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“It was wonderful”
Review of Che Catrine

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Che Catrine
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“It was wonderful”
Reviewed October 28, 2009

I stayed here for just one night last year and it was simply the coolest, most unusual place I have ever stayed. None of the usual cliches apply. It was quirky, higgledy piggledy, utterly mad and you would never be allowed to build it in the UK. The room was clean and comfortable and I was made to feel very welcome even though the owner's wife was in hospital. I sincerely hope she is better, for they have created a wonderful space. It's definitely not for everyone. If you want a mod cons and high speed internet then there are many places in the World for you. If you want something serene, calm and very spiritual then give this place a try. I promise you will go a long way before you find anything else like it!

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank m3tg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2008

Is it possible to be homesick for a place you've never lived in, but only visited? I stayed here for two weeks more than two years ago, during the Turin Winter Olympics of 2006, but I still think about it probably every few weeks or so and wish I could go back. This place is unforgettable, and it's probably my favorite place I've ever stayed in my entire life.

The owners, Christian and Catherine Finas, chose one of the few medieval villages in this area that weren't destroyed during the last world war. They bought a 15th century farmhouse in ruins and spent years restoring it lovingly and authentically and transforming it into a beautiful, luxurious B&B unlike any other. There are the original massive wood beams and ironwork, odd-shaped rooms, and a dining hall with a subterranean feel and a massive hearth, that used to house cattle. The furniture was all handmade by a local artisan, with the addition of several museum quality pieces from the Orient, and the mix of East and West is done with impeccable taste so that you could hardly imagine it any other way.

They bake their own bread, grow much of their own produce, make their own yogurt and conserves, cook as much as possible with local ingredients, and serve wonderful local wines as well as aperitifs made from their own homemade infused liqueurs such as a haunting vin de noix (green walnut wine, like a rich, complex port), fruit "sirops" for kirs, and genepi, a strong drink flavored with a hand-harvested mountain herb.

"Table d'hote" dinners were served family style when we stayed there, and I felt like we were treated as honored dinner guests in someone's home rather than just strangers staying in an inn. There were fascinating dinner discussions in both French and English in which Catherine and Christian would tell us about things like the history and culture and local politics of Savoie and seemed genuinely interested in hearing about our daily adventures and challenges.

There was even a spa and sauna room for the guests to use!

Outside the inn, there was skiing close by at La Norma and Aussois, and wonderful restaurants (maybe not "la grande cuisine" but all kinds of hearty and delicious savoyard specialties). I don't ski, but got plenty of help from Catherine and Christian at finding some beautiful mountain walks and drives (and could also have done snowshoeing, had I been more ambitious). The village is a perfect starting point for exploring the Parc National de la Vanoise, a moutainous nature preserve in the Alps, and a number of charming alpine villages such as Bonneval-sur-Arc. There are all kinds of local artisans, too, such as a glassblowing studio in Avrieux (or was it Aussois?) and pottery in some of the other towns. There are old fortifications to explore (including one with a wonderful restaurant inside an old tower in Aussois).

It's just a wonderful, wonderful place. Go, and hopefully you'll come away from it as I did with memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Liked — The inn owners and how they made us feel like friends.
  • Disliked — The twin beds had waterproof pads under the sheets that made for sweaty sleeping.
  • Stayed February 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank Groggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Che Catrine

Property: Che Catrine
Address: 88 rue Saint Antoine | Villarodin Bourget, 73500 Villarodin-Bourget, France
Location: France > Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes > Savoie > Villarodin-Bourget
Kitchenette Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Villarodin-Bourget
Number of rooms: 18

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