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“Beyond depressing”

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Chateau des Riffets
kent uk
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Beyond depressing”
Reviewed July 19, 2011

Not the easiest place to find because it is not actually in B-s-L and there are few signs until one is right on top of the place and were very faded to the point of being almost illegible with one made of cardboard, half hanging off another sign. Once through the gates the short drive up to the chateau was pleasing enough; then it was disappointing from then on. The glass in the front door was filthy from 1000 hand and paw prints and the rest of the place was similarly grubby. It had an unpleasant odour - undefinable, really. Rotting food, maybe(?) Thick dust on everything, blown light bulbs, ancient dead plants and it was slightly crunchy under-foot. As kind as it was to be offered tea on arrival, we could have lived without dirty chipped and cracked cups with weak, luke warm tea.
Our "suite" was filthy and uncomfortable. Dirty lavatories, peeling bath, wardrobe which wouldn't open, one bedside lamp was broken: completely exposed wires etc! This was pointed out but left. I don't think the bed-linen was clean and the "suite" had never seen a vacuum cleaner. The breakfast was ok, only ok. I dread to think what the kitchen was like. And the price: 120 euros per night!!! And we were upgraded..... from what?!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
8 Thank Minajoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vaucelles, Propriétaire at Chateau des Riffets, responded to this review, September 12, 2011
Thanks to trip Advisor to let me give the following answer .

Depressed you looked when you arrived , slightly worse when you left my dear V……. . Everybody knows how useful it can be to find an outlet to cure frustration !
I realize how fond of writing you are ; I had 14 mails from you to book a room …I spent quite a lot of time answering them, trying to find the services requested , horse club for example ( but that was of no use ) , and I can’t remember having be thanked for it …
I understand that the week end with your « intermittent friend ( that’s what you said ! ) working during the night , not going out very often or on his own when you were staying in was not exactly what you had dreamt of !!
So naturally , you had time to look for dust ( it may happen ) or children finger marks on the front door..More’over , grumbling after an ancient genuine coonfortable bath , 150 years old , that’s so many guests admire and wouldn’t like us to change ! ( But , you didn’t say a word of the second bathroom with a modern multijets shower , radio , chromotherapy , turkish bath usually given with the suite only !! )
What about the park ? All visitors admire and congratulate us as soon as they arrive …
I understand that working as a civil servant in Her Majesty’s post can be stressing , but you must also admit that we can treat every weariness ..
Floor slightly crunchy under foot ? 150 years old wooden floor sometimes make noise ( ancient thing are different from the new , but that sometimes add to the charm !) . Even the bed entirely new didn’t find your agreement !!
I admit that the bed side lamp needed attention . I repaired it as soon as possible . And apparently a norman wardrobe door can be hard to open, strange ..
As to « rotting » food in the room , wouldn’t it be the remains of the smoked chicken you subreptiously bought at the nearest supermarket , and ate in the little extra salon we opened graciously ? You probably ignored it was not allowed moreover there is a special little dîning room on the ground floor , we open for « picnic » . What about your courage ? Well , anyway , when you left you pretented i t was because of a serious problem at home you didn’t want to mention …
In France , we have a saying for all that , we could translate by « give your dog a bad name and hang it » .
For your next love meeting one piece of advice , don’t choose a castle receiving guests but rather a five star hotel . They have lots of slaves used to get unjustified recriminations , stoically
Nevertheless , I hope it won’t put an end to our long love story with the british and England , we are so addicted to them….
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
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  • Rooms
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Santa Monica, California
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2011

