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“This used to be a good place”

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Victoria Garden La Ciotat Appart'hotel
Ranked #11 of 14 Hotels in La Ciotat
Reviewed 14 August 2013

Since about 7 years, we kept returning to this hotel. As far as I know, it has been built in 2005, and was during years an incredible insider's tip regarding location, service and value.
But unfortunately not much has been done to keep the standard, and they merely content themselves with makeshift repairs of everything broken, with tape or simply removing it when it was totally broken. We have small children, and they virtually equated "making holidays" with going to this hotel, as we returned so often. But already last year I had a feeling like it's not what it used to be, as there are so many shortcomings. It's not big things, but the sum of little annoyances which trouble a bit your holidays. Examples: you have to run after almost every shower drop in the bathroom, as it seems to be clogged, the lamp in the living room is fixed with lots of blue tape, you won't find two similar knives or spoons in the kitchen drawer, the toilet seat is small and round, while the actual toilet is oval and larger (i.e. you sit somehow strange). Another thing which annoyed me all over the years, is that the (really nice) pool area closes already at 7 p.m., when the sun is still full in the sky. In my opinion, considering that it's a family hotel, and that there are many kids there, the pool SHOULD be open at least until 8 p,m.,, or 8:30 even. I don't think that this is asking too much. The only reason why it's closed at that early time is because the staff wants to go home. Yes that's right: you won't find anyone at the reception after that time. Neither from noon to 3 p.m., by the way.. Not sure if a 3 stars rating is really compatible with that.
This summer (as of 2013), they even managed it to renovate the ground floor rooms in the west wing, so that they putted all old furniture of these rooms on the appertaining terraces of these rooms. Not the nicest sight ever, I think with a little better planning, they could have done these (much needed) renovations in the low season, in winter for example. So they also wouln't have missed on getting the highest possible earnings on several rooms in the high season (isn't that foolish?) .
Well, enough ranting. The location of the hotel is still good, although there's no sandy beach nearby. The closest beach, in ca. 200 meters distance, is a small, steep and rocky one, confined by a high mural. But a 5 minutes car drive either direction west to La Ciotat, or to the east to Les lecques will bring you to fantastic and long, and flat sandy beaches, ideal for small children. The rooms are quite large and very convenient for a family; the junior suite for example has a double bed in a separate bedroom, 2 single bunk beds in the entrance room, plus a sofa in the living room, which can be converted into a double bed too. There's wifi, but you'll have to pay separately for it. As I remember, it costed € 12.-- or 15.-- for a week. The hotel parking is however free, and there's usually enough space to park close to your room. The parking is gated, you'll get a code to enter after your check-in. An Aldi supermarket opened 2 years ago next to the hotel (in walking distance), so that you can now go purchase food from there if you want, and cook it in your room as there is a full furnished kitchenette in every room (minus the non-matching cutlery, but you can live with that). All in all, I would say that it's about time to renovate this facility, re-paint it (really needs it), replace some defective furniture, and then it would again be the nice place it used to be some years ago. Not sure however, if I would recommend it to a friend in the current condition.

Room Tip: Rooms in ground floor have direct access to the pool, and a ground floor terrace. Rooms in first flo...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank nomadys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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13 - 19 of 145 reviews

Reviewed 26 August 2012

This apart hotel is good for families as it has a child-friendly pool and spacious rooms, but it is incredibly inconvenient if you don't have a car. The pool gets very crowded, so not exactly much fun to use so going to the local beach would have been a better bet, if only the beach proved to be child-friendly, which it unfortunately didn't as it is rocky and not easily accessible.
The profile of the hotel doesn't make it clear just how far it is from the centre (a good 20 minutes on the local bus or 40 minutes walk by the beach next to passing traffic) and that you are completely isolated.

We stayed for two nights and whilst the hotel is comfortable, this stay proved completely pointless for us as the idea of walking around La Ciotat's old town proved unrealistic, unless we were to take cabs both ways. The hotel is very near the motorway (you have to go through an underpass underneath the motorway to reach the beach) and the noise levels are high and disturbing.

The reception is closed for much of the day and again in the evening so if you need them for some reason, you are completely stuck. As there are no restaurants or cafes in the vicinity, we wanted to get a sandwich from the vending machine (our only option), but as we had no change and the reception was closed, this didn't happen.

Staying in this hotel proved to be a terrible decision and a waste of money and time.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank travels_with_baby_09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2012

