Overall I was pleasantly surprise (and relieved). Our workshop was initially booked into the Atrium Best Western, who at the last minute apparently mishandled the reservations and we were moved to the Hotel Arles Plaza, a sister hotel. I was alarmed because the Tripadvisor reviews were not friendly, forecasting an unsavory location and unpredictable air conditioning. Located next to the motorway, some of the workshop participants did complain about the noisy traffic and concerts broadcast from the Antique Theater. I was among the lucky to have a renovated room that wrapped around the center of the building, and my windows opened up to a protected rooftop. Our air conditioning did quit working on a Sunday late afternoon and we were told we would have to wait until a technician could come the next day. Luckily it started back up on its own, a phenomenon we were told was not uncommon in the city during the heat of summer.
As for the location, it may have not been on the main street, Clemenceau, as was the Best Western, but it was nevertheless only a 5 minute walk through a safe, albeit not particularly scenic neighborhood. Once at the edge of the old center of the city, everything is in walking distance. The free red bus to the train station stops on Clemenceau not far from the point where the street to the hotel intersects.
Although the staff was initially easily rattled and somewhat grumpy, they were eventually friendly in their own restrained way, offering to put my few groceries in their fridge when I realized the little wee fridge in my room wasn't plugged in, and that the closest plug was a dud. Although they arranged to have that fixed, once repaired, the fridge overheated in the small cubby where it was situated, so I unplugged it to avoid a fire.
The fitness center is rarely used (probably because you get a great workout walking around town) but it requires the concierge for access and inside there is a treadmill, rowing machine, bicycle and (not electic) elliptical. Stuffy, but sufficient.
Breakfast was generous and varied: the usual cereals and fruit, but they also offered unpredicatble scrambled eggs which on some days had grown leathery in a bowl over lukewarm water with sausages that looked like bright pink frankfurters. But there were tomatoes, salami, fruit, rolled slices of deli-meat, delicious bread, gorgeous chunks of brie and packages of edam. I can't complain. And I'd forgotten how absolutely delicious coffee can be with a great slosh of warm whole milk.
By the end of our stay, I had grown fond of the place and the staff had grown friendlier. They do, however, live by the book. If check in time is 3, they would refuse to check to see if a room was ready until then. If I needed to keep my room 15 minutes past check out because I needed to make a quick trip to the ATM before catching the train, too bad. I had to vacate and put my bags in the holding room. I don't know if that script-like rigidity is typical of the hotel policy, Provence, or France, but they were more than happy to call me a cab, and I was sorry to go.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 30, 2012
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Regarding the Workshop finished a few days ago, we are really confused if the information sent to the participants by the organizers was not correct.
We remain confident that having several intermediaries in the organization of events, can sometimes be confusing.
On the various facilities and services for which you don't hide your disappointment or insatisfaction, again, please accept our most apologies. Just a bad mark to break the agreement.
We hope to see you again at our hotel, to show you that our services and staff are height up to your expectations.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.