Chateau St. Gerlach is a lovely state and we spend a few summer days every year. We like visiting CSG for its lovely gardens, landscape and surroundings. Valkenburg is a pretty little town with much of a holiday feeling and a charming ambiance of an old fashioned resort town.
Although the decor is tired and dated, the hotel rooms and apartments are pleasant and comfortable. The staff is pretty amicable for Dutch standards and the food at its bistro and restaurants is excellent.
It is clear that the hotel aims to excel as a four star hotel and to live up to the expectations created by the fantastic estate and the ambitious restoration project that turned this once dilapidated chateau into a fine hotel. However, its also easy to see that the hotel is fraying around the edges:
1. As mentioned, the decor, which may have been effective when the hotel open its doors ca. 20 years ago is clearly outdated and looks frankly tired. In order to keep with its own standards, the hotel needs an urgent facelift.
2. The cleaning is poor and superficial. The common areas are in great shape and kept very well. The rooms are cleaned superficially and you can see large amounts of dust collecting on high furniture and window sills. Dead insects are left for years in the highest window sills. The cleaning service takes less than 15 minutes to clean a whole apartment and, by the time the staff is gone, you can find the same dusty spots and even papers in the floor.
3. The sheets and towels have an unpleasant chemical odor, which is unacceptable for a hotel which prides on wellness, nature and environmental friendliness. Sheets are not replaced during your stay, unless you specifically request for it.
4. Amenities are not replenished daily, unless you ask for it.
5. We did have a bed turn down service only once, during our four day stay. Yet, we were charged daily 45 Euros for the 'turn down service' for a sofa bed.
6. The breakfast is adequate, but no more than the average Dutch hotel breakfast. Almost everything is of good quality but nothing remarkable, creative of special. A shame, considering the high standards of the hotel's cuisine.
7. The swimingpool seems to be a sore spot. It is pretty, well maintained, clean, warm and spacious. But it is part of the SPA and, obviously, the SPA experience. The problem is that it is a swimingpool destined both for relaxation and recreation. Guests who are after a relaxing time are disappointed to find a swimingpool full of children. There are clear etiquette rules on how should children behave in the swimingpool (no running, no jumping, no toys). And most parents are good seeing their children follow these rules. But they are still children who like to swim, laugh and have a good time. Childless people, who are after the relaxing experience, frown, pull sour faces and are frankly rude to children and their parents. Its a complex situation, but the hotel will need to address it at some point. It is clear that the hotel needs an outdoor pool for recreation, additional to their relaxation indoor pool.
8. What is absolutely inappropriate and, one of the reasons we (long time customers of Chateau St. Gerlach) may not return is the absolutely unbearable heath in the apartments. They do not have airco. They are extremely poorly ventilated (with minimal windows and no crossed ventilation) and the hotel provides only a couple of very cheap and inefficient fans. They are bothered if you ask for more. During the summer months, the hallways and apartments become unbearably hot. Absolutely unacceptable in a hotel which strongly advertises on luxury, comfort and wellness.
9. The second reason why we may not return to St. Gerlach and why we will stop recommending is the pitiful way in which the hotel attempts to 'make larger profit' by adding charges of items or services that have not been consumed. This is the second year in a row that the hotel attempted to charge us for breakfast that we never consumed. Even more, they attempted to charge also our parents (who were in a separate room) for the very same breakfasts of our room. So the attempted, not only to charge phantom breakfasts, but to charge doubble! And we have read similar situations in other reviews.
What makes matters worst is that when we complained about this, the manager in turn (a blond, short haired lady) was insufferably rude. She informed us that it had been a mistake because the system charges breakfast automatically. And when my husband asked why the system hadn't then 'automatically' charged breakfasts for every day of our stay, she became extremely rude.
This completely ruins the experience of luxury, relaxation, harmony and wellbeing promoted by the hotel.
We do really like to spend time at St. Gerlach, but all these matters need to be addressed swiftly before the hotel looses its true mission, the trust of their costumers and the revenues that faithful customers like is provide every year.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Could anything be more attractive? The irresistibly attractive Geul valley, the marvelous Ingendael wild life reserve, our own extensive parks, stylish baroque gardens, a farmhouse herb garden, a standard-tree fruit arboretum, and a rose garden – features that as such have given cause to the fame of Chateau St. Gerlach.It’s a unique place to escape from the pressures of everyday life. Pamper yourself in true five-star style in these picturesque surroundings, where historic buildings nestle in magnificent countryside. You will find a splendid hotel with 97 hotel rooms, suites and hotel apartments, a la carte Restaurant Chateau St. Gerlach, Bistrot de Liege, Spa & Wellness St. Gerlach, a Roman indoor swimming pool and several meeting and banqueting rooms for business meetings and receptions. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chateau St. Gerlach Hotel Valkenburg
- Chateau St Gerlach Valkenburg