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“Super Hospitality made the SFF even better!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Clos de Vaul Creux

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Clos de Vaul Creux
Ranked #5 of 10 Sark B&B and Inns
Guernsey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Super Hospitality made the SFF even better!”
Reviewed July 21, 2013

My friend and I recently stayed here during the annual Sark Folk Festival, which is the busiest time of the year in Sark. The proprietor Leigh was a gracious host and nothing was too much trouble. Our baggage was waiting in the room for us when we arrived. The room was in fact a family room which enabled another friend to join us for the second evening. Leigh had no issue with this arrangement and was very accommodating with fresh towels and room service. The room didn't have a shower, but a bath was perfectly sufficient. The breakfast was superb. We sat outside and had a combination of a continental breakfast and a full English cooked breakfast. There was no rush to move on, even though Sark was very busy this weekend, and we enjoyed the lovely atmosphere of the garden. I was impressed at how the place boasted a lovely lounge with an 'honesty bar', library area and games for adults and children. This particular weekend carried a premium but we were prepared for that with it being SFF. It was very welcoming. I would certainly stay here again.

Room Tip: We stayed in a ground floor family room which linked 2 rooms via a bathroom. Would be lovely for a f...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jerry T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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81 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2013

We stayed for a week in the Clematis room in June. The owner Leigh was very welcoming and made us feel at home. The guest house has a delightful ambience with an eclectic and interesting mix of furniture and decoration that rewards an inquisitive eye. Leigh is a wonderful cook; the cooked breakfast was excellent with all ingredients sourced locally and croissants freshly baked. An evening meal is also available and can be pre-ordered to individual tastes. Lobster is a must, caught the same day.

There is a large garden to enjoy with plenty of comfortable garden swing sofas and Leigh makes freshly baked scones and chocolate brownies. Also available in an outside building is a business suite that has comfortable chairs and computers to use. Bicycles are handy and can be hired for a reasonable price just round the corner. Sark is a unique community and aesthetically very pleasing. Staying in a guest house rather than a hotel encourages you to find out more about the island and although we were slightly apprehensive as we have always stayed in hotels when on holiday before, on Sark at the Clos De Vaul Creux the guest house experience is to be recommended. We would certainly like to make a return visit soon.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Angie-and-David
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LeighGibbins, Public Relations Manager at Clos de Vaul Creux, responded to this review, July 20, 2013
Thank you very much for your kinds words, you were a pleasure to have as guests and we would welcome you and David back any time, i'll get busy baking for next time you arrive !

Best Wishes,
Leigh :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2013

My wife and I stayed at the end of May (with friends) on a visit to the island.

The guesthouse is in a useful location, situated just off the eastern end of the main street that runs through the centre of Sark.

The rooms and interior common areas are well kept, tidy and, most importantly, very clean. The same can be said for the grounds surrounding the house, which consist of a patio and large garden area with plenty of tables and seating for the guests. We had a lot of sunshine during our visit, so we were able to make good use of the outdoor space at the guesthouse in the middle of the day when the relatively cool breeze wasn’t so strong – this was a plus.

Upon entering the guesthouse at the rear of the property, you’ll notice the low ceilings throughout. While this didn’t pose an issue for us, it would be a problem for taller people (6’3” +). If you can imagine a ceiling that sits marginally above the height of a standard door frame, this gives a rough idea of the level. Also, you’ll notice that the ceiling lights are either recessed or are placed in strange out-of-the-way locations in most of the rooms as a result. The low ceilings may even be part of the reason for the owner’s insistence on guests removing shoes in previous reviews – to make them seem an inch higher! In any case, no such request was made upon our visit.

Each bedroom has a welcome note which is accompanied by some useful info about the island and also, more specifically, the guesthouse. Having read the note upon arrival, I was compelled to take a photo of it, and have an excerpt copied (exactly word-for-word, letter-for-letter from the photo) below. This is no joke:

‘We love our guests they give us joy, and heartache at times, but when you come back I know its been worthwhile. So above all thank you for choosing us. WE care, sometime that's stupid but know that you are special to us.’

A couple of questions came to mind when I read this initially, but these were answered during the stay and I have commented on as appropriate below.

