Over a number of years guests here at Gone Fishin' our "little piece of heaven" ' have shared with us some of their experiences when staying at other self catering accommodation and B&B's all over France.
“Hind sight is a wonderful thing” and “if only we had checked” has been said to us when they have been describing some of their horror stories of previous holidays all across France.
So we are simply going to repeat the best tips we have heard to avoid staying at bad holiday accommodation.
We hope this helps you.
There are indeed many good, friendly self catering accommodation out there waiting for you , this should help you to avoid the few that could simply spoil your holiday.
If you are wanting a quite relaxing holiday with self catering accommodation (gite) you must ascertain....
1/ Is the holiday accommodation being offered for more than one couple at one time?
Why this should be asked is because if not you will have to share example the garden, the pool, usually all outdoor facilities that is offered to guests, perhaps you might have to share the kitchen( which is a very common practice in French owned gites). You simply have no privacy!
2/ Does the owner/occupier have children?
Are children and or teenagers accepted when booking accommodation?
You might ask yourself is this “politically correct” to ask, trust me it certainly is!! if you want a peaceful holiday then avoid like the plague!
We have heard many a horror story, of either the owners children or children of guests being an absolute pest!
3/Does the accommodation be it self catering or B&B allow caravans or camping cars on the grounds?
This again is a very common practice with French owned gites and chambre d'hotes.
If yes, avoid at all costs. I could write pages of horror stories on this subject, from noisy parties, dogs barking, children running riot and more!
4/ Is there 2 apartments on offer! You are being offered the ground floor apartment and the owner lives above you on the upper floor or worse the upper floor is rented out. Avoid.
The constant noise in an evening of people walking above you apparently can make your teeth itch! You can hear their TV, snoring, and you are constantly worrying.... can they hear you.
Something again perhaps you would never think of asking about.
5/ Is the accommodation a Riverside property?
Why? Because of new legislation in France when in a the flooding zone (which includes all riverside properties)the “buyer” and potential “renter” be it holiday or “long term let” must by law be notified because in case of flooding you (the renter) will simply not be insured, so your car and or possessions if damaged or carried off in the flood you will not be recompensed.
6/ Is wifi important to you?
Your accommodation might say wifi available and in small print or perhaps not even stated that the wifi is available in public areas.
What this really means is that no your accommodation is out of range from the router/wifi and you will have to carry your laptop into where they call the “public area” usually the entrance hall or a chair near the owners office that will allow your laptop to be in range of the wifi....... you have been warned! So do ask if its available within the rooms of you accommodation.
7/ Smoking is it allowed in your rented accommodation?
If the answer is yes and you are not a smoker -Avoid.
Why....because the smell of guests having been smoking never truly leaves the rooms and as a non smoker knows how it clings to your clothes! Sadly again listening to some horror stories guests have actually refused to stay at accommodation having realised on their arrival that the previous guests had been smokers. Do be aware.
8/ Is the owner occupier on site?
I can give you an example of a couple arriving at their holiday destination to find it was remote, absolutely nobody to greet them, a note pinned to the door saying the key was under the flower pot! After unpacking the wife went for a walk down the sloping garden and fell. Eventually the husband found her, there was a phone at the property with the owners number, he rang and was told they lived too far away to assist but would send a neighbour but they lived 40 minutes away, his wife was admitted to hospital 3 hrs later and so it went on!
So our advice would be every time that it is good for the owner to live on site (as long as there is no children ) just in case you ever need assistance.
9/ You are being told you can fish in the Rivers without a permit..
If you enjoy fishing do not be persuaded to go fishing in the Rivers without a permit. You personally must have a permit in your name, do not be persuaded otherwise as there is a hefty fine.
Privately owned lakes need no permit.
The good news is that 2france4two' "a little piece of heaven" , offers you everything that makes .............. very good holiday accommodation .