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“The perfect stopover on a trip along the Route Napoleon”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of La Bonne Etape

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La Bonne Etape
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Chateau-Arnoux
Certificate of Excellence
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“The perfect stopover on a trip along the Route Napoleon”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2012

The charming house has averything you need and much more.
Lovely rooms, a pool area that lets you get he rest you need after so much driving and a restaurant many large city doesn't have.
The best however are the utterly charming and helpful staff. Their attentivenes is unparalleled and they actually seem to lova what they do.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank luziussprungli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bonneetape04, Propriétaire at La Bonne Etape, responded to this review, July 22, 2012
Dear Sir,
Thank you for sharing those compliments of yours about everything you liked in the hotel and restaurant.
We all are very happy in La Bonne Etape to have fulfilled beyond your expectations.
You say “A perfect stopover on the route Napoleon” : a famous French actor (François Perier) wrote on the “livre d’or” : “if Napoleon had stopped at La Bonne Etape, he would have stayed here and avoided Waterloo” ;-)
Hoping we will have the pleasure of welcoming you again,
Very sincerely,
Jany Gleize Chef de cuisine, Maître de Maison
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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241 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
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English first
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2012

Our experience at la Bonne Etape was memorable, to say the least. The amazing surrounding scenery and small villages set the background for a fabulous hotel experience. From the first greeting we received upon our arrival to the final farewell waves, we could not have asked for better service. The friendlines, professionalism and overall attention to detail, made us feel like extremely valued guests. The staff seemed to go out of their way to make certain our needs were met, and even exceeded. The proprieter/chef made his presence felt, always asking of our welfare, helping us plan various scenic trips, and even procured magnificent flowers for me for Mother's Day, at the request of my children in the U.S.
The "gastronomique" restaurant was a superb treat-creatively prepared and inventive, excellent cuisine. The "traditional" restaurant was also quite good.
The surrounding country side is beautiful, worth exploring, and La Bonne Etape is the place to stay for sure! We will be back.

Room Tip: We did not see any other room than ours, which was on the ground floor. It was very roomy, with a f...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank khb521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bonneetape04, Propriétaire at La Bonne Etape, responded to this review, June 7, 2012
Dear Madam, dear Sir,
It is a great pleasure that you enjoyed our place, our country, our Haute Provence, and my family house La Bonne Etape. We all are proud to make you discover this. It is also our pleasure, and this is not a simple formula, to explain a little bit of our culture, of our Land.
Of course we are all dedicated to your happiness while under our shelter, but you were in the meantime  ready to hear, you were prepared to listen to the story we were telling you. As sometimes actors say after a show, the audience was talented tonight, I can say you are really talented.
Thank you, all the best with my words in English which is not my mother language, I hope I made me understood as well as I understood your compliments.
Hoping to welcoming you back soon, very best wishes from all of us.
Jany Gleize Chef de cuisine , Maître de Maison 
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chapel hill
Level Contributor
106 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2012

A very special hotel with 2 restaurants. It's a "classic" with antique type furniture and paintings. The room was very large with a marble bathroom and walk in shower plus the large european bath tub. The staff is incredible, helping with everything you can imagine...and my French is very poor.. We had a problem with walking up the stairs and an accommodation was figured out very quickly. (We took a room on the ground floor and used another door for access to the restaurant.) The chef/owner really takes pride in his restaurant and hotel, greets you, goes over the menu with wine recommendations. The food was so incredible with many items from the chef's own garden. I walked through the garden to see the cherries, strawberries, lettuces, lavender, gorgeous flowers, all of which I also saw on the table the same day. What an experience and all for a reasonable price. If one has never experienced a Michelin starred restaurant this is a great one to try. A special menu was printed with our names and dinner choices...nice! The pool was gorgeous. It's also nice to have a secured car park as part of the hotel. Nicholas was also very helpful, giving us much valuable information for our touring.

Room Tip: Suites on ground floor with a terrace.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Judy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bonneetape04, Propriétaire at La Bonne Etape, responded to this review, June 7, 2012
Dear Madam, dear Sir,
Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us, patrons, and ourselves dedicated to your happiness. I am glad to read we could fulfill your expectations (my whole team thanks you) . You said you enjoyed the room you occupied during your staying with us (all rooms are different and differently set, some with walk in shower as you noticed, some with bath tub and shower in it, they can be of marble, Provençal style tiled, different paintings, different colors and styles).
Improvements are always in progress to keep the soul of my house alive and make though your next stay even better adding the state of the art devices, should they compatible with this ambiance. .
We all hope we will have the great pleasure of welcoming you soon again, and wish you the very best, very sincerely.

