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“Dreadful - don't ignore the bad reviews”

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Ivy House - Utah Beach Normandy
Wilmslow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Dreadful - don't ignore the bad reviews”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2014

I always use Trip Advisor to help me find great places to stay and visit around the world and up until our stay at Ivy House it had been really helpful in this regard. Where there are lots of good reviews, I usually discount the poor reviews as outliers, unfortunately in the case of Ivy House this was a big mistake as I’m astounded anyone could rate this place as anything better than terrible.

I’d read Harmony 198’s review of 4 August 2013 giving Ivy House a score of 1 and a rating of terrible, but for some reason chose to ignore their factual feedback about the “sticky floors”, “grimey surfaces”, “dirty cutlery” and “mouldy shower”. Indeed I think in the subsequent 9 months things have clearly got considerably worse as to that list I could now add a blocked sink, heating that didn’t work, cobwebs in the cupboards, an inoperable oven, half the upstairs light-bulbs not working, possibly the most uncomfortable sofa I’ve ever sat on and a smell in the place that I could best describe as ‘wet dog’. The picnic area in the pictures is now overgrown and the children’s swing is in such a state of disrepair it’s almost laughable – if it wasn’t so dangerous. I’ve stayed in some awful places in my time, but this really did top the lot.

We weren’t expecting much as we knew that French Gites were basic, no frills accommodation; that Ivy House fell below our low expectations says a lot about just how bad it is. We were booked in for 7 nights, but both of us and the kids (9 & 6) were so uncomfortable and fed up we all just wanted to go home, so we booked an early ferry back (at extra cost) and came back after just 3 nights. A real shame that the Ivy House "experience" spoilt our trip to such a fascinating and historically important place.

If nothing else from the sorry episode, I’ve learned a great lesson in the use of Trip Advisor which is to read and take notice of those ‘poor’ and ‘terrible’ reviews and connect with the reviewers direct. I for one won’t be making the same mistake, although at least that means I won’t have the misfortune to stay somewhere like Ivy House again.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank CTID73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MRSUTHERLAND, Owner at Ivy House - Utah Beach Normandy, responded to this review, May 8, 2014
Dear guest

This review does not come as a big surprise to us and we knew that it would only be a matter of time that it appeared.

We don't want to share too many of the bad experiences we had whilst you were here as we are not in the business of saying bad things. However, we do have the right to express our response bearing in mind that you have taken time to share yours.

Our check in time is 17:30 but you arrived hours earlier without any prior agreement. We were kind enough to leave the gives open for you and when my wife returned to the house, she was very happy to see you all having a glass of wine on the terrace. What she could never have expected was that you would be rude to her the moment she met you.

When I arrived back at the house, my wife was almost in tears by the way you had treated her. I came to see you all and listened to your complaints. It was apparent from the very first moment that I met you that you were not happy with anything. It shocked me to hear the list of things you were complaining about:

No instruction manual for the microwave. Complained that it was a French microwave and not English. We are in France aren't we?
You could not connect your iPad to the FREE Wi-Fi. It would appear that this was an issue with your equipment and not ours as when your son came, his seemed to work perfectly well.
You complained that you were cold despite us putting in extra heaters for you.

The list goes on but I think others reading this will work it out for themselves.

After I listened to you, I politely suggested that should you go somewhere else. I was kind enough to offer that I call other places close by and even offered you a full refund. After a period of time, you told me that perhaps the things you were complaining about were trivial and decided to stay. Bear in mind that I told you many times that I wanted you to have a good time and the last thing we wanted was for you to be more unhappy; hence why I though it was best if you stayed somewhere else. Once more, you declined the offer and we both agreed that was the end of the matter.

A few days later we discover that you left without the decency to tell us that you were leaving. to make matters worse, you then have the cheek to ask for a full refund!

I am not sure if TripAdvisor will publish this without censoring it but if they do, I want to go on record as saying this:

We have had hundreds of guests and hundreds of reviews. For anyone reading our reviews, of course you will read that we have bad ones. We know that we can't please everyone all of the time and we can accept criticism; that is part of dealing with the public. What we will not accept is people being rude to us so if your review helps to deter people like yourselves from staying with us in the future, then this site is worth its weight in gold!

