My husband and I have just returned from a week-long stay at La Bonne Vie. We received a warm welcome from Maria but found the experience on the whole was not of a high enough standard to merit the 4* grading, in comparison with other similarly graded establishments at which we have stayed recently, mostly due to minor issues such as attention to detail which could be easily rectified.
The location of the guest house was far enough away from the rabble of the town centre but within easy walking distance and was also near to the beach.
On the plus side, the decor in the bedroom and en-suite was pleasant and we found the Mira shower to be excellent, giving a constant water temperature and flow. The bedding was clean and was even changed mid-week and the bed was reasonably comfortable.
Now onto the (unfortunately) long list of areas for improvement:-
The bedroom was oppressively hot in the middle of the night, making it difficult to sleep even with the window open - I accept this was due to the exceptionally hot weather but feel that a fan could have been provided in the room.
The bedside cabinets were very rickety and the drawers were tiny and virtually unusable. The bed in our room had a metal frame with bits that stuck out the ends, and as there wasn't a great deal of room to maneouvre, I kept walking into them and now have a lovely bruise on my leg as an unwelcome souvenir of the trip!!
Like another reviewer, we found the towels to be old and grey - one of our hand towels even had a hole in it! There's no excuse for this - fluffy white towels are to be expected in this day and age and are reasonably inexpensive to buy at the likes of BHS!! In the same vein, the bath and pedestal mats in our en-suite were rather grubby - it would have been better if the en-suite had vinyl on the floor with a mat provided to use when having a shower, rather than the carpet and mats which were in place.
There was no bin liner in the bin in the en-suite, or sanitary disposal bags available, which was a hygiene issue.
As we were travelling by plane I decided to travel light and did not take my hairdrier, however the hairdrier provided in our bedroom was absolutely filthy - I don't know if something had been spilt on it or whatever but it was absolutely disgusting and icky. I tried to clean it with antibacterial wipes but this didn't shift the grot, I couldn't bear to touch it so ended up having to buy a travel hairdrier from Boots!
The website for the guest house boasts "many comforts awaits you with chocolates, biscuits and home-made fudge to greet you on arrival" and also states that all rooms have internet, toiletries and "small necessity baskets as standard".
We were never offered home made fudge, although there were 2 squares of chocolate in a dish in the bedroom as well as shortbread fingers. There was a bar of soap and small bottles of shower gel and shampoo/conditioner in the en-suite, however I didn't find the "small necessity basket", whatever that was supposed to be! There was no shower cap provided, so it was just as well that I had one in my washbag saved from a previous vacation. My husband requested the password for wi-fi access but the password he was given by the management didn't work, but this was probably not a bad thing in the light of the comment from the other reviewer about the wi-fi access turning out not to be free!!
The website also states "the pretty breakfast room offers you a hearty farmhouse breakfast from it's small A La Carte menu with home-backed muffins as a Sunday speciality".
The breakfast unfortunately did not live up to this reputation and I found the choice woefully lacking. The menu listed grapefruit segments, however we were never offered these, and there was only the choice of cornflakes or muesli. The only hot drinks available were tea or coffee, which was disappointing as I would have preferred fruit or herbal tea. I was disappointed there was no scrambled eggs on the menu as this is the only type of cooked food that I can stomach in the morning, so ended up having croissants most mornings (served with very nice strawberry jam which was a bonus as the marmalade was very bitter). I tried the toast one morning but it was unappeallingly stone cold. It was a pity there were no other non-cooked alternatives such as yogurt or fruit, which I would expect a 4* establishment to offer. The only plus point regarding breakfast was that it was served from 7.45am, allowing us more time to get up and out to explore the island, however you had to be down quick to make the "first sitting" for breakfast as there weren't enough tables for the number of rooms - I noticed that some people had to go away and wait for people to finish before they could get a table. The promised "home-backed muffins" never materialised on the Sunday either...
The television only had about 2 watchable analogue channels - roll on the digital switchover in the Channel Islands!!!!
On the whole I was rather disappointed by this guest house, which I would have rated nearer 3* than 4*. It would have been OK for an overnight or short stay but the irritations started to really grate on me after a couple of days and clouded an otherwise perfect holiday.
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- Also Known As:
- La Bonne Vie Guest House Hotel St. Helier
- La Bonne Vie Guest House Jersey/St Helier