On our first day we noted that there was no hot water in our bathroom in the evening. From speaking to other guests/friends staying there, this was a common trend throughout the house, and left us trying to shower with some seriously, eye wateringly cold water. When we highlighted this to the owner the next morning she said that we probably weren’t leaving the water running long enough to let it heat up. Being honest, I personally tried to shower with the water having given it at least 5 mins to warm up, and the longer I left it running the colder it was getting - so it was pretty obvious that the heating hadn’t been turned on. This was rectified on our second day, thankfully, but reoccurred on the evening of our third day, which was indicative of unwillingness to heat water in the evenings despite complaints from guests. Bottom line, if you need to have a shower in the evening, you’d better get ready to chew ice.

On a similar note, our room was quite cold, probably due to being on the shaded side of the house, but this fact was negated by the presence of an electric heater in the room, which just about did the job. The central heating was not turned on at any point as far as I’m aware.

Breakfast is served from 9-10AM in the morning and is quite a pleasant experience. There are some cereals and croissants to choose from and hot breakfast (ranging from full fried breakfast to scrambled eggs) can be ordered from a menu. We were served by a competent and attentive young lady each morning for the duration of our stay and the standard of food was better than satisfactory on each occasion. However, on the last morning we set our alarm for 8.20 to ensure we had time to wake up in plenty of time for breakfast. At approximately 8.30 we discovered a note, which must have been posted under the door that morning. It was to inform us that breakfast had been brought forward to accommodate guests who were getting the 9AM ferry. The note seemed to suggest that we’d have to order cooked breakfasts earlier than the norm, which wasn’t going to give us much time. We hurriedly got ready and went out to breakfast, despite the fact that our own ferry wouldn’t be leaving until 11AM. Apparently the same panic was seen elsewhere in the house, where another guest actually saw the note being posted under the door *after* 8AM, the time when breakfast was supposed to commence. We were then told that there was no need to panic and to take our time, which was a complete u-turn, in truth. It would appear that the owner had a change of heart when she realised how annoyed this had made some of the guests. To simply inform us on the previous night would have made the suggestion of bringing breakfast forward perfectly acceptable and would have served to alleviate the resulting frustration. It seemed as though the owner didn't want to have to accommodate all guests for breakfast, despite their varying time requirements, but made a hames in executing her intended workaround.

A gripe I have to mention is the lack of room cleaning on our third day at the accommodation. As with the other days, we placed the sign requesting a cleaning outside the door, but to no avail on this occasion. Perhaps it’s a Sunday thing, as the majority of cafes and shops seem to be closed on Sunday, but we weren’t warned that this would be the case as far as the room was concerned.

Further items to note include:

- the lack of locks, which seems to be par-for-the-course on Sark, from talking to others. This is not a big problem but did mean the guests had to cart valuables around with them, which was an annoyance.

- the ceilings and walls are seemingly paper-thin in Clos de Vaul Creux. Any noise can be heard throughout the house. Again, more of an annoying reality than a major issue.

- WIFI is apparently Monday to Friday only, as I couldn’t pick up the signal on Sat/Sun

When the time for check-out came, there was a clear issue. We had been quoted £100 per night on every prior occasion throughout the booking process. My wife looked after the booking, but was unfortunately not with me when paying. When asked to pay £330 for the room for the 3 nights, I mentioned to the owner that £100 was the price we were quoted. She proceeded to show me the dockets for everybody’s room during the stay and said that everybody was paying £110 per night – basically she seemed ready for the challenge. As I didn’t really have any basis to argue, and my wife was elsewhere, I hesitantly paid the amount asked in fear that I had mistakenly taken the quoted rate to be £100. While on the ferry back to Guernsey, we were speaking to friends who had been misled in the exact same way - quoted £100 over the phone, but being billed for £110. This is an underhand and dubious tactic. Normally, situations like his could be attributed to simple misunderstanding, but as it happened to at least one other couple, it is clearly bad practice on the part of the owner. It left a bad taste in the mouth as we travelled back to Guernsey, unable to do anything about it.

