While we realised that this was a 2-3 star hotel, reviews here suggested it was somehow special. We'd stayed at similar places, most notably the Goldene Ente in Salzburg: a 700 year old hotel in the old quarter where the tireless Ulrike more than made up for any shortcomings. But this place didn't have an Ulrike.
Our room was up two flights of steep, narrow stairs; no lift, and commanded a wonderful view of a car park and some fairly dismal buildings opposite. It was small. So small in fact that you had to lift your luggage over the bed to store it, and walk sideways to get from one side of the bed to the shower. It was also very basic. Absolutely no mod-cons; just a room with a wardrobe and not much else.
On arrival the shower/toilet area smelled faintly of sewage. Fortunately this smell dissipated by next morning, but it still was unpleasant and we had to keep the door shut and the window open for fresher air. Speaking about the shower: it was a tiny square surrounded by a curtain that didn't quite cover the square. The tap protruded into this space so much that when you turned in the shower three things could happen: you turned the shower to hot, or cold, or off completely. It took some careful thought to get it just right so you didn't have a very uncomfortable experience. As I said, the curtain didn't quite cover the area, so on day one we ended up with saturated carpet just outside the shower area. By day two we'd learned to saturate the tiles on the other side instead.
People here have raved about the good location, but the reality is that ANYWHERE in the old town is a good location. And we found plenty of low cost hotels in this area that had much better locations, and from the lobby looked better than Le Relais de Poste, and were cheaper. Perhaps a look at their rooms would have proved otherwise, but who knows?
Breakfast was very average, with stewed coffee and a very high proportion of sweet pastries and breads. Their croissants however, were very fresh and delicious.
On our second day we went out, and as we usually do, tried to leave our key at the front desk. The owners suggested we take it with us (it was bulky and heavy) as they might be out when we returned. That was an understatement. We returned a few times during the day for various reasons, and they were nowhere to be seen. By nightfall we returned again to find three young ladies trying to book in, but they were still nowhere to be seen. I don't know how these ladies fared.
Breakfast the next morning they were still absent: A young girl was valiantly trying to handle breakfast by herself, and to her credit managing fairly well. During this time we needed the type of advice usually gotten from hotel staff, but they weren't there.
We definitely made a big mistake on this one. Our trip up to this point had been planned meticulously for some six months previous, but from that point on it was all last minute type stuff. We made a few other blunders in this time, but none so bad as picking this hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- Le Relais De Poste Arles