Normandie

Old Jan 10, 22, 7:59 am
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Normandie

Think about a few days at the Normandie coast, mainly to do Mont Saint Michele and Saint Malo. So far I found Castelbrac, Barriere and Grand Hotel des Thermes. From pictures Castelbrac seems to be the nicest option, also has a Michelin starred restaurant. Any experiences or advice?
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Old Jan 23, 22, 12:22 pm
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Think about a few days at the Normandie coast, mainly to do Mont Saint Michele and Saint Malo. So far I found Castelbrac, Barriere and Grand Hotel des Thermes. From pictures Castelbrac seems to be the nicest option, also has a Michelin starred restaurant. Any experiences or advice?
Some years ago stayed in Bretagne at Grand Hotel Dinard (Barriere) and went by ferryboat to Saint Malo and by car to Mont St Michel. I decided to stay at that hotel as it was (and still is) a Leading Hotel, and I was also always satisfied with service etc in Barriere hotels. Havent been to Castelbrack and the Grand Hotel in Saint Malo. Both seem worth to try.

Normandy Coast: Spent holidays several times there and enjoyed it very much. Mainly in Deauville (2,5h from Paris) with its impressive beach, and the village architecture. Booked always Royal Barriere via LHW, and could use with my key card the restaurants of Normandy Barriere (where I would stay next time, not LHW, but very pittoresque), Casino Barriere and the Golf hotel.

The neighbour village Trouville is also very nice with the fish market, the casino (interiour by Garcia). Maybe Cures Marines hotel could be worth to try.

30 mins.by car east of DeauvilIe is Honfleur which is a must-see in Normandy with its beautiful architecture and port. Stayed at La Ferme Saint Simeon, Relaix & Chateau, and can recommend it.
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Old Jan 23, 22, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by submonte View Post
Some years ago stayed in Bretagne at Grand Hotel Dinard (Barriere) and went by ferryboat to Saint Malo and by car to Mont St Michel. I decided to stay at that hotel as it was (and still is) a Leading Hotel, and I was also always satisfied with service etc in Barriere hotels. Havent been to Castelbrack and the Grand Hotel in Saint Malo. Both seem worth to try.

Normandy Coast: Spent holidays several times there and enjoyed it very much. Mainly in Deauville (2,5h from Paris) with its impressive beach, and the village architecture. Booked always Royal Barriere via LHW, and could use with my key card the restaurants of Normandy Barriere (where I would stay next time, not LHW, but very pittoresque), Casino Barriere and the Golf hotel.

The neighbour village Trouville is also very nice with the fish market, the casino (interiour by Garcia). Maybe Cures Marines hotel could be worth to try.

30 mins.by car east of DeauvilIe is Honfleur which is a must-see in Normandy with its beautiful architecture and port. Stayed at La Ferme Saint Simeon, Relaix & Chateau, and can recommend it.
Thank you! I now booked Castelbrac. Grand Dinard looks quite good either, but they claim over 2000 per night for a suite and 1600 for a Junior Suite which doesnt look too great. I have the impression its too expensive.
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Old Jan 24, 22, 1:45 am
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Im staying tomorrow at the Normandy Barrire in Deauville and will give feedback
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Old Jan 24, 22, 12:12 pm
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I've stayed at Barriere hotels in France several times (once in a village outside of Paris and a couple on the Normandy/Brittany coast but I don't remember where) and I would not consider them to be true luxury.

The R&C near Honfleur is stunning. It has a good restaurant too.

I'd advise the OP to check for R&C properties that are appealing.
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Old Jan 24, 22, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I've stayed at Barriere hotels in France several times (once in a village outside of Paris and a couple on the Normandy/Brittany coast but I don't remember where) and I would not consider them to be true luxury.

The R&C near Honfleur is stunning. It has a good restaurant too.

I'd advise the OP to check for R&C properties that are appealing.
Honfleur looks indeed very nice, bur is not in the region I'm really looking for. I need to be near the border of Bretagne and Normandie. So my title was a little bis misguiding.
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Old Jan 25, 22, 9:36 am
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I've always fancied this place - probably not luxury but oozing character with amazing grounds and excellent location.
https://www.au-chateau.com/Ballue.php
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Old Jan 25, 22, 12:49 pm
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Normandy Barrire

Quick update on my one night stay at the Normandy Hotel in Deauville. Even though the OP is not going to this part of Normandy region, I thought it could be useful.

In one sentence, it was profoundly disappointing. The Normandy is a historic and prestigious property, along with its sister property, the Royal. My last stay was 10 years ago. Last renovation was 5 years ago and it has been done badly.

