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“Amazing experience!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Maison de Carlotta

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La Maison de Carlotta
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9, rue Frederic Mistral, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #23 of 61 Aix-en-Provence B&B and Inns
Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Amazing experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2011

This is the most amazing B & B I've stayed at. The home is beautiful, clean and the location is perfect. I would definitely recommend this to everyone!

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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102 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    90
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    1
    1
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17
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2011

My mom, sister and I spent 4 wonderful nights at la Maison de Carlotta in early September. Aline is such a warm hearted woman who truly cares about her guests having the best experience in Aix. The apartment is located right off the main street and is a perfect location for anyone traveling without a car. The 3 of us stayed comfortably in one room and each room has its own bathroom which is rare in France. Aline's homemade breakfast was one of my favorite parts of our trip! She really made us feel like family. We really didn't want to leave and truly can't wait to go back and visit!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Princeton, New Jersey
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2011

A unique and charming experience. We felt very much part of the city's character and relaxed elegance. Wonderful, historic old building. The rooms were lovely; good area of the 'old city'; easy access to markets, museums and restaurants. The "innkeeper", Aline, is welcoming and very accomodating. We were treated as visitors in her home.

Karen & Bob, New Jersey, USA

Room Tip: We had the large room, bath included. Lovely.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2011

It may be a bit shocking that I only gave this 3 stars considering all of the rave reviews this place has received, but I will most definitely explain why (sorry, this will be a bit lengthy). To provide some background my husband and I, and another friend couple stayed in two rooms at Maison de Carlotta.

So the day we are supposed to arrive in Aix en Provence, we estimated we should arrive around 7pm and let Aline know ahead of time. The morning of, we took a 4 am train from Paris to Avignon. Then we rented a car to drive to Chateauneuf de Pape for their famous wineries. We end up leaving Chateauneuf de Pape at 5:30pm. We had read that Aix en Provence is only 45 minutes away, and think we have a good amount of time to arrive to Maison de Carlotta by 7pm.

Oh were we wrong. We hit the worst traffic (and we are from Los Angeles-405/10 fwy =horrible) and this was worse; we are stuck for an hour, moving maybe 30 feet. During this time, we are searching our iPhone's GPS (google maps) to see if we can find another route--or just plain find out why the traffic is so bad (no sigalert here unfortunately). By the way, this eats up a lot of batteries (as you will soon know why this is an important point) and we had even charged the phones the night before.

So on the way there we get lost pretty badly (because we end up exiting to try and figure out if the directions are correct. Of course during this time of driving our phones die--yes, both of them. Murphy's Law at its best...but it continues!

Without our "handy and reliable" GPS iphones, we are left with our memories--(The email confirmation I had printed from Aline, which I made the error of assuming the signature line would contain the address of the B&B, actually did not). But on the way there I had GPSed the location and believed I remembered it correctly. We walk to the northern most point of Aix, lugging our suitcases which of course become quite heavy and burdensome after a good 20-30 minutes. Couldn't find it and then asked a kind person to use their iPhone. Apparently per stupid google maps, it had pulled up another maison de "carola" not Carlotta and so hence we went to the wrong place. The correct Maison de Carlotta, the kind stranger said, was back (basically where we started) on Rue such and such. By this time we are tired, frustrated and so we make it to the street---and then realize we did not have the stupid address number. But we HOPE that perhaps there is a sign on the door? So we walk back and forth 5 times literally searching for a "Maison de Carlotta" sign. To no avail. At last we're like okay lets try and see (our friend had a laptop that still had some batteries at least) but we would need to use WiFi at a café. So we make the decision, okay we're hot, tired, hungry--its probably 10pm by this time, we will stop at the café--get some water, eat and most of course importantly look up the darn place!

We get the address---#9---and then I shoot a quick (now looking back a huge mistake) email to Aline just to let her know we're still coming and sorry we are late but due to traffic etc. we will be eating something and will come over as soon as we're finished. She, as you will see shortly, must have interpreted the email as "Woohoo we are having a fantastic long leisurely dinner after a day of goofing off and wasting time and not bothering to call and let you know we are arriving late. Because of this, you will miss your dinner party and we will happily waste your time."

