We wanted to spend a few days in the Ardennes and found La Malle Poste in Rochefort online. The staff speaks both French and Dutch, which was very convenient for us Dutchies. Based on the pictures of the hotel we expected the hotel to be located more in a forest like environment, but the hotel is located in the village center, opposite the church and lies directly at the main road passing through the village. Something to take into account when booking the room, because they offer garden view rooms and street view rooms. Always go for the garden view rooms, we had a garden view room and it was very nice and quiet.
Arriving at La Malle Poste we entered at a beautifully restored historic building, a former coach house for mail coaches (hence the hotel's name). The lady at the reception was nowhere to be found inside, which was a returning theme throughout our stay. She returned at some point and turned out to be busy showing another guest the premises, which we deemed fair. After she was finished with this person, she attended to us in a equally elaborate fashion. She registered us, then showed us around the premises (very nice garden and parking (closes at 9, so secured area) and led us to our room personally. Very friendly.
Access from the parking area to the new wing of the hotel led us past the nice pool & steamroom/sauna area (to our right) and the fitness room (to our left) onto the elevator, which brought us to the 4th floor, room 300. The corridor/passage (can’t call this area a hallway, too small) was poorly lit with LED lights casting marginal lighting. As mentioned the corridor was very narrow/small, which felt claustrophobic. Fortunately the room was more spacious.
Room 300 is a superior room originally for 2 people, which we booked as a family (2 people plus a 4 year old). The hotel placed a stretcher for our daughter, which made the room a bit more crowded than usual. Reviewing the room for 2 adults without child, the room is spacious. Bed: unfortunately there were two 1 person matrasses in the main bed instead of one large 2 person matrass, but this seems to be standard more and more in hotels nowadays. The matrasses, blankets and pillows were very nice (soft and clean, fortunately not scented like in some hotels), the only downside was that the beds isolated the heat alot rather than take it up. Consequently the beds felt heated. Nice in winters, not so much in summers. I slept without a blanket and still woke up sweaty. And this was in rainy weather conditions outside, so no extreme warm temperatures or anything.
Rest of the room: bathroom is small, but has a nice sink and a really nice triangular bathtub with jets and a shower unit in it. Separate toilet room. Ventilation unit that automatically turns on upon movement in the bathroom, nice but very noisy, so it was a bit annoying in the evening when our daughter was asleep. A switch operated ventilation channel would be better in our opinion, but this is again said as parents. For just 2 adults, this would not matter as much.
A writing desk is located by the window, during the day a nice view on the garden from there. Door to balcony can be opened to stand outside, or tilted vertically for ventilation during the day. Balcony is very small, max two people can stand there. Two closets for clothes, one containing a safe. A luggage stand at the end of the bed and a comfy large classical chair complete the room interior. A 20-25” flatscreen tv mounted on the wall opposite the bed. We brought our own DVD player for our daughter, the TV has 2 SCART options so that was perfect. When we asked the hotel for a power cable to connect the DVD player to, they did not have any so we bought one ourselves locally (remember the different sockets with the earth pins in them should you bring your own).
An important thing about the hotel is that the restaurant area is closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The reception is available for emergencies then, but not regular service. We read it on the site, but forgot this. Since the restaurant comprises half of the location, the hotel seems closed on these days. The adventurous underground passage from the pool area through the wine cellars to the restaurant (a fantastic walk that once led us almost into the kitchen) is also closed on these days. This overall closure was quite surprising, we thought.
Breakfasts were a feast every day. Very friendly staff regularly asking if everything was satisfactory, fresh croissants, eggs still hot from boiling, fresh orange juice, good yoghurts etc, everything perfect. Beautiful dining rooms in the restaurant area, interior very nicely attuned to the historical atmosphere of the building. Nicely done.
Owner of the hotel gave us good suggestions for day trips, so very service oriented. Swimming pool was very nice, relatively cold water, slightly salty, was very nice to swim in. Sauna was very nice, steamroom as well. Nice vibe there, good place to relax.
Needed to get used to the environmentally friendly economical lighting in the hotel. All hall ways are always dark until you start walking, then the lights shortly light up. Personally I like it better when in a hotel all lights are simply on all the time, but the idea is laudable. In the corridor at our room floor, the lighting was simply not enough, more/better lighting needed there.
Overall impression: Very nice hotel, some things to get used to like the not 24/7 reception (first time I came across adjusted reception hours) and the lighting, but this hotel is definitely worth to stay at, especially as a couple. And although we did not eat at the restaurant (haute cuisine and kids…), passing by there on Friday evening, all dining rooms were packed and were buzzing, so the food is very likely as good as the menu lets you believe.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC