A staffer at Hotel Les Grillons met us at the door as we approached with some of our luggage. An adorably pregnant young woman sat behind the reception desk and greeted us in perfect British English. Actually, at first, I thought she sounded more like an Aussie than a Brit. However, I soon realized that her French was just as perfect as her English was. I don’t know if she was a product of parents from two countries or just had unusually good language training. In any case, I got the sense that this was her hotel. She handed us the key to room 25, which was on the third floor and had a nice view of the mountains and the lake.
By the front door…
The lovely young woman, whom I am going to assume was Aurelie Blanchin, advised us that the pool was unheated but available, as was the heated outdoor jacuzzi. We booked the “half-board” option, which meant dinner was included in our rate. The chef, Sébastien, makes a four course meal each night. If there’s something on it you don’t like or can’t eat, you can let them know before 5:00pm and they will make substitutions. I was delighted with the three dinners we had at the hotel. We opted to go a more casual route last night. More on that in a future post.
This was our humongous bed. I was glad I brought an extra pillow, as I usually do here in Europe. Bill wished he’d brought his, too. This bed had a light duvet, one regular sized pillow, and one throw pillow. Naturally, there is no air conditioning, but the window can be opened for a nice lake breeze. There are also bugs, but they didn’t bother us too much. The mattress was a little firm for me, but I’m used to sleeping on a feather bed. I got used to it the firmer mattress after the first night.
These were our first views from our window. They got better the next day, when the sun came out.
The bathroom, with nice herbal scented, wall-mounted toiletries. I’m not a fan of those divider thingies, because they never keep the water off the floor. Such was the case here, too, although the shower got great pressure.
Large wardrobe with a safe.
Hotel Les Grillons has rooms that face the back of the hotel, as well as a few rooms on the second floor that have small balconies. I happened to get the last room available for Saturday night– I think a large British tour group came through– otherwise, the other nights, the hotel was reasonably full, but not packed.
Every morning, the menu is placed in a framed easel in the lobby. The above was what we were offered on our first night. Drinks are not included in the half board rate, but they will give you a pitcher of tap water. Not that we stuck with tap water, mind you.
Actually, we had a couple of big, French beers…
Bill soaks in the atmosphere as I watched the fish in the big aquarium next to where I was sitting. My husband has come to love France. Dinner service begins at 7:30pm and guests are invited to sit where they’d like between 7:30 and 8:30.
Bill chose a nice local red to go with dinner. The wines were very reasonably priced. In fact, I think they were a better deal than the beers.
First course… A carrot mousse, with fresh salad greens. Every dinner also included a basket of fresh bread.
I made sure to get this wine on film so I can look for it locally. It was a very pleasant, dry red that tasted of currants.
Next came perfectly cooked duck breast with cabbage, pears, and polenta…
Bill had a cheese course, which included a couple of local cheeses. One was from a fromagerie just down the road from the hotel. We passed it on our unplanned alternate route to the lake.
I had dessert, which Bill skipped. It was a very light vanilla mousse with pineapple, whipped cream, and a fresh strawberry.
Once dinner was over, we were more than ready to call it a day. And both of us were raving about how good the food and the service were. It seemed odd not to tip anyone, but there’s really no way we could have.
Incidentally, during our first two nights, there was a family with two young children sitting near us. The kids were well accommodated. They even had a menu for them.