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“Three years on and the magic is fading”

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Le Couvent d'Herepian
Ranked #1 of 2 Herepian B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Condom, France
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Three years on and the magic is fading”
Reviewed 20 September 2013

In December 2010 The Daily Telegraph included Le Couvent d’Hérépian in an article entitled, ‘The 50 best hotels in the world’. Having just spent 7 nights there ourselves we can appreciate how such high acclaim was achieved. However, less than three years on and the magic is fading. At the end of the day it's simply about attention to detail and investment, both of which seem to be lacking of late. Located in the centre of the small and typically-French market village of Hérépian, within the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Languedoc, close to the coast and on the fringes of the Faugères wine appellation, Le Couvent is extremely well positioned for a lazy, relaxing break within the French countryside. The building itself has been sympathetically and stylishly renovated and there is most definitely a sense of history within its thick stone walls. Our suite, on the quiet garden side was large and featured a disappointingly basic bathroom and a comfortable sitting/dining area with kitchenette. There was also a full-length balcony. We ate superbly well in a number of local restaurants and also made good use of our suite's facilities with breakfast taken on the balcony; fresh croissants and pastries having been procured from the local bakery along with trays of fresh cherries from roadside vendors. It all sounds idyllic and it was certainly a really lovely break and we did sleep like babies. But this is not strictly a hotel and although Garrigae have done, and continue to do, a great job in reviving fascinating old buildings, they are not hoteliers and they do not run their property investment opportunities as hotels. Consequently certain elements will always be lacking. Whilst friendly and helpful, there is only one member of staff seemingly ever on duty, except perhaps at breakfast and of course there is a limit to the level of service that one front-of-house can provide. There is nobody available at check in to help with luggage for example, no room service, no one to pour you a drink (get your own from the honesty bar) no one to call when your room is missing basic elements like pillows, cutlery and towels, as ours was. Cleaning standards were just about acceptable but we were surprised and disappointed that our balcony had not been swept before our arrival, hence the discovery of the remains of a rotting dead bird. It became apparent after day two that it was necessary for us to specifically request that the balcony was included within the daily clean. I was surprised too that our glasses and dishes were not washed up and put away. Were we really expected to go out and buy tea towels and dishwashing liquid or tabs for the dishwasher? Curtains, paintwork and bathroom fittings are all beginning to show signs of age, as they obviously would after 3 years ‘commercial’ use and there was evidence of a serious damp problem in the communal sitting room. We enjoyed the small spa area in the moments we had it to ourselves – three is a crowd here! But we were very sad to see that despite being mid-June the outside pool was green and not in use. We questioned this and the next day the necessary chemicals were added, and so by day 4 of our stay it was ready for use.

And so to sum up; overall a little tired around the edges with staff simply too laid back and lacking management. Le Couvent was a long way short of the luxury established described on the Mr & Mrs Smith website, which we had used to book this break, but as we’d received a 50% discount on a promotional deal, we were quite forgiving. Had we forked out top dollar, I would have expected far more.

It is interesting to see that Mr & Mrs Smith are no longer promoting this property on their website, which says it all really.

Room Tip: Demand a room on the garden side.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MAWALB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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296 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2013

We had a one night stay at the Couvent during a trip across the south of France but found it to be the most disappointing place of all. The hotel is quite well positioned in the middle of a small village but with restaurants, cafes and bars within walking distance. On arrival my wife tried to book a massage but was told that they were fully booked despite there only being 4 other guests in the hotel that we saw. The outdoor pool and the indoor spa pool were both dirty and the small garden poorly maintained. A lawn mower would be a good investment! We were told that we could book dinner at the hotel up until 7pm but when we tried to book at 5:30pm we were then told we should've booked by 5! However the receptionist did book us a table at the nearby gold club which was lovely. The rooms are very spacious but have no air conditioning and come with a kitchenette which we didn't use. If you stay here don't expect much sleep! The road, although very narrow, is a thoroughfare but tragic and pedestrians all night long. Cars and nightclub revellers were passing our room loudly until gone 4am. There're also holiday rentals on the street which were occupied by Brits fully enjoying themselves to the early hours. The final straw was the rubbish collectors doing their rounds at 5:45am on a Saturday morning. Needless to say we were both pretty tired come morning! We paid £180 for the night but there's no way we'd go back!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Cardiff1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Ferme
Level Contributor
30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2013

We spent ages driving around in circles trying to find this little hole in the wall hotel and were then directed to a car park half a kilometre away. Not a great start. Of course we were then told that we couldn't eat in the hotel and later had to put up with some mediocre scoff in a local restaurant. However, the most interesting part of our stay was when we asked to use the so called spa facilities. Firstly the staff claimed that the spa facilities were fully booked, then they changed their mind and let us in. The spa at this establishment consists of a luke warm pool measuring about 4 by 3 metres, that you can neither swim in because it's stupidly short, nor relax in because it's far too cold. My wife, fellow guest and I wallowed around in the water and engaged in normal conversation only to be interrupted by the most extraordinary behaviour - the masseuse, who unbeknown to us was conducting a massage next door, burst in and loudly shushed us! No, "please could you keep the noise down", no "evening ladies and gents..." just a loud SSSHHH! We were amazed. I was speechless, well, not literally because we carried on communicating with one another, only to have the same thing happening, we were literally treated like annoying children. Quite amazing. We left disgruntled the following morning and even though I made a complaint there and then, nothing was done about it, not even an apology.

