La Mere Poulard
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TravelPod Member ReviewsLa Mere Poulard Le Mont-St-Michel
Stop at Mere Poulard to see how the omelettes were made. There is a hypnotic rhythm to the way they beat the eggs for the omelettes.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews La Mere Poulard Le Mont-St-Michel
Magical family adventure on the Mont
We spent weeks researching our family trip to Paris and Normandy. When Grandad broke his foot two weeks before departure, we nearly cancelled our overnight on Mont-St-Michel. If we had, we would have missed what our boys consider one of the highlights of our summer adventure.
After making alternative plans for the grandparents on the mainland, my husband and I arrived with our two boys, 10 and 15, at the causeway around 3 PM. There was the famous and familiar edifice- a thrilling sight even surrounded by tour buses and crawling with daytrippers.
When we told them we were overnight guests, the friendly young parking attendants directed us to the lot nearest to the entrance. We rolled our bags through the stone archway at the main entrance and there was our hotel, the Mere Poulard. We admired the attractive open kitchen to the left of the check-in desk- all gleaming pots and tile- with a large basket of eggs and what had to be a bushel of butter on the table in front of the fireplace. Obviously the omelettes are still the thing to have here- quick and nourishing fare for tired pilgrims then and now.
The hotel clerk greeted us with a big friendly smile, and after one look at my very tall husband, informed me he was changing our room to one that would be more comfortable for us. We followed the bellman up the stairs to two very comfortable rooms- ours was a corner overlooking a little garden- we had a nice bathroom with a very large tub as a bonus. The boys were right above us.
After a quick nap, we grabbed sweaters and went out to explore the Mont. at 5 PM it was still lively with tourists, but not unbearably crowded. We had no plan- just headed up. The main road up the hill was as cheesy and touristy as we had heard- but charming and fun all the same. We climbed at a leaisurely pace, peering into nooks and crannies. The boys were enchanted by the otherworldly atmosphere- "it's like Lord of the Rings!" We explored the cemetery and admired the view of the flats with the tide coming in. On the way back down we passed the Poulard Terrasse restaurant near the top of the High Street. The huge platters of seafood were so appealing and the open view so inviting that we decided to forego our dinner reservations further down the hill and stop there for oysters and lobster with mayonaisse. We saw some of the famous omelettes go by- they are enormous!
We walked around a bit more after dinner. We were fascinated by the church across from the restaurant- stepping out of the hubbub of the street outside into the little hushed chapel with candles glittering on the stunning silver statue of St Michael. The sun was setting and the Mont was begining to glow. Hank the Navigator got us back to our rooms via a shortcut through the cemetery, and after hot baths we all slept like babies, despite the very dramatic appearance on the windowsill during the wee hours of what my husband insists was a live gargoyle. It certainly screamed like one. I think there is a lively and active nocturnal cat population on the Mont- anyway- we recommend closing your windows at night.
Up early the next morning, we had a great breakfast at the hotel- bread pudding and charcuterie with huge cafe cremes and hot chocolate- then started up the road, arriving at the abbey entrance 15 minutes before opening. This made us some of the first in line, but we were not alone by a long shot- we sat on the stone steps and watched the path approaching the entrance steadily filling with pilgrims.
Exploring the abbey was fascinating. It's really a remarkable place. Since we had read a lot about Mont-St-Michel before we arrived, we went through without a guide, but would recommend a guided tour for anyone who has not had time to do a lot of research. There is over a thousand years worth of history there.
We were on our way down the hill by 11 AM, passing the crowds coming up. We collected our luggage and left the Mont- stopping for some quick souvenirs (galettes and a cookbook) on the way out.
Spending the night on the Mont has definite advantages if, like us, you're visiting at peak tourist season. The Mere Poulard gets mixed reviews, but we did not feel it was overpriced for the experience and it was really charming. The staff was delightful, and our rooms were very comfortable. I would certainly stay there again. The Mont itself is indeed "touristy"- but that's part of the deal. It's been "touristy" for about a thousand years. We're glad we didn't miss it.
Lovely Hotel - but confirm your room
This hotel was very well presented and equiped. The rooms were nicely decorated and if you are lucky (and ask) you'll get a nice view from the hotel of the causeway and tides. The room was large and has all the amenities you would expect of a nice hotel (satellite TV with no English channel!)