When we arrive, we are greeted by a very angry Aline. She begins by saying she is not a "doorman" and for us to "go off and have a nice dinner" etc. without calling is wrong and on and on and on.
We apologize very meekly- but I try to also explain that honestly its not like we took our time and had a nice fun wonderful leisurely dinner- our phones died we hit stupid traffic and we got lost! We tried to make it here! But unfortunately Aline absolutely refused to hear any of it. With an angry wave of her hand at each of my attempts to at least explain, she chose to disregard any type of possible explanation.

And you know what? That is the saddest part: That Aline chose to hold on to the worst possible assumption of us (she believes we had a wonderful nice long dinner, leisurely taking our time and just wandering around for our own enjoyment wih no manners and no respect for her time- and would not even attempt to hear any kind of explanation.) What killed us was, yes we should have planned better, but the thing is getting there, really was our main goal! The amount of anger (and you will soon see, ongoing contempt that she carried) would be justified had we arrived in Aix at say, 2pm...got wasted drunk after lunch then went to the discotech and then decided to show up at her place late. But certainly not justified, in my humble opinion, for yes making mistakes but truly trying to arrive on time! We felt very sorry for having wasted her time waiting for us, and it is true we could not give her back those 4 hours.

In addition, the room was absolutely not what I expected: we had to go into the main shared hallway in order to use the toilet and the sink/shower. It is my bad again, to have assumed this--that "private bathroom" really doesn’t mean connected to the room. The toilet was actually in a separate little room from the sink and shower room. The other 2 guestrooms had en suite bathrooms. I guess as a suggestion for the website, it would be helpful to have a description of each of the rooms so that guests at least know what to expect. I had stupidly based it off of scanning reviews, and having seen some mention their own bathroom assumed all to have their own. Sigh but for me, for the price we are paying, I would like to have a bathroom connected to my room. (Ours was the same price per night as our friend's room). Honestly it is very uncomfortable to have to go out of the privacy of your room each time to use the bathroom! Especially since every time you use either toilet or bathroom, the doors creak or click --and by this time we're already walking on eggshells not wanting to offend her anymore than we had irrevocably did. The cleanliness of the rooms is great but again, it would have been much more comfortable to have been able to have the choice of the en suite bathroom. I ask her if it is okay for me to take a shower--worried that it would make too much noise--but at the same time feeling frustrated that I even have to ask permission! And after very apparent hesitation, Aline says yes it is okay--although it is clear she is thinking "great its going to make noise and wake up the other guests." Thus begins the walking on eggshells discomfort; the feeling of being a nuisance as opposed to a paying guest/customer.

So at this point, I think---whew...what a night---okay she shouted at us and let out her anger...and I have to suppress mine because of the fact she wouldn’t even listen at all to our explanation--but it is a vacation....let us put it in the past; let bygones be bygones. Right? No..not so for Aline.

The next morning the first thing she says to me (I think she focused on me because I was the unfortunate one who was first to arrive the night before) after a smile and bonjour, is "You know that I missed a dinner party last night because of you." My stomach sinks because I'm thinking, man is she going to keep harping on this--and I don’t have it in me to try to explain ourselves again, because then I'd probably make her angry again.

So I simply respond with a meek - "Uh I'm very sorry..." (On a side note, although I am not in the hospitality business, shouldn't "hosts" of an establishment--hotels-B&Bs--who welcome guests to stay in their establishment/business, have some amount of understanding and empathy that we are travelers and stuff can happen and people may arrive late or some other issue and neglecting to call can be a pure mistake or due to some reasonable explanation and is not some kind of personal vendetta against them?)

But even after her morning comment--I thought okay things should smooth over since we ended up actually chatting a bit more and she admitted that she's a fiery passionate lady and she indeed was upset last night! We all chuckled about that and it seemed to be okay. But it wasn't still....which was the last straw.

