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Le Clos Jouvenet - less than accomodating

Philadelphia
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7 posts
17 reviews
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Le Clos Jouvenet - less than accomodating

I recently attempted to book a room for my husband and I at Le Clos Jouvenet. My first communication with Madame De Witte was a red flag: she informed me that comcast "... considers my mail as spam and blocks it, this is why I had to use my husband's address...

Please use cdewitte@club-internet for your answer and try to give instruction to comcast in order for my mails not to be considered as spams !" Note the exclamation mark AND the incorrect e-mail address she advised me to e-mail her at (luckily, I caught the wrong e-mail address and sent it to her correct one). I wrote back with my contact information and asked if parking was on the grounds.

After almost a week of not receiving a reply, I wrote again, informing her we'd probably arrive in Rouen mid-day and asked if we could park in her lot. I sent this as she had informed me in her earlier e-mail that "I welcome my guests from 5 to 7 pm (for any other schedule, please check beforehand) ". She replied: "I will not be in before 5 pm. You may leave your car in the street (quiet residential area) if you arrive earlier or in any parking lot in the city. Check-out is before 11 am." Wow. That's hospitality.

I wrote back asking when, exactly is "before 11 am". I also informed her I felt her check-in was already late and now her check-out time was not only vague but the earliest I'd been given out of all the hotels and bed and breakfasts I had booked for our two week trip. She wrote back suggesting I look for other accommodations (Of course, I'd already begun doing so!) and tried to tell me that this was normal for a B & B operation. I've been staying in B & B's for twenty years and this is NOT normal.

I'm posting this experience in hopes of helping anyone else who may be looking for somewhere to stay. I have gotten a lot of my information from Trip Advisor and, needless to say, was both shocked and disappointed by the way Madam De Witte interacted with me. Hopefully, she will read this and remember she is accountable to those are patronizing her establishment.

P.S. I booked us a room at another B & B in the Rouen area and, when I asked if it was okay if we arrived mid-day, was told it was perfectly fine. I had thought so, too!!!

St Louet sur Vire...
Destination Expert
for Bayeux
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2,455 posts
31 reviews
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1. Re: Le Clos Jouvenet - less than accomodating

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with a B&B in Normandy, but these times are quite normal for B&Bs in France. The maximum number of rooms you can have is five and this means that most B&B owners need to have other forms of income as well. If you read any of the reputable B&B guides to France they will advise you in the foreword that this is the case and therefore it is often not possible to check in until SIX PM because the owners may have other work.

If you expect to check out later than 11am and check in by mid-day, when do you think the rooms are going to get cleaned? These are not hotels but HOMES and there are not several members of staff, but usually only the host and their other half. And when do you think the owners are going to be able to leave their own home?

Maybe your lady was less than accommodating but unfortunately some inconsiderate guests make it necessary to create some of these rules.

At our B&B (and if you look it up on Tripadvisor, you will see we have excellent reviews) we say that check-in is between 4.30 and 7.30 unless you advise us otherwise. This is because during my first season I didn't stipulate any particular time other than after midday and this made me virtually a house prisoner as I couldn't go to the shops or leave the house at all in case guests arrived. Now I know I am free to do so until 4.30 unless our guests have said that they would like to arrive earlier. Also, if you leave it open-ended when do you eat? Sod's law says that your guests will turn up the moment you put your food on the table!

I think if you want the kind of facilities you are expecting you need to stay in a hotel rather than a B&B. My husband and I work on average 12 hours a day, 7 days a week during the summer months with 4 rooms to let. I love the work and I love feeling that I have contributed to making someone's holiday enjoyable but to keep your sanity you do have to have some rules and whilst this lady may have had an unfortunate manner in the way she conveyed her rules to you, I don't think they are at all unusual or unacceptable and I don't know a B&B owner who would think otherwise.

Incidentally, before running a B&B ourselves we have also holidayed in France for 20 years and stayed in small hotels and B&Bs for all of that time. It was only ever the hotels that allowed us such early access to rooms, NEVER a B&B.

Hastings
7 posts
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2. Re: Le Clos Jouvenet - less than accomodating

I think Thiaumière has hit the nail on the head - the hours of arrival and departure seem pretty normal to me. We're talking about a B&B, not a hotel. Short of a time machine, it's hard to see how the rooms are ever going to get cleaned and changed if guests expect to arrive at midday and leave after 11.00am! I think we need to show some consideration for the owners.

Wigan, United...
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18 posts
47 reviews
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3. Re: Le Clos Jouvenet - less than accomodating

After consulting many positive reviews of this property I decided to go ahead and book a room. I then saw the title of your post and thought "oops - here comes the flip-side".

However, nothing you have written has come close to changing my mind. (Indeed, the only thought I had was "Ooh...some people!!")

Anyway, the reality might be different so I'll report back after I've 'enjoyed' my stay.

All the best.

Philadelphia
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7 posts
17 reviews
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4. Re: Le Clos Jouvenet - less than accomodating

Actually, I didn't expect to check out "after" 11. I expected to check out "at" 11. "Before" 11 is not something I've EVER encountered at a B & B. The vagueness was the issue, as well as the tone and the lack of consideration (Not being able to park in her lot? Come on!). No, it wasn't ME, I've booked at other B & B's in Normandy for our stay and no one said I had to leave before 11 and couldn't arrive earlier than 5. I stand by my post.

Hastings
7 posts
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5. Re: Le Clos Jouvenet - less than accomodating

Before 11.00am means what it says - anytime up to 11.00am but not after. I can't see how you could be confused by this. What's the alternative interpretation of this simple phrase?

Tours, France
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2,799 posts
6 reviews
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6. Re: Le Clos Jouvenet - less than accomodating

I run a holiday gite in France. We ask our guests not to arrive before 16:00; and at the end of their stay ask that they leave before 10:00. We need this time to clean, change bedding etc.

These times are fairly standard in B&Bs and gites in France.

It seems to me that the eorinal poster is being unrealistic in their expectations and unfair in condemning the B&B owner.

Tours, France
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2,799 posts
6 reviews
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7. Re: Le Clos Jouvenet - less than accomodating

Sorry

It should of course read "original poster"

Hastings
7 posts
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8. Re: Le Clos Jouvenet - less than accomodating

I know - it's a real bummer that the forum software won't let you preview, never mind edit, what you've posted! My apologies to Thiaumerie for mis-spelling her forum name.

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7 posts
2 reviews
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9. Re: Le Clos Jouvenet - less than accomodating

I wish to express here my warmest thanks to Thiaumerie, BnBRegular, Wiger Athletic Fan and Sunlover France to have brought me their spontaneous and well appreciated support.

Loving what I do, "needless to say I was both shocked and disappointed" but not surprised by the way I was attacked by this B&B lover.

Thank you !

10. Re: Le Clos Jouvenet - less than accomodating

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