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“Less Than Idyllic Vibes from Au Diable Vert” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Au Diable Vert

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Au Diable Vert
Burlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
48 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Less Than Idyllic Vibes from Au Diable Vert”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2012

We wanted to have a few days off from our busy week and made spontaneous plans to do some camping with our two young kids (ages 8 and 11) in Quebec. For the record, spontaneous for us means having about 24 hours to plan the trip. We didn’t know much about camping in Canada, but after some searching my wife found the eco-campgrounds for Au Diable Vert. Since we were a little pressed for time and figured “camping” was pretty straightforward, we didn’t do as much research as we usually do (i.e., spending some time on TripAdvisor) and set our expectations accordingly. Had we done the usual amount of thorough research that we usually do, I can honestly say that would not have stayed there.

This is unfortunate because we were excited about the place, and the location is beautiful. We had reserved a treehouse cabin called the Paridis Perche, and it looked really cool on the website. The kids were thrilled at the idea of staying in a treehouse, so we went ahead and made plans. The first minor problems we ran into were that they don’t list their prices and we had trouble trying to get ahold of the people there. They never seemed to answer their phones, and it took some time get a response to our emails. I know it’s not a huge deal, but left us uncertain about our plans. When we finally made contact, they told us that the treehouse was available for three days, and we told them we were interested, but did not finalize anything.

Now the first thing that struck me was the price. The cost ($150US) was a little steep, though the treehouse did look cool. We decided not to make an issue out of it in the spirit of our spontaneous planning, and told them we were wanted the room, but for only two nights. They said fine, but we would have to pay a late cancellation penalty of $75US. I thought this was ridiculous, and said as much. We had not finalized anything, and had never received anything in the way of a confirmation. The reality is, they had never asked for a credit card or deposit, and if we wanted to be jerks, we could simply told them that we weren’t coming. They were reasonable and let us off the hook, but it got things started on the wrong foot.

Either way, we were excited about getting away. We packed up and hit the road. The campsite is located in the woods of southern Quebec, about a half hour from the border. The region is beautiful, not to mention a convenient drive from Vermont. There are also several small towns that are charming and well worth a visit, especially Sutton. When we arrived at Au Diable Vert, our first impressions were very positive. The place is beautiful, and the grounds are well maintained.

I’ve read other posts about Au Diable Vert, and I have to confess, while some of the commentary was a little harsh, I have to agree with a lot of the negative assessments about the place. First off, even tough they let us off the hook for the third day that we cancelled, they charged us an extra fee for having two kids with us. I thought this was lame because we indicated from the beginning that there would be four of us, and they never gave said anything about an extra fee for kids. Not only that, but the treehouse was expensive, and it’s designed for as many as 6 people, so how can you tack on an extra $50 for having two young kids with you? It’s cheesy nickel and dime tactics like this that leave a bad taste in my mouth. Plus, it’s a campground, not a hotel.

After a long drive, we weren’t in the mood to do battle, but it left a bad impression. The next negative experience came when we had to go to our cabin. Now I don’t expect posh accommodations when we camp, but at $150/night to stay in a treehouse, I thought it was a bit much to charge $10 to give us a lift in the jitney to our cabin. It would have been better if they simply didn’t offer it. Instead, we piled our bags into this push cart and walked up a long and steep hill with all of our stuff. It was hot, as well, so it didn’t help our frame of mind. I felt like one of Joseph Smith's followers heading to the promised land.

The treehouse itself was nice, the sort of neat place the you first see and think, “That is so cool.” We were all excited, and climbed up the stairs and went inside. The place was as you might expect when roughing it, hot and dark, with hints of mildew. Sure, it was dirty, but were “camping,” after all. My wife found mouse droppings near the upper bunk beds, and the beds were not necessarily clean, but all in all, the conditions were not necessarily horrible. For the price, however, I wouldn’t go back. One of the big issues was water. There was no water close by, so we had to haul it in, and there were empty bottle left over from the previous tenants. There was an outhouse below the treehouse, but the extreme heat inspired me to avoid it and just go by a tree (#1). I’m not sure if this is sanctioned by Au Diable Vert, but I figured we were in the woods. Who was going to complain?

For more extensive bathroom trips, there were nice flush toilets and showers near the base lodge. This brings up another issue I had: the impression of exclusivity, or us vs. them. The owners were not that welcoming and friendly, and I think they stopped to say hello to us only once. Granted, that is not a requirement, but come one, this is a hospitality business. I’m sure this is something my own insecurities have created in my own head, but I noticed that their group, which was big, all stayed in the base lodge, which has a beautiful deck with a BBQ and I’m sure all the amenities of home. It appeared at the time that they were having some sort of family get together, complete with cocktails and grilled food.. The deck and the rest of the main lodge were off limits to common folk like us, and it just left an unfavorable impression watching all these people enjoying their wine and cheese while we were pushing our heavy carts to our dirty and dank room. I felt like a proletariat. I know, you get what you pay for, or in this case, you don’t. I think it would have been better if I didn’t feel like it was being rubbed in my face, or if they owners were even a little bit warmer.

