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Rolling evaluation of Summer 2020 Luxury Hotels

Rolling evaluation of Summer 2020 Luxury Hotels

Old Jul 31, 20, 6:01 am
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Rolling evaluation of Summer 2020 Luxury Hotels

In case anyone who can't travel is interested in reading about hotels...

After losing late Feb-July to quarantine, we are back at it for summer, I will update this as we go. Thus far:

1. Hotel Martinez, Cannes: B+/A-. I had originally booked The Carlton, but they never opened (and never told me they were remaining closed and my reservation was cancelled). Luckily, I checked and managed to pivot to the Martinez. The location is wonderful, the hotel has had a facelift recently and I found the rooms lovely and comfortable. We received a small upgrade maybe 2 classes, from the entry level room to a partial sea view. I don't have many gripes, in no particular order: 1. Some of the concierge desk staff seemed to be very lazy, telling us to go online to book a boat transfer to St. Tropez instead of offering to do it, and even during COVID summer they couldn't get a lunch reservation on a weekday at La Guerite for the late seating. Not good enough for the best hotel in town. 2. Removing the pool for a garden breakfast area was a horrible idea. The hotel would be much, much better with a pool. 3. The prices in the hotel were offensive (drinks, room service, etc...), but it's the SoF, it's to be expected. 4. On that note, I find it incredibly tacky that a hotel with no pool charges hotel guests to use loungers at their beach club. 5. The relocated gym in the conference room didn't have much in the way of weights. Other than these minor issues, great hotel. Would return.

2. La Ponche, St. Tropez: B. I added extra nights and figured I would try this place out as I had heard good things. This is a 3-4 star hotel pretending to be a 5-star. They have essentially nothing in the way of facilities and services. The rooms are ok, but very basic. In our room the safe was broken, TV was broken and the first night the aircon died in the middle of the night. Top notch, very 5-star. The location is good, and I got these nights quite cheaply, but at their normal rates, I wouldn't return here.

3. Hotel Byblos, St. Tropez: A. It's been a few years since I was last at Byblos and they have renovated and done a fantastic job. The rooms are spacious and modern while retaining their SoF feel. The new gym/spa is awesome, and of course you can't beat Byblos for convenience. The pool bar is dynamite. Sadly, Les Caves is still closed due to COVID. Food has never been Byblos' strong suit and that hasn't changed, but who wants to eat at the hotel anyway? Very enjoyable stay, will return in Sept. for Les Voiles de St. Tropez and again next summer.

NEXT UP: Le Saint Paul, Saint Paul de Vence.

Last edited by GetSetJetSet; Aug 8, 20 at 5:54 am
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Old Jul 31, 20, 12:47 pm
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It always bugged me that the Hyatt in Cannes charged for beach loungers, but if the pool is closed that is very poor
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Old Jul 31, 20, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by uclabruin82 View Post
It always bugged me that the Hyatt in Cannes charged for beach loungers, but if the pool is closed that is very poor
Not just closed, they got rid of their pool. They no longer have one.
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Old Aug 3, 20, 6:12 am
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4. Le Saint Paul, Saint Paul de Vence: B. We got a great upgrade from an Elegance Room (Entry level) to a Valley Suite. Really excellent and spacious room with a great bathtub (I am a big fan of a quality tub). The hotel was built in 1551 as a house, and has been a hotel since 1989. As you can imagine, it's a picturesque setting in an extraordinarily charming village. The rooms are nice and the staff were all well meaning, but really incompetent. We wanted to eat at the hotel restaurant the first night, initially they told us the hotel restaurant was booked. Then they thought we were a party of four, then they thought we needed to be at a table with this group of 5 and they were explaining it's a max of five people per table due to COVID. I have no idea where they got the idea that we had to sit with these people, since we very clearly asked for a table for two from the get go and we had no idea who this party of five even were. In the end they said we were good to go, table for two. When we got to the restaurant, they had no record of our booking, but took us anyway because there were open tables. One remained unoccupied until close. Bizzare. The food was very good.

