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“From the Grandparents perspective.”
Review of Le Castel

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Le Castel
Ranked #1 of 1 Montpinchon B&B and Inns
Reviewed July 3, 2012

Last sept we joined my son and his wife plus two children.....one 3 months and a toddler of 2 and half for a week at Le Castle. They had already been there a week when we arrived. We stayed in the Cottages side by side. It was so nice for our grandson to be able to wander in to us in the mornings once they knew we were awake and yet have our own privacy.. Our cottage was gorgeous. The one our son had wasnt as nice or as big and a bit dark. But i suppose if youre dealing with converted buildings its the luck of the draw. We catered for ourselves mainly but went up for dinner twiice to the main house which was most enjoyable. We found the play tent just wonderful for the two and a half year old. Grandad had a marvellous time with him there, The main house is very child friendly so one can relax rather than waiting for the crash !
John was most oblieging in getting us anything we needed and very welcoming when we went up to the main house. Unfortunately the weather was not good for those two weeks. I imagine it would be magic having barbecues in the grounds if the sun shone.
We did lots of touring because of the weather....a bit too much driving, But at least its in a location where there is a lot ot be seen if the weather is bad.

Sheelagh Barrett.
Ireland

Room Tip: we thought the suites in the main house were lovely, old world. If you want a cottage go for the mo...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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Thank sheelagh1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 - 26 of 61 reviews

Reviewed June 23, 2012

Le Castel is virtually unique. We searched long and hard for somewhere that the children would enjoy and which would afford us the type of relaxing luxurious break that we were looking for. Le Castel really is it.... The house is beautifully furnished, the food was consistently high quality and delicious and Jon was a most convivial and amusing host. On our first evening, his generous measures of red wine brought a whole new meaning to the term "bluetooth".

We saw some negative comments about the food before booking but every meal we had was delicious - sometimes good "home" style cooking, up to a restaurant standard meal we would happily have paid proper money for. Marie, who turned up twice a day to play with the children, is fantastic and our two boys loved all the indoor and outdoor activities she did with them (board games, football, craft projects, cake and pizza making etc.) The play tent was a huge hit, as was the large flat garden with its outdoor play equipment and numerous climbable trees.

The house is in a great location for exploring Normandy's WW2 beaches and Jon and his staff helpfully pointed us in the direction of lots of other excellent attractions and amenities (all within a reasonable drive). There are museums, a fantastic zoo, miles of practically deserted sandy beaches, Bayeux, Mont St. Michel and numerous grown up and family friendly restaurants all within any easy day trip's distance.

We went for a week's holiday in April and it rained almost every day but we still managed to find enough entertainment to keep our two boisterous boys (6 and 3) entertained for the entire time. Jon is genuinely relaxed about children's noise and general "energetic" behaviour and his 2 cats are two of the most patient and tolerant felines on the planet. This is not somewhere you will feel the need to keep the kids quiet and go out at the earliest opportunity.

The whole communal experience really is like spending time at the country residence of some posh friends. The difference is that the plumbing works, you will not be required to spend Saturday afternoon shooting the local wildlife and there is absolutely no danger you will end up at dinner next to your host's octogenarian mother. You can even get together with a bunch of people you already know (and presumably like) and book the whole place on an exclusive basis.

I defy you to find this kind of luxury and daily childcare, on an all inclusive package for anything like the price that Le Castel offers. It is a truly amazing deal and neither we, nor our 2 boys would hesitate to recommend this holiday to other travellers.

Book soon - we left it too late last year and every week was full. It gets busy for a reason.....

Room Tip: Look carefully at the website's photographs and floor plans. They are a genuinely realistic vie...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank GrumpyDadStroud_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded June 24, 2012

Thank you for your lovely review. It was a pleasure having your family at Le Castel.
We are pretty unique and we do work hard to make sure families have the best possible time...but I do need to stress that we are not always perfect!!!

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Reviewed June 12, 2012

We have just returned from an all inclusive week at Le Castel. It has a lot of positives and exceptionally good staff who together with Jon were always accomodating & helpful. The big downside for us was the Dauphin suite. It is virtually without windows except for 3 or 4 small skylights. The main bedroom has one small window over the bath and the children's bedroom has a tiny porthole window behind the fridge through which you had to peer even to see what the weather outside was like. We felt this was simply not made clear on the website and we would not have booked had we known. It was opressive and even my husband who was OK with it to start with, hated it by day 2. It was certainly not a space we wanted to spend any time in during the daytime and since it rained every day, the only option when indoors was an often very crowded salon. We felt aggrieved not to have the option of going to a nice room to rest or read, particularly after paying a hefty price tag. We felt that £2200 for a week in a dark attic was way over the top. Jon was kind enough to give my mother a bright room on the ground floor at no extra charge although it did mean the family was then split up.

Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
1  Thank better2arrive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded June 24, 2012

I am desperately keen to please everyone, all of the time...but I am
starting to realise it is sadly not possible.
In eight years we have never had a complaint about our suites, which
are all lovely and individual. Most people go into the Dauphin suite
and go: "Wow."
Unfortunately this family had the most appalling weather for an entire
week and I think this coloured their view of everything (they even
rang me from the beautiful seaside resort of Granville to say they
didn't like it..and the weather was OK that day).
Our website is 100 per cent accurate and honest, as I am very keen
that families get the holiday that is right for them.
This mother seemed surprised that the Dauphin suite did not have three
metre high windows like our other suites...but it is on the second
floor in the roof space. I don't want to be rude, but even the most
doddery judge in Britain ought to spot from the photographs of Le
Castel that the second floor is the space between the two turrets. You
can clearly see the velux windows and the smaller normal level
windows.
Our website features loads of photos and accurately explains the
features of the Dauphin room. One of the photos on this page includes
the amazing view from one of the small windows of the suite.
The suite has a massive 63 metres of space and is over 3.3 metres
high. There are comfy arm chairs and a sofa plus a lovely clawfoot
bath set in one of the windows. I can't imagine why you would find it
oppressive. There are black out blinds on the velux windows so you
can convince the kids it is dark outside....perhaps she had them
pulled!
The other two families staying the same week brought over lashings
of Jubilee spirit and had great holidays. They told me they had had a
really relaxing time..despite the rain!

Personally, I think £2,200 for an all inclusive holiday for three
adults and a child is great value for money, but everyone is entitled
to their own view. The holiday price includes a two bedroomed suite
(usually very bright!), all meals, all drinks and child care for 3.5
hours most days.
This lady thankfully seemed very happy with my wonderful team, but I
don't think we could have done anything more to help this family enjoy
themselves.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2011

Le Castel is perfectly situated for exploring Lower Normandy and northern Brittany (St Malo, Mont St Michel, Bayeux, Normandy beaches etc.). The house is a small chateau with beautiful, luxurious rooms. Jon, the owner, treated us like visiting friends. Breakfasts are a treat, featuring a variety of fruits, freshly baked bread and croissants. If you opt for dinner, it is taken communally, which we enjoyed; dinners were good.

All in all, we found Le Castel to be the perfect place for relaxing. We were able to treat the place as our own home (if only!). It was very family friendly. Attention was available if wanted but wasn't forced on us.

Le Castel is not cheap, but the exchange rate has a lot to do with that. I was satisfied that it provided value for money, considering the quality of the accommodation. We experienced none of the problems that cottoncandy22 reports, though we did stay in the main house.

If you're tempted to try Le Castel, read carefully what it is, where it is, and what is on offer. If it looks to be what you want, then don''t hesitate. It's a special place and Jon is a terrific host. Oh, and you need to like cats - two gorgeous Burmese in this case.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Dotandcom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2011

We have just returned from a week at Le Castel staying in the Votre gite. While there are lots of great things about Le Castel we were disappointed and feel it doesn’t live up to all the excellent reviews.

On the positive side, Le Castel is superbly located with lots of things to do in the surrounding area, the grounds are lovely and the whole place has a very relaxed atmosphere. As a self-catering guests it’s great to be able to use the salon and terrace and we enjoyed socialising with the other four families staying as we all had children under 3. We joined in dining with the guests staying in the chateau one night and enjoyed the meal which was well-priced at 25 euros a head for two courses and alcohol. The guests staying in the chateau told us they were disappointed by the quality of the food though and that we had been lucky and picked the best night so far to join them. We certainly felt relieved not to have paid the additional £900 for the all-inclusive package as the two children’s suppers we witnessed were chicken nuggets and burger and chips.

The gite is very nice and was very clean except for the kitchen equipment where we had to wash up most things before using them – two saucepans still had food caked on them and lots of the cutlery and plates were stained. The kitchen was also very underequipped. On the first morning we found there were only two mugs (we had three adults in our party) and no means of making coffee. My husband went to ask Jon for a coffee pot/maker and was told we could “buy one in Leclerc” (local hypermarket). Not quite the response you’re hoping for when you’re paying £900 for a week. Jon must had seen my husband was affronted as he produced a one person cafetiere – hardly ideal for three of us. (I’m guessing the owner’s response to this will say coffee and tea is available for self-catering guests in the salon which is true but you don’t exactly want to have to go up to the main house as soon as you’ve woken up or after dinner at night).

After Jon’s coffee pot reaction it made us rather reluctant to point out other problems and face a rather tense week so we washed up the kitchen stuff ourselves and bought other basic items that were lacking (bread knife, washing up bowl, more than one cloth and more than one tea towel). The website says basic provisions are there but the herbs were all best before 2009. You also have to provide your own loo roll, pay for electricity if you use over the daily quota, strip your own beds and take your recycling to a recycling point in a nearby village. Not things I would’ve expected when paying so much or that we’ve had to do before staying at other lovely baby-friendly places.

