Imagine the scene: a long drive across Italy on a very cold but sunny day, then emerging from the Frejus tunnel into a grey snowy France. It was already dark by the time we reached our pre-booked hotel near Chambery. It was locked. We noticed a night entrance and went into a vestibule where there was a check-in machine which was out of order. Thinking we might have to wait for hours before (or if) someone turned up, we set off to hunt for another hotel.
At Challes-les-Eaux our luck changed. The Chateau Hotel des Comtes de Challes couldn’t have been nicer. We had chanced upon a soiree gastronomique et musicale and ended up in the great hall next to an enormous log fire, listening to an amazing jazz quartet between courses of such quality we were swooning with delight! To crown it all, there was a prize draw at the end of the evening and we won another musical evening for two, valid for a year. We’ll be going there again in March for sure.
As for the other hotel, La Cle Des Champs, they have now agreed to pay compensation for the inconvenience. What they call a win-win situation.