My husband & I stayed here during our honeymoon. We only spent one night here but it was an interesting experience to say the least. While the chateau is one the most stunning & beautiful places I have ever seen, our one night here started off on the worst foot. To start, let me say that the chateau is located in a very small town, where almost no one speaks English. This is also not at all like a traditional hotel where it’s open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, with staff on hand at all times. With that being said, my husband & I arrived on a cold rainy Tuesday afternoon only to find that the large main gate was locked. We spent an hour driving & walking around the town, in the rain, trying to find a way onto the property or at the very least, someone to help us. After an hour, a gentleman pulled up to the gate & attempted to help us. Although he didn’t speak any English & I only speak minimal French, he understood that we were locked out of the chateau & needed to check in. He tried calling the chateau number a few times but there was no answer. Luckily, he knew a chateau employee & was able to call that individual to come help us. Fabian arrived a few moments later & informed us that he didn’t have anyone booked to stay at the chateau tonight, guests were scheduled to arrive 2 days later. After looking at my confirmation email & the deposit I’d already paid for my reservation, he realized his error & rushed to get everything ready for us. This involved unlocking the gates, unlocking the entire chateau, turning on lights, opening the shutters, turning on the heat, etc. Since no one bothered to mark down our reservation, there was not one single soul on the entire chateau premises. Fabian did everything in his power to make the remainder of our stay enjoyable, though. His customer service was exceptional. After the stress of thinking we were never going to get into the chateau, I wanted a glass of wine to drink. Luckily, Fabien had some for us to enjoy immediately. The chateau itself was amazing! We did not experience any of the cleanliness issues other guests have mentioned on this site. However, we stayed in a Tower room & I do think there is a bat somewhere in one of the windows in the bathroom area as there were very creepy, bat-like noises coming from there all night long. The grounds were beautiful; both the dinner & breakfast Fabian prepared for us were wonderful; our room was breathtaking. The whole chateau is something straight out of a movie or book. However, had it not been for the gentleman who stumbled upon us that afternoon, we would never have been able to stay here. We would have been forced to drive 3 hours back to Paris & find another hotel (one that’s actually opened everyday, with staff actually there!) for the night. We read reviews prior to booking this place & one couple mentioned arriving to check in only to learn their reservation was never saved or marked down. Turns out they booked through a third-party. We thought booking directly through the chateau website would help us to avoid having this issue. Clearly, that’s not the case. Furthermore, Fabian admitted to us during our stay that the owner tried to remind him a week prior that he had guests staying at the chateau on that Tuesday afternoon yet he thought she was incorrect & ignored her reminder. After all this was said & done, we checked out the next morning to learn we’d be charged for the bottle of wine Fabien gave us & the full amount for the dinner he prepared. It’s not that I have an issue paying for this but I felt some service recovery was warranted, seeing as how we were first greeted by a locked gate, next greeted by being told we had no reservation with them, & last told that the owner of the chateau remembered our reservation but not the actual employees there. My husband has a few years of Marriott hotel experience & I have a few more years of both Marriott & Hilton hotel experience (I currently work for Hilton) and I can assure you a situation like this would NEVER have been handled this way! At the very least, a complimentary bottle of wine would have been provided (we had to pay for ours!) or a discount on a meal offered (we had to pay full price, $150!). I understand I’ve written a novel here & I’m sorry. I just want to caution future guests who might stay here. Just because you book through the website & just because you pay a deposit, does not at all mean you will actually have a reservation here. This experience certainly put a bit of a damper on our honeymoon experience in France. I can assure you, our experience was definitely not worth 600 euros!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An Elegant Neo Gothic Chateau on the western Loire Valley. Renovated in Luxurious style from and era past.Hosting B&B Suites as well as Magnificent Events,Weddings and Private parties.Located in the countryside with easy accesses to Large towns and historical Places.You may come as a stranger but you will leave as a friend. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chateau De Challain Hotel Challain-La-Potherie
- Chateau De Challain La Potherie