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“Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Domaine des Etangs

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Domaine des Etangs
Le Bourg, 16310 Massignac, France   |  
Hotel amenities
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

My husband and i just came back from spending 2 evenings in Domaine des Etangs and are already planning our next trip. Everything was simply idyllic, the rooms were charming (we were there during a heat wave, so a bit warm at night, but two fans quickly appeared), the setting with the Chateau in the background was perfect for dinner at nights outside, white table cloths, very good food. The creme de la creme was the service. Everyone from the front desk to the servers were charming. The grounds were spotless, swimming pool and tennis courts, in perfect shape. Cannot wait to return!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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42 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    29
    10
    1
    2
    0
See reviews for
7
26
Solo
0
4
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Ipswich UK
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2012

We were surprised to find that the chateau itself was being renovated, but in spite of the fact that there was building work going on with big machinery in operation this wasn't a problem, just an interest.Our accommodation was in a stone building 2kms from the chateau, reception and restaurant, in beautiful countryside by the side of a lake. Attention to detail and quality of the building and equipment was superb, could not have been bettered. Stone, wood and copper were the order of the day, I have never seen copper window frames before and was totally impressed. A couple of small things spoiled the perfection for me - the first that although we stayed in the top price room, and there were instructions on how to use the coffee maker, there was no coffee maker,and a trip of 2kms in the car for a cup of coffee took the shine off the morning! The other thing I would have liked would have been a separate shower - the bathroom was wonderful, and the bath had a pull out shower head so I am being very picky - but that's what perfection does to you!
Unfortunately when we returned to our room from breakfast workmen were working on the roof of our building, so dreams of a peaceful hour in the deckchair had to be shelved. Hence four stars instead of five - but relatively speaking I am just nitpicking! I would visit again tomorrow, I loved it!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2012

We arrived after a days traveling only to find that the hotel could not accommodate us for dinner, even though we had booked an expensive suite. We were simply told the restaurant was fully booked.

We asked if we could have dinner in the courtyard of the grounds - that was not possible, so we asked if we could have a simple salad/cheese/bread sent to our room - that also was not possible - obviously the Chef could not cope with 2 additional diners!

The hotel is in a remote area, so you cannot simply walk to the nearest restaurant. The room is very high tech although very basic in terms of beverages.

We were located a drive away from the main building with only one bottle of water in the room. The front of house staff frantically started ringing around to find us a table for dinner. We eventually had dinner some 30-mins away from the hotel at an additional cost of 80 Euros taxi fare !

This hotel is completely inflexible and the staff are not empowered to make the most simplest decision.

The moral of this story is don't arrive hungry at this hotel and assume you can have a meal, no matter how simple.!!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Liverpool
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2011

Stunning location, chateau, forests and lakes in 800 hectares. The accommodation (in beautiful converted buildings next to the chateau) was superb, done with great style and quality. The meal in the restaurant was excellent, and very good value. The staff were without exception helpful, gracious and friendly. What more could you want?

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Limoges, France
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2011

We booked a small private farm with 3 bedrooms and living room for a business meeting. Everything perfect in a magic surroundings, The fireplace was ready to launch and the atmosphere was definitely favorable to a constructive meeting, our guests were very relaxed and enjoyed. We shall do it again !

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Colchester, Essex.
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2011