There was a pond adjacent to the main lodge, and we swam in it both days, but again, we were literally the only ones using it. This, of course, made me wonder why nobody else was in there. It sure helped to cool off in the heat, but it’s just strange to me how the owners don’t use, or at least didn’t use while we were there, their own pond. It made me wonder if they knew something we didn’t.

As I mentioned, the grounds are nice, and there are some wonderful trails and some neat things to see. I get a sense it’s really designed for the winter time and XC skiing, though I wonder if they raise the prices during the busy season. We probably would have enjoyed our time more if it wasn’t so darn hot. In fact, fall is probably a good time to go up there. The evenings were nice but our room was sweltering, and during the day, there was the constant sound of the groundskeeper splitting cord after cord of wood, in preparation for winter, I’m sure. I, for one, was glad to get out of there and spend a few days in Montreal.

All in all, I have to agree with many of the previous reviewers in saying that we won’t be going back to Au Diable Vert, which is a shame because they have a beautiful place and they’ve done a nice job with it. I just think they’re not completely tuned in with how to excel at customer service on the business end. Plus, it’s way too expensive for what you get. You’d be better off finding a campground and pitching a tent, maybe even at Au Diable Vert if they listed the prices. The accommodations would not be that much worse than what we got for $150/night.

Room Tip: The treehouse was expensive and not worth the price, but the campsites or tent cabins might be a bet...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Fred L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at Au Diable Vert, responded to this review, 12 July 2012
Hello Phredude,

Thank you for posting a review - we are very sorry you did not enjoy your stay. It was very last minute as you said and it was indeed very hard to reach you (we did get the busy signal quite a few times). We also do have brand new staff at the front desk and they do feel obliged to go by the books, however we are always present if there is an issue, always feel free to address it. The price of $150 per night is the price for the family of 4 and does include the kids already, trail access, free unlimited showers, 320 acres of a beautiful private park, access to additional 260km of trails in the Sutton Mountain range. It is after all a tree house and being 4 season quite unique - we think it's a fair price and being booked up until October tells us that we are not, too expensive. The prices for all accommodation are posted on the website in both languages including the camping prices - we do appreciate you may have overlooked this in your last minute research.

The fully licensed terrace is not of limits to anyone, in fact there were several groups of guests on the terrace at the time. We do provide a little gate to make sure little kids are save while their parents sip on their drinks, but if the big Welcome sign wasn't invitation enough a simple question would have taken your doubts away that you are more than welcome.

We are NOT a hotel we ARE a campground with other Eco lodging (rustic cabins) you are absolutely right about that. We also do NOT provide sheets (unless you are staying in a suite) so the sheets are in fact colored mattress covers (which our guest prefer to the standard plastic version) - you do have to bring your own bedding.

Mouse droppings, yes, it is rustic, and although we do our best to trap them the do only need the space of a little kids fingernail to enter. Sometimes they make it in between us checking the cabins and you arriving. Sorry for that.

The pond is absolutely there for swimming and all of our kids and staff use it, I myself permit a dip once in a while. There are frogs, but it's a pond and kids like to catch them.

I hope we have taken some of your doubts and if you'd like to come back some day and camp - it's on us.
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156 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
127 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2012

When visiting the website, the tree house rentals seem idyllic. Rustic yet comfortable and with the high price tag (as high as a 4-star resort), the expectations were cleanliness and comfort. It could not be further from the truth.

Let's start from the beginning.. You have to park your car a fair distance away from the actual cabins (about half a mile away). They loan you a cart to wheel your luggage to the cabins but the roads are so rough (and uphill) that you are half dead by the time you reach your cabin. If you need help with your luggage, they charge you handsomely for it.

The treehouses look ok from the outside but when you get close enough, you notice the bird feces are covering the entire area. The winding metal staircase is difficult to climb (let alone with your stuff). When you open the door, you smell the must and rot in the air. Our cabin was FULL of rodent droppings (everywhere) including on the beds. The mattresses are moldy and smelly. Upon closer inspection, you notice small dark red spots (tell-tale of bedbugs). It seems no effort is made at all to maintain the cleanliness of these cabins. We also heard much scratching (rodents). When asked, management told us that they scarcely ever change sheets or mattresses (and it really shows). The lady helping us was nice enough but in denial as to the horrible conditions of these cabins.

