Eugénie-les-Bains is best known for housing a spa resort and three restaurants, all belonging to chef Michel Guérard, inventor of cuisine minceur. It’s all fairly in the middle of nowhere, though a pretty nowhere, with sunflowers and rolling hills. The town itself is very classic “spa town,” with a small main street with cute shops, and a public garden with sculptures.

We had a decidedly mixed experience, and I’m not entirely sure I’d go back (Galen is willing to give it another shot). On the main property, there are a range of hotels and dining experiences at different price points, from “reasonable” to “frightening outer edges of the Michelin price scale.” We chose the affordable, but with the expectation (as their materials say) that we could use the spas and pools. That proved not to be the case – the spas required prior reservations, even for guests, and the nice pool was “too crowded to accommodate us” (despite being nearly empty). The hotel – *La Maison Rose – has lovely rooms, and oddly terrible service, with a lot of people hiding in the kitchen trying to avoid talking to you. Perhaps it happens once, but by the third time trying to get something basic – a towel, coffee at breakfast – it starts to feel like a bad joke.

On the positive side, **L’Auberge de la Ferme aux Grives was excellent – a real bargain for the price, with great service and delicious food.

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