Jany Gleize Chef de cuisine , Maître de Maison
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
57 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2011

The staff is very helpful and very nice! They speak many languages and are eager to print maps and itineraries for you at the front desk. The rooms, however are dated and the "antiques" bit worn. More like Grandma's house than French Antique. The Frette robes were a nice touch. Not much to do in the village. We dined at a special chocolate tasting dinner in the gourmet restaurant at the hotel; pricey but very fresh, French and delicious - with wonderful service. If you get a package with breakfast, it is divine. A lovely tray delivered to your room with pastries, tea, coffee, juice, yogurt and fresh fruit from the garden. Not quite up to Relais standard in my opinion, but we had a nice stay and I got a deal on my package.

Room Tip: Ask for a view and a marble bathroom!
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank EuroTravelLover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bonneetape04, Propriétaire at La Bonne Etape, responded to this review, August 2, 2011
Dear Sir,
Thank you for taking time two months after your visit to post a comment on our house. I am happy to know you thoroughly appreciated the dedication to welcoming and helping of my whole team, the quality of cuisine and service.
Your opinion really matters, it may be right in many points, and I am sad to read it was not to the kind of decor you expected.

May I suggest a very light correction to your comment : when you say : "the rooms" I would rather go for "the room we occupied" and replace "are" by "is". It is really frustrating not to know the room you occupied, so that I could be able to answer more accurately, and act accordingly (the hotel was fully booked that night and I only have your pseudo, very hard to trace) We are renovating and remodeling every year and every room is different ; this renovation will be completed by next spring.
Thank you also for the compliment : " More like Grandma's house than French Antique. " That is exactly the ambiance we are looking to share with our patrons. Not like in an Antique shop, but like in a private house.
I will stick to this ambiance which is the signature of La Bonne Etape, while keeping improving the comfort of our times. My will and my wish is over all not to resemble the kind of rooms of hotel chains, which I respect very much, but which are all the same, and I sincerely hope Relais & Châteaux owners will not follow this trend to copy each other, and lose their soul.
I hope I will have the pleasure of showing you the improvements we continue to make and visit the hotel with you, during a next stay with us, so that you can make your wise comments on the spot and that we can discuss them directly. It would be a great pleasure and a great help for me.
I remain at your disposal and thank you again.
Very sincerely
Jany Gleize Propriétaire Chef de cuisine, Maître de maison
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San Francisco Bay Area
Level Contributor
104 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2011

We chose to stay at La Bonne Etape imagining the luxury of a Relais and Chateaux property, along with a Michelin starred restaurant. We were somewhat suspicious of the "reasonable" rate we got for our package. (You get what you pay for....) Sadly this place is resting on past reputation and the glory days of the 60's or 70's. The outside has a lovely garden and well maintained pool area. There is a grand entrance and the dining room is meticulously furnished with classical art and antiques. Unfortunately, the rooms were in desperate need of a re-do. Beds were sagging. Antique furniture is decrepit; some pieces were pretty but not functional and the rooms we were in were both very tightly crowded and not spacious. It is typical of a very old property that architecturally can't keep up with modern trends.

Like many of the Relais and Chateauxs this one is family owned. They were helpful and pleasant, and we do not fault the kind service we had. Unfortunately they need a massive infusion of money to bring the hotel up to date, and the area is not particularly "hot" on the tourist map. This is the kind of country place that was built for travelers along the route of Napoleon, and rests on it's laurels to this day.

Our package included dinner in the modest country style restaurant around the corner on the busy highway. It was acceptable quality but there was only one young waitress who seemed overwhelmed working the dining room by herself, especially with limited English and a mixture of international guests.

Breakfast in the very formal dining room that is the Michelin starred restaurant was very basic with minimal selection that progressed to less and less over the three days we were there. We noticed that the "regular" items were not offered at all toward the end of our stay. Furthermore we were disturbed by the invasion of a surly waitress who was setting up for lunch service, going from table to table ironing the creases from the tablecloths while we tried to quickly eat our meal. The maitre'd seemed much more interested in readying the room for "paying" lunch guests than the cheap breakfast guests.

