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“Looks good BUT!!!!!!..beware”

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Chateau Grattequina
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Blanquefort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 7, 2013

This is a classic example of always look at the big picture e.g. Google Earth. The Chateau looks good from the websites' pictures but does not show you the industrial landscape around you, it is also quite difficult to find. The service is invisable, maybe two people at any one time and they are usually busy elsewhere. There is no restaurant and nothing worth visiting nearby, we had to drive back into Bordeaux to find dinner, an unnecessary hassle. Having said that the lovely female receptionist russled up a pizza for us. The rooms were big but nothing special. Our room looked out to the Garonne but it was ugly with a huge crane in the foreground. It is expensive and very unforgiving as we were unable to make the first night booked and despite giving them plenty of notice of our car problems in Spain, they still insisted on charging for a full night, despite being quite empty, some understanding would have been appreciated. We would have settled for a half day charge.
Basically you can find 4-5 star accomodation in Bordeaux or the Medoc that would be significantly better!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank TonyinOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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89 - 95 of 207 reviews

Reviewed September 18, 2013

Chateau Grattequina is a beautiful old building with big rooms, but not the high-end experience to justify $300+ per night. So before I share my negatives, it has an attractive exterior, and as is, it would be a great experience if you used it for a catered wedding ball with a place for the close family and friends to stay. The bride and groom could even come by boat. Or it would be good for wine tasters who need only a place to sleep and aren't price conscious.

As a place for a COUPLE to stay on holiday, it would be great only if they:
a) dropped the price by at least half if not more and run it like a B&B.
b) invested in the high-end experience, with 24/7 service and the top-notch "thought of everything" accommodations – right now it is NOT high-end service or accommodations, but nice.
c) took some of the closed off areas and large empty event halls and created some "special-feeling" interior spaces like a grand fireplace, or some romantic nooks (the basement is very cool but wasted as a lobby, and if it were invested in (and heated) is only a few clicks away from a special common space. There were balconies are only on the 2nd floor rooms.
d) added a bar, or restaurant (there is a morning breakfast, but very pricey and feels a bit makeshift in a basic rectangle room).

The experience here is one of isolation with nothing to do except to sit in your big room. There is no "common space" – no bar or lounge, no restaurant, no fireplace, no place with people mingling, and no special or romantic nooks to sit in. Just an oversized bedroom.

When I read "chateau," I thought some sort of a wine experience. As I pulled in, I noticed that the crops surrounding the chateau were corn fields. Hmm, I thought. The river is mud colored, with weedy waterfront, and a handful of metal outdoor chair/table sets like a typical hardware store would carry. I had my own great wine but the room had no wine opener. The view was not so amazing – leaves of a tree with limited view the muddy river, and industrial buildings and powerlines beyond the corn fields. The water front had a dock which was very nice, yet curiously massive and industrial dock with big metal beams. It was missing a section so you had to hop to the ground for a few steps and then climb back up again to get down to the water.

The accommodations were on the "dorm-room" side (a couple of chairs and and a hot pot and some Nescafe instant packets etc.) and an absence of anything extra that would make you feel special. Still a very nice room, but just not luxury by any stretch of the imagination. It was clean and cared for, but there was a hole in the wall by our bed and scuff marks on two walls because no suitcase rack was provided. There some dirty residue in the bathtub which might have been sediment because after we re-cleaned it and filled a bath, the dirt magically reappeared. The tub was big enough for 2 and I liked the rain-shower head. The rain shower was a little light in terms of water-flow, but it was supplemented by a hand-held shower head, but the the mount had broken so it just hung from the wall.

My favorite feature was the heated towel rack, which would have made me feel a little special except that the heat in the room didn't work and we relied on the towel heater to heat the room.