So we headed out to the wonderful market for the afternoon, and then returned for a brief nap. During the nap, another couple arrived to stay. And perhaps Aline did not know, or maybe she did--she started bad-mouthing us to the other guests (whom, keep in mind, you share breakfast with!). She said "Thank you so much for arriving on time. I have these other Chinese American guests that arrived so late without a call!" (btw, what is up with calling out we are "Chinese American"? She could have easily said the "other guests"---but the fact of calling it out specifically was unnecessary, unless she is trying to make a point--most likely negative. Plus we aren't even all Chinese American anyway! So sorry future asian american guests, we have ruined it for you. Sorry, that was a sarcastic comment). The other guests replied with "How wrong--that is horrible!" So great, not only does she hold onto this grudge and assumed the worst of us with no opportunity of explaining ourselves, she makes us a pariah amongst the other guests that we have to share very close quarters and breakfast with! Talk about making us feel unwelcome and uncomfortable! Furthermore it is upsetting because wow, we are actually paying to stay here, to be made to feel unwelcome, uncomfortable and guilty. Indeed, we made the grave error of not calling her, to say we were arriving late-- though all the while trying to get there earnestly--yet we must bear this cross during our entire stay?

This experience left a very, very sour feeling in my stomach and unfortunately tainted our overall France vacation.

In the end, I feel sad and disappointed that Aline would not let the issue go and chose to perpetuate the negativity, making us all feel very badly and uncomfortable during our stay. It was like walking on eggshells--every time we opened the door to use the bathroom we would cringe if it creaked too loud etc. We dreaded seeing the other guests at breakfast knowing what she told them. And it was a bit hurtful knowing she told them that after things seemed to be smoothed over after chatting at breakfast earlier that day.

But despite the whole starting off on the wrong foot, the bathroom situation would have still lowered my review rating. After staying in several kind, warm and welcoming and not so unforgiving B&Bs, it was an absolute rude awakening to learn that indeed, not every B&B owner is flexible and understanding.

Aline's breakfasts are good--offering croissants, cheese, bread, homemade jams, coffee, orange juice and fruits. The location is also great--very close to the main street. She (I can imagine) can be a nice lady. At the end I apologized again, and she said "well but I said it is okay"---and so by then of course things seemed fine...but unfortunately our time spent there had already been spent. Another pointer, if you are looking to keep later hours than 9 or 10pm, this may not be the place for you.

After moving onto another B&B in Antibes (Rue Sade--amazing place!) and being warmly welcomed and we felt for the first time in several days, like "wow we are guests, and they are happy to have us there! What a concept!" as opposed to the mis-behaved step-children which was how we felt staying there.

To be fair, had we not started on the wrong foot, I am sure it would have been a pleasant stay (except for the bathroom situation). Which was why we hoped she could have been more understanding and reasonable about the lack of calling, instead of taking it as a personal affront which was how she acted.

Room Tip: Request an en suite bathroom (unless you don't mind having your bathroom in two separate rooms i...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2011

What a delightful little maison is the La Maison de Carlotta, lovingly tended by our charming host Arlene who welcomed us as she would family, settled us in, provided guidance on best restaurants and sites to view at the same time teaching us a little French while practicing her very good English. Thoroughly enjoyed our stay and heartily recommend...and the stairs provide great exercise!!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Waterloo, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

We spent two nights at La Maison de Carlotta and it was great. It is in a historic building and well decorated. The room is clean and cozy. Aline, the owner, is a very nice lady and we enjoyed the family style of the house. Will be back if we go to Aix again.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2011

We recommend Maison de Carlotta for its convenient location
(2 minutes' walk from Cours Mirabeau), and cozy ambiance.
As many reviewers have already recognized, breakfast
served at the terrace or dining room is delicious.
Madame Aline, owner of this Maison, who is a real
"Cordon Bleu (excellent cook)", prepares home-made jam,
crepe or pancakes in addition to coffee, pastry, fresh orange
juice and fruit salad.

The only flaw is that there is no lift in the
building. (Maison de Carlotta is located in the 2nd and
the 3rd floor.) But, it's worth carrying your heavy
luggages. If you stay in this house, full of music
and hospitality, you could experience what the French
people call "la joie de vivre (joy of living)".

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Maison de Carlotta

Address: 9, rue Frederic Mistral, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
Location: France > Provence > Bouches-du-Rhone > Aix-en-Provence
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 61 B&Bs / Inns in Aix-en-Provence
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 2

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