I stayed in a Prestige Sea view Suite at circa 700/night. They have a standard rate and a Suite Experience rate (Im always suspicious when you have to pay this kind of rates to benefit from the perks associated with the type of room). The rate included a welcome Champagne bottle, breakfast, free minibar etc.

Arrival at the hotel was fine with bell staff and front desk, but no personal touch and very few information provided.
The suite was esthetically pleasing at first, but it became evident that all the materials were of low quality, cheap fake woods, cheap flooring, etc. Except for the beautiful Toile de Jouy. The worst part was the ugly bathroom which would be a good fit for an Ibis hotel. The Barrire branded toiletries were 3-star quality. Coffee machine comes with paper cups, turndown is done lazily.

Absolutely no welcome amenities except for two plastic water bottles
As for the facilities, restaurant is beautiful but the food is mediocre. I also learned by surprise a few days before the stay that the pool would be closed, yet no indication on the website or during booking procedure. No apologies of course.

All the staff is well intentioned but not polished. It is clear that Barrire does not know how to operate luxury hotels (except maybe for Fouquets hotel in Paris?). It is not my first mediocre experience with Barrire, as they owned quite a few landmark hotels in France (Royal and Hermitage in La Baule, the hotels in Deauville, Majestic Cannes, etc.). As MSPeconomist said these hotels can not be considered true luxury nowadays

As for the rates the OP quotes for Gd Hotel Dinard Im sure there is no correlation with what youd get. Castelbrac seems a better option IMO.
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Last edited by Satie; Jan 25, 22 at 1:06 pm
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Old Jan 29, 22, 7:25 am
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Originally Posted by Satie View Post
Quick update on my one night stay at the Normandy Hotel in Deauville. Even though the OP is not going to this part of Normandy region, I thought it could be useful.

In one sentence, it was profoundly disappointing. The Normandy is a historic and prestigious property, along with its sister property, the Royal. My last stay was 10 years ago. Last renovation was 5 years ago and it has been done badly.

I stayed in a Prestige Sea view Suite at circa 700€/night. They have a standard rate and a “Suite Experience” rate (I’m always suspicious when you have to pay this kind of rates to benefit from the perks associated with the type of room). The rate included a welcome Champagne bottle, breakfast, free minibar etc.

Arrival at the hotel was fine with bell staff and front desk, but no personal touch and very few information provided.
The suite was esthetically pleasing at first, but it became evident that all the materials were of low quality, cheap fake woods, cheap flooring, etc. Except for the beautiful Toile de Jouy. The worst part was the ugly bathroom which would be a good fit for an Ibis hotel. The Barrire branded toiletries were 3-star quality. Coffee machine comes with paper cups, turndown is done lazily.

Absolutely no welcome amenities except for two plastic water bottles…
As for the facilities, restaurant is beautiful but the food is mediocre. I also learned by surprise a few days before the stay that the pool would be closed, yet no indication on the website or during booking procedure. No apologies of course.

All the staff is well intentioned but not polished. It is clear that Barrire does not know how to operate luxury hotels (except maybe for Fouquets hotel in Paris?). It is not my first mediocre experience with Barrire, as they owned quite a few landmark hotels in France (Royal and Hermitage in La Baule, the hotels in Deauville, Majestic Cannes, etc.). As MSPeconomist said these hotels can not be considered true luxury nowadays

As for the rates the OP quotes for Gd Hotel Dinard I’m sure there is no correlation with what you’d get. Castelbrac seems a better option IMO.
Le Normandy:
Your critics of suitedetails IMHO is incomprehensible and not appropriate. I have been invited by members of one the wealthiest French families to their suite. They do spend holidays at Le Normandy regularly. I heart no complaints from them that hotel and accommodation are not luxurious enough for their needs. As well I cannot follow what you mean after what I have seen. Spent nights in Ibis hotels and can assure you the bathrooms are not comparable, in no way. Room and bathroom design follows the angled architecture of the property. Dinner was fine at La Belle poque. Service at Le Bar Normandy excellent. As well at the terrace cafe which we visited in one summer. An unspoken rule in this country is to give tips. This should not be an excuse for lazy turndown service, but you should consider it as it is only fair to the room mates.

"Barriere do not how to run luxury hotels"
Well this is your opinion, I do not share it.

Fouquets Paris....
Barriere family renovated and redecorated it recently nicely again with help of Garcia, and it has always been a point of contact for politicians and business figures.
Did not stay there when in Paris as there are so many options, but had dinner there, it was excellent.

...or?

Le Majestic Cannes
This is the real Barriere flagship. Truly French and luxurious.

Grand Hotel Dinar vs, Castelbrac
Well the OP, whom I respect as Luxury hotel expert in this forum and follow his posts since long, already decided to stay at Castelbrac and I encouraged him to try. That was not necessarily a decision against Grand Dinar, and your recommendation not to stay at the Barriere hotel bases on assumptions following your stay at Le Normandy.


