L’Hermitage Gantois in Lille: a little disappointing

L’Hermitage Gantois in Lille offers a good quality service, but sometimes disappoints in relation to the claimed standing and the prices charged.

For this second part of my stay in Lille I went upmarket and after the very nice Moxy Lille City I set my sights on the Hermitage Gantois, a hotel in the Autograph Collection chain, a group of independent, top-of-the-range hotels, each with its own history and style.

You’ll find all the articles about this stay in Lille at the bottom of the page.

Booking

A fortnight before my stay, I booked a standard room for 223 euros a night.

Location of the hotel

Close to the town hall, it’s a 15-minute walk from the station. Not necessarily near most of the tourist sites, but that’s not a problem given the size of the city. Let’s just say that, like the Moxy, it’s not in the heart of the city but right next door.

A bit of history

Founded in 1462, it was a hospice until 1995. It welcomed the elderly and sick of the Lille region, and the hospice building bears witness to this passage through the centuries. Fully restored, it has been a 5* hotel since 2003.

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It’s a hotel that can be visited…

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It’s a pity, though, that you have to read the bar menu to find out more about the hotel.

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For the record, it belongs to the same operator as the Hotel de Bourgtheroulde where I was in Rouen a few weeks ago. A certain similarity in the heritage dimension of these properties.

Arrival and check-in

In the morning I noticed in the application an upgrade to a superior room.

I arrived at the hotel in the early afternoon…a truly superb façade.

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I head for the reception area, where the combination of modern and ancient is clear from the first steps.

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The welcome is professional, but nothing more.

I’m taken through the ceremonial steps of the loyalty program and given a list of the various benefits to which I’m entitled.

I’m asked if I’d like a late check-out. Yes, I asked for it when I checked in online.

I’m told my room will be ready in an hour. Too bad, I had also requested an early check-in. I have the impression that the information and requests made during online check-in have not been taken into account. It lacks a bit of seriousness for a hotel of this standing.

Nor is there any mention of the upgrade…which is real.

It’s all a bit rough and junior.

So I entrust my suitcase to the staff and am left to wander around for a good hour. I had asked for early check-in because I had a videoconference, but now I’ll have to do it on the phone on the sidewalk.

I return more than an hour later and am told that my room is still not ready. I feel that the staff at reception are a little annoyed with those who have to look after the rooms. They make a couple of phone calls to find out what’s going on and invite me to wait at the bar.

I settle in and order myself a coffee and a bottle of water…the setting is superb but I’ll come back to the subject in detail later. On the other hand, it’s hot under the glass roof.

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At last I’m informed that my room is ready. Usually, in such cases, the property offers the drinks, but in this case nothing at all. For a 5*, it doesn’t look very professional so far.

So I accompany the receptionist to the desk so that he can take my room key and accompany me. Then he suddenly changes his mind and asks a young colleague to do it for him. Of course, since everything had gone so well so far, he could entrust me to what looked like a trainee.

I ask for my suitcase back. “In theory it should already be in your room“. In theory…and he won’t make the effort to check.

So I head for my room with his young colleague.

Well, this elevator’s broken down and the others are further away, so we’ll take the stairs.” Even better.

By the way, I forgot to show you but to get to the spa just follow the directions“. Well, yes.

We get to the room, he shows me around and just as he’s about to show me the bathroom… “ah yes, it’s dark, I forgot to put in the card to unlock the electricity…but it’s badly designed and badly placed all the same“. Triumph of amateurism.

At least my luggage was there. The only thing that has worked well so far.

The room

And here, at last, is my deluxe room.

You enter through a small vestibule. To the right a closet, to the left the toilet, opposite the bedroom.

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And this is the bedroom.

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A little old-fashioned, especially the carpeting, but that’s not bad taste either. What’s more, I’m assuming that given the age of the monument, they’re constrained by the woodwork they have to preserve.

The bed will be very comfortable.

Opposite is a desk:

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The TV is on top, which makes it uncomfortable to put my laptop on it. What’s more, the plastic chairs not only look a bit dated in terms of design (so 60s….), they’re also extremely uncomfortable.

The minibar is well-stocked, which is rare these days.

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Drinks consumed will not be replaced during the 3 days of my stay and only one bottle of water was offered.

As for hot drinks, there were only linden infusions and decaffeinated coffee.

The bathroom makes a better impression. Quite large and more modern in appearance.

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While we’re at it, a quick trip to the toilet…

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And finally, a printed note, not even personalized, but a box of chocolates as a gift.

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What to say? First of all, I don’t see what’s “superior” about this room.

Then I understand that given the age of the building, which must certainly be listed, it’s not possible to get rid of the woodwork (and I’ve got nothing against that) but there must be a way to make them look less old-fashioned playing with furniture, carpet color, decoration…

In short, at this stage I can’t say I’ve been subjugated. Of course it’s quality, but more is expected from a 5-star hotel.

Bar and restaurant

The hotel has a bar and a restaurant, but I’ll only try the former.

It is located in the former hospice courtyard, covered by a large glass roof. It’s superb.

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The bar by day:

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And by night.

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Really superb.

The staff will prove to be friendly and accommodating. I particularly recommend their exceptional whisky list for a hotel:

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Facilities

The hotel has a Spa but no gym.

The spa is housed in a building adjacent to the hotel, to which it is linked by a corridor.

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I didn’t try the treatments, but I did try the pool.

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Very pleasant and large for a downtown hotel. The temperature is quite good. It’s not the Hôtel de Bourgtheroulde, but it’s not bad.

On the other hand, the absence of a gym is scandalous. In an old building I can understand that, but when you’re building a new one, not having one is incomprehensible, and even less so in a 5*.

Staff and service

Very pleasant at the bar, off the mark and disorganized at reception. And I’m not talking about the inability to make rooms available on time.

The minibar will never be restocked in 3 days.

And on the last day, the cleaning lady tried twice to get into my room to clean it, even though I had a late check-out, which she obviously hadn’t been informed about.

Check-out

I’ll leave the hotel without going through reception again by checking out on the mobile app. This will prevent me from going through the same hell as at check-in.

Bottom line

L’Hermitage Gantois is undoubtedly a beautiful hotel, and certainly one of the finest in Lille. But when a hotel boasts of being one of the city’s finest and proudly displays its 5-star rating, expectations rise.

Up to date rooms, efficient reception staff, not having to pay for your coffee and glass of water at the bar because you’ve been waiting for your room for over an hour, a gym, not having to be disturbed by the cleaning lady on the day of departure when you have a late check-out, for example…

At this price, I’m not sure I’ll return.

The articles about this stay in Lille

#TypePost
1DiaryOrganizing a trip to Lille
2TrainParis-Lille, SNCF TGV 1st class
3HotelMoxy Lille City
4RestaurantEstaminet chez Raoul Lille
5RestaurantLa Table du Clarance, Lille
6HotelL’Hermitage Gantois, Lille
7RestaurantLe Cerisier, Lille
8RestaurantLe Braque, Lille
9DiaryVisit Lille
10TrainLille-Paris, SNCF TGV 1st class ( useless, no review)
11DiaryDebriefing my trip to Lille
Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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