Gite owners, are your bookings down this year

(John Brian) #21

I don’t understand your concept of people who subscribe to doing nothing. Most people who I know who have retired after a lifetime of work manage to keep themselves very well occupied. In many cases they seem to have difficulty fitting everything they want or need to do into their busy schedules. Once again, what suits one person…

(John Brian) #22

I think that this shows how we are all different. A holiday that suits one person could well be purgatory for another. If I rented a gite I would be looking for a comfortable place to stay, to rest my head, so I could enjoy my idea of a good holiday.

(Barbara Deane) #23

Kirsten moving on to me means finding a place with character....but

a smaller one with much less land. We are just 2 people and our small

friends. Our region is stunning but maybe we would venture towards

Pezenas. This move will take a few years. I love shopping and going to great restaurants and I miss seeing

some of my UK friends but I could not go back there to live....especially

not London.

My friends will have to continue visiting us here in France

The problem I have experienced with working life is the barrier of negativity

which is put in place by those who have little or no imagination.

It is hard for most people to realise my next step as most life-time journeys

are so different to mine.

I really enjoy the hospitality business. Not everyone does.

I have found pleasure in seeking out the talented and the efficient people

in my region [having been disappointed and delighted in order to develop a


With the collection and the help of "social media " and the backing from people

who are established in that direction I can create a new type of holiday. IT is not

like running a salon, a gite or a shop it is putting all those talents to work and

maybe stimulating the tourist industry here .....just a little more.

(Kirsten Monteil) #24

Do tell, Barbara, you've piqued my interest. What's 'moving on' mean for you? What's the next stage? Are you staying in France? I have heard of the bureaucracy, (even witnessed a bit when my niece was helping her grandparents, my in-laws with paperwork such-and-such). I'm bracing myself. I'm hoping to, and looking forward to working for someone else though. Owning my own salon is never-ending if you want to make it one of those WOW places, (I think a lot of us are like you and want to bring that extra special element/ambience to our respective chosen paths)

(Barbara Deane) #25

Imagine going bonkers!
Just imagine not having the responsibility of paying all the bills

and feeding the family. Diminished thoughts which lead on to the bingo


But going bonkers is not just glory for the elder can happen to anyone!

(Brian Milne) #26

I wish I could go bonkers sometimes. I have now picked up so much work I am doing more than in my prime working days, as much of it unpaid or disproportionately underpaid as ever. Renting out rooms though, good grief it would mean making beds and things like that. I've never quite got into the habit (do change it though)...

(Kirsten Monteil) #27

I know what you mean Nick. I forget that I'm one of the few that wish I had a 'staff' for all my 'projects', I will have no problem keeping busy, when I retire, (although I can't imagine not doing hair at all), AND discovering new wonders the world has to offer. I'm looking forward to having the time to pursue many things I'm keeping on the back burner.

That being said, there are a lot of bonker seniors out there, LOL

(Barbara Deane) #28

There is a sequence problem?!

(Barbara Deane) #29

Joel did you sell your gites?

Or are they still operating?

Here in Gensac we are approaching 36 degrees a pool is a vital


Pool 30.000 plus...

By the way I am watching a programme about the sale of vineyards they are

rocketing in price and selling.

Burgandy is doing even better than Bordeaux.

(Jane Williamson) #30

And the rest.

(Joel Whittle) #31

Hi Jane I was guessing its probably three times that much in reality That is why we never bothered

(Brian Milne) #32

I was thinking that too. The people just by us who have self built their house in about a year have now got everything ready for the pool when it comes in a few days. They are well connected in the building, installing and whatever business and know that they have a substantial 'discount' on the pool. It will be pretty small at that. The difference is that they have a €16,000 bill, even doing all the digging and installation of pipework and so on themselves. Perhaps a 1 went missing?

(Jane Williamson) #33

What sort of pool did you have Joel that only cost £6k?

(Joel Whittle) #34

Like all the comments made before there is a combination of reasons why Gite bookings are down We were with Gite De France and Britanny Ferries for years and as I said earlier we went from 20 weeks plus down to 6 to 8 weeks

Yes I admit the customers demand more these days but its like all basic economics will you get your investment back For instance a pool could cost £6k or more plus renovation costs etc That is alot of bookings and its hard work doing change overs keep the place well maintained etc

(Barbara Deane) #35

It just means that we all like different styles and have different standards.

For me a holiday is partly about staying somewhere nice and a place which

has a good atmosphere. It is not just a place to rest your head.....not for me.

The experience of a holiday is everything wrapped up together nicely from

journey to exploration to meals and a lovely place to stay.

I often help clients map out their routes taking in the prettiest of villages

and towns...based on my fav hotels and B and Bs.

If you are not interested in interiors, design and gardens why take up running

a gite. A gite is partly a reflection of you.

(Jane Williamson) #36

We had to turn away a booking of two weeks because this will be the last year our daughter is on maternity leave.

It is interesting to note how many are saying that you have to be top notch and have the added extras, which we have.

We recently spent a week in a holiday cottage outside Bury St Edmunds which was designated four star. I looked up the criteria for four star and on of them was attention to detail.

This is what we actually found:

Flowers in a cracked petrol vase from the 90's.

No non-stick pans.

Cold tiles in the bedrooms.

Pictures on the walls which must have been thrown out from the proprietor's house.

Stinky rose soap in the bathrooms.

The water for the shower was heated by a combi boiler and you could be standing under either freezing or extremely hot water if you did not say do not turn on any water!

The kitchen had been upgraded, probably because they had been told to.

13 tog duvets on the beds all year round.

Amazingly this place is really busy, so why are Brits so less demanding?

Flowers in the kitchen in an old vase (very chipped) which we used to get with petrol in the 90's.

(Barbara Deane) #37

Having been involved in work which is using both physical energy as a chef

and managing the restaurant....which is a different form of duties; balancing,

researching and maintaining the standards ...I find it impossible to stop working completely.

It is hard for me to become interested in people who subscribe to days of doing nothing.

Maybe I am the one with the problem.

I have met many French people who are in their seventies and eighties and punctuate

their day with some work and time to relax and enjoy pastimes. It seems to keep them

positive and rather healthy.

(Christine Phillips) #38

I would definitely advise your friends to think twice if they are hoping to make a living from the gite rental. We knew from the start that one of us would have to work independently & this has been the case. Our gite & B&B is in the Auvergne, which unfortunately is not the most well know region -esp for British visitors, but we have done quite well until last year, when our bookings were down. This year looks like a repeat unfortunately & were it not for my husbands income we would be really struggling. I don`t think you can realistically expect to make a living out of doing this any more.Fortunately I still enjoy doing it - esp the B&B, but it is hard work & as we get older I am beginning to realise we can`t do it forever.

(Nick Ord) #39

I certainly would not want to be on permanent holiday. I have seen too many people retire early to France and simply go bonkers.

(Norman Clark) #40

Barbara, one way or the other you are totally correct.

Keep the brain occupied and interested, and although ill-health can strike anybody, it seems to me that without the brain being active the body seems to give up as well.