I am a New Yorker and I am writing this from the POV of a person who spends a 1/4 of the year in France, speaks French and knows France, very well. Just last week after a week of work in Paris, we decided to check out Hostelllerie Levernois as right before it changed owners, we had a wonderful stay in a deluxe room in the main chateau which we loved as well as the restaurant being amazing. We remembered everything about the stay with fondness. 'On ne peut pas retourner !' We booked a deluxe room as we wanted some outside space and we were told we'd be in the deluxe annex which was beautiful and just a 'deux pas' from the chateau. We arrived last week and it was raining so I did not notice how much the main lobby and entrance had changed to resemble almost a large 5* boutique hotel. I did notice that distinction that night after I had the same reaction to the redone dining room or should I say 'Dining Rooms'. This hotel definitely caters to Americans, so much so that when I would talk to them in French...they would automatically answer in English in a very jolly, American way that reminded me of the frozen smiles you get at a JW Marriot in a small American city where the charm is automatic without any personality at all. This kind of 'threw me a bit' as I remember the hotel being a haven of 'Burgundian charm and grace'. A driver on a 'golf cart' took us to the annex as it was raining. The ride was not pleasant but I must admit that the gardens and landscaping are the best improvement I noticed with on this three day stay. We were very disappointed with the annex, basically a modern, 'very white' long hall with all deluxe rooms and not an ounce of character. We also found the same was true of our room. There was nothing wrong with the annex and it was modern, luxurious (if not minimalist) and the bathroom was lovely...but we could have been staying anywhere. It certainly didn't feel like a 'Relais and Chateau in France'. I was truly sorry that we had not taken a smaller superior rom and stayed in the main chateau although I have no idea how 'redone' these rooms were as well. We returned to the reception area where the cheery young woman read through our dinner reservations and so on..still in English. I finally told her that I don't understand English and please talk to me in French. She seemed to be confused by that as they seem to be programmed to make Americans feel 'as at home'...as possible. Anyway...she confirmed our dinner for one night in the restaurant gastronomique and one night in their bistro. Voila.
The service in both restaurants was exemplary and they quickly switched to French when hearing me request several times to the host that I really wanted to look at the Wine list before ordering dinner. This is not usually done but we did not want an aperitif that night after wine tasting all day and we had ordered some Badoit sparking water as an aperitif. I had asked for the list 15 minutes before from this host. Then a second time. Finally he came to take our dinner order and I said very ...strongly ' Est-ce que vous n'avons pas assez des cartes pour le vin? Il faut que je regarde le(la?) carte du vin avant que nous commencons A commander le diner!' His lips got tight and with a 'Bien sur' ..he brought me the wine list. I felt like I had won a battle. The Chablis was excellent and the dinner would have been considered good (not incredible) until we ordered the hose special dessert, the Grand Marnier Soufflé. This was probably one of the worst desserts we had on our entire trip, forget the fact that this was a michelin rated restaurant. The problem with the soufle was quite simple, It tasted more like scrambles eggs! We were very disappointed. The next morning was another example of our frustration with the front desk. As you drove into the chateau, there was a sign pointing to the Bistro with what clearly looked like an entrance. As we were not told that guests could only enter the bistro from the main chateau, we drove to the bistro and proceeded to try to enter the restaurant for breakfast. It was almost comical as we could see people dining but we had no idea how to get inside. My partner finally discovered the entrance by walking all the way around to the back of the restaurant. We did enjoy the best meal (both mornings) at Levernois with this breakfast that was generous and well done. When we mentioned our problem to the front desk , where the owner happen to be at that moment, she replied " Well that is why we have this lovely staff at the desk here at your disposal. To answer questions like that'. I replied ' Why didn't the lovely young woman show us the two different dining rooms since she knew we were dining in each restaurant when we checked in? That has always been the custom at any Relais and Chateau we've experienced. " She just laughed and made some off-hand comment. Dinner that night in the bistro was very pleasant and the food was tasty but again...nothing memorable and almost the same price as the Gourmand restaurant. Overall...this hotel has changed in tone and manner to fit a different esthetic. Sadly...it was not mine and I dare gather...anyone else who really has travelled extensively in France.
P.S. Good luck finding 'Levernois' as it is 4 kilometers outside of Beaune and is hard to find even with a good GPS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.