We chose Le Cagnard because we love Cagnes, were curious about Haut de Cagnes having visited it only twice, and because Le Cagnard was #1 on Tripadvisor. A three day/rwo night weekend birthday getway was planned, and we embarked with much excitement.
As advised, we got a cab from the airport to the Planastel car park at the entrance to the village, and phoned the hotel.
Annoyingly we were bounced through to a voicemail message announcing that reception was manned from 8.00 in the morning. This was 11.30. A second attempt also got voicemail. On the third attempt I finally got a receptionist who promised to send someone to bring us to the hotel.
Five minutes later a charming emissary arrived, who whisked us and our luggage through the narrow streets to the hotel front door.
First impressions were very positive; clearly a lot of time and money has been invested in the renovation/restoration, and the public areas of reception, bar, lounge and restaurant are beautiful.
The receptionist was charm personified, and offered us a chilled drink while she showed us around the public areas.
The hotel itself is a warren, with rooms dotted all over the upper floors, and even some reached outside via the upper street level. Our room Cazzetini was standard - well appointed and comfortable.
Dinner on the terrace was a very pleasant experience. The maitre d' and waiting staff are attentive, charming and completely bilingual in English and French. The views from the terrace are stunning, but the food could honestly have been better; my partner's carpaccio was a little tough, and my asparagus was largely devoid of taste.
Our plan was to spend each day by the sea in Cagnes Sur Mer, taking the free shuttle to the lower town and then a bus to the seaside and take a day membership at a beach club. Enquiring about possiblities exposed some uneven skills in the reception staff. Where the first lady had been a mine of useful information, the second was charming and as far as I could tell tri-lingual, but had nothing worthwhile to say in any language; our enquiry as to beach clubs in Cagnes whom Le Cagnard recommended, or with whom Le Cagnard had a reciprocal relationship was met with a promise to enquire while we breakfasted. On returning we got a blank look, no information and then a recommendation to go to Juan Les Pins because the beach there was sandy(!)
Staying in Haut de Cagnes means a great reliance on the shuttle, which in theory runs every 15 minutes, but in practice is not entirely reliable, so on one ocasion we gave up after 30 minutes and walked down.
On returning on Saturday we found that the room had been serviced, but not finished - the toiletries and vanity packs in the bathrooms had not be replaced, and - oddly - the bags in the waste bins had been replaced and put into the bins, but not opened, giving the impression of someone in a great hurry and not concerned with doing things right. Surely not the impression a top flight boutique hotel is trying to create.
Sleep quality was generally good, with a very effiective A/C unit. We were disturbed in the small hours by the people overhead apparently moving furniture around, but not even the best-run hotel can do much about that.
Checkout was handled efficiently, with our request for a late checkout granted and our bags held for us whille we had a long final lunch in the village. Disappointing to note that the Nespresso machine in the bedroom is an extra cost item, despite no signs declaring this to be so; a couple of coffee pods are a spit in the ocean on a bill of the size one accumulates at Le Cagnard, and I'd have expected them to be complementary customer service items.
So - to sum up - a lovely spot which has benefitted from a very tasteful recent revamp. The aspiration to be a true top-drawer boutique hotel is plan to see, but at the moment - based on our experience - Le Cagnard lets itself down in the details of the service it provides in the areas of front desk, housekeeping and the kitchen. We shall not be rushing back.
- Also Known As:
- Le Cagnard Hotel Cagnes-Sur-Mer
- Le Cagnard Cagnes Sur Mer
- Le Cagnard Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Walk into a true French Fairytale, by entering the doors to this magnificent and romantic Castle from the 13th century, situated on the French Riviera overlooking the Mediterranean Sea...Enjoy staying in one of our 26 rooms and suites uniquely decorated rooms with local antiques and if you love reading why not relax, read or play chess in our cozy library, where you will find a cannonball from the Waterloo battle beneath the portrait of Napoleon, made when he sat in the prison in Nice. For breakfast indulge in our home made specialties and local produce, whilst enjoying the extraordinary view. Explore and go on a guided tour around the village on its medieval cobbled streets… ... more less
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