Given there is no separate listing for the restaurant and the hotel and I would like to review both, then I shall do them both in turn. We stayed here with a group of friends for 2 nights and had dinner upon arrival.
The ambience at the restaurant is superb, the combination of stone fronted walls, "still life" type photography on large canvasses, ceramic fruit and veg under glass domes (why Nicolas the owner does not consider selling them at commission is beyond me, they are beautiful!) Open style kitchen visible from most tables adds a nice touch, as do the wooden holders for menus, etc, and then there is lovely food. Lovely amuse bouche of marinated anchovy was a nice surprise, the lobster ravioli entree also very good even if pasta was significantly overcooked so much so that meat was almost sitting separately hidden by white foam of something indiscernible. The main, however, of le loup (sea bass) fish with confit of lemon served with lovely mixture of sun dried tomato and veggies, was excellent. My friends had sweetbreads, which was too large and too rich on its own, it would have been better accompanying small piece of meat. Service, mostly by Nicolas the owner was attentive and unobtrusive. Ambience is amazing and makes up for any shortfalls. Good value restaurant a must when staying in surrounding villages of Callian, Montareux or Fayance.
As to hotel, overall, it was good, rooms full of eclectic nic-nacs, clean, with decent toiletries and cosy interiors (though no sunblock at all on windows, so bring eye mask if light bothers you). There was funny musky smell on the ground floor and the stairways we couldn't tell why, and friends in room Rose and the double around the corner from them had noise issues, as many rooms have swinging type doors in the bathroom, and they make horrid noise resounding in other rooms. We all said we would stay here again, however a particular experience with one member of stuff has spoilt the whole experience for us. The certain Ms Hellmuth who took care of front desk on Sunday and Monday, 4 of us who were in 3 different rooms are frequent travelers but none of us experienced anything like it. It seems the person is either untrained, or really hates her job.
It started with the fact that this staff member was responsible for breakfast, she was unfriendly, did not fill egg cooker with sufficient water, eggs literally half cooked, she just simply showed no care for any of the patrons. Later in the afternoon, we were going out and were loudly told by her that the hotel will be shut (this is at 4pm on a Sunday). Why was not made clear to us as she spoke German, she has to leave, this much we understood. She got extremely annoyed when a group of 6 guests arrived to hinder her "escape". We found it amazing that a hotel could shut just like that with not a single person in a hotel to welcome guests. Ms Hellmuth told us we can use our keys to get back into the door she was so desperate to shut and escape. Imagine our surprise when we returned from our drinks in the village later in the afternoon (La Gloire de mon Per - excellent setting and service just down the road from the hotel), to find the door locked and noone around, and our keys not working at all. We knocked on every door, and getting increasingly anxious about it, were "rescued" by another guest nearly an hour later. What this staff member did not bother to tell us is that there was little tag on our key with some sort of code that has to be used, and 2 of our keys had no such tag at all.
However, the following morning took the cake. As she was desperate to escape Sunday night, we asked her to book us a taxi for 18.45 as we had restaurant booking at Moulin de la Camandoule in Fayence (excellent place!) at 7pm. We asked in English and there was at least 3 of us to witness the request. She rang someone. No taxi showed up, we were anxious to miss our booking at Camandoule, to cut the long story short, she booked it for an hour later, which Nicholas the owner discovered when he luckily happened to pass through the hotel in the evening, as when no taxi could be had, ended up driving us there in his personal car, which we much appreciated. To make matters worse, the next morning Ms Hellmuth started her discourse with us upon check out, with the following: "there was misunderstanding last night... you told me X, it was your fault". We were shocked! We were there and heard, and even if all 4 of us were wrong, good service would have dictated that she said "I am so sorry for the taxi issue last night", no, she argued, pulled faces and was sarcastic and rude. Then she announced in loud German (only one of our party spoke German) that bill is to be paid, and then in English that the restaurant bill from night before was split in 4 already, how, why was never explained. She refused to produce the restaurant bill so that we could at least sort out amongst ourselves, since we all had different things the night before. When I suggested that to make things easier in the future, maybe it would help if they asked if the guests want the bill split in this manner and then have no hope of reconstructing it, she sarcastically answered that she was "sorry for our problem", and when we pointed out that there was no need for sarcasm, pulled a face and was extremely rude. To be honest, we felt treated as badly as the owners' dog that for whatever reason she dragged out of breakfast room where everyone was more than happy to pet it, and chained it to heater in the front room. Awful service, that left terrible aftertaste and decision that we would try to stay somewhere else next time. Shame really because the owners are lovely people who clearly have put their heart and soul into the hotel in the 6 years since buying it.
If the rude woman wasn't there, I would recommend this hotel most certainly, especially as its great value 73 euros for single and 115 for double (and same for twin my friend and I shared (room called Patchouli which is lovely). Beds are very good; 15 euros for breakfast is probably not worth it but its convenient. Bonus of the gorgeous restaurant for dinner is what makes it particularly a worthwhile stay.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Des Deux Rocs