Other disappointment were:
- bikes – there are some but tyres were flat and gears broken
- sandpit – empty and propped up against a tree
- free ice cream for kids – just ice pops
- play tent – this wasn’t very clean, was very untidy and lots of toys were broken or missing batteries

Some of these things are small but they’re the sort of details that make you choose one place over another when booking a holiday and therefore it’s frustrating when they’re not as they promised. Le Castel has such great potential but unfortunately attention to detail is a little lacking and therefore we were disappointed.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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5  Thank cottoncandy22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lecastel, Owner at Le Castel, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2011

I was very upset about this review until I realised the headline should have been:
Lovely family holiday.. but absolutely devastated that the owner didn’t buy us a bigger coffee pot
Here is a recap of the many positive points in this lady’s review:
1. Superbly located
2. Lots to do
3. Lovely grounds
4. Relaxed atmosphere
5. Great to be able to have free tea and coffee with other guests in the chateau
6. Enjoyed dining in the chateau
7. Meal in chateau was well priced
8. Gite very nice and clean
9. Enjoyed socialising with other families

I am afraid we are not perfect, but we do strive to be as good as possible.
I will be endeavouring to correct some of the points made in this review.
However, I would be grateful for any tips on how to make hoards of children tidy up toys, wipe their muddy feet before going into the play area, not break toys, not tip the sand pit over and not eat all the ice creams in 30 seconds.
We have a relaxed atmosphere here because we don’t get upset when any of that happens! We are constantly going round trying to put as much of it right as possible – sometimes we fail miserably!


The other bad points seem to boil down to no coffee maker and us not spotting that previous guests had left a few kitchen items dirty. I am very sorry about this, but there are around 150 items in the kitchen (incidentally, there is a kettle for making coffee, six cups with saucers and assorted knives that this lady obviously did not spot). The herbs are in jars from 2009 ..but are topped up each week. We provide things like loo roll and jay cloths, but not a week’s supply and I am sure most self catering guests would not expect us to. Electricity charges are for winter lets only.

We offer self catering in the cottages and fully inclusive holidays in the chateau – they are two very different holidays. Families should consider which works best for them. I have just added a very honest pros and cons page to my own website to help families make the right choice.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2011

We stayed for a week on the all-inclusive package in the main hotel. We stayed in the Roi Suite which was huge - our son particularly liked the enormous stuffed tiger in his room!
On the face of it we thought the prices appeared quite high (particularly with the Euro rate at the moment) but once you work out how much is included (2 huge rooms with little kitchenette, childcare, kids meals, evening meals for adults, lunches if you want them, wine,beer etc.) we thought it was actually quite good value. Jon has thought of everything you need for a family friendly holiday.
Jon had great recommendations for days out - beaches for nice days, other places for rainy days.
The people he had helping out were also great (chef, childcare, breakfast, housekeeper etc) - very friendly and nothing was too much trouble.
Overall, highly recommended

Room Tip: The Roi Suite was lovely
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank JD433
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2011

We spent a week here on the "all inclusive" (half board) package, staying in one of the cottages rather than the main house. Being away from the main house would be our recommendation so long as your kids aren't tiny (ours are 8 and 5) as it's quieter, more privacy, and, although we didn't see the accommodation in the main house, apparently better equipped. Food delicious, although dinner was a little on the light side, certainly for those with larger appetites (husband!) We had full access to the grounds and the ground floor of the house - the kids were perfectly safe to explore and run off steam and made good friends. The best hours of the day were 5.30-7.30 when they were being fed and then playing, and I could sit in the sunchine, drinking g'n't and reading! The area is full of things to do - we did a couple of D Day days, but also several days on the beautiful beaches round about. Jon and his crew are well-informed and eager to share their tips for a happy holiday. Special mention to Graham for his top tips on less-busy options, especially on a Bank Holiday.
Overall, we would recommend the holiday, although I think we were lucky that the weather was fantastic all week, and the other families staying were all "of a like mind" and we all hit it off, somewhat raucously at times. If you're not the type to enjoy dining "communally" then it may not be the holiday for you.

Room Tip: We would recommend the cottage accommodation for space, privacy and a home-from-home
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank crazyboys24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Le Castel

Address: 50210 Montpinchon, France
Location: France > Normandy > Basse-Normandie > Manche > Montpinchon
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Montpinchon
Price Range: $117 - $176 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Napoleon III chateau guest house with 6 luxurious rooms plus self catering cottage with two bedrooms. Near Mont St Michel, Bayeux and D Day Beaches. Country house party atmosphere. Set in four acres of parkland, but just 20 minutes from beach. Meet Le Castel's pet llamas and take them for a country walk. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Le Castel Normandy, France - Montpinchon

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