This hotel could be really great very easily. Unfortunately, for our week in Menton, too many minor niggles took the shine off our stay. I very nearly scored it 2/5 but as the hotel didn't stop us enjoying our week I've generously scored it as average.
L'Orangeraie has a lot going for it. It is well located just a short walk from the beaches, port and old town. There are a lot of nice restaraunts within easy reach too. The Hotel is in a nice garden setting and is quite a stately building, probably a very grand establishment at one time. It is clearly popular with the more mature tourist. Most of the guests are well into retirement, with a few families and couples not putting much of a dent in the high average age.
Crucially for us, it has covered reserved parking on site for €7 a day. A nice surprise when we checked in was that breakfast was included even though we had booked room only.
The room we had was a triple (only booked a double) and was as big as you could need. We had two large opening windows with external shutters and air con, which was a bit weak, but did the job. It looks like the rooms have been recently refurded and you get an TV with all the normal French stations.
The hotel has free wifi access in the bar/lounge area, not in the rooms.
All good so far, but as the title says, it's the details that let the side down. First off, our room smelt of bad drains. We reported this to reception twice. The very pleasant receptionist said she would have it looked into, but I don't believe anything was done. In the end we gave up and just left the windows open. My gut feeling is that the smell was coming from the AC so we left it off.
Now although we weren't expecting to get breakfast, once we were told it was included we decided to make the most of it. Breakfast is allegedly served between 7:30 to 10:30. We arrived before 10 each morning and there was at least one or two items unavailable. One day no pastries, one day no croissant, one day no cereal and so on. Most days I had to find a member of staff to replenish the cold milk, or provide more bowls and the fruit juice was always down to the dregs.
The hotel has a bar, but is closed from about 2pm until 6:30pm, so no chance of a beer whilst relaxing in the garden in the afternoon. It closes up early in the evening too, so don't expect a night cap after you've been out for a meal. We didn't try having lunch or an evening meal at the hotel so can't comment on that.
The cleaning leaves a little room for improvement too. Even on first arrival, the bathroom was a bit grubby in the corners and it didnt improve through the week. In my experience, standard practise when it comes to loo roll in hotels, is one on the holder and a spare. Not here. They just don't replenish it unless you go and find and ask the cleaner for a new one.
None of the above would be worth writing about by itself, but they all combine to make you think the proprietors are just doing what they have to and not really making an effort. Granted, this hotel is at the cheaper end of the scale for this part of the world, but it's still fairly expensive for what you get, and what you get isn't delivered with much enthusiasm.
Must try harder!
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