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“Disappointing and overrated”

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Hotel Les Mars, Relais & Chateaux
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Healdsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 21, 2011

I had heard fabulous things about Les Mars from friends and tripadvisor reviewers. I've never been more surprised or disappointed.

For context.. I have been to hotels around the world, from Four Seasons resorts, to boutique hotels, to rustic inns. I have stayed throughout Napa/Sonoma, including Meadowood, Calistoga Ranch, Villagio, the Sonoma hotel and Solage.

My boyfriend and I booked Les Mars for my bday weekend. Frankly, it was nothing more than an expensive b&b. The room was nice, not special. The breakfast was mediocre: orange juice was not fresh-squeezed and the croissants/muffins were stale. (They were fresh on saturday, so I assume they served leftovers on Sunday.) There were 4 different remote controls to operate the tv/cable/dvd/cd player. (The hotel is meant to be 17th century antique, but rather have no TV than complicated outdated technology.) The evening wine/cheese reception was underwhelming: there were 3 small varieties of cheese- no bread/fruits/nuts/olives or any other kind of accompaniments. One would expect more.

On a positive note: beautiful bed, shower, wonderful friendly staff. These things are expected of a luxury hotel, especially Relais & Chateaux. We appreciated the bottle of chardonnay in our room and the nightly chocolates on our bed.

Had this hotel been $250/night, I would’ve been content. But for $600+ it was disappointing. For anyone going to Healdsburg, I’d highly recommend Hotel Healdburg or H2. If you want to spend $600-1000, go to Auberge du soleil.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank VTravelz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ramonlesmars, General Manager at Hotel Les Mars, Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded March 22, 2011

Hello,
Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your comments. I am sorry to hear that the experience was not what you expected. We strive to ensure that every guest's stay is impeccable and consistently superior.

We are proud of our accommodations, given that they have canopied, hand-carved beds with Versai linens and gas fireplaces, along with all-marble bathrooms. All the rooms on the third floor have soaring, 20 foot beamed ceilings, which many of our guests find very dramatic and appealing. Some of the rooms on that floor also have Bain Ultra, hydrotherapy tubs, but unfortunately not all of them do. I am sorry that you found your accommodation only satisfactory, but perhaps if you return, we can ensure that your room type is up to your expectations.

We know that the technology in the rooms is outdated, which is why we are currently installing a simplified system with the latest LED TV's available with a much easier system for controlling the different components. I am sorry that you were one of the last guests to experience the older system. In the very near future, we will also be expanding our breakfast service to include hot items to make it complete.

Our wine and cheese reception is meant to introduce our guests to some wonderful, local wines (of which we always have a few varieties) and artisan cheeses both local and from all over the world. We very often invite a local winery's representative or winemaker to come in and pour a selection of their wines for our guests, which was the case on Friday evening; I am sorry that you seemingly missed that.

In the effort to continue to improve and build upon the experience that we offer, I once again thank you for your comments. I hope that you can experience all of the improvements that we will be making once they are completely; if you decide that you wish to do so, please contact me directly, rserrano@hotellesmars.com.

Best regards,
Ramon Serrano
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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187 - 193 of 239 reviews

Reviewed February 19, 2011

My husband and I recently had the pleasure of staying at this wonderful property. We have stayed in many fine hotels in the USA and Europe and none of them come close to the stay we had here. The staff goes above and beyond to make you feel at home. You are always greeted as you come and go, and they truly have an interest in making sure you are having a memorable experience no matter what you are doing. The room was incredible with a very comfy bed, fireplace, carrera marble bath with a real jacuzzi tub and the finest of linens and amenities. The breakfast in bed comes with silver, fine linens, wonderful pastries and fresh juices and fruit. There is a cheese and wine gathering in the library in the evening, where you can meet other guests and the General Manager and staff. The location is perfect as you step out the front door to the downtown area of Healdsburg and all the fine restaurants and wine tastings. I would highly recommend staying at this hotel to anyone if you are coming to the wine country.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank VacationGirl72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2011

Les Mars is a Chateau Relais rated hotel so one expects a very high standard and we were not disappointed. Situated in the center of Healdsburg within walking distance to great restaurants and a number of tasting rooms its location is superb. The comfort of the four poster bed with fine linens and attention to every detail including a surprise bottle of champagne for my wife's Birthday says a lot for the personal attention of their staff. If it is within the budget for a special occasion we highly recommend it .

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank threeday2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2011

We were well taken care of by Ramon, the GM and his attentive staff! We stayed in a beautiful room with a fireplace, canopy and large jacuzzi bath. The bed had nice linens and was very comfy.

The hotel is very well situated, just off the square. Walking distance to great dining options, shops, and wine tasting rooms.

The library tasting they hosted introduced us to a new winery.

We will return!

  • Stayed: January 2011
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Thank nyersays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2010

From the moment we stepped into the hotel and were greeted by our names and asked about our drive from [name of Hotel in St. Helena], we knew that our stay at Les Mars would be a unique experience. As this hotel only has 16 rooms, the staff was able to provide level of personal service unlike anywhere we've ever stayed. The room was charming and welcoming and the lobby was more like the entrance to a private residence than a commercial chain hotel. The wine and cheese reception each night was lovely and room service breakfast was wonderful. They really have every detail down. We would return to Healdsburg again just to stay at Les Mars.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank HotelDivas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2010

I was lucky enough to stay at the Hotel Les Mars last march with my beautiful girlfriend after a year had past without vacation. I had high expectations of the Les Mars but had every one exceeded by the comfort, courtesy, cleanliness and kindness of the staff and management. I am familiar with Relais and Chateaux properties but this is hands down my favorite.

Should you stay at Les Mars why visiting Wine Country the best thing you can do is schedule enough time inside the rooms which are elegant, clean, and have a feeling that can only be described as luxurious. The second best thing you can do is ask the staff for recommendations or ideas. We found amazing spots (including wineries, restaurants, shops, etc.) we had never heard of which we would never have found if not for the friendly advice of the front desk staff.

My experience at Les Mars has set a standard for luxury hotels and I can not put into words my anticipation to return.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kevin89502
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2010

Les Mars Hotel is quite beautiful, like a French countryside mansion, located in the
quaint town of Healdsburg. It was very central to our winetasting event last month so I emailed the hotel to make reservations for my family (3 rooms). My email was never answered. Luckily and happily, we stayed at Hotel Healdsburg. I did go to Les Mars Hotel because we had dinner reservations at Cyrus Restaurant (its in their building). The French receptionist was very rude and told us the restaurant was not accessible via their lobby and we would have to go outside through another door.

We are happy to have stayed elsewhere and loved the town of Healdsburg.

Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
1  Thank vinobamino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Les Mars, Relais & Chateaux

Address: 27 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448-3827
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > Healdsburg
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Healdsburg
Price Range: $441 - $770 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Les Mars, Relais & Chateaux 4*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opened in May 2005 and created by the Mars family, Hotel Les Mars brings the elegance and unobtrusive service of the finest European family hotels to Northern California. Hotel Les Mars follows the philosophy that patrons should be treated more like visiting friends than guests, and upon entering the lobby, visitors are welcomed to the warm smiles of the hotel staff, unique 17th and 18th century antiques, and a comfort found only at the home of a very good friend. Hotel Les Mars represents an intimate location, a labor of love, and a new dimension of sophisticated, luxury lodging in wine country. Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report, the definitive guide to luxury travel, commented that "Les Mars now sets the standard for luxury accommodations in Sonoma." ... more   less 
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Hotel Les Mars, Relais And Chateaux

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