Once again we have been thwarted, on our annual drive from the French Alps back to the UK.
We are Club Med aficionados, and have been for the last 30 years, and most recently crossed the Atlantic ( for the 2nd time) on their beautiful sail boat Club Med 2!
This year we thought we would be really clever and drive to the Spa town of Vittel, where there is a Club Med, with two golf courses! What could go wrong?
Well , apart from the golf courses ,Le Peulin was beautiful and Le Mont St. Jean, very interesting as it also formed part of a Point TO Point horse racing course, so trying to decide to go over the object, around it, under it proved to be a challenge. Actually it reminded me of ” We are going on a bear hunt, can’t go over it can’t go through it, etc.” Otherwise, everything was wrong, perhaps not wrong but to be honest it was the worse Club Med, that we have ever been in !
Partly our fault maybe, we did not realise that there are 3 hotels for Club Med in Vittel, and I feel that the Club Med booking agent should have told us, or maybe it was full, but we were in the family hotel, and nothing wrong with that BUT, we were just the two of us.
When we arrived, it was just before “La Rentreé” return to school for French kids. The place was full to bursting and going in for dinner at 8 pm was absolutely manic! It seemed that chaos reigned, and worse of all, A BUFFET! Something I abhor! 99% of the tables, were family tables, which were all full. Normally there is a hostess who will seat people, but not here but we did find a table for 3, which was occupied by a teenager, who quickly departed, when faced with two old fogies and English ones at that!
And on top of that? Well three dinners and three breakfasts, are just not worth any mention at all. Appalling is all I can say.
We have been going to Club Med on a regular basis since 1986, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mauritius, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Mexico, France, the USA, Morocco, Egypt, and Transatlantic, the list goes on. The one thing I have always said about Club Med, is the food is always good, but not this time. Three items were just passable, the Beef Wellington, which actually was very good, and the Ongelet beef, which was OK, even f it was a bit tough, and an omelette! I had an omelette for dinner, which the chef cooked very well.
Subsequently , I ordered an omelette for breakfast, not the Chef unfortunately but a cook, who probably couldn’t even boil an egg, let alone an omelette, over cooked, more like cardboard, which couldn’t be folded, but rather dumped in a mess on the plate.Inedible!
I could go on about the food, but enough to say it was awful, so awful that I di not take any pictures, and I should have done so!
And then I move onto the buildings, Grand in appearance, huge and once very grand but now resting on their faded glory, A beautiful Mosaic floor, laid by a Master Mosaic, designer/artist, a mosaicist. And it was beautiful but the armchairs, were in part severely worn.
The main bar was minuscule and severely understaffed ( and by 10.30 pm they were more or less putting the chairs on the tables !) Outside broken tiles and paving stones were everywhere.
And the staff, the GO’s , Katie and Adam were delightful, but the Chef de Village? He was not to be seen, not once in three days ( we did meet his deputy, Teddy) the receptionist in our bit of the hotel was functional and not the smiling happy GO that we are used to, in fact she seemed decidedly bored, the navette driver, even more so and certainly did not get out of the truck to help with our golf clubs.
Our part of the hotel, was another beautiful building, but with dark corridors, where you had to hunt for the light switches, even during the day, room small, towels, sadly lacking and cheap, the shower door, hanging by a thread and no amenities ( shampoo, shower excepted) no tea/ coffee-making facilities, these are the norm these days. On top of that, no window coverings, a thick curtain but as we looked out onto a small apartment block, ( and they looked straight into our room) it meant drawing the curtains, even during the day, to change .
Maybe, if we had stayed in the Ermitage section of the hotel, it might have been better, but am not so sure, as we took late lunch there, after golf, and it certainly wasn’t any better.
Vittel itself was founded in the mid 1800’s by lawyer Louis Bouloumié when he purchased the Fontaine de Gérémoy. It is the source of the water by the same name VITTEL, whch today is bottled by the Nestlé Company.
The town is very pretty, beautiful architecture and a wonderful, very large park, for walking, biking, running, alongside a horse race track, a point to point horse race course, barrel racing ( again with horses) and tennis courts.
Rumours abound that Club Med is about to close this resort. Can’t come fast enough as far as I’m concerned.