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“Cooking class stole the show”

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Auberge de Seattle, French Country Inn
Ranked #7 of 7 Woodinville B&B and Inns
Reviewed 27 February 2014

We were gifted a Groupon for 2 nights at Auberge, including a French cooking class. I will start with the negatives, as I believe it is best to end with the good stuff. Our Groupon was for the studio suite. When I called to book our stay, it was very difficult to find dates where the studio was available before the promotion was over. No weekends were available. Out of 4 possible dates over a 2 month span, only one was available. I was offered the option of upgrading to one of the other suites because there was more availability for those rooms, but the price difference was not small. Perhaps the promotion needed to run longer or the number of Groupons sold should be limited. The room itself had some opportunity for improvement. The linens were mismatched, faded, stained, and many had holes. The room was generally clean but I think the housekeeping staff forgets to check drawers and cabinets, as we found medication and condoms that expired 5 years ago in a bathroom cabinet. My biggest complaint by far is in regards to the mattress in the room. We found it uncomfortable to the point that we struggled to sleep. I have not encountered a mattress that uncomfortable in a long time.

Now I will address the positive aspects of our stay, of which there were many. First and foremost I would like to address a complaint I have seen throughout many reviews on here. Several people have said that the proprietress, Nancy, is rude. I believe that Nancy's communication style is very direct and that some are mistaking this for rudeness. We did not find her to be rude at all and actually very much enjoyed her company during our cooking class. Nancy also lends several nice touches that make the B&B unique, including a petit dejeuner of fresh pastries delivered hot from the oven each morning, and house-made wine in our room. The dessert on our night of arrival was also wonderful and delivered to our room while we were out to dinner. There were many thoughtful, small details throughout our stay that made it special and memorable.

The star of the entire stay was our cooking class. The cooking class was great and I would highly recommend it. We were part of a group of 8 participants. We made a multi-course French meal under the guidance of a French chef. Every time I turned around from what I was doing, the wine fairy (Nancy) had refilled my glass. The chef gave us tons of tips to help with our cooking at home. The people who took the class with us were great company. Nancy kept the wine coming. The food turned out wonderful and we all sat down to a nice meal together at the end. If we lived closer, we would definitely sign up for more cooking classes.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ABier22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Proprietress, Owner at Auberge de Seattle, French Country Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 1 March 2014

Hi Amy: I certainly understand how frustrating it is when you call an establishment and not much is available. It is rare for us to do this type of promotions for two nights and a cooking class and we were surprised as well how popular it was. The bookings came in quickly and of course weekends were the first to get booked, plus we are small, we only have four suites. We do thank you for taking the time out of your busy life drive up from Salem, OR. to share some time with us here at Auberge de Seattle. Our cleaning staff is not trained to look in the medicine cabinet, that's my job and I honestly over looked the dates. Sorry about that. I am sorry the queen size bed in your suite was not comfortable...maybe the two of you would have preferred the King size bed in another suite? As far as your comment on bedding not matching...I am at loss to the comment as we go out of our way to match everything we do by suite and color design of the suite. For the Studio suite, the lamp shades, bed spread, rugs and curtains all match in color and flower design. Well, I'm glad you enjoyed the cooking class and I certainly enjoyed meeting the two of you. Thank you again for your visit and please come back!

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20 - 26 of 49 reviews

Reviewed 24 January 2014

I called on the morning of the night I planned to stay there (talk about short notice), Dec. 7 2013 (you can read more about our experience from my better half's point of view in the honeymoon suite guest book if you ever stay in this room). I was planning to propose to my girlfriend of 4 years that night and through sheer chance this place was available after my other plan fell through. Nancy was busy (making pastries for her current guests) when I called, she asked if she could call me back assuring me that the room was mine. I was nervous that she wouldn't call back, but she did, exactly when she said she would. When I answered the phone Nancy adorned the hat of a gracious host and helped me plan the night, offering suggestions and ideas to add the moment, while we were in the booking process. She seemed as excited about it all as I was. When we arrived on the property, we found it in a moderately secluded location which I think added to the romance of it all. Prior to our arrival, I treated my girlfriend (spoiler alert: she's now my fiancee) to a romantic dinner at nearby Italianissimo (which I also recommend, but that's another review). Nancy and I had planned it so she would serve dessert almost immediately after we arrived from dinner. Before, during, and after dinner I called Nancy with scheduling changes and updates regarding our reservation and meal ending time so that she could bring in the champagne (ordered) and dessert (complimentary) at just the right moment. The room when we arrived was perfect. Fresh roses (ordered), macaroons (ordered), this orange dessert wine (complimentary), and an assortment of expensive french perfumes (complimentary) awaited us as we entered the room from our private entrance. What really makes this place stand out above everything is Nancy. Sure the property is great and we really enjoyed the extras in the room and bathroom (heated floors!), but Nancy just really went above and beyond to make this a special moment for us. I feel like she really invested herself in us and our experience. Sure it was a special occasion for us, but after meeting and talking with her, I find it hard to believe that she wouldn't do everything she could for any of her guests regardless of the circumstance. We will definitely be coming back in the future. Thank you Nancy for going out of your way to make this memory special for us.