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I've stayed at Barriere hotels in France several times (once in a village outside of Paris and a couple on the Normandy/Brittany coast but I don't remember where) and I would not consider them to be true luxury.

The R&C near Honfleur is stunning. It has a good restaurant too.

I'd advise the OP to check for R&C properties that are appealing.
Yes, I also encourage everyone to look for R&Cs when staying in France. Yes the Honfleur hotel is stunning, the dinner was parfait.

Well, true luxury, I know what you mean, but what is it. Last summer I spent two weeks in Southern France. Crillon Le Brave, La Mirande Avignon, Villa Gallici in Aix, Byblos in St. Tropez, JW Marriott in Cannes (which provided the best service beside Byblos and Villa Gallici). In conjunction with the respective location and guests I felt luxury during all of these stays and do not want to categorize it. I know the differences though.

Barriere 5* properties attract mainly a French premium class of clients. IMHO of the Barriere hotels in Normandy and Bretagne the Royal is the flagship. I have been always treated very well there, been in direct contact during my stays with the directors Roussin and Casabo and their adjoints. Was together with other guests invited to Hippodrom and special events etc.

For me the stays at Royal Barriere were always true luxury.

Last edited by submonte; Jan 29, 22 at 10:37 am
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Old Jan 29, 22, 10:04 am
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Originally Posted by submonte View Post
Grand Hotel Dinar vs, Castelbrac
Well the OP, whom I respect as Luxury hotel expert in this forum and follow his posts since long, already decided to stay at Castelbrac and I encouraged him to try. That was not necessarily a decision against Grand Dinar, and your recommendation not to stay at the Barriere hotel bases on assumptions following your stay at Le Normandy.
Thanks for the flowers

In the end there were 3 reasons I choosed Castelbrac.
1st: one is, that I find the design of Castelbrac interesting with the small penguin statues etc. This said especially the full suite at Barriere looks bright and elegant.
2nd: They have a Michelin starred restaurant, always interesting for me and an important factor.
3rd: Value. As I said befor I found the rates at Barriere quite ambitious, while the rooms lokks nice, but not special. If rate for their suite would be for example around 1200 I would perhaps decide different.
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Old Jan 29, 22, 12:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
I've always fancied this place - probably not luxury but oozing character with amazing grounds and excellent location.
https://www.au-chateau.com/Ballue.php
Braquenie fabrics, a Pierre Frey series for chateaus I just learned from my wife.

For those who like pure chateau ambience very nice, probably only breakfast, as these accommodations are private and have no restaurants like in a R&C.


Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Thanks for the flowers

In the end there were 3 reasons I choosed Castelbrac.
1st: one is, that I find the design of Castelbrac interesting with the small penguin statues etc. This said especially the full suite at Barriere looks bright and elegant.
2nd: They have a Michelin starred restaurant, always interesting for me and an important factor.
3rd: Value. As I said befor I found the rates at Barriere quite ambitious, while the rooms lokks nice, but not special. If rate for their suite would be for example around 1200 € I would perhaps decide different.
Indeed expensive the Grand Dinar during that time, I agree with you. No idea why.

My wife (she is the expert for individual and charming luxury hotels in our family , and I for the chains ) just told me if we would have asked her earlier she would have recommended this property for a stay in that region:

Le Maisons de Bricourt
https://www.relaischateaux.com/us/fr...loir-des-ondes

Maybe we meet there together next time

Last edited by submonte; Jan 29, 22 at 12:56 pm
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Old Jan 29, 22, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by submonte View Post
Le Maisons de Bricourt
https://www.relaischateaux.com/us/fr...loir-des-ondes

Maybe we meet there together next time
I had a look on it before I booked Castelbrac and while I already booked a table at their restaurant (already fully booked for 2 person tables by now) I wasn't sure about the hotel. The price is very attractive compared to Castelbrac, 3 nights in a suite are cheaper than 1 at Castelbrac.
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Old Jan 30, 22, 6:54 am
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Originally Posted by submonte View Post
Your critics of suitedetails IMHO is incomprehensible and not appropriate.
I just thought it could be interesting to give my impressions on this hotels in the way many people do on this section of Flyertalk. When I'm planning a trip to a new luxury property, one of the first thing I do is looking for previous posts about the hotel on this forum. Sorry if this particular post was not as comprehensible and appropriate as I would've liked it to be

Originally Posted by submonte View Post
Spent nights in Ibis hotels and can assure you the bathrooms are not comparable, in no way. Room and bathroom design follows the angled architecture of the property.
I admit the comparison with an Ibis bathroom may be a bit exagerated, but this is not what I have in mind when I think of a bathroom in a suite of a luxury hotel:




Originally Posted by submonte View Post
An unspoken rule in this country is to give tips.
Im French so I know a bit about the tipping rules of this country And in most luxury hotels in France, you mostly tip the bell hop.

