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“Dismal atmosphere, OK room”

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Hotel Palais Cardinal
Ranked #7 of 7 Hotels in Saint-Emilion
Reviewed 10 September 2013 via mobile

We were here two nights and were glad it wasn't longer. The room was ok, slightly dated and more noticeably so in the bathroom. Breakfast was also ok, basically a limited continental selection. The cleaner tried her best to help when the receptionist had vanished. That was the limit of the plus points though.

Our rate included dinner but the menu, dining room and clientele looked like refugees from Fawlty Towers so going anywhere else felt like a much better option. There was no minibar in the room and when we asked for a bucket of ice we were told we couldn't have any. Throughout there was a stunning lack of care or concern from reception, on the occasion when there was even anyone there. We won't be going back.

(Incidentally, there is a way to exit the garage from inside - there is a code pad a couple of metres inside the main door to the left as you face the exit. Just don't stand in front of the floor level sensor as you use the pad or it won't open. Thats the sort of thing reception didn't think to mention, nor warn us that the handle was broken on the rear door.)

  • Stayed: June 2013
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1  Thank Kate24_London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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61 - 67 of 184 reviews

Reviewed 2 September 2013

This hotel offered us a perfect holiday setting for exploring St Emilion and the surrounding wine regions. We opted for a larger and pricier room and felt is was good value. Unfortunately for us, the weather turned a bit cool, so we did not use the pool as much as we had hoped, but the setting was wonderful. We were also close to everything, including a free parking lot, a bakery for morning croissants, and a little market for poolside picnic supplies. The room was nicely appointed and roomy. The service was good, especially the young Austrian intern and Charmaine. The young man lent us his own umbrella on a rainy day, and offered to decant a special bottle of wine for us. Charmaine helped us find our way to the to hotel on our first night as we had no map, no gps, and after 8 hours in the car, were driving on back roads and were exhausted. Her friendly voice on the phone gave us hope as she kept calling to check in on us. Thanks to both of them for the great service.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank DL S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2013

I've stayed here a few times over the last ten years on work and holiday trips. The latest stay was with my wife and for a few days of vacation. I find the Cardinal to be an exception value for its location. If you want a/c, luxury, non-velvet wallpaper, and a lift, then pay another 100€ and stay at one of the 4 or 5 stars in town. If you want to stay at a French hotel, with a pool, with friendly staff (I like Maria, she is hilarious), on the edge of town, with a crazy old wall overlooking impeccable vines, then stay here.

Room Tip: the best room is the one with the balcony that is attached to the poolside terrace.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2013

Right on the edge of town, so no issues with navigating side streets and traffic restrictions (and has a large garage). Room was large, but could do with an upgrade, e.g. it has a handheld shower that looked as though it was from 1970. The female staff were great, but the gentleman was a little too comical and acted as though every request was a major imposition. Pool looked fantastic but we didn't have time to try it.
We didn't use the restaurant. Breakfast was disappointing compared to all the others we'd had in France, recommend you go elsewhere, but note that nothing else was open at 8am.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank mjc992
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2013

We spent 3 days in July at the hotel Palais cardinal, we didnt book a room, we came just to know if they had rooms available.
We found the girl at the reception,Maria,very helpfull and friendly. She showed us 2 types of rooms and we toke a luxury room which is closed to garden and much bigger than a comfort room. She proposed us to have diner or lunch at the restaurant and we prefered to discover the center of saint emilion.
We toke the breakfast just the first day because it was a little bit expensive and the food was very basic for the price. Thanks to Maria to give us 4 doubles expresso instead of the disgusting coffe at the buffet for the breakfast.
We found the wifi very slow hopefully maria gave us their personal wifi for the reception.
The situation of the hotel is just perfect and the service aswell
I will come back for sure

Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank tuki t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2013

I have been visiting hotels for business and pleasure regularly for the last 50 years. The reception/greeting at this hotel was quite simply the rudest, most aggressive and most unhelpful I have ever experienced in all that time.
Although there was no one else waiting for attention when I walked in, the key was handed over without any offer of information at all apart from pointing at the Wifi code on the desk. We understand his name was Jean Louis but are not sure. Even the location of the room was not forthcoming from him. When I asked about parking I was told that we could leave our car in the yellow marked unloading bay opposite the hotel for as long as we wanted - which would have been a great way of getting the car towed away. When I questioned this I was told that there was public parking around the corner on the road out of town. It was only when I then asked about the private parking advertised on the website that the receptionist grudgingly admitted that I could park in the locked garage opposite the hotel entrance for 15€ per night.
The Wifi was completely non-functional anywhere in the hotel but the receptionist couldn't help and told us that we would have to wait until Maria returned at 8pm. When we eventually spoke to Maria she was needlessly rude and aggressive although after a very curt exchange, because the customer system wasn't working, we did finally get access to the hotel's own Wifi system.
Throughout we were made to feel that we, as hotel guests, were a serious inconvenience to Maria who had better things to do than provide any service to customers.
Even by New York standards the comfort room we stayed in was tiny and was populated with unnecessary furniture that rendered the room unsuitable for a couple.
The coded door on the garage was quirky at best - it closed a few seconds after entry and the lights extinguished at the same time. If you are alone you need to exit through a side door near the back of the building because there appears to be no way of opening the main door from inside the garage (take a torch if you are going in there at night).
On the plus side the hotel is well located to see Saint Emilion and Charmaine who served breakfast and checked us out was charming and helpful.
We wouldn't return to this hotel if they paid us.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else!!
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Graham B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2013

Perfect location to the centre, tourist office, supermarket and not too far from train station (20min walk). Our rooms vaired from small cute one to one with balcony so i assume pot luck. Only had breakfast one morning, not worth it. Go down and accross the road, casual local spot. Receptionist couldnt be more helpful. Pool sadly closed due to weather but gardens looked lovely.Try the restaurant on the oppisite side, down a few hundred years, best meal ever!

Room Tip: check room first, especially if theres more than 2 of you
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank cl m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Palais Cardinal

Address: Place du 11 Novembre 1918 | 2 Rue Guadet, 33330 Saint-Emilion, France
Region: France > Nouvelle-Aquitaine > Gironde > Saint-Emilion
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 7 Hotels in Saint-Emilion
Price Range: £99 - £109 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Palais Cardinal 3*
Number of rooms: 27
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Also Known As:
Palais Cardinal Hotel

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