Room Tip: do not under any circumstances be tempted to stay at this hotel, particularly if you are lured in by...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Château du P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2012

We just got married and received a night in this ancient couvent as a wedding gift. Very warm welcome, the room was great. We didn't expect it but there were cooking facilities incorporated in the room. Food for dinner was comparable to what is served in a gastronomic restaurant and was delicious. The facilities were above expectations: the spa pool is great and was so relaxing. The fireplace adds something special.This is not comparable to any other 5 stars hotels as the hotel layout is unusual and the service makes you feel home. We would recommend to couples who are looking for a quiet and relaxing break. We will go back, for sure.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kathie750
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 October 2012

My wife and I stayed here for two nights in late October as part of our honeymoon trip around the South of France. Up till this point we had stayed at various 5 star hotels with the expected level of service and facilities. Lets be clear this is not a 5 star hotel nor is it trying to be. It is a beautiful little hotel with some luxury touches (eg indoor spa plunge pool) but the ethos of a chambre d'hôte. The staff werelovely and extremely helpful. One night we tried to go to the local restaurant but it was full so the hotel rang around nearby restaurants to find us a table. The other night we ate in and our chef Christophe did us proud with good quality food and very reasonable wine. Please note the hotel does not have a restaurant so such meals are by arrangement only. Finally in response to the reviewer who complained that the parking is in a field some distance away. Lets be clear. Yes its a field but it is a hard surface and its all of about 3 mins walk away. Furthermore the hotel makes it clear that there is very limited parking in the neighbourhood of the hotel.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank DaveK72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
151 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2012

We should have realised there might be problems when we eventually found the hotel tucked away in a narrow street, with no parking! The receptionist was welcoming and explained that the car park was in a field quite some way away, the walk back to the hotel in the pouring rain was not a good omen either!
The room was large, and a bit gloomy, the shower and bathroom was ok, but with bits of tile and grouting missing. the bed was comfortable.
We had no towels in the bathroom, and infact even after numerous reminders none appeared until 18.30 we had arrives at 12.30, There was a communial breakfast area, with basic breakfast items but no where to sit, we took our coffee out to the sitting area near the indoor swimming pool, the table was dirty and although the receptionist apologised it really was not good enough, the whole place felt like it was on its last legs, no cups available for the coffee when we went down to breakfast, we were expected to sit with strangers - ok if you want to do this but not what we wanted first thing in the morning. Breakfast was 16 Euros each - one cup of coffee and a danish!!!!! there really wasn't any thing to eat anyway. The indoor swimming pool was dark, gloomy and did not make you feel like getting into it, it was opressive to say the least.
It sets it self up as a 'LuxuryRetreat and Spa' I think this needs to be re classified. There are better places to stay near by.

Room Tip: don't go!!
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank yb1uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 September 2012

We stayed here for one night and it was pretty good. Room was lovely, but as others have said the furniture is a bit faux antique - it would be better to have normal, more modern furniture in neutral colours than trying to do antique on the cheap. I liked the kitchen facilities - very useful if you just want to eat in, but there needs to be some dish liquid and other basics as well as the nice crockery! Bed was comfy and huge, lack of air-con not really a problem, that's just pretty normal.

We didn't have the breakfast as 15euro seemed pretty steep. We bought croissants and juice from the boulangerie just around the corner and ate in our room - lovely!

The spa pool and outdoor pool were also really nice, although yes there are broken tiles that could be fixed. In fact, there's a need for a little maintenance but in general it's nice. It's not a flash hotel, it's a small hotel in an out of the way town in countryside France, so if you understand that that means it won't be flash, then you won't be as disappointed as others have been.

It's a bit overpriced, but it's lovely all the same.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BWinslow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Le Couvent d'Herepian

Property: Le Couvent d'Herepian
Address: 2 rue du Couvent, 34600 Herepian, France
Region: France > Occitanie > Herault > Herepian
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Herepian
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Le Couvent d'Herepian 3*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A gentle refuge cradled in ancient stone in the heart of the Haut-Languedoc. For lovers of romantic and sensual contemplations. Thirteen luxurious suites & rooms offer a refined haven - a perfect getaway for two. A 17th century former convent where soul mates can retreat. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Couvent d`Herepian Hotel Herepian

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