Originally Posted by submonte View Post
Well the OP, whom I respect as Luxury hotel expert in this forum and follow his posts since long, already decided to stay at Castelbrac and I encouraged him to try. That was not necessarily a decision against Grand Dinar, and your recommendation not to stay at the Barriere hotel bases on assumptions following your stay at Le Normandy.
I never said that the OP (which I also respect a lot) would made his choice based on my comments or yours.

"Barriere 5* properties attract mainly a French premium class of clients."
Like you and most posters here, I've been to quite a few remarkable hotels in France and in many countries to be able to give a legit (though personal) opinion. I've also been to most Barriere French properties except Fouquet's Paris. Their hotel crowds is indeed mostly French (and not as premium as it was 10-15 years ago), but they are also very MICE oriented which is not an issue at all but not always compatible with the idea of luxury that most people share on this forum section. But as I've you said we do not share the same opinion.

Originally Posted by submonte View Post
Yes, I also encourage everyone to look for R&Cs when staying in France.
On this point, we share the same opinion
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Old Jan 30, 22, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by Satie View Post
I

Frankly when I began planning my journey I had a look on it. When I saw literally all bathrooms have tub/shower combos the website was closed.....
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Old Jan 30, 22, 12:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Satie View Post
I just thought it could be interesting to give my impressions on this hotels in the way many people do on this section of Flyertalk. When I'm planning a trip to a new luxury property, one of the first thing I do is looking for previous posts about the hotel on this forum. Sorry if this particular post was not as comprehensible and appropriate as I would've liked it to be



I admit the comparison with an Ibis bathroom may be a bit exagerated, but this is not what I have in mind when I think of a bathroom in a suite of a luxury hotel:




Im French so I know a bit about the tipping rules of this country And in most luxury hotels in France, you mostly tip the bell hop.



I never said that the OP (which I also respect a lot) would made his choice based on my comments or yours.

"Barriere 5* properties attract mainly a French premium class of clients."
Like you and most posters here, I've been to quite a few remarkable hotels in France and in many countries to be able to give a legit (though personal) opinion. I've also been to most Barriere French properties except Fouquet's Paris. Their hotel crowds is indeed mostly French (and not as premium as it was 10-15 years ago), but they are also very MICE oriented which is not an issue at all but not always compatible with the idea of luxury that most people share on this forum section. But as I've you said we do not share the same opinion.


On this point, we share the same opinion
Bonsoir !

1) Your report is much appreciated and hope to read more from you. Service issues are important to know for the hotel management. About the mentioned room materials I am undecided how this forum section should evaluate it according professional criteria. Personally for this hotel and location I have no problem with it. Guest and families come directly from the beach with wet and sandy clothes. Managers may have decided from the durability point of view, easy cleaning etc, to take the materials you mentioned. It is not George V, and is IMHO not intended to be, except we want to pay such rates.

2) Well. That bathroom looks too small and maybe even not 5*, if I should decide upon the picture. If most look like this, the renovation probably had no influence on floor plans and room size/layout. I remember having seen a different layout during my mentioned visit, but it was a large suite. The Le Royal bathrooms are also different.

3) Very glad to read you are French as French people have a sense for true luxury . France is my favorite holiday destination. If you give tips to the Bell hop does he share with the others. It is your country, and just for me to learn (I am German ). I give to the teams separately.

4) Your expertise is absolutely appreciated here I am sure and by me. What I see is that Barriere is investing in its hotels, recent renovations at Dinard, Baule, etc. I like what they do as French family, preserve the memory of Diane Barriere, I like the hotels as far as I know them in Normandy, Bretagne, Cannes, Paris, the guests I saw, the way doing service, the casinos (for fun and relaxation), the Deauville concept with the many facilities, beach, Le Ciro‘s, available all to the clients. Even if during my first stay at Royal Barriere in Aug 2013 during the fantastic breakfast in the fully occupied and impressively decorated room with unbelievable engaged staff I had difficulties to make clear what kind of coffee they should bring, and they gave up desperately after three times with milk, milk powder and Americain, and guided me finally to the coffee machine to let me make my „allong“ myself . As I seemed to be the only German during that time in the hotel and everyone else was drinking his coffee with milk or as filter-coffee I understood that as a cultural and language communication problem and not as a service or luxury deficit

Tres bonne soiree!
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Last edited by submonte; Jan 30, 22 at 1:14 pm
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