I saw very little of anyone, neither guests nor "hotel staff" beyond the "Basil Fawlty" at the front desk. I say Basil Fawlty because when we kindly voiced that it wasn't what we expected, he babbled on comically in an awkward attempt to convince us the place was "fun" and that our grievances were unfounded. All-at-once up-tight and optimistic, he said, "the weather is rainy and cold now, but when it is nice outside you could sit on the terrace or go for a walk, perhaps onto the dock." (I would later see that the dock had a repair tarp restricting access anyway.) We asked to shorten our stay, but Mr. Fawlty said it would be "impossible, see, because you reserved the room." In the morning, Polly was working, and she was very friendly and interested in pleasing us. We liked Polly.

Curiously, the phone does not have any information on how to reach the front desk. I had to hit random combinations of numbers for longer than it would have taken to walk down to the first floor, but eventually I hit it right. Polly was helpful when I called, and quick to respond, however Mr. Fawlty wasn't very interested in any of my suggestions (not even printing a card with the front desk number and taping it to the phone). In addition, he couldn't answer simple questions like, "Can we check out at 6:30 am, because we have a train to catch." Mr. Fawlty's answer was, "Hmm. I'm not sure when someone will be in, I'll have to check with my colleague and phone you back." When he did get back, he said it would be impossible to check out at 7:00 am because nobody would be there.

I have never stayed at a hotel where somebody wasn't at the front desk when you needed something. Here, you cannot get any help in the night at all. So you'd expect that they could put certain things like WATER, COFFEE, ICE, etc. out in a lobby or something, but no. You can't even buy a bottle of water in the daytime either. There is no shop of any kind here.

Behind the TV there was a strange RAID bug-killer device that heats up some sort of poison liquid and puts it in the air. I unplugged it right away and opened the windows for a while. I didn't smell it, and I'm sure studies financed by SC Johnson would tell you it's safe for humans, but I don't want to sleep in any variety of death-gas, regardless of what safety regs they adhere to).

Chateau Grattequina is not a horrible place nor a disaster. It's just very underwhelming, and way overpriced. Not high-end, just high-priced, with nobody around, no special interior spaces to enjoy, and nothing nearby.

Room Tip: If you do stay here, make sure you're on Level 2 and get a balcony. Ask a lot of questions: when...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank DeanHSaintPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
espadon123, Propriétaire at Chateau Grattequina, responded to this reviewResponded October 30, 2013

Sir, Madam,
,We have read your two reviews with interest and are sorry to hear about your disappointing experience. We have taken notice of your comments.
Your stay coincided with the works on our river dock. Indeed we have wished to link Grattequina to Bordeaux via the river, a new experience for our guests.
You also regretted the absence of guests during the day. Our location is at the same distance from Saint Emilion as from Margaux and Arcachon, this is why excursions during the day happen often.
Regarding our room features, we have taken into account your remarks and we shall improve our place being careful to all these details.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2013

This is an event center with 10 hotel rooms – not really a working chateau. If you plan to have a wedding here, then I recommend it as an event center with adjoining guest rooms as those spaces are nice. If you’re booking just one hotel room, then read on…

First, my impression of renting at a chateau is that it would be furnished like a very nice home, maybe a fireplace and bookshelves like you would see in a B&B and even most hotels. This building provides none of that, which is an issue because its so isolated. There is no shared living room, nor is there any other area where one can relax outside the bedroom except the few chairs grouped in the lower level where you’ll find interesting stone walls, but it’s very cold and echo-y and feels more like a waiting room. The main level has an impressive foyer and adjacent breakfast room but these areas are not for hanging out in - just big empty rooms ready for the next large meeting or event. Again, great for a wedding.

Second, the bedroom areas have been built with modern flat trim and flat doors, plain drywall painted off-white, with no regard to architectural or historic aesthetics. Guest area is walled off by a big fire/security door on the second and third floor leading to a dark hallway – this does not exude historic chateau charm. It's awkward because the front staircase is open and quite lovely, and the wood floors are nice, then suddenly it feels like you entered a back corridor - like a maintenance area with a carpet runner!

