We finished our European driving tour with our final two nights stay at this hotel as the grand finale! We had done our homework and booked via hotels.com after reading the reviews on trip advisor. We thought the location was actually well placed for visiting the champagne houses and it was helpful to be able to leave our car there whilst we wandered around the town and sampled the champagne houses. The road is straight, level and it does only take a max of 15 minutes to walk into the town centre. On arrival we were advised that we had booked a 'standard' room, which made us feel a little underwhelmed - and then we were taken outside and shown our ground floor room. It looked out onto the tall iron gates in the hotel wall, beyond which runs the main road. The room was a decent size, had a large double bed, and a good sized en-suite. The receptionist gave us a brief run down on how to operate the heating system, and advised us that if we wanted breakfast it was available on the first floor of the hotel at a price of 17 euros each! She then left us to fetch our luggage from the car - no offer of assistance was made other than we could use the brolly provided in the wardrobe as it was pouring with rain! On first impressions, the room looked very well appointed, but to be honest the furniture (apart from one small desk) was cheap and mass produced. The small coronet above the bed was hung with two very thin, colourless and depressing linen curtains, they were tucked behind the bedhead, and certainly not mean to be touched. The en-suite had bathrobes and towels, a gorgeous bath, wet room style shower and had complimentary toiletries (as you would expect). We got our luggage in and decided that as they had no restaurant that we would drive into town and see what we could find to eat. To be honest we had just driven 9 hours from the Italian Riviera and we were tired, cold and wet, so we found a Carrefour and bought a picnic and took it back to the room - we then relaxed and went to bed. The people in the room above were banging around for ages - the ceiling and walls were vibrating - not what you want at midnight! The fire alarm woke us up at 6am! We went to reception to be advised that there was a technical fault (fair enough - these things happen) so we went back to bed. We did debate whether to have the 17 euro breakfast but felt this was totally outrageous, so went without. Using the Satnav we found a local international takeaway and went there for a 4euro brunch (we have never done this before, but needs must). We then returned to the hotel, parked up and went into reception to ask their recommendation for the champagne houses in the area. Basically we were told to wander around and go in the ones we liked the look of - genius! So that is what we did - we spent the entire day wandering around, calling in various producers, had a lovely lunch in town, and then wandered back. We were advised by reception that due to the alarm fault, we would be offered a complimentary breakfast in the morning by way of apology so we thanked them and retired to our room. As we had lunched late and very well, we did not want any dinner, so we made the use of the lovely bath, and had a relaxing evening in readiness for our long drive home in the morning. Looking forward to our 17 euro breakfast, we got up, packed and went round to reception. There was nobody to show us where to go, but we climbed the stairs following the instructions that it was served on the first floor. We found our way through a little lounge area into the dining room which looked over the garden. The receptionist advised us how to use the buffet (!) and introduced us to the housekeeper who would look after us. She spoke no English at all. I advised her that we would like tea, which she made and brought to our table and then left us to sort ourselves out. We were totally underwhelmed at the selection - I cannot believe they have the audacity to charge for the breakfast. A selection of tinned fruit salad, dry bread, butter within days of its use by date, cold omelette, some ham and a bit of fresh fruit. We were shocked at the poor quality and general lack of choice - we did have some omelette and when the housekeeper asked if it was ok, I said that it was cold and she replied that she knew, did we want it heated up and that she would turn up the flame under the warmer!! Too little, too late I think. Upon checkout, we were advised by the receptionist yet again that we had booked a standard room, and that they offer four better categories than this, but that they were all luxurious, with fine antiques and of the best quality. We paid 205 euros per night for the room only which seemed overpriced for the service provided and they range up to over 400 euros - we appreciate good quality and are prepared to pay for it, however on this occasion it was very much lacking. We failed to see the relevance of being advised that we had a basic room, other than perhaps as we were classed as second rate guests - we were not offered a tour of the hotel when we arrived so had no idea there was a lounge we could use, we were not offered any assistance with our luggage and were basically treated with indifference.
Overall, this hotel is nowhere near a 5 star - certainly not under UK standards. Yes the location is good, the fabric of the building is beautiful but beyond that, we felt that it is over expensive and lacking in ambience and hospitality. The prices in the mini bar were marked up as you would expect, but by an average of 150%, the breakfast was dire - we can only reason that they charge this rate to pay for the housekeeper (who was surplus to requirements), there was no porter/concierge and generally we were disappointed. We are fortunate to have stayed in hotels all over the world, and can honestly say this is the first time we have felt let down.
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- Also Known As:
- La Villa Eugene Hotel Epernay
- La Hotel Épernay
- La Hotel Eugene
- La Villa Eugene Epernay, France - Champagne-Ardenne