Kind regards,

Andy
Ivy House
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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182 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    145
    25
    6
    2
    4
See reviews for
95
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Scotland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2013

This was our second stay at Ivy House, this time in the Roosevelt Gite. Thoroughly enjoyable holiday once again. The cottage met our expectations and again we were made to feel welcome. The cottage was really clean, comfortable and tidy. The welcome pack was more than sufficient and a really nice touch, it gave us time to pop into Carentan for supplies.
This is the perfect location, not only for exploring the many local historical points of interest but also for relaxing. We love the convenience of Utah beach being only a five minute walk from Ivy house. Ideal for burning off the wares from the pâtisserie.

We would be happy to return to Ivy House again.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank 71DKAJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmslow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2013

We booked Ivy House, and planned our Normandy break, based on the exceptional Tripadvisor ratings for this property. The Barton cottage was adequate without being exceptional. It is the end of the 2013 season so there were a few edges and little jobs needing doing during the close season, but this is to be expected I guess.
One thing that did not work well for us is the location of the only toilet and bathroom - it is upstairs,off the twin bedroom which is itself off the double bedroom. So my elderly father-in-law staying in the downstairs single bedroom had to troop through the double bedroom and the twin bedroom (where my boys slept) in order to get to the loo - not great really. I did not get a true sense of the layout from the cottage descriptions but another TA reviewer did highlight this to be fair.
I was looking forward to catching up with owner Andy,as several reviewers noted, in order to discuss what we had seen and in the hope of getting a few hints and tips for the next day perhaps - as other had reported. But this did not happen,we were greeted upon arrival,supported to get the TV to work 30 mins later,and that was all that we saw of Andy in five nights. This is not a criticism, but rather a false expectation on my part perhaps.
Milk,bread,orange juice and a little dried pasta was provided on day one which was helpful but do not assume that these provisions will be topped up.
The location is fantastic, 400m from Utah beach and at the edge of the DZ for the 101st Airborne. An ideal base for exploring the battlefield sites on the Cotentin peninsula, but at the extreme western end of the D-Day landing sites - you may find yourself repeatedly travelling east in order to take in Point du Hoc,Omaha Beach, Pegasus Bridge etc.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Murfdog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glenview, Illinois, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2013

We were only in Normandy for a couple of days and we really liked this place. The unit we had was large and had a great kitchen. Since we were here such a short time we did not cook much but we loved walking the local roads in the country side and to the and along the beach. We also used Andy's tour service and he was the best.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Thomas E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saltash, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2013

This is the second time we have stayed with Andy Emma and family. We cannot understand the bad reviews on this forum.
We certainly had no problems what so ever and found the accommodation clean tidy and well presented.
The accommodation is very quiet and relaxing if that is what you are looking for, there are restaurants in the village and ample shopping at Carantan which is a delightful place to visit.
We hope to go back again if we can and visit other areas of Normandy.
Certainly 5 **** for us

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank robert r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2013

Perfect stay for those who like to be independent and don't care for 5-star service breathing in your neck. I stayed in Roosevelt which suited me fine, clean and all the necesities(fast Wifi and coffee ;-)) available. Watch out for the hot water, is is really hot.

Very central for those who want to visit Utah and Omaha beaches and related sites. But if you are a fan of Normandie in general, or biciyle riding, you will enjoy this very much as well.

Room Tip: Roosevelt suits up to 4 people and has 2 bedrooms.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bas T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaiserslautern, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2013

Andy and Emma were wonderful hosts who have done a fantastic job renovating their charming old French farmhouse. Andy gave us an impressive tour of the D-Day sites—keeping everyone from grandparents to kids entertained. If you are looking for hot tubs and room service, go to a chain hotel. If you are looking for an unbeatable location and an authentic Normandy experience, you can’t go wrong with choosing Ivy House. Thanks for making this a once in a lifetime holiday for our whole family!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Eric K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ivy House - Utah Beach Normandy

Property: Ivy House - Utah Beach Normandy
Address: la Madeleine, 50480 Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, France
Location: France > Normandy > Basse-Normandie > Manche > Sainte-Marie-du-Mont
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ivy House, Utah Beach Normandy offers superb self catering gites and bed & breakfast accommodation. We are just 500 meters from historic D-Day Utah Beach. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ivy House - Utah Beach Normandy Hotel Ste.-Marie-Du-Mont
Ivy House - Utah Beach Normandy France

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