You know the saying: location, location, location? Well the Relais Chateau hotel, Hôtel de la Plage in Sainte Anne La Palud, has it in spades.
You feel like you are at the end of the world, just you and the ocean. There is no town per se, no restaurants or cafes, just you and the water and miles and miles of beaches to walk.
The property is beautiful, but I have to say that the service and the food is just not there. Of all the Relais Chateaus that I have stayed in, this was my worst experience. This statement is my personal opinion, but as I stayed at four different Relais Chateaus on just this trip alone, I feel comfortable stating that the Hôtel de la Plage does not have all the necessary characteristics of this hotel franchise.
However, the location is absolutely magnificent and we enjoyed our stay there.
Our room was gorgeous. We were in a somewhat larger room (compared to photos I saw of some of the rooms) and had a nice terrace. We were located just above the glassed-in dining area (if you look at the photo above, it is the part that kind of juts out from the house in the middle). We spent every night watching the sunset from the terrace, glass of champagne (or cider) in hand.
We enjoyed one of the best panaché I have ever had in France, a perfect mixture of beer and lemon soda.
One evening, out of the three we stayed, we ate in the hotel. We first had an apero in their adorable bar. I loved the various shades of turquoise and other blues, and was particularly fond of the lighting fixtures:
We had a glass of champagne and some amuse-bouches that were really quite good, especially their version of herring and potatoes. The potatoes were very creamy with a slight hint of garlic, I could have eaten a whole bowl!
We went into dinner where we decided not to take a full menu but rather just order entrees. I order lobster which is a regional specialty, and Mr. Misadventures ordered the classic sole meunière (his hope was that he was going to get some more of those potatoes as that what was listed as the accompaniment).
I was very disappointed by the paltry serving, especially since I had just had a similar dish at Chateau Richeux. (The price for this dish was 68 Euros!)
While Mr. Misadventures sole was the largest piece we had ever seen served in France, and the flavor on par, the potatoes were not the same as the herring apero, but rather were like the consistency of soup with too much cream (I know, if that is possible…)
The table service was not great, the wait staff was either new, in training, or it is hard to find good staff that far from any where. I am not too picky about that, they were just clumsy and awkward and I felt bad for them.
Breakfast through out our stays in Brittany had been amazing feasts of fresh regional food. We found breakfast at the Hôtel de la Plage underwhelming. One thing that was unacceptable in my mind was the horrible bread. With good Bretagne butter and fresh strawberry confiture (which they had) you must have good bread. The bread at the hotel was indescribably bad. My suggestion is that if that cannot source it locally (since there is not much around) they need to hire a baker. No Relais Chateau should ever serve bread of that caliber.
Despite these flaws, we did have a nice stay and enjoyed exploring the richness of this particular part of the region. More on that in Part 3 of my Brittany road trip reports.