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Review of Maison Garnier

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Maison Garnier
Ranked #36 of 64 Hotels in Biarritz
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 24 March 2017 via mobile

The hotel is extremely well located, close to the beach and the center of town. The staff was very friendly and accommodating at check in, more importantly after I found out I left my phone in the taxi they went out of there way to help me track it down. Incredible staff and beautiful hotel!!

Stayed: March 2017, travelled solo
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4 - 8 of 99 reviews

Reviewed 30 October 2016 via mobile

Our large corner room was clean and quiet serviceable for an inexpensive 3 star hotel. While it was spartan and dated in its decor it nevertheless had some old world, small guesthouse charm about it that is very appropriate in Biarritz (the style is 1930's or 40's, I think). The bathroom was overwhelmingly old chunky white porcelain and white tiles but there was some charm in this and some charm in the cheap but quirky print on the wall. Similarly the very large bedroom was basic mission brown, beige and white but was very clean and comfortable. (This room could have down with some old world prints too, or at least something to brighten it up a little - there was some historical material which was good). The hotel is quiet well positioned within Biarritz too.

But this is where the positives end. There were some management issues - essentially the same issues that some others reviewers have presented. Looking at these reviews, I will try very hard to just keep to the facts.

Firstly, we were literally "warned" on arrival that eating and clothes washing in the rooms was not permitted. The cautionary phrase uttered in a stern headmaster tone but with a mildly threatening smile was, "This is not camping, is it?". We found this to be impolite and unnecessarily overbearing. It immediately put us in a negative frame of mind towards the owner, who was otherwise quiet civil and with good English. We are an older couple of seasoned world travelers and to us this attitude to new paying guests said either that it was a cheap hotel with many uncivilized guests in the past and we looked to him like we might be one of them (!), or that the owner was a control-freak. Whichever it was, we were immediately made to feel uncomfortable. We said nothing of course, but could not help but look critically at the room we then went upstairs to settle into. In particular we wondered to each other what the totally empty fridge and dining table complete with tablecloth and wooden dining chairs were all about if no food was allowed.

This initial experience might have been forgotten if the behavior of the owner had not again reinforced our impression that he had an overbearing attitude to his guests. Our room, as we knowingly booked it, had no air conditioning but did have a large free-standing fan (as I believe is the case for the balconied rooms in this establishment). But the weather was unseasonably hot. We had had a long hot day and were keen to avoid a hot sleepless night. I very carefully set up the old-style European shutters and windows to allow the little breeze there was to cool off the airless stifling room. We then left the room to find a nice restaurant nearby.

We returned to find that our room was still hot and airless, having been entered by someone who had adjusted its windows and shutters to prevent the air coming in. We firstly found it disturbing that someone would unnecessarily enter our room in this manner soon after our arrival. In such a small hotel it made us feel uncomfortable, distrusted and "under observation" by the management. We secondly felt that the closure of the windows and shutters was unjustifiable (the windows are unreachable from the ground and the shutters were locked in place anyway). This again spoke of an attitude of interference and control of guests. A respectful owner might have at least mentioned his reasons and his regret for having had to intervene the next day. Nothing was said.

They were helpful and friendly as we left after two nights, finding us a taxi. But I am afraid I cannot recommend that travellers stay here unless this sort of thing won't concern you.

My humble suggestions to the owners, who I'm sure are actually very nice people, are the following.
1. Place very polite and cheerful notices on the fridge, on the dining table and near the bathroom sink to say things like, "The fridge can be used to keep water and other drinks cold, but please don't store foodstuffs or prepare meals in your room" and "Please don't leave washing hanging in the bathroom. Thank you!". You might also want a more formal version on the back of the door in small print that says extra cleaning charges apply if these rules are violated.
2. You can then cut your guests a bit of slack and they will love you for it. If someone in desperation harmlessly rinses out one piece of soiled clothing or eats a sandwich and a takeaway coffee while doing their emails, turn a blind eye and let it go! Only ever admonish (and even charge) someone who actually makes a significant mess or leaves a room festooned with washing. Never admonish a guest for the mess they might make.
3. Never enter a guests room unless:
a) you are doing the daily room clean once your guests have left for the day,
b) you have "due cause" to do so (eg: you hear shutters banging in the wind or really do have reason to suspect wrongdoing) and always tell them what you did and why afterwards. Your guests need to feel secure and don't want to feel "watched". If you relax, they will too.