Did I forget to mention the gaping hole in the deck (20 feet up) and the huge nest in the outhouse?

We understand that these are cabins.. But we expect cleanliness and safe conditions (with the small and all of the other trappings, we have no doubt that this presents a serious health hazard). And at those very high prices, consumers should get more for their money.

STAY AWAY... I cannot emphasize this enough. I'm quite sure that there are better accomodations elsewhere and you can visit the scenic landscapes during the day.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank elizabeth_pierre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AuDiableVert, Manager at Au Diable Vert, responded to this review, 13 December 2012
Dear elizabeth_pierre

Thank you for taking the time to review us even though you only had a very brief visit that lasted about 40 min. in which you decided that it was too rustic for you to stay. We are very sorry that you had a terrible experience, looking at your reviews you seem to be very unlucky in this respect.

Immediately understanding that you were not prepared nor equipped for a rustic stay, we were nice enough to have offered you to change accommodations for a significantly less rustic mountain view suite, however you refused.

You also then received a full refund for the rate of $150 + taxes for 4 people and free transport (a value of $10 dollars). Removing the trail fees of $5 per person per day, your family would have actually been charged less than $30 per person for your one night stay.

As you did not want to stay in any of our other less rustic accommodations, we also found you a B&B that is dog friendly (won several awards) at 15 min drive. The owner personally waited for your family for 2 hours after having opened just for you. Unfortunately your family never showed, nor did you have the courtesy to cancel.

Despite the request we did not remove the bird nest with baby birds (we do not believe they needed to be killed) in the outhouse, but simply removed the nest once they had grown out of it. Most guests appreciate these little connections with nature.

Upon arriving, it was clear that you had removed each mattress and inspected each side. The ‘blood stains’ referred to on the sheets, are rather the stitching on the mattress cover. Sheets and bedding are not provided in the rustic cabins.

The dangerous hole referred to was 4 cm x 6 cm upon inspection, and was immediately repaired.

The cabin in question is rented over 300 days per year and virtually every guest has been extremely happy with the ‘rustic accommodations’ we offer in the cabins. We may even add that the director of a five star Montreal’s Hotel (one of the finest addresses the province has to offer) published referral in La Presse and stays in the very same accommodation several times (this year 4 times already) a year – very happily.

It is clear that despite our efforts you have remained unhappy with you free 40min visit to our establishment. We hope that you have better luck elsewhere.

Your Au Diable Vert team
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Travellers are raving about these Sutton hotels

Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2012

We've been, me my girlfriend, on warm recommendations from friends. We stayed in one of there tree shacks that they offer. The experience was nice just as the location and the pastoral landscape surrounding the area.
The Hic!
Not mentioned on the website, but the reservations on weekend days are always for two nights. Even if you plan to stay for one night, you'll pay the price of two (between 180$ and close to 300$). Depending of the season, you'll need to warm up the shack at night with a fire place stove. The wood is not included and you'll need to pay for it. They won't tell you but the bunch of wood you have when you arrive count for 2 stacks. Add to the previous price a good 30 to 40 dollars of wood for two nights.
Considering that you are already paying a really high fee for a no service room rental plus the wood at night plus the baggage carrying if you don't want to carry then yourself, plus the unpredictable additive fees that they can charge you... our week end cost us 250 $ for the less expensive of the shacks.
As I said, great spot for camping but waaaaay too expensive and not really worth it for the tree shacks.
Hope this review will not discourage you to go but just help you make you're mind when you'll choose to go.

Room Tip: go camping and bring you're own wood!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mathart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Front Office Manager at Au Diable Vert, responded to this review, 12 July 2012
Hello Mathart,

Thank you for your review. Do feel free to write in any language, we'll do our best to respond.
We do offer 35 rustic campsites, 2 prospector tents, 13 rustic cabins (tree houses, cliff cabins, log cabins) and 3 fully equipped suites. Prices range from $12 to $70 per person (camping-suites) - and the weekend are a 2 night or even 3 night minimum, but you are more than welcome to stay only one night Sunday through Thursday (except holidays). We do make this very clear when you book with us and yes, we are very strict about it, too, but the prices stay the same all week, all year.

Wood...there is a very big difference in the amount of wood people use. Having originally included the wood we were facing a very unreasonable use by a few individuals that was neither good for us, nor the environment. So we cut the rental prices and excluded the wood - 90% of people, now a little more conscious, use less and pay less than before.

People-powered activities, does include that we suggest (for the good of sustainability) you use the carts or sleds (provided for free) and your own muscle power to bring your bags to your site (between 5 to 20min). If you are not capable or do not wish to do so there is a service on offer to transport all your items for $10 - not worth it if you are an experienced outdoors person with one well packed backpack each, however if you can fill more than 2 sleds or carts, it is well worth the price.

