The two of us arrived tired after long train journey. It looked nice enough. We were told it was room only and had to tell reception that we had booked breakfast too. We were then shown to our room. We were led to an annexe away from main hotel. There was no security and two entrances. It looked(and smelled) derelict. No lighting as we were led to lift. 4 floors up and into a dark corridor. No light outside the lift. The embarrassed employee fumbled and tried to light corridor. The lighting worked as we approached the room. This was a tiny room not worthy of a star at all. Our escort tried to switch on lights to no avail. He shook his head and checked bulb and signalled that he would get a new one and took it out. The "air conditioning" advertised in this three star brochure was a fan, which our now highly frustrated escort attempted to plug in to a socket near the television. No it was blocked with a broken plug and he cut himself on it. He then plugged it in to the only other source of electricity and so the enormous fan now stood blocking the doorway! (nowhere to charge phones in this "3star" room. The "wardrobe" was a one door cupboard with one shelf taken up by the pillows and safe ( I say this loosely as it was attached to the shelf by screw and nut. We actually took it out for a photo! Anyone in this badly secured building could have taken it with our passports and money!) This was a nightmare. The "desk" could have been picked up from a land fill as there were runners where the drawer should have been. As there was only the floor to put our cases and this was also shared with the fan, we then had nowhere to walk! We had just come here to break our journey and to reminisce not to shrive ourselves,! The irony was that the pilgrims in the main hotel had great facilities as described in the brochure. We would certainly have done better to camp at the great French sites as we did 15 years ago. It was time to complain. This was not what was advertised at all. We duly left the room and walked down the corridor to the lift situated in a plainly dangerous unlit area. At reception we complained, something we have never done before. The response was staggering! We had booked on the Internet, paid up front for a standard room and that was that. Could we upgrade? No, because we had booked through expedia so they hadn't dealt with the money. Actually, we had booked through Hotels.com but there has to be a cautionary tale here-if you book that way you can expect an inferior service!!
We said we wanted to upgrade. Surely we had paid whether it was a long time ago or not. Was there a room in the main building? No! Could they let us know if one became available? reluctantly, yes.
We went back through the dark, yes, fire hazard of an annexe to our expensive tiny room. This was the end of our holiday, three days in Lourdes after a great stay in hotel madeloc in Couliore. We decided to ring Hotels.com for advice. Basically, they sorted it. We went to reception and hey presto! There WAS a room available in the main building after all. It was a three star room with air conditioning, a wardrobe, and floor space.
We had good, well organised breakfast. The fact that we were a couple seemed unusual as there were mostly very large groups with designated areas. The staff at breakfast were kind and helpful.
All the people who are part of organised groups would not know about the inferior annexe. Beware! This is the first time in many years of travel that we have had such a bad hotel experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Uniquely located on the banks of the river Gave at the entrance to the Sanctuaries, the La Solitude Hotel boasts spacious, soundproofed and air-conditioned rooms equipped with flat screen satellite TV and free WiFi. 24 rooms have been equipped to welcome disabled people. Its restaurant overlooking the fortified castle serves gourmet cuisine and plentiful buffet-style breakfasts. This international class hotel has a bar, brasserie, heated panoramic pool, spacious meeting rooms, a store and car park. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Solitude Hotel