Also, due to COVID, the included buffet breakfast was served in the room. That's no problem, however they have taken this is an opportunity to gouge clients. If you want eggs, meat, cheese, it is all a supplement on top of the included breakfast. We asked "the buffet breakfast was included in our room rate, right?" The answer was yes. Then we asked "eggs, meat, cheese, etc...are normally part of the buffet which is included in the room rate, right?" The answer again was yes. We then asked "So why do we have to pay a supplement if we want eggs, meat, cheese, etc..." The woman looked puzzled and said that's just how it is. Awesome.

The hotel itself and the town are great. I was told the property only has a 4.3/5 on Tripadvisor, I would guess the bumbling staff are what hurts their rating. It's a great property and even with the service issues, I would return. St. Paul de Vence is stunning, but very, very small. It' a ~2day max stop in my opinion. I will be glad to be back on the seaside soon!

Last edited by GetSetJetSet; Aug 8, 20 at 5:59 am
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Old Aug 3, 20, 8:31 am
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I love the little town of St Paul de Vence and the nearby town of Vence is fantastic as well. The Chateau St Martin is a few minutes away and is a wonderful hotel.
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Old Aug 3, 20, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Valveking View Post
I love the little town of St Paul de Vence and the nearby town of Vence is fantastic as well. The Chateau St Martin is a few minutes away and is a wonderful hotel.
thx! Will keep in mind for next time. The village is quite charming.
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Old Aug 4, 20, 7:17 am
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Le St. Paul wrapped the stay up by forgetting our breakfast for the second day in a row, then someone set off an early AM fire alarm that forced all hotel guests out into the street in their robes. An amusing end to a mostly enjoyable stay. still recommended.

NEXT UP: Hotel Royal, San Remo

Last edited by GetSetJetSet; Aug 8, 20 at 6:02 am
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Old Aug 8, 20, 4:54 am
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5. Hotel Royal, San Remo: A. Upgraded to a sea view room. I absolutely love this hotel. Built in the 1870’s, it has all the charm of a grand old Euro hotel and is retro in all the best ways. San Remo isn’t particularly fashionable anymore, but the faded glory of the Royal shines through. The rooms are a bit small but have been recently reno’d. The pool, built in 1948, one of the first hotel pools in Europe is phenomenal. The seaside in San Remo lacks a really great beach, and it’s nicer to just post up at the Royal’s pool. We intend to return next summer for a longer stay, the hotel is a pleasure in every way, great service. No complaints at all.

Next up: Porto Cervo.
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Last edited by GetSetJetSet; Aug 8, 20 at 5:51 am
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Old Aug 10, 20, 5:50 am
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6. Cervo Hotel, Porto Cervo: A-. While the Cervo hotel is insultingly labelled a Sheraton by Bonvoy, and is the red headed stepchild of the four Marriott properties in Porto Cervo (the other 3 are luxury collection), it's unfairly maligned. The physical facilities at Cervo (and all four of the Bonvoy properties here) could due with a refresh, there is no doubt about it. The locals in Sardinia feel Marriott is running these four hotels into the ground and want their management terminated. The staff at Cervo (and the other 3) were absolutely wonderful however. On the ball, attentive and extremely nice. We were very pleasantly surprised. Prior to arrival on this award booking, we requested SNA for the duration of our stay. The request was denied, then at check in we were upgraded to a large suite anyway. Upgrade AND more SNA in reserve...always nice. The hotel bar makes great drinks, breakfast was good and given how downright disgracefully bad most restaurants in Porto Cervo town are, the hotel's food was one of the better options short of driving somewhere. Due to COVID the Cervo's beach was closed, but a hotel car was on call to transport guests to Cala di Volpe, Romazzino or Pitrizza's beach clubs. It was also nice that since the Cervo hotel is in town, you can walk around without needing a car. The other three properties are isolated. While I will agree that the Cervo hotel overall is a step down from the other properties facilities-wise, the price gouge for what you get at Cala di Volpe for example is so extreme, that I would strongly consider retuning to Cervo next summer for convenience and relative value. I expected nothing from this hotel, given that it was a Sheraton, and was pleasantly surprised. Not one complaint.

NEXT UP: VIU Hotel, Milan
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Old Aug 11, 20, 4:09 am
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
The locals in Sardinia feel Marriott is running these four hotels into the ground and want their management terminated.
I guess for many no surprise.
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