Again, please notice than we do not charge parking fees, entrance fees, trail fees, shower coins or any of the other park standards. Some people actually think it's a steal - we are sorry that you were unhappy with the pricing. There is always the cheap camping option.
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Saint Jerome, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2012

We stayed there January 2012 in the Dream catcher. The view, the site and the chalet we're like expected, nice. However we had issue with the electricity (power pack) and the owner didn't cooporate. The reception was close at 6 pm. so we had to walk twice from our chalet to the reception to finnaly get 2 flashlights.
We will not g back there again.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ananana87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AuDiableVert, Front Office Manager at Au Diable Vert, responded to this review, 26 November 2012
Dear Anais,

We are sorry to hear you had difficulties with your batteries. The DreamCatcher due to its size and the 4 lights does use up the batteries more quickly. We have added a second set of batteries and ordered an extra large solar panel to recharge them. We saw you gave us great ratings on everything else. Thank you you must have loved it.
Naturally we are disappointed with ourselves that we dissapointed you with our service. Offering you the LED light sticks (which are used as lighting in the prospector tents and small cabins) is the only other solution of lighting up those remote cabins while a battery rechargeds for 6-8 hours. We are sorry you did and extra walk to pick these up.

So thank you again for giving us 4 stars on everything - the service will get your best rating yet if you do return!

Your Au Diable Vert team
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Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2011

We stayed in a mountain view suite in the fall. The suite had 2 bedrooms, a small living room and kitchen area. The kitchen area was decorated with taxidermy (a squirrel) and a moldy skull of a cow right over the stove. Not appetizing to say the least. There was no fireplace, no t.v. no bathtub, no radio and one of the bedrooms lacked curtains. The floor of the shower was not solid near the drain (i.e. rotting).

The owner was not particularly friendly, the parking area had huge potholes and the turnoff to the property is not paved and quite steep. We will not stay there again.

However, we loved the view and the surrounding area. They keep Highland cows on site which is interesting and there are lots of nature trails to explore for those who like to hike and those who bring their dogs. Better to camp there than rent a suite!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lottie543
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AuDiableVert, General Manager at Au Diable Vert, responded to this review, 26 November 2012
Dear Lottie543,

Thank you for taking the time to review our place. We are sorry to hear that you were missing amenities in your suite. The Jay Peak suite in which you stayed does only have a shower in the bathroom, but is preferred by our customers on their longer stays as it includes a washer and a dryer in the bathroom. both bedrooms do have sheers, but maybe you were lacking the heavier curtains that block out all light. The Jay Peak (as all other suites) does not have an open fireplace , but rather each is equipped with what they call a "foyer" which is essentially a wood or propane stove with a glass pane/door that allows you to enjoy the flames visually as well as the warmth. Jay Peak is the unit with a "foyer au propane" preferred by many guests who are a little allergic to wood fires.
As for the taxidermy, being a hunting and fishing lodge we do have rather a lot of it. The skull is actually moss covered (not moldy) and since its very old and dry there isn't really anything left to mold on it. Some people hate it - some people love it. Actually most of our taxidermy has a local wife banning it to the garage or attic and the proud owner bringing it to us for a more glorious second life.
Yes, no TV, no phone. We actually want you to leave it all behind and come and relax it our beautiful mountain domain. For those who absolutely cannot live without a connection to their busy lives, we do provide wireless internet. If you do bring your laptop and feel like a movie, just ask at reception for a list of our free rental DVDs.

So we hope we haven't put you off with our taxidermy and that you'll come back to enjoy the site again.....we'll be happy to treat you to a free SPA visit at SPA Bolton (spoil yourself a little).
and shhh! don't tell yet, but we are planning to put in an infinity pool next year exclusive use suites only.

Your Au Diable Vert team
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Additional Information about Au Diable Vert

Property: Au Diable Vert
Address: 169 Staines | Glen Sutton, Sutton, Quebec J0E 2K0, Canada
Region: Canada > Quebec > Sutton
Amenities:
Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Sutton
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Au Diable Vert is an unusual concept in the world of wilderness outfitters, agrotourism and recreotourism, but a concept that proves more and more popular and relevant each year. Instead of just a fishing rod or gun, our guests have the chance to appreciate nature and the spectacular view of the Appalachian and Green mountains, with binoculars, camera, hiking poles, a kite or the hand of a loved one. Facilitating the Quebec wilderness experience, no matter the season, is what we strive to do better and better each year. A compelling and unique choice of activities, range from exploring our mountain top site in the mountains, to splashing, paddling and fishing in the valley, to pedalling through the treetops on the unique-in-Canada VeloVolant canopy cycle. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Au Diable Vert Sutton, Canada - Quebec

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