I stayed at the Auberge du Lac on the way across to the UK for my wedding and I can safely say that I have never been so insulted, offended and downright disappointed with a hotel that held so much promise on the surface.
I was, in fact, travelling across with my father and mother, both of whom had stayed at the same hotel before. They had said they received adequate service before, but the way we were treated on this occasion was nothing less than condescending and rude.
Whilst the rooms were simple, they were ok. The shower did not have a holder, meaning one had to either sit in the bath or wash with just one hand. Not ideal, but it is something I could look past.
However, where the Auberge du Lac really let themselves down was in the restaurant and through their snobbish service.
We booked a table upon arrival and sat out in the courtyard having a quiet drink, waiting to be called through. We wanted to see a menu beforehand so asked for one. Once we had decided what we wanted it was ordered there and then. This included lobster for my sister which was duly picked out and shown to her. From there we assumed that we would be summoned through to the restaurant when our table was ready.
Alas, this was not the case so we asked if we could be seated after getting rather hungry. We eventually went through and waited a further 35 minutes for our starters. Once this was delivered we had to wait a further half an hour for the main course. This was a true let down. Calling the food inadequate would be an insult to inadequacy. It was truly terrible. The lobster was particularly bad. Considering it cost 78 euros I’d expected better, however the chef would have been better off boiling his shoe and sending that out. I imagine it would have been easier to chew, probably had more flavour, and would also have been cheaper by the pound.
Naturally, we complained not only about the poor state of the food but also the shoddy and downright rude service from everyone in the restaurant, the fact that we had to wait an extortionate amount of time to be served and that once we had finished a course it had taken almost 20 minutes for our plates to be cleared. I could have overlooked this if it was a run-of-the-mill restaurant but for the prices they were charging I expected a lot better.
After complaining we were told by what I can only assume to be the “manager” that it was our own fault for having sat outside for too long. We were told that it was not their fault and that it wasn’t up to them to call us through, ignoring the poor service, poor food and general mismanagement of what they classed as luxury dining, as well as the fact that they had, indeed, called other customers through before us. Luckily I don’t know the French for pompous, arrogant imbecile but that is the precise tone she came across with. Needless to say we cancelled our dessert and left to find somewhere else to see out the night (on a related note, the brasserie across the road from this hotel is very good, with the locals proving to be most welcoming).
Although it may seem it by the above, I am not one to dish out complaints in this manner often. I have stayed in many mediocre and inadequate hotels but have never felt they have been so bad to warrant my time to write a complaint. However, the general tone and the way in which my family and I were treated I felt something had to be said. I have never felt so sub-standard in all my life. I felt looked down upon, like we weren’t worth the time because we didn’t deserve to be there and that we were generally being a nuisance. It is very easy to compare hotels to Fawlty Towers, and in the past having read reviews on Trip Advisor I’ve thought it was a little lazy. However, that is the only experience I can possible compare it to.
I have had better food at a Wetherspoons, I have had better service at fast food chains and I have met more welcoming people in some of the darker corners of London.
On the hotel’s official website it says that “they claim to have learned much from the exchange of experiences with their efficient and talented personnel.” Hopefully they will learn much from my families experience and make sure they do not treat returning guests in the same manner in future.
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- Also Known As:
- Auberge Du Lac Hotel Mesnil-Saint-Pere
- Auberge Du Lac Mesnil-Saint-Pere, Aube, France