News & Reviews Europe France Review: Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, France

Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, 
Room type:
Duration: 8th > 10th November, 2017

This may be the largest delay between writing and publishing a review.  It has sat in my drafts for over 2 years, so it is time to make it free.  

This may come as a surprise.  I have almost nothing good to say about our stay here in 2017.  Yet I still would return.  That is either the beauty of marketing, a false memory or je ne sais quoi.

  • Food
    • Sent back club sandwich as it was cold. Second attempt was burnt and one of the worst sandwiches of all time
    • Butternut squash Veloutte was good
    • Michelin star restaurant closes end of August
    • Dinner menu is just same as lunch yet without sandwiches  – maybe they realised lunch was so bad they removed it for good
    • Ketchup half empty given to us at dinner
    • Tapas and wine in the lobby
    • Allergic to shellfish in stay list yet twice they bought it for canapés
  • Service
    • Asked them to come up to fix flooded bathroom and no one came
    • Waiter came to take our order and left as his phone was ringing
    • Everyone seemed to greet us by name
    • Free shuttle service into town in a luxury van
    • Could see genuine interest from one receptionist as he looked up our profile and started discussing other FS properties
    • Waiter remembered our exact drinks from yesterday and suggested them again
    • Seasonal staff as they shut end November and reopen beginning March
  • Room
    • Bulgari toiletries – one was half empty
    • Mirrors scare the shit out of me as I walk into them
    • Automated curtains and good light switches, yet no proper master
    • Smells like someone has taken a shit in the hallway – and it wasn’t me
    • No refill of water, yet gift left on the bed – a book.  Phoned up to ask for it and got attitude back that only some rooms get it, ask for some to be sent and get charged €10
      • They did then send some free fruit and sweets
    • Deluxe Sea View Room – nice colours and design, with balcony and seating area within the room
    • Modern classical design
    • Flowers within the room
    • You could walk through to connecting room – open by mistake
    • Same TV system as MO London, but it works and allows AirPlay via an app called MyAway

The issues

  • welcomed at door by door man who showed us to seat and supply drinks and towels – unfortunately put us next to a dirty table with empty tea cups. Took passport and checked us in

The bathroom flooded and we had to make repeated calls for someone to come fix it; the room genuinely smelt like someone had defecated in it and the AC was so loud it sounded like I was stuck in an industrial  fridge.  As for the food, it reminded me very much of Beau-Rivage Palace – such an amazing hotel, yet such awful cuisine.

  • Very impressive hard product. It reminded me of Beau-Rivage Palace, with the modern-classic design, impressive, grand building, and awful food to go with it.

We found it bad we chose to eat out, but due to the time of year we went only some low-end restaurants were open – they were still significantly better. Even so, such a spectacular location, facilities and beautiful rooms. We drove to Monaco for the day and had some nice meals in Hotel Metropole and Hotel de Paris. If they fixed the food, hired a plumber and got some room sprays then they’re onto a winner.

We ate at the hotel twice, which was enough, so we also went to Monaco for the day and ended up going out for dinner nearby one evening. They do have a house car and it is complimentary to take you into town for dinner, but there is also good Uber access as well (just not from Monaco, but getting there is not an issue)

In terms of the hotel itself:

  • Even our room – around 41sqm – offered enough space for me not to kick and scream about an upgrade. The only downside were the mirrors everywhere, that would result in frequently getting a freight at walking into another person, only to discover it was myself – which is probably even more scary.
  • However, the room genuinely smelt like someone had taken a turd in it. It was definitely not me, as I went on an etiquette course a few weeks prior that made it clear not to ever do this. Right between the bathroom and the cupboard it absolutely stunk.
  • The spa floor is a death trap – walk slowly. The receptionist welcomed us by being on her phone and ignoring us completely, and then we walked through to find that you must walk through some freezing cold water before you can get into the pool area. Undoubtedly for hygiene reasons, but the first time I’ve ever seen it, so surely some alternative is available.
  • The hotel is shut from end of November until March, so therefore a lot of the staff are seasonal and the service will not be perfect in every area. We experience some minor mishaps, but for the most part thought it was very personalised, with the majority of staff knowing our name and remembering preferences.

I would return.

=========

  • Beautiful lobby 
  • Welcome by GM
  • Setting
    • Nearest restaurant is 20 minutes walking distance from hotel 
    • Beautiful pool down by the rocks and through the gardens and a walk across the road
    • Poor phone reception 
  • Spa
    • Down to -2 from main building and walk over. Receptionist was on phone and just ignored us except to sign in. No intro, no show around – nothing 
    • Gym colours are depressing 
    • Good that facilities are mixed – sauna, steam room 
    • Freezing water required to walk through to get to jacuzzi area
    • Floor very slippery – almost fell over twice  
  • Departure 
    • goodbye from members of reception
    • Helped a damsel in distress in the toilets with the power of sliding it rather than pushing it 

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Tom Cahalan

Written by Tom Cahalan on 17th Feb '20

Dorsia Travel’s co-founder Tom Cahalan’s take on travel is reliably candid. Here’s his take on what’s good, bad, and luxurious.

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