Third, my room, at a rate of 245 EU or $325 US a night for their mid-level room had a hole punched in a wall, stained bed covering and every step and click of a door handle from the hallway echoed through my room. The shower had black mold in the grout and the hand held shower’s wall mount was broken off. When I filled the tub, a gritty black residue settled on the bottom even after rinsing and trying again 3 times - it made a bath out of the question, but it took forever for the tub to drain each time so I had a lot invested in that activity. Note, not all rooms have balconies!! The photos on the website are well composed, my room did not exude the same character as the photo implies nor did it have a balcony as shown in the photo for my room type.

As this was FAR from my expectations both as a ‘chateau’ and for the value vs. the rate charged, upon seeing the room I returned to reception and indicated that I would be willing to stay for one night but that it did not meet my expectations and I would like to cancel for the second night. I thought that was a pretty fair offer. The desk agent indicated that was not possible, that I had booked 2 nights and would need to pay for 2 nights, and he went on to explain that when the weather is nice there is a terrace outside that people sit at and a dock (which was under construction and not accessible) and he proceeded to tell me I am wrong. The weather was cold and raining, so the terrace was not an option either. The reservation did not indicate that I could not cancel, but interestingly, in the room there is a brochure that says you cannot cancel your stay after you check in – maybe this isn’t the first time someone requested leaving early?

The chateau is definitely beautiful from the outside and the photos are representative of the building and grounds, not necessarily the surrounding area, (note - it is set in a corn field, not the vineyards of Bordeaux). There's nothing nearby so you will need a car. It is not an easy location to find due to the round-abouts, but there are some signs, so I’d recommend finding it with GPS or at least go in daylight the first time. The area is industrial with big oil or grain bins along the river nearby. The desk was unstaffed mid-day and had a note that reception was closed when I tried to check in, so I had to return hours later, however the building was unlocked so anyone could wander in all day. I had my rail passes sent to the hotel with my name and the word guest noted on the address. They had arrived the prior day but nobody had contacted me. When in inquired if they had arrived, the woman working said she saw them and wondered what she was supposed to do with those. She was otherwise very nice and offered ideas on a day trip.

The pros:
The exterior is nice. The grounds are pretty. There is weak but free wifi in the room – I had 2 bars out of 5. Parking is free. The shower is very large but as noted, black mold and broken shower mount. Robes and slippers are provided along with soap and shower gel but no shampoo/conditioner, and there’s a tower warmer but it’s about 10 feet from the tub and shower. Linens are basic but in good condition. The wood floors are old and have nice character. The windows open and the window treatments appear high end. The furniture although sparse appears to be antique and in good condition. Granted, if you stand outside and look at the building, it’s appealing. Other than the things noted, the rooms were clean.

The cons:
The cost is simply not justified for a single hotel room given that this is not really a working chateau but an event center. The bed was hard, not particularly comfortable, pillows are synthetic and the blanket was nubby and aged. I asked to have the bed cover changed out because ours was stained in numerous places, which they took care of with a clean but mis-matched bed cover. Black mold in shower on walls and broken mount for the hand held shower, and black grit in bathtub even after rinsing and refilling were all put-offs. Walls in my room were scuffed and need re-paining. There were no suitcase stands, only 2 small closets which fit a carry-on bag on the floor. A plug-in Black Flag bug killer device with liquid in it was plugged in behind my TV, not sure what that was putting in the air for me to breathe so I unplugged it. The heat did not come on, manager came up to look at it while we were out, yet it stayed the same cool temp so I assume it was not working although he did not provide a solution for us.

My recommendation to the owners: I'd consider adding a few sofas and rugs in the breakfast room to create a lounge, or do something with the lower level so guests have somewhere welcoming to relax outside the bedroom. I’d also work on making the corridors to the rooms a bit more friendly, and add artwork to the blank walls. Add suitcase stands in each room. Repaint walls where needed. Add a nicer coffee bar rather than just a small tray balanced on a small refrigerator. Turn the heat on. Maintain the tubs/showers. Drop the price to be realistic for non-event guests.

My advice to guests - while I cannot undo my overpriced decision to stay here, I can give you an indication of my experience. If this was $175 a night it would be a fair value given the region and many of the gripes would be overlooked because expectations would be set differently. But, at double that rate, I cannot recommend it as a hotel room as it did not have the chateau experience nor the 4+ star quality I was excited about paying extra to enjoy. This was our anniversary trip with just the two of us, and this portion of it was an expensive disappointment.