This brings me back to the off-the-wall quote from the welcome note I’ve included above. Leigh mentions the ‘heart-ache’ that guests have caused her – which I can imagine is down to complaints about her poor organisation skills and under-quoting/overbilling of customers. I can’t imagine there is much in the way of repeat visitors to her guesthouse, and this is something she took advantage of when I was paying for the bill. Expressing her ‘love’ for the guests is ridiculous, and to suggest that it is sometimes ‘stupid’ to care about the guest reflects the impression I received first hand – guests are a necessary evil to Leigh’s grand plan of the magnificent guesthouse that is Clos de Vaul Creux.

To sum up an accurate and fair review, Clos de Vaul Creux is in an idyllic setting on the wonderful island of Sark, and is undoubtedly a nice guesthouse at a first glance. It has its flaws (e.g. sound insulation, low ceilings, difficult to shower in a bath surrounded by carpet with no screen & the issue of no locks on the doors) as far as accommodation is concerned, but none of these are deal-breakers. It really suffers badly as a result of chronic mismanagement. All of the major issues I’ve noted can be corrected by a change in attitude of the owner. However, with the evidence of numerous existing complaints, it does not appear that there is an acknowledgement/acceptance of the issues from Leigh, let alone attempts to remediate them. I recommend finding an alternative, with no mitigating comment.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Defc0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LeighGibbins, Public Relations Manager at Clos de Vaul Creux, responded to this review, July 20, 2013
I'm interested that you felt such a detailed and analytical review was needed after we were selected by the bride and groom as a whole house booking for their extended family to stay for their wedding party on Sark.
Myself and my team took every care to make sure you had the best stay possible. Sark is different and services are not mains provided, water is from my bore hole and my property is individual. I had two new water pumps installed to ensure greater pressure throughout the property to meet increased demands.
Prior to your arrival we prepared outside and inside table decorations with fresh cut white flowers,made sure every room was fresh and welcoming. Two sets of ironing boards were set up for your use. Prior to being selected we were carefully reviewed and rooms were allocated by the bride and groom according to the guest's height.
Some of the wedding party chose to stay close to the reception in a major hotel on the island with room prices vastly higher than mine - however you and your party stayed in a Guest House, critiquing this property as if it was a hotel is rather unfair.
We do not provide 24 hour service. When wedding guests are coming and going to different events over a three day period, preparing, (ironing dresses), it is very difficult to access and service empty rooms during the morning when cleaning so we asked guests if they wished a service and did so accordingly.The third morning was the end of your stay as planned with a late check out.
I am dismayed after these careful plans by others and myself that you felt this way. The words said to me by members of your party during their stay and as they left did not convey this sentiment at all. I offer my apologies that you felt as you did yet not a word said whilst you were here. Thank you for your view point on our welcome letter, this has been altered.
Regards
Leigh Gibbins
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guernsey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Warm welcome but that was unfortunately where the 'warmth' stopped. Rooms were pleasant however there was no heating on (which seems to be a recurring theme, based on previous reviews) and several of the party slept fully clothed. Breakfast was however very good. Unfortunately we were not prepared to stay for the second night that we had booked as it was so cold yet still ended up paying for the second night, which was disappointing. If we had been warned that the heating would not be on (maybe there was a problem?) we could have been more prepared, or considered alternative arrangements at an earlier time. Shame - it would have been lovely if it were warmer...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Honeybee240
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LeighGibbins, Owner at Clos de Vaul Creux, responded to this review, July 20, 2013
Dear Reviewer,
this was a delightful party that had had the property inspected twice over. When I was there and when I arranged for it to be opened in winter for inspection. As you reviewed another hotel I take it you we not with us that night, had you been there you would have known that the sailor that brought the party over, after all boats to the island were cancelled due to violent waters, broke parts of his boat bringing the party across. The weather was so bad. The boat owner told me they spent almost an hour trying to get off the boat. The elderly gent was hand lifted onto the quay in the end. It was terrifying were his words. The party was soaked to the bone. They arrived about 8pm. shaking with cold and shock. I offered tea and log fires but an obligation the other side of the island had them off walking in the dark. The central heating was on full and constant but I put an extra electric heater in the elderly man's room to give additional warmth (it was not used - pity and the radiator in the room above where the elderly lady was, had been turned off at the thermostate too.) After I showed them to their rooms I retired but I was called on just before 10oc as the gents medication was lost somewhere. So I called our carter and the wedding hotel they had visited (who was not answering their phone) and the boat owner. We had searchers everywhere and my doctor's telephone number was at hand should an emergency occur or reassurance needs be. The party was still clutching their sodden coats but all the help I could raise bar the doctor was done and the gent did not want to bother the doctor.
At breakfast I learnt that the party was decamping to the wedding reception hotel as without the man's medication it was a sensible option. The bag was left on the Guernsey quay, in the bad weather no one had seen it.
The lady who booked this with me said thank you and she said she had a great sleep and was confused at the action to decamp. The elderly gent held my face cupped in his hands and said 'You're a lovely lady.'
Sark has no transport for people so walking so much was a challenge anyway and as accommodation providers we can facilitate but the action is not for us to take especially when others are present.
I'm very glad that all had a good time at the wedding,
My very best wishes
Leigh Gibbins
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ironbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
106 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2012