Fetching up at Domaine des Etangs Massignac (Limousin) on a warm May afternoon, we were immediately bowled over by the tranquil beauty and originality of the place. As the name implies it abounds with ponds, some being large enough to qualify as small lakes. Dotted around these, in the Charente’s undulating wooded countryside, are six hameaus - hamlets - comprising apparently ancient, ruggedly built stone farm buildings, converted to the highest modern standard to house the complex’s guest rooms and suites. A mid 19th century chateau (currently under renovation) stands at its heart in gorgeous parkland. It is here, or rather in the great long building adjacent to it, that the dining and breakfast rooms are based – so be prepared if you don’t want to use room service, to have a two kilometre walk or drive (or bike, these being provided) for your meals.
It’s of no importance, merely curiosity, but I wonder whether the old farm buildings are original or if they’d been artfully re-erected from elsewhere. Whatever; the effect is stunning. The vistas are wonderful and the little streams, weirs and leats that run around the grounds, feeding the ponds, are magical, all edged with yellow water iris, reed mace and various nymphia (in May) There were even coypus shyly roaming around, which the uninitiated (or uneducated) assumed were otters!
There were five guest rooms in our ‘building’ - the Hameau de la Grange. We and our friends had the two upstairs chambers, so we could compare. The rooms/suites are spacious with ruggedly exposed stone walls and strictly ‘Hello’ magazine decor – open beams, solid wood floors. In the bathrooms there are stylish jet showers and bathtubs with complimentary bathrobes and ample towel fluffery. Being upstairs, we had our own separate lounge area with sofas where one could recline and breathe in the lovely woody aromas. The ground floor also has a large ‘honesty’ bar fridge, amply stocked with wines, champagnes and soft drinks.
Note that although some English is spoken at the Domaine there’s no translated restaurant or breakfast menu or other information. There was neither a hotel directory nor services folder in either of our rooms, but peculiarly there was a leaflet about quitting smoking, in French of course. Vive la différence!
The Domaine’s only shortcoming was the restaurant; lovely and interesting to look at, but apart from that it was, okay – and that’s it. We’d had considerably better, for a lot less, during our three weeks in France and Spain. In fact the meal was so unmemorable I can’t adequately recall it, although the paté de foi gras was good. As seasoned restaurant users – world-wide – we got the impression that the service staff lacked training and direction – it would appear that an experienced maitre d’ is needed. Of course, a hotel which brings on and encourages enthusiastic youngsters is to be applauded, but much more is expected by the punters when paying top dollar in the restaurant. It’s a situation that needs addressing. However, it must be said that the staff were eager, polite and worked very hard.
However one very young French ‘waiter’ endeared himself to us. I christened him ‘Bread Guy’; his main job was doling out the pain to the punters – silver service style. From personal experience (from oh so long ago) I know how difficult silver service can be, but after nearly a minute of watching him chase a recalcitrant bread roll around his basket with his spoon and fork I plunged in with my fingers, saving him the trouble and breaking the mounting tension. He was punctilious in his job, though, and no one was pain-less that evening, though some of it might’ve been inadvertently fired out of his ‘tongs’ to the far reaches of the dining room.
On a more serious note, because we’re talking fairly serious money here; our dining table was positioned, regrettably, at a point between the main service hatch, the access stairs to the upper dining area and the ‘Still’ room’, from whence the restaurant’s odds and sods are sourced. With all the coming and going, swinging doors and the clanking of plates and cutlery, it was like being at Piccadilly Circus, without the charm. So, if you’re visiting remember; it’s the only large round table, just inside the dining room’s entrance. If offered it decline at once, and insist on another. Another grumble: The drinkers at table (I don’t btw) were somewhat miffed (and thirsty) because their two (very expensive) wines remained mostly on the serving table and only intermittently made it to ours. My well-heeled bon viveur friend ordered a bottle of 1999 Chat. Haut-Batailley - Paulliac, for their main courses – a pretty serious bottle of Bordeaux – in fact the most expensive on their list. He’d ordered identically when we’d stayed at Clermont-Ferrand, couple of weeks earlier. Then it was treated with uncommon respect and care – being very carefully decanted and served perfectly; the wine’s noble vintage demanded pause to consider the likelihood of it throwing sediment if not handled properly. At the Etangs, after they went through the palaver of tasting, it was shoved on the wine table and sloshed out whenever a member of staff remembered it. In fact my chum resorted to helping himself - not quite the done or expected thing really. Another gripe concerns the expensive pre-prandial cocktails urged on members of our little group. Unfortunately, when they were served, the waiter managed to spill a third of both glass’s contents. A mere apology doesn’t cut it when around six Euros worth of drink is washing around a tin tray instead of in your cocktail glasses.
There’s no option to dine elsewhere locally, so once you’re at the Domaine – that’s it. I should stress that it’s not bad, though, it’s just that I/we have enjoyed better experiences in the restaurant department, and for much less (see my post for the Hostellerie St. Martin at Perignat les Sarlieve, Claremont-Ferrand) – an observation which will hopefully concentrate the mind of the Domaine des Etangs Massignac.
But when all’s said and done the Domaine des Etangs Massignac is a startling beautiful place - a real experience. The breakfast is very good and the restaurant has the potential to be brilliant. Ours was a very pleasant stay, however, and the Domaine, our criticisms aside, is to be recommended.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Halesworth, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2011

We stayed here for one night on 8th April. We booked an Executive room and we were not disappointed. The floor was a bit squeaky though. I had asked for a room in the main building which is above the main resturant area. The room was lovely, after a long journey the receptionist made us feel at ease. We had pre booked the evening for dinner and we were not dissapointed, the meal was fabulous, some of the best cuisine I have tasted - and we have visited many many good hotels in the past. Our French is not that good and the waiter was very patient. The staff could not do enough for us but we were also left to have our own time. In the morning we walked to the lake with the mist rolling in, what an enchanted place, very romantice and so quiet. The breakfast was just right, the cheese - oh the chees, especially the walnut one! We would love to visit again - the distance may not let us but hopefully our review will enable many others to find this very special place.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Domaine des Etangs

Address: Le Bourg, 16310 Massignac, France
Location: France > Poitou-Charentes > Charente > Massignac
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 29
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Domaine Des Etangs Hotel Massignac
Domaine Des Etangs Massignac

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