Stayed: October 2016, travelled as a couple
4  Thank AndrewPillinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2016

I wrote this poem using the feelings I had even several days after this stay and decided to put it on TripAdvisor to warn others. Do not stay here if you want to relax in this beautiful beach town. Yes, the rooms are great, but you have no privacy and are treated like a child. Here goes:

Hotel Maison Garnier is a building that is lovely,
But do not bring a bodyboard to enjoy the beach,
The owners have not seen it,
They shudder in disbelief.

Si vous plais, no plage for you!
The plage has sand, parle vous
Anglais - they seem to speak,
So why ignore the sign that says,
“Do Not Disturb”,
we are asleep!!!*

OCD is a serious disease,
And poor Joanne,
All this disorder,
A grain of sand,
Patrique** please glass it,
For this is one complete,

The hotel is near three beaches,
But not a one is to be breach-ed,
Hanging a towel is serious stuff,
And Joanne has had enough!

Patrique decides to speak,
On behalf of his wife,
Who is seriously weak,
Please do not do this or that,
Because Joanne could seriously snap!

I’m 38 and staying in hell,
I need to sneak in water and food,
Because relaxing in your room,
Could contaminate this crazy Zoo.

* They didn't walk in on us sleeping but did not leave a do not disturb so we asked for one - when they gave it to us and we used it they still entered the room.
** Patrique is spelt Patrick but you need to say it this way in reading the poem. He is probably okay, but Joanne is seriously crazy.
*** When we left the hotel, Catherine saw Joanne go and put a cup on some sand other guests had left (extremely minor) and made Patrick clean it up immediately with the vacuum - a few grains of sand?!
**** Lastly, people are not wrong when they say the wifi is terrible. In addition, while we were having an afternoon snooze they turned our air-conditioning off - AT THE MAINS! I had to walk downstairs on a 30 degree day in August to ask what was going on. This was after we initially had to ask for the actual remote control (ie it is not initially in the room on purpose) - they asked us to open the windows! It is on a busy street in August and is very noisy with the windows open - unbelievable.

  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank BLKs_Food_Blog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Patrick C, Gérant at Maison Garnier, responded to this reviewResponded 27 October 2016
Google Translation

Votre commentaire pourrait prêter à rire tellement il est ridicule, mais comme il est calomnieux, et insultant, uniquement motivé par votre colère d'avoir été mis en face de votre inaptitude à vous comporter de manière civilisée dans un établissement qui inspire un minimum de savoir vivre, et de respect pour les lieux et les personnes qui vous accueillent dans les meilleures conditions, et que vous trahissez en maltraitant le matériel mis à votre disposition, et la confiance que l'on vous accorde, nous sommes obligés d'apporter la véritable version.

D'ailleurs TripAdvisor devrait mesurer la perte de crédibilité que représente votre débit incontrôlé, qui ne fait que désinformer les lecteurs, ou tentative de nous porter préjudice sans motif valablement constaté par rapport à nos obligations professionnelles. Si le mensonge et déformation des situations devient la base des messages, ils perdront définitivement tout intérêt.

Même 2 mois après, on se souvient très bien de votre cas, dont vous confirmez encore vos anomalies de comportement, par votre volubilité qui dépassant la ligne rouge de la bien séance. Nous encourageons les lecteurs à venir constater que dans ce message tout est faux, ou très déformé intentionnellement.