I love Sark, and have stayed on the island several times, either camping, or Bed and Breakfast.

I was looking forward to staying here.We had decided to pay a little extra, and treat ourselves for the last night of our holiday. The Jasmine Room looks delightful on the clever photographs, and indeed the bedlinen is very nice. The rest of the room is fine, and the "ensuite" is adequate. This is as positive as I can be. Breakfast was an anxious, poorly executed affair , waking up in the morning to the clatter of dirty dishes in the kitchen directly visible from the spiral staircase, and the general feeling that we were an inconvenience meant that we could not wait to leave.

This is neither luxury hotel,or a charming B and B. There are better options available at either end of market.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank kathrynanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2012

We stayed here over the August bank holiday weekend and had high hopes for the accomodation and in particular our room that we reserved, called Wisteria.

Much to our surprise the room door did not have a lock and on our second day someone tried to enter the room whilst we were sleeping, luckily we wedged the door shut with a chair & so the lady(unknown guest having just bathed next door to us) could not force herself all the way through without disrupting us whereby she was stopped in her tracks.

The central heating was off the entire time we were there making for a very cold sleep each night. All kitchen cooking smells travelled up the stairs and lingered in our room, including evening meals of the owners.

The breakfast arrangements were very good and we can recommend the cooked breakfast.

All in all, we found the accomodation disappointing, the customer experience poor and felt sad and relief upon our departure.

One silver lining though was the ferry ride back; which in fact turned out to be the cargo boat and not passenger ferry much to our delight. In contrast to the ferry the crew were cheerful, helpful and the vessel far superior in seating and outside viewing arrangements.

We'll return to Sark via cargo boat and will book into the Dixcart Hotel paying a little more to recieve much more.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RussellGB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guernsey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2012

We spent a long weekend at Clos de Vaul Creux, with our and our freinds dogs.
We were welcomed and shown to our room. (The one that others seem to hate up the spiral staircase) it was clean, tidy. yes the spiral staircase is a little steep but the two dogs could get up and down it as could we. the pumped water supply was a little nosy but there is no mains water in Sark.
After a great freshly cooked breakfast on the saturday morning, we were asked if everything was ok, as the owner was a little concerned whether there were problems with the dogs accessing the room. She went out of her way to arrange for us to move rooms, as she wanted to ensure everyone had a good stay.
Yes it is a bit quircky, but then again so is Sark as a whole. if you are looking for a 5* hotel with a charactor that could be anywhere, this is not for you. if you are looking to stay in a quaint, quirky house and feel welcomed into someones home it may well be up your street.

Room Tip: if you are not into quircky and differnt rooms, the Jasmine room may not be for you, but the sun ris...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ogrigsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Clos de Vaul Creux

Property: Clos de Vaul Creux
Address: Rue Lucas, GY10 1SG
Location: United Kingdom > Channel Islands > Sark
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Sark
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Clos de Vaul Creux 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This distinctive guest house is privately owned and run by Leigh and her team. She offers elegant accommodation with a friendly ambiance, close to the cross roads in the center of the island with all amenities. Uniquely designed bedrooms all en suite. We can accommodate up to 14 people and welcome children or all ages,multi generation parties, and well behaved dogs. Evening meals, BBQ, lazy lunches and afternoon teas for guests and non residents in a glorious tranquil garden setting are offered from 9am to 9pm Tuesday to Sunday inclusive. And breakfast from 9am to 12pm. We have a liquor licensee for our resident guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clos De Vaul Creux Sark, Channel Islands

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