HOWEVER, we booked our room on the Internet via Hotels. We were on a romantic long weekend in Normandy and I requested a view and a double bed. On arrival we had twin beds and limited view and this could not be changed. I would strongly advise that after you have booked the room speak to the hotel direct to ensure your requirements.
That said, it was a lovely experiance actually staying on the Mont St Michel and the Abbey is incredible, try to see it at night as well as this is a truly Medieval experiance. The Mont is indeed the wonder of the west and cannot be missed. Do not be put off by the souvenir shops they only exist on the lower level and are soon passed.
Staying on the Mont is advertised as allowing you to explore the village without the crowds but this is not exclusive. Although the tides cut off the main gate there is another entrance and the crowds die down later only because of the coaches leaving (around 7pm). Access to the mont is not restricted to this staying on it, so don't be fooled. It's cheaper to stay off the Mont but if money is not the driver stay on.
Do stay a night on the Mont --bring your own food
We stayed here for a night in a room that cost only 100 Euros, which I consider an excellent value. The advice of everyone who said to try to find a place on the Mont was valuable, particularly in the summer when the abbey stayed open til 11:30 pm and you could explore the place with only a few dozen other people instead of a few thousand! The Mere Poulard was fine for our purposes, since we didn't plan to spend much time in the rooms. Clean, comfortable, with a bit of a view up the hill to the abbey, it was well worth the price.
We didn't eat at the Mere for dinner, but instead went to the Terasse Poulard which was awful. Limp lettuce leaves for salad, dried out meats for charcuterie and tough chops-- all awfully overpriced.
For breakfast we opted to take the breakfast at the Mere Poulard, which at 15 Euros was not worth it. Runny eggs, more dried meats, although they did have very nice small croissants.
Still, our advice would be to stay on the Mont -- the experience can't be beat -- but stop at the local "SHOP!" markets on the way and pick up some Gillot Camembert or Graindorge Pont L'Eveque, a baguette, some meat and fruits and your own wine, and enjoy!
Strangelhold on the Mont
We've just returned from Mont Saint Michel and I must agree with others that you're better off staying and eating outside the town and the Mont.
Mere Poulard, who had a great beginning serving guests in the early 1900s after the Mont reverted from a jail, sold out to a couple who seem intent on owning as much as they can and setting a standard of mediocrity.
The couple of hotels they own on the Mont appeared noisy (due to street proximity) and hot. Also, if you have any kind of substantial luggage, not only do you have to drag it up many flights of stairs, but you have to drag it from the parking lot up a steep incline to just get to the hotels. I'm so glad we didn't do that.
We stayed instead at the Relais Mont Saint Michel (off the Mont, at the beginning of the causeway) also owned by "Mere." Although each room had a view of the Mont (spectacular at night), the hotel and rooms certainly weren't up to the 4 star rating advertised on the web site.
Worst of all: the restaurant on the Mont. Don't miss sticking your head in to see the copper bowls filled with foamy eggs destined for wood-baked omelettes. Do, however, miss paying $37 at dinner for said omelette. They serve other food at dinner and are clearly trying to steer people away from eggs for dinner. If you must, there is a more reasonable $25 price tag for omelette and dessert at lunch.
But this is definitely a location worth visting - it's truly awe-inspiring!
Loved the hotel
We reserved the lowest room fare. The room was small but comfortable and clean. Great location inside the island. Stayed for two nights, which gives you a little time to explore around the bay. Great breakfast not included and dinner at the restaurant is well worth the steep prices. Nightcap at the hotel bar is great.
Best Hotel at Le Mont
Stayed at this hotel last week. Only stayed at Le Mont Saint Michel for one night, which should be enough. This is a very charming hotel. Rooms are very clean, spacious and cozy. Bathrooms are surprisingly big for a hotel in France, especially for this tiny island. There's a tub in the bathroom and a mini bar in the room. I stayed at the standard room which had 2 twin beds. There are pictures of all the famous people that have stayed at this hotel throughout the hotel and restaurant. I felt very safe at this hotel because you need a code to go inside each wing of the hotel. This hotel is next to the famous Mere Poulard Restaurant which is known for their omelettes. Restaurant is very pricey and I didn't really care for the food and neither my boyfriend.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to try the breakfast offered by the hotel because I had to leave early the next morning but as long as it doesn't include Omelettes it should be ok. Hotel staff friendly. This is the best hotel in the island. Price is above average but affordable if you stay for one night only as I did. I paid about US$ 163.00 for one night.
TripAdvisor Reviews La Mere Poulard Le Mont-St-Michel
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