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“Big disappointment”
Review of Villa Gallici

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Villa Gallici
Ranked #2 of 69 Hotels in Aix-en-Provence
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 June 2013

I gave it only two of five because for the price they charge this should be better. The grounds are beautiful, and the staff was nice. But that's it, not enough to warrant five star status. Maybe our experience was due to our room, a terrace suite. We couldn't see how this place earned such rave reviews, unless the other rooms in the main building were much different. But it's possible that very few people stayed in our room, as it seemed like it hadn't been opened for some time.

The first thing we noticed when we walked in was the smell – like a summer cabin that had been closed up for nine months. The floors and counters were dirty (my wife wiped several of them down), there were spider webs in multiple locations, and the drain in the bedroom shower was slow enough to create a wading pool (hot water appeared only after running it for about 10 or 15 minutes). There were no unused AC outlets in the bedroom, so we unplugged a couple of unused appliances near the desk. That's where I plugged my phone in to charge, but a better place for it would have been the night stand, as there was no clock in the room. The room did not have access to the internet, which would have been nice, as the TV had only two English language channels (sometimes only one was available).

The staff was friendly and helpful, but they seemed understaffed. They were always busy helping somebody, which means they weren't always available. I realize this is a small inn, and not a hotel, but they charge a lot, so I had higher expectations.

We should have also done more research on Aix, as we thought it was in a rural area. The Villa was in the middle of a dense residential area, and the “village” that was a short walk away seemed like the world's largest open-air shopping mall. It's really a city (a very old one, with very narrow streets), not a village. I'm writing this on the train to Paris, and the view I expected at this Villa is about 50 minutes from Aix. If you're looking for a pastoral setting, this isn't the place. I can't comment on the rooms in the main building at the Villa Gallici, but if you do stay there, do NOT get the Terrace Suite.

Room Tip: Don't get #20.
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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15  Thank KenFromCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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161 - 167 of 439 reviews

Reviewed 9 June 2013

This R and C property has an awesome reputation with prices to match so we were expecting something special. The rooms are small (most rooms in France are) but impeccably appointed and beautifully furnished with adequate storage. The property is exquisitely presented: breakfast and dinner are served on the terrace overlooking the pool and a small but beautifully kept garden. When we were there, there were roses everywhere (not a dead head to be seen)! The property is also well situated, right outside the centre of Aix. Unfortunately, where this property falls down is on service and on some of the basics. The front desk doesn’t work because there is only space for one person at a time, so you’ll be waiting while they finish dealing with the current customer. Trying to get them open the front gate is a battle – expect to be put on hold and to wait 5 minutes. Registration and check in was perfunctory as was the tour of the room. The internet connection in our room was poor and slow when it worked at all. The dinner on the terrace – a degustation menu – was disappointing; the sea bass was not fresh and was tasteless – just not the standard you would expect for E120 per person. The staff at breakfast were the same: they did their jobs competently but were not interested in going the extra mile, and there was nothing offered beyond a continental breakfast. To add insult to injury, there was no hot water on the final morning. I have some advice for the owners of this place: go and stay at Les Crayeres for a night in Reims and see how they do it. You will learn something.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Rob1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2013

Last month we spent a month in France. We were only able to stay at the Villa Gallici for 2 nights and that was a mistake. Our 2 nights there were perfect in every way. The staff is the best and took great care of us. They were there and we didn't even see them. The property was just wonderful and the hotel itself was a fantastic experience. We felt like royalty and were treated as such. The breakfast each morning was amazing and cocktails on the patio over looking the pool was exactly what we were looking for. In fact, the whole experience at the villa was exactly what we needed. Just be sure to get the best driving instructions from the staff before you arrive. The GPS can't instruct in Aix. Once we left the staff gave us the easiest, clearest route. Thanks Villa Gallice. We hope to come back but for a longer stay! Bob A.

Room Tip: We were only in one room so I can only say the room we were in was perfect for us and the bathroom w...
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank BobA849
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2013

We had read some of the less favorable reviews so approached Villa Gallici with uncertainty. That was soon dissipated: this hotel deserves the plaudits it has received.

Aix can be a bit frenetic and the traffic exasperating (we gave up on parking after a one hour try in mid afternoon) so this slightly out of the center location was perfect. It is set apart from its more mundane surrounding and is in a park-like setting. The grounds are elegant, impeccably maintained, varied and with specimen trees in the best provencal style.

It is true, as some have observed, that the "public" rooms are a style that one may like or not: on the baroque side saturated with art, small sculptures and other elegant decor elements, but every chair or canape is extremely comfortable. The latter is important because all meals are served throughout the multiple sitting rooms, with tables a deus or suitably arranged for groups of up to ten.

All of the public rooms face out through large french doors overlooking the beautiful terrace overlooking the pool with the grand sycamores and cedars in view. We didn't take meals there but the breakfast was extravagant and sumptuous: one of the best I've ever seen in travels to over 45 countries: it was difficult to think of something one might want for breakfast that they didn't have in the elegant side room buffet area. The meal service is efficient, gracious and discreet. If you need something or someone they are there, and if not you are left to your privacy.

