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“Dont ruin holiday/Ihr Urlaub nicht...”

Written on: 20/10/2013

Le Magiot hotel in Montliot et Courcelle.

Sounds horrid and it was.!
This hotel is very tired. You felt reluctant to touch things in case they were dirty or sticky. Actually, it was clean, but in need of major work. Reminded me of the cheapest London hotels where you need to stay awake in case something crawls from behind the skirting boards! ( once off experience some years ago!! )
Anyway, amidst the plastic notices all over the walls admonishing us not to smoke, etc,. etc., we decided to make the best of it. Then, my lady used the bathroom and found the toilet wouldn't flush.
I went to reception and reported this in my imperfect French.
Gentleman came and fiddled and pronounced the toilet fixed. I tried it later and it failed to work again. Off to reception again and we left the gentleman to fix it while we went out for the evening to eat in the next bigger town. Lovely meal, by the way.

He had been unable or unwilling to change our room for us despite the fact the hotel was deserted like a graveyard.
Anyway, after a foul night with no fan despite the heat and with an ever-increasing pile of excrement building up in the toilet, we went to pay and leave. We asked to pay 15.00 Euro less because of their inability to fix the toilet. Fairly reasonable we thought given the experience we had had.
The lady ( owner with her husband I take it ) refused point blank to consider this and her man was on hand to explain how we had broken the toilet ourselves by pulling the handle up rather than pushing it down. It was prime breakfast time and one couple only was sitting having breakfast listening to all this - the hotel was just as deserted as it had been the previous night so where all the other guests were into whose rooms we hadn't been able to move is anyone's guess!
The toilet was a design I had not seen before with a thin "pole" going into the mechanism and connecting to another vertical "pole" in the interior so that pressing down caused the interior "pole" to be depressed and operate the toilet. Unfortunately, the connection would not stay connected.
In my opinion, it had been like that for some time and they had not bothered to fix it properly. However, with that shrug we all know so well, the lady proprietor declared "these things happen sometimes, Monsieur". Anyway, after I had photographed the toilet and its contents and told them I was still not happy, the lady offered us "a cadeaux", a present, a bottle of their personal wine.
I rejected this as I had plenty of wine and its value would not be high enough to compensate us.
I told them they could take 15Euro less for the night's stay or simply not be paid whereupon we were threatened with the police if we did that. More discussion and I decided to go to the nearest police station and explain. The man stood at the door barring it so we could only leave by moving him. He eventually moved of his own accord.
On reflection, however, it was clear my chances of prevailing in a dispute with a local business at a local Police station with my imperfect French would have been zero - not to mention delaying our travelling to Lausanne.
I paid the bill by credit card and took the bottle of wine simply to make the unpleasantness stop and to have some redress.
Sounds horrid and it was.!

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