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Overall we had a great time at the villa and a fantastic family holiday. The website doesn’t do justice to how beautiful the house, grounds and pool are. Kitchen is well equppied - dishwasher, large fridge, washing machine. There is a box of kid’s toys and pool toys and floats. The house is cool and very quiet thanks to the the shutters. Chris is a great host and gave us lots of local information and help.
However, make sure you get a copy of the contract, as due to an error we didn’t receive our copy until we arrived and were then faced with a 500 Euro deposit for damages, and a 150 Euro cash/cheque deposit for cleaning which we weren’t aware of (nor had on us so we had to go to the bank when they opened). In order to reclaim the 150 Euro cleaning deposit the house must be left in an immaculate order, for example, cleaning the mirrors, cleaning the shower glass, ensuring that the dishwasher filter is clear and the entire house has been hoovered and mopped. We are considerate and always clean a house before we leave, and spent a couple of hours cleaning the house before we left, but sadly we were still picked up on minor imperfections such as children’s fingerprints on a window and dust underneath the bed, on a bed slat. While we got our deposit back, this soured the experience for us and we left feeling quite upset.
Please also be aware that towels must be hired at a cost despite the website stating that they are provided. Bed linen is included, but, unusually we had to make up the beds ourselves.
In summary, the location, house, pool, grounds and host are excellent, but please ensure that you receive the contract from the host when you book as this details the deposits and towel information.
There is a list in the house guidelines to tell you what you must clean in order to reclaim your cleaning deposit - this isn’t clear enough. I would advise that you ask for specific details, and walk through the house with Chris in order to appreciate and understand the aspects that you will be later judged on.
Ali and Greg’s B&B is quite simply one of the best places we’ve ever stayed, anywhere. Beautiful buildings, thoughtfully renovated and elegantly furnished. The bedrooms are very comfortable and quiet (we were in the ‘junior suite’ at one end of the house, sharing a spacious bathroom with walk in shower and the master bedroom’s lovely balcony). The gardens are peaceful and colourful with plenty of places to sit with a book and enjoy the sunshine or shade, throughout the day. There are walks from the doorstep through woods and over hills with stunning views (we even ‘borrowed’ Saffy the golden lab on one occasion). And the breakfasts were amazing. Yoghurt and fruit, including tomatoes from the ‘potager’ and figs from the garden, cheeses and hams, seemingly endless pastries, bread and homemade jams - all served at a big farmhouse table either outside or in the kitchen, depending on the weather. Eggs from their chickens (shortest food miles ever!). We really were set up for the day.
Ali and Greg are wonderful hosts - welcoming, generous and warm, there when you need them (and we did) and discreet when you don’t. They gave us great recommendations of good local restaurants (La Presbytiere in nearby Queyssac was phenomenal), plus lots of advice on where to go and what to see (though we found it hard to drag ourselves away from the pool). The B&B proved a very good base for exploring Bergerac and the Dordogne valley and we spent a couple of lovely days visiting castles, abbeys, pretty villages and markets during a week’s stay. We were able to make use of the living room on one unexpectedly cold and grey day, but didn’t feel we were intruding on their home. Le Frene is a very, very special place and we fully intend to return.