Summer 2012,

we went back for the 6th. time to this hotel. It is by far not a stay for anybody, since it has some shortcomings. We, a family of two adults and two small children usually book a "Junior suite" at this hotel, consisting of a living room with a sofa bed, a round dining table for 4 persons, a kitchenette with stove, oven and dishwasher, but no microwave. Though, a microwave can be asked (for free) at check-in or better at booking the room, but is not always available. This year for example, we didn't get one. I can't complain about ever having gotten a "bad" room: either you get a ground floor room with direct access to the pool, or then you get a room with a big balcony in first or second floor, however without elevator. You get ocean-view from some 1st floor rooms, and from all of the 2nd. floor rooms. The Junior suite we usually book is quite large, and 6 people could sleep in it. There is a separate bedroom with a large double bed, a bunk bed (= 2 beds) in the long gangway, a bathroom with bathtub, and separtely a toilette. Then there's the already mentioned living room with a sofabed.
Although not idyllic, I like the hotel's location. The location: west of La Ciotat, you really need a car when you stay at this hotel, because the nearby ocean does not offer any sand beach, just some rocks. You'll need to drive to the west to the La Ciotat beaches, the nearest one being ca. 2 km away, or to Les Lecques or St. Cyr to the also nice, long sandy beaches there. I was never a problem for us. The region in which the hotel is embedded, seems still to be some kept secret, there are few foreigners around, La Ciotat, St. Cyr, Bandol, Sanary etc. still being in majority in french hands. I guess the foreign tourists go rather to better known places more eastwards to the Côte d'Azur.
Very nice: the pool area is really one of the best I've seen in a hotel. Specially nice for the kids, they could stay and play there for hours, and there's a "baby-pool" too. They do however close the pool area much too early, already at 19:30 h., probably because none of the reception is closed afterwards, and nobody wants to be responsible.

As I remember, the hotel was built in 2005; with some mild renovations in 2010. A lot of furniture and facilities come obviously from Ikea or similar, and not all of this stuff stood the test of time very well. Some of the worst chairs have obviously since been replaced, but I think that the hotel is now at a turning point where it all goes downhill if the management doesn't wade into some major renovations. There is generally a lack of maintenance to observate about this hotel. A few examples: -the pool shower is now fiddly since at least 4 years, on the way from the reception to the pool there's a several feet long slimy black algae stripe on which both of our kids felt and ruined their clothes (fortunately didn't break an arm or something), the "lawn" in front of the ground floor rooms baffles description (just some weeds, papers from rooms above, cigarettes butts and dirt), the reception is barely ever staffed. Also, this is an "Apart'hotel", so don't expect a daily cleaning of your room: they will come only once a week, and the towels are also replaced at the same pace. In general, this hotel could be much better just with some more maintenance effort.

Good: since 2011 an "Aldi" supermarket opened in walking distance of the hotel (5 min.), so that you don't always need your car to get food, when you intend to cook yourself in the room.

So as a synopsis: if you are a relatively young family with a car and with a budget, go for it, the prices are worth it. However if you expect some 3 or 4 stars treatment or features, better avoid it. I gave it still 4 points out of 5, since comparable hotels cost a whole lot more usually, but if nothing is done regarding maintenance, it won't deserve more than 3 very soon.

Room Tip: ground floor if you want direct access from your room to the pool, 1st. or 2nd. floor if you want oc...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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Thank nomadys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2011

This is a small outfit, typical for the Victoria Garden chain. Tha appartments were well organised and equipment was OK. One has to request a microwave because that's not standard in the room (guarantie requested). I presumae everybody gets one. Two less positive points: (a) there is a busy road not far from the balcony and pool side. this was already mentioned at Trimadvisor, but nevertheless it's an issue. Some more trees would do just fine. And (b) the reception is not always manned, which means that at certain times of the day when you need help with something you have to call a number. Luckily we didn't need to. Parking is just-just and luckily behind a gate (with code).

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Midrac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2007

We stayed for 4 nights in June, booked directly with the hotel website, and found a really good deal. We had a room on the top floor, on the end next to the "construction " site on the next door property mentioned by the previous reviewer. We found that there was no noise to bother us - we were out all day anyway.
The apartment had 2 bedrooms and slept 6, we slept on the convertible couch in the living room(there were only 2 of us) as there was a lovely sea view.There was plenty of secure,free parking.
Staff were very helpful with directions to anywhere we wanted to go, and we had the hotel breakfast each day - cost was only 6 Euros, croissants, breads, ham, cheeses, orange juice, coffee etc.
We will certainly stay again and can thoroughly recommend the Victoria Garden Hotel

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jeanr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2007

Unfortunately we had to cancel our booking because of the construction work going on next to the aparthotel since June 07.
Previously this accommodation has had super reviews until now when it appears to have turned into a building site. The hotel did not contact me to advise me of the changes. We were fortunate that my wife decided to check the reviews ( on [--]) prior to our holiday and discovered this situation.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
5  Thank Dougie_123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: November 2017, travelled with family
Thank Laetitia D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Victoria Garden La Ciotat Appart'hotel

Address: Arene Cros - Baie des Anges, 13600 La Ciotat, France
Region: France > Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur > French Riviera - Cote d'Azur > La Ciotat
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 14 Hotels in La Ciotat
Price Range: £49 - £152 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Victoria Garden La Ciotat Appart'hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 3-star Apart Hotel Victoria Garden of La Ciotat makes at your disposal 45 spacious and fully-equipped apartments. Located between Marseille and Toulon, the renovated Residence offers a free car park, a swimming-pool and a balcony to each apartments. From here, you will easily be able to enjoy the major attractions and events in the nearby city of Marseille.Near by the Mediterranean Sea, for your family holidays or business trips. ... more   less 
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