Room Tip: Regardless of the reason you're there, stay in the Honeymoon suite. Also, the macaroons are deli...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Michael H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Proprietress, Owner at Auberge de Seattle, French Country Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2014

Bonjour! Thank you for this lovely review...I personally appreciate you sharing your experience with other travelers. It's not often that we get to participate in such a special romantic event, I'm so happy for the both of you! Merci encore mille fois!

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Reviewed 13 December 2013

DO NOT STAY HERE if you are thinking this is anywhere near the wineries and great restaurants of Woodinville. It is no where near them! The rooms are okay but priced much higher than they are worth. We had reserved a room for three, but on the day of our stay, our adult son had the stomach flu so was not able to fly up. The proprietor would not let us change our reservation to two people because we were within 24 hours of our stay. I could understand this if the rooms were all booked. . . . .but we were the only guests this night! I cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone stay here.

Room Tip: Choose a legitimate establishment where they care about their reputation rather than this place.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank sailguy98245
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Proprietress, Owner at Auberge de Seattle, French Country Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 15 December 2013

We are sorry you are disappointed with our cancellation policy. Having the ability to move you to another suite would not have saved you any money...as the suite you were in was the least costly. We did send you a map and directions, I'm sorry you found us difficult to find after visiting the wineries in downtown Woodinville.

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Reviewed 17 September 2013

This review is kind of hard to post.
Did we enjoy ourselves? Yes. But we always enjoy ourselves. We really enjoyed eating our dinner with the other guests. It was great meeting and talking to them all, which was the highlight of this trip. We purchased an Amazon Local coupon and made our reservations. This was our first contact with this establishment and we made our reservations for two nights in the honeymoon sweet and a cooking class. We had to revise our trip schedule for the convenience of the establishment, as they booked something else during the time of our stay. OK, fortunately we could do that, and we agreed. This was to be a French cooking class and we love to cook so did not want to cancel.
Sorry, but we would not do this again, and here are our reasons, just so future guests know what to expect.
Our room - it was clean, spacious, and comfortably appointed. The french doors accessed the rear of the home and a concrete patio that connects the other rooms in the back. The bathroom was very large and nice, with all of our needs met. Privacy was lacking in the bathroom as the shear half height curtains (only covered bottom half of windows) were pretty much see through and made showering a dicey event. Guests were welcome to stroll through the back yard and patio at will.We did not have any problems, just felt insecure.
This trip was all about the " cooking class", the only reason we came here -
The class is held in the homes kitchen. Our class had ten people. The proprietor and a chef explained the proceedings and discussed the menu. When it came time to cook, each menu item was assigned to a different group of guests (no say in what you cook). We were given a recipe and told to go for it, with the chef overseeing. This style of "hands on training" is very restrictive. Each group participated in preparing only the specific dish assigned to them, and never had the opportunity to observe or experience the preparation of any other menu item.
When finished we all enjoyed a great dinner and conversation. That's fine.
Remember..this was about the "cooking class", not the socializing. I enjoyed my trip but would not recommend this as a cooking class, and don't intend to. Besides the limited exposure to the cooking of the foods, the kitchen was poorly prepared as a whole. Numerous menu items were missing, in short supply, or not used. French cooking stresses the need to assemble everything prior to starting. We had to search the drawers, round up bowls, dig for ingredients. Not prepared.
Summary - The room and grounds were fine, but we came for the cooking class, not the room. If the class is important then look into it a bit more. If a nice stay near wonderful wineries is your thing, then by all means and enjoy dinner!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank jack937
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Proprietress, Owner at Auberge de Seattle, French Country Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 22 September 2013