Room Tip: Look at the exterior to pick a room - third floor does not have balconies where second floor does...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank kjhMN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

Chateau Grattequina was simply gorgeous. If you close your eyes and think of what a French chateau should be like, this is it! The hotel is very clean, the rooms are beautifully decorated, bathrooms large, especially the shower. The loo is separate from the bathroom. We had a small balcony which was large enough to stand on and the view was spectacular from our bedroom. The Garonne flows just beside the hotel and adds such tranquility to the atmosphere. Bedrooms come equipped with bathrobes, slippers and toiletries and a minibar. Although there's not an extensive room service menu, the food is delicious and the staff are so helpful if there was something you really fancied eating, they would definitely go out of their way to help.


It is essential you hire a car while staying at this property ( the hotel offers free parking on site ). Restaurants are close by, but you'll need to drive there. Similarly, if you want to tour the vineyards, Margaux, Medoc.. There are loads to go to, you'll need a car to get there.

Bordeaux is 15 mins away and you're only 45 mins away from the beach at Arcachon.

If you want to relax at the hotel instead of sight seeing, there is a lovely pool, which never seems to get busy.

Overall, CG is an amazing place to stay if you want to see France (not touristy France) the staff are so so helpful and very soon the hotel will be offering a water taxi to Bordeaux as they are currently installing their pontoon! It's worth going back just for this!

Room Tip: The suite looks amazing but is hard to book. The Garonne rooms are stunning with a large, open plan...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Mrs E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

Wev stayed at CG in August. The Chatteau is lovely, very clean, very quite, very friendly. The owner and the staff certainly looked after us. The rooms are great, spacious with fantastic bathrooms and all with views of the river or the sweet corn fields. Only problem we had is that without a car you are a bit out on a limb! Taxi fares were between 35 - 40 Euros wherever you wanted to go which makes it quite expensive when you want to go to the City centre.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Stevedotc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

What a wonderful find! The host and staff at the Chateau were friendly and helpful. They went out of their way to get coffee for early risers. The rooms were beautifully decorated and the landscaping gorgeous. The smell of the flowers was heavenly. The pool was large and perfect to begin the day and end the afternoon. The hotel recommended an English speaking guide (upon our request) and we found Beatrice who drove us to appointments at several vineyards, allowing us to enjoy the wine tastings and the scenery. Dinner on the balcony at night was bread, cheese and wine, Bordeaux was 15 minutes away, St, Emilion and the Medoc were 40 minutes away.

Room Tip: We chose a Junior Suite with a balcony overlooking the river.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank JudyM5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2013

We had a delightful stay at Chateau Grattequina. Staff was very friendly and helpful. (And spoke wonderful English!). Rooms were very roomy with great views. Room service has a very limited menu but the food was good. Limited staff so there were times when there was no one at the front desk but as long as your patient it's not a problem because the facilties and staff make up for it in other ways. Would definitely stay here again. Loved it!

Room Tip: The Junior suite has a great covered balcony overlooking the river. There was a rain storm (with l...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank lsroop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chateau Grattequina

Address: Avenue de Labarde, 33290 Blanquefort, Bordeaux, France
Phone Number:
Location: France > Nouvelle-Aquitaine > Gironde > Bordeaux > Blanquefort
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Blanquefort
Price Range: $196 - $294 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Chateau Grattequina 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A ten rooms hotel along the Garonne ideally located to visit the vineyards between Bordeaux and Margaux. Its ten luxurious rooms, finely furnished, are each marked by a particular soul,the quiet charm of an old house along the Garonne and a modern comfort. Bathrooms, made with wood and mosaics, inspire welfare. The hotel has its own boat to join Bordeaux center. 15 minutes of sailing, drinks on board, facing the 18th century facades of Bordeaux. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chateau Grattequina Blanquefort, France - Bordeaux
Chateau Grattequina Hotel Blanquefort

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