We had the deluxe room with a small terrace overlooking the grounds and could not understand some of the complaints here about small rooms, though ours was a step up from the regular rooms. The decoration was elegant, the furnishings were comfortable, and the bathroom was beautiful -- impeccable materials, beautiful lighting and highly functional.

We were also pleasantly surprised by the service -- the ratio of staff to guests is generous, and we had an array of miscellaneous requests, all of which were rapidly and discreetly accommodated. Even before we arrived, the staff was extremely helpful. We wanted to rent a convertible to travel in the countryside, and a search of Kayak and every individual car rental website turned up blank, but a single email in advance of our arrival produced a selection of convertibles from the basic to Lamborghini. The staff couldn't have been more helpful and responsive.

Trip Advisor is a mixed blessing for we consumers as well as hotel owners - the review preceding this one wasn't flattering. But you need to look at other reviews of commenters to assess their tastes, temperament and perspective. We travel often and stay in Relais Chateaux level hotels when in the countryside, and this one, from our perspective, is on the higher rung. Some of the complaints may have reflected a specific small problem here and there, but we travel with a critical eye and couldn't find a single flaw here.

One other observation for those not accustomed to small European hotels -- there are not cookie cutter properties -- all of the rooms are uniquely shaped and sized, so keep that in mind. If you don't like the one designated on your arrival, ask to see if there are others to choose from.

Room Tip: Some have expressed concern about room size, but the deluxe room was a very good size and delightful...
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank RTL212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2013

We fell in love with the Aix-Provence. Unfortunately we felt that the quality of service and accomodations at Villa Gallici were just AVERAGE. The location of hotel was okay because it was a short walking distance to the main town. However, the hotel itself was not as well maintained for what you expect for the rates. We got a restaurant recommendation that luckily we didn't stay to eat and found a local place that was excellent in town. The check out process was very poor for and two of us were charged incorrectly. Probably wouldn't recommend... :(

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ARuckle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2012

The Villa Gallici is wonderful. It is about a 10 minute walk from the center of Aix and some of the walk is uphill so people with limited mobility beware. I was there in late November and the weather was still warm enough to enjoy the outdoors (although not the pool). The villa itself is beautiful, it felt like I was visiting a rich relative's country estate. The grounds are perfectly maintained. Every time I was outside there were gardeners working on the landscaping. Indoor the beautiful fabrics and decoration lend to the atmosphere of classic, luxurious yet comfortable elegance. The room was decorated in beautiful red toile fabrics and was so comfortable it was hard to leave it. The room was also larger than I had imagined it would be. I was pleasantly surprised that the bathtub did have a shower head (as I had read some reviews to the contrary). The staff in the hotel are extremely friendly and helpful. Free wifi is an added plus that more hotels of this category should begin to offer to its guests. If I had to provide any critique it would be that the room service menu is a bit lacking in variety. It was a pretty limited selection of choices and no hot food. 30 euros for breakfast is also way too much but it seems all hotels of this class are charging this nowadays. Also, on one occasion housekeeping forgot to give us towels and new lotion/conditioner.....and they also missed replacing sugars with the coffee cups that are in the room...so we had to call and ask. But that is it. In summary, Villa Gallici was everything I had hoped it would be......a beautiful french country estate with comfortable and elegant interiors, that evoked another time and place.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank creynold02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2012

We had a wonderful stay at La Villa Gallici! Our room was upstairs and overlooked the pool and breakfast terrace, we could see sunset and heard the bells ring at the end of each day...couldn't have been more picturesque. The food was impressive although expensive but we never had a bad meal. Breakfast featured the best pastries, fruit, fresh jams and carved meats and cheeses while dinner was a 5 course wonder with impeccable service. We cannot wait to return.

Room Tip: Ask for a balcony overlooking the pool and terrace if you like sunset
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Julie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Gallici

Address: 18 avenue de la Violette, 13100, Aix-en-Provence, France
Phone Number:
Region: France > Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur > Bouches-du-Rhone > Aix-en-Provence
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Aix-en-Provence
#2 Luxury Hotel in Aix-en-Provence
#3 Romantic Hotel in Aix-en-Provence
Price Range: £285 - £767 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Villa Gallici 5*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Under the light Cezanne once knew, the Villa Gallici Hotel,18th century Provencal house member of Relais et Chateaux, provides many luxury services, a gastronomical restaurant registered in the main guides, a shady seven acre garden with a swimming-pool, a nice place to relax a few steps away from the heart of the city of Aix-en-Provence.The Villa Gallici Residence is richly furnished with French and sumptuous fabrics. Time seems to have stood still, throughout the day whether dining or enjoying the calm of the gardens and pool, every experience has a charm of its own. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Gallici Hotel Aix-En-Provence
Gallici Hotel Aix En Provence
Gallici Aix En Provence

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