Bonjour Jack: Yes, I remember that class well! That's the class where we had a new Chef working with us for the first time AND also the class that we lost our oven in. It was a pretty exciting class having to improvise and re-do items that the oven burned. Fortunately; for all, we do have another oven that we used in the Chef Quarters Apartment. I have to admit, we were off of our game, no doubt about it. Thankfully, you are the only one who noticed as everyone else loved the class experience. The Chef was used to teaching serious culinary students...and was using the format that they encourage at his prior accredited culinary school. He did not understand and I have to accept responsibility for him...so I apologize to you as that was not a good example of one of our normal cooking classes. We do go out of our way explain to our students that our Classical Cuisine Cooking Classes are experiential events more like a fun team building event than a serious class room cooking class. For those of our guests who are more interested in a structured class we always suggest that you buy one of our Culinary Basic and Technique Classes. They are concentrated on one subject instead of cooking a three course sit down dinner, where part of the experience is cooking with like minded folks and enjoying their fellowship while you enjoy an elegant sit down dinner with wine. Again, I am sorry for all of the confusion. Merci!

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Reviewed 2 September 2013

I sorry to say that the is not a professionally run establishment. I definitely would not recommend it. We have strongly urged our winemaking friends in Woodinville to not recommend this place to anyone. The owner/manager cancelled our confirmed and paid reservation without the courtesy of contacting us. We found out about it later in the evening when it was too late to do anything about it. Needless to say, that left us stranded in Seattle with the only option of a 4 1/2 hour return trip after a day of wine tasting. Not fun. I highly recommend Willows Lodge, should you choose to enjoy some fabulous wine in the area. Willows has a wonderful restaurant as well. If you have the option, go to Willows and not L'Auberge. L'Auberge is a rather pretentious name for a common "inn" that lacks professional courtesy and any real charm.

Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Shayne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Proprietress, Front Office Manager at Auberge de Seattle, French Country Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 5 September 2013

It is always disheartening to us when we get someone who is displeased with us. We do admit there was a glitch with our reservation system. We got this reservation at 8:30 am, the morning of the same day of arrival. This client received confirmation from Expedia while we did not have any openings at our Inn. We tried to contact the client repeatedly by phone. No one picked up, nor was the voice mail set up, so we could not leave a message. We then called Expedia, and we were told that they would send an email and would also call. We were then told that they did not get a response either from the client. When we did hear from this client, we explained that we were over booked and that Expedia would help find them another place for the night. We are very sorry this happened and wish we had had a good contact number to reach the client and to help them in making another reservation.

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Reviewed 22 August 2013

We purchased a Groupon for a cooking class here, which turned out to be a mistake. The business was difficult to get hold of, and when we did the person making the reservation came across as very arrogant and offered us almost no flexibility on class availability. However, we rearranged our schedule to be there -- only to have the class unexpectedly cancelled at the very last minute. Terrible customer service.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Wingnuts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Proprietress, Owner at Auberge de Seattle, French Country Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2013

We love teaching French cuisine! So sorry to hear you were disappointed in the class being cancelled. We follow the format suggested by our internet promotional partners. Our policy is that our clients have up to 48 hours to book or cancel their reservation with us and we have 24 hrs. before a class to cancel. We do require a quorum to be met to put on a class. If we do not meet our quorum, we send out cancellation notice, that always comes with the option to re-book for a later time..."with no limitations on the expiration". Our cancellation notice is automatically sent out to all who have signed up on-line by our scheduler program. Again, when we have to cancel a class we are not happy about it either, as we love teaching our clients French cuisine.

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Reviewed 17 July 2013

We just stayed at L'Auberge and it was delightful. The grounds are beautiful. We even saw some little bunnies running around. Nancy was the perfect hostess and very gracious. The warm and fresh croissants delivered to your door in the morning will blow you away. We didn't attend the cooking class, but certainly enjoyed the accommodations with all the personal touches in the room. We will definitely recommend this establishment to our friends. It provides a super option for a "get out of town" experience not very far out of town.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the honeymoon suite even if you're not on a honeymoon.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Lin01Seattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Auberge de Seattle, French Country Inn

Address: 16400 216th Ave NE, Woodinville, WA 98077-7744
Region: United States > Washington > Woodinville
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Woodinville
Price Range: £179 - £273 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Auberge de Seattle, French Country Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
SAVOR FRENCH FLAVOR, the "Joie de vivre" When it comes to all things French...this is the place. We've got a French Specialty Cooking School on our property...when it comes to food, we've got a wide variety on our plates. French cuisine is diverse and delicious as you will fine in our cooking school, the result of a vast array of fresh ingredients, cultural influences and imaginative chefs. We have 4 units for rent by day or even long term; all are decorated in the French Provincial Style. We will serve you a French "petite dejeuner" that is delivered to your suite every morning and we can also upon request provide you with a French meal "plat de jour" based on the whim of the Chef. Just let us know ahead of time as we will cooking it just for you! ... more   less 
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