We chose NOT to eat the very formal and expensive prix fixe menu for lunch and dinner. We heard that the Michelin star had been rewarded to a previous pastry chef and the kitchen was resting on those outdated reviews. Based on what was offered for breakfast we were happy we had a car to go to a wonderful place down the road for a spectacular and more reasonably priced dinner. Later on during our holiday we had the pleasure to eat and dine in several other Relais and Chateaux, as well as Michelin starred restaurants that were worthy of their ratings. This place needs to be re-reviewed by both because the standards here fall short.

If you are going to be traveling through this area, it might be worth a stop for Sunday lunch but otherwise we would not make this trip again.

Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Ciccibella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bonneetape04, Propriétaire at La Bonne Etape, responded to this review, July 4, 2011
Dear Madam dear Sir,

Thank you for taking time to give your advice about our house « La Bonne Etape » and thank you for all the things you appreciated : “… a lovely garden and well maintained pool area. … and the dining room is meticulously furnished with classical art and antiques. …They were helpful and pleasant, and we do not fault the kind service we had.”

The rumour seems to be spreading all over this note of yours and weakens the rest of what could have seemed acceptable and for which I would have taken time to understand and answer each point in the very best way, as I am used to do.

On reading down your lines we step into the rumour field : is it possible to base your judgement on “we have heard that…” rumour does not seem a good advisor, and could even lead to mistakes and big errors, for instance when you say “ should be re reviewed for a Michelin star”, without tasting , without knowing, without elements of your own.
You compare our restaurant where you did not have dinner or lunch, as you said, with other restaurants where you say you had dinner or lunch. Is this acceptable ? It seems then that all the rest of your judgement falls really down.

Further most, “it might be worth a stop for Sunday lunch” : how can you guess this because you chose “NOT to eat … ? Please allow me then to consider your advice for “not make this trip” unacceptable.

I remain at your disposal

Sincerely

Jany Gleize Propriétaire Chef de cuisine, Maître de maison
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2010

The owner/chef, his staff and waiters all are world class professionals with a family embrace. Our every need was anticipated before we asked. The food was out of this world as well as the service. Eric, at the front desk is genuinely kind and wonderully helpful.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jtk1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marin County, CA
Level Contributor
53 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2010

The web site and publicity photos of this hotel are deceiving as they make it appear as if La Bonne Etape were situated in the middle of the countryside. They accomplish this by picturing the hotel’s rear which is pleasantly landscaped and surrounds a fine swimming pool. More important, however, is the fact that the front entrance sits across from a large modern concrete building. Furthermore, the hotel itself is situated a mere half block from the heavily trafficked main thoroughfare that runs through the heart of Chateau Arnoux, a rather scruffy and nondescript town.
The La Bonne Etape has two restaurants. One is formal, cold, and rather expensive, though it proudly sports a Michelin star. The other is modest, reasonably priced and features good traditional French fare. Naturally we chose the latter. We also chose to take our breakfast at a cafe around the corner. Like many French hotels, La Bonne Etape charges an absurdly high amount for breakfast. As my wife and I order only a croissant and coffee, we understandably get annoyed when the hotel charges over sixty dollars for breakfast for two. At the cafe the charge was less than ten.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank eschatology
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bonneetape04, Propriétaire at La Bonne Etape, responded to this review, June 8, 2011
* Dear Madam, dear Sir,

* I am sorry to read you thought we wanted to cheat you. This is not the case at all.

* The pictures on the website show the surroundings and what is around the hotel, as well the swimming pool (the 6000 sq meters organic garden in the property is not featured on the website). The building is more than 70 meters long and at the eastern end where the hotel and the swimming pool are located, no one can hear the road you complain about (no sound of it, no view either).

* Full breakfast charged 21 euros compared to what is served at this standard : this is not overpriced.

I will take your complaint on the price as a suggestion to be more clear about what is proposed and thank you for that.

* A cup of coffe can be proposed as an alternative : you are right, this was not clearly written nor said to you.

* I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you another time in our house to make the idea you have change to a much better opinion.

* Very sincerely

* Jany Gleize Managing owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Bonne Etape

Property: La Bonne Etape
Address: Chemin du Lac, 04160 Chateau-Arnoux, France
Phone Number:
Location: France > Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur > French Riviera - Cote d'Azur > Chateau-Arnoux
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Chateau-Arnoux
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — La Bonne Etape 4*
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
La Bonne Etape Hotel Chateau-Arnoux
La Bonne Etape Chateau Arnoux

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