the pair.

The hotel management is obviously immune to the faint smell of damp which greets you as you enter the hotel and which became impossible to ignore as we were shown to our room.
Exiting the lift on the second floor, the smell increased as we proceeded along the street-side corridor and, on entering our room, the receptionist quickly flung open the window but the smell was still apparent.

Next morning an inspection revealed rotting skirting boards hiding under the sink as the possible source of the smell. Next to it, the shower unit, with its mesh non-slip tray, has interesting practical possibilities in everyday life, especially for the elderly, but the execution of its plumbing is another matter. Combined with ill-fitting shower doors, as in Room 122, and this set up is just a disaster waiting to happen. It’s all very well being stylish and chic if everything works, but this concept doesn’t! What astounds us the most is that neither the housekeeping nor maintenance teams appear to have noticed the problem. Or they are just ignoring it, as it was obviously a long standing issue? Having said that, one room alone could not be the source of the smell that was apparent elsewhere on this corridor and this indicates that a more serious and fundamental problem might exist in this wing.

All I will say specifically about Room 222 is that whilst black and white monochrome is stylish and “edgy”, when combined with a small window and cloudy skies it equals "gloomy". With no general lighting in the room the small bedside lights don’t help either, unless you point them at the ceiling which then makes reading in bed is problematical.

A truly ludicrous red or white plastic hat stand, with 3 hangers, provided the ONLY clothes storage available in both Rooms 122 and 222. Stylish perhaps, but immensely irritating when the hangers fell off their little grooves - which they did all the time! In contradiction to what is stated on all the websites, Room 222 was not provided with a safe, bathrobes or mini bar, and the bed albeit with a comfortable mattress, was a smallish double which meant "elbows in the night"!

The room also had a howling draft from behind the built-in headboard which whistled past our ankles and ears and we became quite cold. The heating controls for the room appeared ineffectual until we found out that actually Reception controlled the temperature and we had to request that it be increased. This did alleviate the draught a little, but perhaps we should not have been surprised by it, as we did appear to be in the attic!

We cannot comment on the breakfast provided at the hotel as after a night spent with the smell we really didn’t feel like eating! Thankfully, we only spent two nights at La Monnaie and then moved on to Ile de Re. At our next hotel it became quite obvious that the damp smell had permeated all of our clothes etc. Back home, our empty luggage and outdoor coats had to be placed outside for two days just to get rid of the lingering smells. The rest went into the washing machine, used or not - that really says it all!!

In retrospect, at the start of the trip, we should really have turned right on leaving the airport, and gone straight on to Ile de Re. We had thought that “La Monnaie” would be a pleasant and interesting change, but now regret that we wasted two days on this boutique hotel. To paraphrase my mother “La Monnaie” is very much “All fur coat and no underwear!”

We will go back to La Rochelle as, along with St Martin de Re, it is one of our favourite short trip destinations, but we will certainly not be staying at "La Monnaie" again, stylish and arty, or not!

Room Tip: Do nOt accept Rooms 122 and 222 until the problem of the damp is rectified.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CARIAD1952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sylvette-Lebeau, Propriétaire at La Monnaie Art & Spa Hotel, responded to this review, 12 July 2013
Dear CARIAD1952,

Thank you for having taken the time to write a review and sharing your experience. I am sincerely sorry that it did not meet your expectations.

We have spoken at length about the inconveniences you found during your stay, and I am not going to return to them again here.

I'd like to point out that indeed, there was a problem during your stay and I am sorry that this occurred. A slight malfunction took place, and please do accept my apologies. There had been a strong (almost storm-force) wind a short time before your arrival, and a tile had fallen from the roof, allowing some water in. Your room was slightly affected by the infiltration of the water. The problem has now been solved, since everything that was wet has been changed. I attach a photo of the new skirting board. It is probably that which was causing the smell you mentioned. From reading your review, users will think that the hotel smelled very strongly, but the smell was very slight and was not enough to prevent you from staying the two nights that you had reserved. I also point out that nearly 50% of the opinions that you have put on TripAdvisor make mention of bad smells, you must have a very acute sense of smell, which may either be a good thing or an inconvenience.

The bedrooms that you occupied are comfortable bedrooms. They are our lowest category level bedrooms, therefore they are the smallest in the hotel. Having received complaints about this, we do warn all clients when they make a reservation, that these rooms can seem small to a client used to luxury. We simply keep these rooms in order to allow other types of clientele to benefit from a designer and luxury hotel. We are committed to this variety. To remove any element of surprise, we are very clear from the moment that reservations are made.
I thank you once again. Do not hesitate to stay in the Hôtel la Monnaie again during your next trip, perhaps in a superior room...

Regards

Sylvette Lebeau
Owner/Manager
+33 5 46 50 65 65
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Monnaie Art & Spa Hotel

Property: La Monnaie Art & Spa Hotel
Address: 3 rue de la Monnaie, 17000, La Rochelle, France
Phone Number:
Region: France > Nouvelle-Aquitaine > Charente-Maritime > La Rochelle
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in La Rochelle
#2 Luxury Hotel in La Rochelle
#5 Family Hotel in La Rochelle
#5 Business Hotel in La Rochelle
#9 Romantic Hotel in La Rochelle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — La Monnaie Art & Spa Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The historic 17th century building has been given a current makeover with decor that is audacious and livelyThe hallways, lounges and 36 rooms and suites offer a warm and modern luxury atmosphere. Very high quality bedding in the rooms with Garden or patio view, a hearty buffet breakfast mostly with local products.The private spa offers an infinity jacuzzi, sauna, and water jets massage tables.La Monnaie Art & Spa Hotel is located in the historic town center of La Rochelle. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Monnaie Art And Spa Hotel
La Monnaie Art Hotel La Rochelle
De La Monnaie Hotel
Hotel De La Monnaie
De La Monnaie Rochelle

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