Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 2315: Owner, Maison Tillac
2bed/2bath cottage near Marciac, Pyrenees
July 2006, One week
This Gite was in a tiny and very beautiful village and near to a general store and butcher but the problem was that hardly any one lived there. The whole area felt very depressed and abandoned. Even the weekly market in the nearby large town was tawdry and one of the least exciting that I have experienced.
The local bar was for hard drinkers only and owned by an Englishman who seemed to spend most of his time rubbishing the French.
The prevailing agriculture was unremitting corn fields and we drove one to two hours a day to find any thing interesting to do.
There was a lot of very good duck and goose liver products and the resulting farms.
The Gite it’s self was close to the main road and passing traffic was intrusive. It shared a party wall with the neighbours who’s out door eating are was less than two meters from ours and no sort of screen or even a pot plant in between.
This was not made evident in the promotional material.
The nearest locals were also just across the drive with agricultural machinery making a lot of noise most of the time.
There was a general store that sold most things with in a short walk and a very good butcher as well.
Any decent resteraunts were at least 20 minutes in the car and most nights we drove and hour or more.
There was no pleasant place to get a coffee.
The actual apartment could not be faulted on the inside but the proximity to the neighbours was enough to put us off returning. It had an open plan kitchen living room downstairs with a powder room as well. Upstairs two beds each with ensuite bath. Every thing necessary had been thoughtfully provided.
The garden was manicured to an inch of it's life. There was not any sort of privacy from either the other rentors or the owners who were constantly there. It was not possible to sit outside with out coming into direct and unavoidable contact with one or the other or both.
The pool, which was shared was right out side the back door.
The furniture was all fine, in good shape and plenty of it. The apartment was perfectly clean and final cleaning was included in the price. There was an oven that we used to cook a chicken in, only to find that the owners deducted Euro 20 from our security deposit for cleaning it, despite the fact that cleaning was included in the price. There was no warning about this.
The beds were comfortable and the bathrooms very nice, plenty of hot water but the passing traffic was noisey.
The kitchen had every thing one could want. We enjoyed using it but were very surprised to be charged extra for using the oven.
Problems or Bonuses
We found the lack of privacy very grating. The owner even came uninvited to the apartment on the second night, sat her self down at the table whilst we were eating and proceeded to inform us on the rules and local attractions. She told us off for not using drink coasters on the table.
The neighbours were very nice people but they could easily have not been. It would not be possible to eat outside with out engaging them in conversation. Their staircase ran up the party wall and was very noisy.
If they had indulged in drinking sessions or rowdy behaviour it would have been very intrusive. From the site it seemed to us that they would be located across the pool and over the lawn, not right next door, however on arrival we found that actually this was the owners house so far away.
We couldn’t understand why the out door eating areas and pool where all so close together as the property was extensive and it was not in any way necessary.
The owners claimed we left clothes behind. We have not missed any thing but apparently these clothes were sent on to us. We have not recieved them but have been charged another five Euro for the postage.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency put us right in touch with the owners from the site so we never dealt with them.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We are very well travelled and used ot seeking out hidden things but this area was so depressed and devoid of attraction we would not even return to stay in a different accomodation.
The lack of privacy and gaul of the owners charging us extra to clean the oven when the cleaning was included with no exception made evident ensured that we would never return to that Gite.
Things to do in this area
There is one very good restaurant in near by Marciac. Every day we drove over an hour to see and do things, so I wouldn't say there was much "in the area" (We should have done our home work better).
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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