We stayed here one night on our road trip through Brittany and Normandy. It was beautifully peaceful. M and Mme CANTET are delightful and speak beautiful English, even though we also spoke French with them. The room was decorated with old warm furniture and art work, and the views out to the meadows were wonderful. We were shown the sheep barn and the pony, and the two dogs came out walking with us and our host in the morning. There are chaise lounges near the pool and under the trees. The breakfast was fantastic, with homemade croissants that M CANTET made himself, and eggs, sliced sausages and coffee. The bed was a little too bouncy for us, so the sleep quality was not that great, and the bath/shower combination was the kind where you have to sit down in the tub and use the hand held nozzle. You cannot stand up to shower because water would go everywhere. The bathroom floors are wood, so you definitely don't want to soak them with water. I don't know why they can't rig up a shower curtain. Without going into detail about physical problems, I will just say I do not feel comfortable sitting or crouching in a bathtub to take a shower. So the result was, I did not take a shower in the morning, but waited to get to the next town. It's too bad, in such a luxurious place otherwise. I would recommend this place, but probably will not have cause to go there again. Mainly we wanted a quiet place from which to explore the Caen area and the beaches.

Room Tip: I only saw one room, so I don't know
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JulieJ8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Netherlands
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2010

We stayed here two nights with my wife and two children (aged 11 and 13)

The location just south of Caen is perfect with all the major sites close by (Caen, Memorial War/Peace Museum, the D-Day beaches, War Cemeteries, and Bayeux. The chateau stands in a very secluded spot in a huge park just outside a small village. There's a pool that my kids loved.

There are just 4 rooms (of which 2 are suites sleeping 4 people). They are comfortable with some amazing furniture and some quirky elements such as a fabulous Victorian bathtub and a funky shower with steam, pulsating jets, a radio and lightshow.

The owners (Monsieur et Madame Cantel) are wonderful, gracious hosts. They welcomed us with tea and biscuits - it felt almost as if we were house guests.

The Chateau was acquired by Madame Cantel’s father. It was occupied during WWII and used as an HQ for a German regiment. It was damaged by the allies after D-Day as they pushed through Normandy. The tower was lost but the rest has been wonderfully restored. There is a painting of the Chateau in its original state in the dining room – it was painted by one of the German Officers who stayed there. I am sure there are many more stories that the hosts could tell.

Unfortunately, Madame no longer cooks dinners for guests (there are some great local restaurants a short drive away) but she does prepare a terrific breakfast. It is served family style with all the guests together, in a similar fashion to Inns in America. We met two friendly Austrian ladies while we were there.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tweateritic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Israel
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 22, 2010

I can only reiterate the superlatives of the previous reviewer. We were two couples traveling together in Normandy and stayed two nights, and would have loved to stay more. The grounds are gorgeous, the house stunning, the rooms large and comfortable. There is a covered swimming pool. There is free hi-speed WIFI in the house.

Alain and Ann-Marie were perfect hosts. There are two regular rooms and two suites. We ordered the regular rooms at 120 Euros but they had last minute cancellations and upgraded us to the suites with no extra charge. The restaurant they recommended was fabulous and reasonably priced. I cannot say enough good things about the place and our hosts.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dans489
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2010

My wife and I stayed here one night in May during a month long visit to France. It is an old chateau located in the village of Bretteville sur Laize, a few miles south of Caen. Built on the foundation of an early William the Conqueror hunting lodge and surrounded by a pretty green park, it was damaged in the war (bombed because the Germans were using it). But its current life is quite happy with large rooms furnished with antiques. We had a large and elegant room with a four poster bed on the second floor that was quite comfortable. The environment is beautiful and peaceful. A good base for exploring this part of Normandy. The place is run by a Alain and Anne-Marie Cantel who are both warm and gracious hosts. They serve a delicious breakfast and provided some helpful information regarding local sites. At their suggestion, we had a very good dinner at a small restaurant in the village. The night’s stay was 120 Euros (including breakfast). English is spoken. I would happily go back.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cal_Prof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Chateau des Riffets

Property: Chateau des Riffets
Address: les Riffets, 14680 Bretteville-sur-Laize, France
Location: France > Normandy > Basse-Normandie > Calvados > Bretteville-sur-Laize
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bretteville-sur-Laize
Number of rooms: 90
Also Known As:
Chateau Des Riffets France/Bretteville-Sur-Laize

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