Concernant le body board, combinaisons de surf, et sable vous avez des douches gratuites sur toutes les plages de la ville (ce n'est pas un secret), nous avons même un local permettant de les sécher, sur simple demande et entièrement gratuit... Les serviettes de bain blanches de l'hôtel, ne sont pas prévues (par hygiène élémentaire) pour aller sur la plage.

Au sujet du panneau "ne pas déranger" accroché en permanence à la porte (ce qui n'à aucun sens quand vous êtes absent par définition on ne peut "déranger personne" puisque la chambre est vide !!!) Cela permet comme dans tous les hôtels, de procéder à l'entretien de la chambre ce qui fait partie du contrat.
On ne vient pas dans un hôtel 3*** pour faire la lessive de linge sale dans la chambre, puis le faire sécher sur les meubles, fauteuils, chaises en bois, ou les rebords de fenêtres tapissées de papier (au risque de le décoller). c'est cette sauvagerie que vous vouliez certainement nous cacher...
Nous comprenons mieux maintenant pourquoi la femme de chambre disait avoir peur de vous. Vous deviez avoir une attitude menaçante ou hostile à son égard quand vous la croisiez...

Autre attitude totalement déplacée faire venir votre beau-frère dans le salon jusqu'après minuit pour abuser de notre connexion wifi gratuite, alors qu'il n'était pas client chez nous... Pourquoi il n'utilisait pas celle de son hôtel ?

Quant a la climatisation, il faut avoir un esprit particulièrement vicieux, pour penser que nous l'aurions coupée volontairement, alors que vous étiez prévenu que la sécurité du compresseur disjoncte en cas de surchauffe due aux fenêtres ouvertes (comme tout le monde sait), mais pour vous cela était peut-être un jeu pervers pour voir combien de temps cela pourrait tenir... On ne voit pas d'autre explication.

Vos propos injurieux et diffamatoires concernant Joanne sont totalement déplacés, et démontrent votre bassesse. Vous ne savez même pas faire la différence entre ce qui peut se dire, et ce que l'on peut écrire, ce qui confirme votre ignorance et manque d'éducation. Vous dévoilez votre point faible, déformer les situations pour tenter d'usurper une crédibilité.

Nous avons côtoyé plus de 10.000 clients qui nous ont à l'unanimité félicité pour notre propreté, accueil, et savoir faire. Ce n'est pas votre négativité, qui nous fera changer notre attitude de bien servir nos clients. Nous en profitons pour remercier chaleureusement tous les clients, avec lesquels nous avons des échanges pleins d’esprit, et avec les quels nous avons lié d'excellentes relations.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2016

Always a very warm welcome from Patrick & Joanne, who go out of their way to be helpful without being intrusive. Rooms are large and attractive, comfy beds, clean bathroom. Well located near shops, restaurants, bars, market, beaches. On a bus route and 20 mins taxi ride from airport. Hope to visit again soon.

Room Tip: Quieter rooms with air conditioning on top floor
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  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Fifi388
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2016

This guesthouse was a wonderfully relaxing place to stay, with large rooms, a guest lounge with fireplace, and an excellent breakfast room where the owners serve breakfast and can give advice about the town. Everything is decorated in brown and cream tones; very elegant with some stained glass panels here and there. We would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Teajaye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Maison Garnier

Address: 29, Rue Gambetta, 64200 Biarritz, France
Region: France > Nouvelle-Aquitaine > Pyrenees-Atlantiques > Basque Country > Biarritz
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#16 Romantic Hotel in Biarritz
Price Range: ₹ 6,723 - ₹ 10,085 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Hotel Maison Garnier Biarritz Authentic charming hotel of 7 bedrooms in the heart of Biarritz, with its matchless charm, Maison Garnier kept its sober and elegant character in a villa from 1876. She invites you to enjoy its bedrooms spacious and bright with relaxing day strolling through the city or its area.On entering we discovered on the left the salon, and right a charming dining room where we serve breakfast, with large windows overlooking a flowered balcony. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Maison Garnier Hotel Biarritz

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