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“Interesting chateau, shabby gardens, rude staff”

Chateau de Malmaison
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Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 April 2012

Having visited Chateau Fontainbleu, I was interested in viewing Napoleon's country home with first wife, Josephine, where he was reputed to be very happy. The contrast between the formal splendor of Fontainbleu and the casual country charm of MalMaison is remarkable. But poor Josephine would be appalled at the state of her beloved rose garden, the shabby state of the gardens in general, and the rudeness of the blond in the gift shop who sells the tickets. After several problems with reaching Malmaison, I had only 2 hours to visit the chateau and grounds (according to their own website hours), however the officious woman at the gift shop who sells the tickets informed me I had only 1 hour to tour the chateau. When I reached the entrance across the park, and asked for the audiotour, the kindly security guard told me they were given out by the woman in the gift shop. So, back I trudged across the park to ask for the audio tour. With wallet in hand I enquired how much more for the audio guide, only to be told it was free with the entry ticket - she had just decided I didn't have enough time to listen to the guide so chose not to give one to me! After posting my ID for security, I was with great reluctance given the audioguide, but this woman who claimed to understand only French (but had no problem with English when she wished to express a point). Needless to say there was no problem completing the tour, with audio within the time allotted and I was out of the chateau well before other visitors. Madame insisted the website was wrong - and the hours showing open until 5:45PM after April 1st was the problem of the national monuments organization. Seemed to me she was just lazy and wanted to go home early. I also didn't appreciate the young guard who entered the dining room to turn off the chandelier while I was standing there at 4:15PM. If I were the French National organization that manages this historic property, I would do a serious review of the staff and make some changes as the current staff seems very put out at being disturbed by visitors who come to visit!

9  Thank Sharlene T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"audio guide"
in 19 reviews
"rose garden"
in 18 reviews
"central paris"
in 8 reviews
"her husband"
in 6 reviews
"beautiful house"
in 4 reviews
"on display"
in 5 reviews
"two hours"
in 3 reviews
"french revolution"
in 3 reviews
"hidden gem"
in 5 reviews
"second visit"
in 2 reviews
"interesting place"
in 2 reviews
"small castle"
in 2 reviews
"spring or summer"
in 2 reviews
"peaceful setting"
in 2 reviews
"napoleon bonaparte"
in 5 reviews
"full bloom"
in 2 reviews
"lovely home"
in 4 reviews

163 - 167 of 506 reviews

Reviewed 15 April 2012

We spent a couple of hours at Malmaison during our trip to Paris. It's a lovely home, and you can see why Josephine liked living there. It must have been wonderful to be away from court and have a more normal life. Of course now it's bascially a museum, full of paintings etc. The rooms for storing her cloths are as big as some apartments :-). But very interesting to see. The garden is lovely, it's nice just to walk around the grounds too. We purchased the audio tour, which was easy to listen to. I know they have an english guided tour which you need to set up in advance.

1  Thank lorij123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2012

This is a lovely little Château, more a large country house, really, situated about 12 kilometres (7 miles) from Paris. By train, catch Line A RER to Rueil-Malmaison and then take the 144 bus from the station to the centre of town - a large square with a church, Eglise de Sts. Pierre et Paul, in which lies Joséphine Bonaparte's tomb. The Château can be reached from here by foot in about 15mins. through the lovely Parc de Bois-Préau.
Joséphine de Beauharnais (Bonaparte) bought this perfectly-scaled house in 1797 and lived here after her divorce from Napoléon Bonaparte. It was the centre of the French Government, along with the Tuileries in Paris, from 1800-1802. Joséphine ensured the garden was beautiful and famed for it's Rose Garden, among other things. Inside, the Château is well-preserved with some exquisite pieces of furniture and decoration. Unlike many other Châteaux, it is possible to imagine living here and loving it.

11  Thank Michele B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2012

Just outside Paris (we took the bus from la Defense), Malmaison proves that Josephine had taste and class. Exquisite furnishings, beautiful Gobelins tapestries, fabulous faux finishes, and enough passementerie to go around the world several times. This chateau is an interior designer's inspirational paradise and I highly recommend the audioguide to help you through the visual delights.

2  Thank prdaniels2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 February 2012

Beautifully decorated and furnished. The history behind it is most interesting.

Thank gourmet42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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