Have a look at the website for Le Mas Candille or read most of the five star reviews on Tripadvisor, and you would expect a perfect oasis of calm in the beautiful Cote d'Azur.
Having paid more than €400 a night for the privilege, we encountered something very different.
Our room - in a modern separate building to the original Mas that looked like an upmarket Travelodge - was perfectly functional and large, but lacking any tangible charm. This was confirmed when we opened the curtains through to the balcony to be greeted by a charming of the hotel car park.
The far bigger issue was that we failed to find anywhere in the hotel grounds that was peaceful where we could relax.
By the main pool? No, because it is designed in such a way that all of the sun loungers are crammed in to one corner so you have as much space as on the beach at Cannes, and because the restaurant and bar is next to the pool, and because, despite notices politely asking parents not to allow children under 16 in the pool area this was frequently flouted and ignored by staff, and because the predominant background noise was the air conditioning and extractor fan of the hotel kitchen.
In the small garden below the pool with lovely views? No, because it's right next to the children's pool and right next to the plumbing and machinery of the main swimming pool.
In the rest of the (very beautiful) gardens with again lovely views? No, because there are not chairs or sunloungers set up away from the pool area.
Surely in the relaxation area by the spa? Er, no, because it's right next door to the open air gym and the problem with under 16s again.
In fact, the only place where you get that promised peace, quiet and charm is on the terrace of the old house over breakfast (which at €28 a head should be a lot better with hot breakfast cooked to order).
We raised this problem with the hotel and to be fair, the staff were perfectly civil. But when we raised it with the owner afterwards his response was that staying in any 5 star hotel at this time of year for less than €400 is 'very competitive' and that he would 'look into' the issue of noise and children in areas where the hotel says they should not be.
Add in a few lapses of service - no water in our room for two days (after two phone calls we eventually went to reception to pick it up ourselves and were then billed for the privilege of something that should have been free) - and those annoying grubby touches that some hotels don't realise really annoy people (asking for a bottle of water over lunch and being automatically served the most expensive one, ditto asking for some glasses or champagne, or - my favourite - having to buy a travel adaptor from the minibar if you have forgotten one), and you get a hotel where you struggle to see how it got its five stars and why so many people think it is so good.
Seriously, if your idea of peace and quiet is a beach just off the Croisette in Cannes, perfect. Stay here.
If not, and you think a hotel should have to earn the money you give it and should have to live up to its billing, stay somewhere else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Le Mas Candille hotel and spa is a luxurious Relais & Chateaux hotel just a short 10 minute walk away from the medieval village of Mougins, nestled in a secluded 4 hectare park, 7 km away from Cannes and only 25 minutes drive from Nice airport. The Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Candille, offers a truly gastronomic experience serving innovative and tasty cuisine within an elegant setting. Our poolside restaurant "Le Pergola" offers more relaxed dining by our main pool. The luxury hotel also boasts an exclusive Spa, with products by ESPA. The ideal cocooning getaway for relaxing, resting and savouring a perfect escape on the French Riviera. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Mas Candille Mougins
- Le Mas Candille Hotel Mougins