How Do YOU Choose…?

It’s got to be a good sign when you pitch up and your hotel turns out to be a castle. Well, near enough. I was glad to be the only one in reception as the owner fired off such rapid French that I needed full concentration and complete silence to get the drift. He seemed keen to show off the intended room though and opened the door with a flourish to be met will the undeniable smell of stale cigarette smoke. Here was the tester. I’ve stayed in plenty of hotels where the owner has feigned complete astonishment “What smell?”

Reminds me of a time many years ago we viewed what looked on paper to be a very promising house in France. As we pulled up behind the agent’s car all eyes were on the massive metallic fixed container situated right opposite and at least twice as high as the house. In fact it was such a blot on the landscape that we’d seen it from afar with my husband joking “You wait. It will be next to that”

“What’s that?” we enquired. “What?” responded the agent. “That”. He turned to look and recoiled in horror. Sacre bleu! Who had left that monster there overnight?
I have no idea why but I went into the house anyway. My husband went back to the car. The agent showed me all the rooms overlooking the rear aspect of the house and avoided those in the front. The ones plunged into eternal darkness by the shadow of that metallic mass.

So – I like honesty. I used to tell my kids “I don’t care if you’ve broken my best xyz (I did – I’d kill ‘em) but I WILL care if you don’t admit to it.”

The owner of Au Ker Moor Hotel in Saint Quay Portrieux did the honourable thing though by acknowledging the potential problem. He immediately apologised for the whiff whilst bemoaning the fact that people would flout the rules and began to close the door to source another room. But I’d had a peek inside and seen the view. “Pas de problème” I insisted. “We’ll open all the glass doors”.

Au Ker Moor Hotel, Saint Quay Portrieux, the room view

How do you decide on accommodation? Obviously, the rate is usually the major factor and the location (which dictates the rate!) but faced with several choices of similar price what do you look for?

For me it’s often silly things:

Can I park?
Can I cancel?
Are there tea and coffee facilities in the room?
Is breakfast included? I don’t want it to be. Would rather pass and stay in bed longer… :-)

I’ve even been known to book accommodation on the basis that I preferred their complimentary biscuits to those at the place down the road with a better view and jacuzzi bath. Priorities, chaps.

Time for a stomp round the harbour then:

Saint Quay Portrieux, harbour, Brittany

Saint Quay Portrieux, the harbour, Brittany

On the recommendation of the hotel owner we headed over to Signatures restaurant

Hotel Saint Quay, Saint Quay Portrieux

As it was!

Hotel Saint Quay, Saint Quay Portrieux in Brittany, days gone by
Hotel Saint Quay, Saint Quay Portrieux, Brittany


Signatures restaurant, Skate


Back at the hotel next morning the breakfast was French…with knobs on. The usual petit dejeuner français with baguettes, croissants and pains au chocolat plus many types of cereal, fruits, yoghurts and toast. There was even a boiled egg maker and some sort of scrambler.

PS I would have taken a photo of the lovely room for you all but by the time I remembered I’d created complete havoc in there.

Sunset, Brittany

This gives a good overview of the hotel and of Saint Quay Portrieux. It’s in French but the visuals are enough in themselves.

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  • Beth Pipe

    How do I choose?  A very pertinent question for me from last weekend when we didn’t go to Harrogate.  I had a list of prerequisites but turns out I only needed one thing; Delores.  For hotels these days I tend to read a lot of reviews before deciding, but parking is usually way high up on the list.  One place we looked at wanted over £100 per night PLUS addition car parking charge.  Pah!  Your castle does look divine though…  :-)

    • Karenguttridge

      It’s interesting that you mention reading hotel reviews as it’s not uncommon for hotel owners to offer gifts to guests in exchange for a positive review (not sure that is legal anymore) and I know several hotel owners who are driven crazy by fake negative reviewers – wonder how widespread the practice is, really? I don’t think there’s any easy way to select accommodation – and as you say – what more do you need than Delores…? :-)