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Chagrined at Chateau

September 17, 2000

Regarding the recommendation of Cha^teau de Chemery by a reader (Readers Recommend, March 12): In planning a trip to the Loire Valley in France in July, I read with interest this recommendation and booked five nights at this B&B.

When my daughter and I drove up to the chateau, we were amazed to find part of the roof collapsed and an unkempt courtyard. We were shown a room with eight dingy beds with one small, dirty bath. That was only the beginning of the horror.

I was willing to pay for one night's stay even though we had no intention of staying there. The owner insisted that we pay for five nights and had his wife lock the chain across the drawbridge so that we could not drive the car out. I eventually paid for less than one night, and we were on our way.

Moral: Beware of what some call "the experience of a lifetime."

KARLENE MORRIS

Pasadena

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