There is much to like about the Hotel des Grands Vins in Fleurie. It occupies a slightly elevated position outside the town (an easy walk through narrow roads) and therefore has a nice view over the vineyards. The staff are welcoming and took care of check-in very efficiently. The hotel does not have a restaurant so they provided an excellent recommendation for dinner in Chenas, an easy 5km drive away to eat at “Les Platanes de Chenas”. Our first floor room, although small, was clean. The bathrooms have a traditional French layout with a separate WC. An outdoor swimming pool is available but we didn’t try it as the weather wouldn’t co-operate. As such, the other pool filled with large koi carp was more interesting! An acceptable typical French breakfast costs EUR7.50 and you can buy several different types of local wine at the hotel if you want a nice souvenir (ask the owner for his recommendation). To balance all the positive comments, we had two small gripes that could be easily addressed at little cost – first, the shower head (in the bath, not separate) is positioned too low (well, maybe hobbits would find it OK). It would not take much to reposition the head 10cm higher (maybe with a longer connection) so that most normal people can fit under it. Even better, go to the local Castorama (hardware store) and spend a hundred euro per room to buy some new mixer taps to make it easier for people to control the flow and warmth of the water. Second, although the Wi-Fi is free and worked well in our room, like many other hotels it uses a log-on system to restrict access. I don’t have a problem with this if the system worked, but we had problems with our Mac Book Pro and iPad. PCs (Windows 8) worked fine. The hotel would do better by junking its access system (it’s in a rural location, so who is going to steal its bandwidth? And would this be a problem anyway?) to allow unrestricted access – and would save money by not having to print off logon credentials for guests and wasting time fixing all the logon problems that occur.
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