What is(are) your name(s)?
Gary Elphick and Gerard Simi
For how long have you been running a B&B?
Please share something about the history of your present bed and breakfast.
After many years working and running businesses within the hospitality, theatre, cabaret and restaurant industries in France and London we decided to take things just a little bit slower and decided to come back to Provence to find a special and interesting place where we could put all our experience to good use and welcome anyone who would like to discover this beautiful region of France. We found the 3 storey 17th Century house, that is now Les Saisons, on the first day and fell in love with it. We knew it would make not only a perfect home but more importantly a wonderful place for any guest to stay and relax. We completely renovated the house without losing her original layout and features, and more importantly her welcoming air and warmth; only adding to its comfort. Les Saisons is situated at No. 7 Place de l'Oratoire in Villeneuve-les-Avignon, a small placette that was home to the medieval Cardinals during the reign of the Popes in Avignon. The architecture of these Cardinals' palazzi are still visible today. No. 7 (Les Saisons) was built around 1642 and has its own interesting history. During the French revolution when all religious worship was suppressed in France the large cave-like basements that originally homed the owners sheep and cattle were used for clandestine masses. Later, during the second world war the celebrated and controversial French poet and artist, Louis Aragon, lived in the house where he wrote 'Le medecin de Villeneuve'. The story of this piece was considered controversial at the time and wasn't published for some time. If you are curious about knowing more, then please feel free to ask us during your stay.
What are the unique characteristics of your B&B?
Villeneuve-les-Avignon is a small historic town. Les Saisons is in the centre and offers a prestigious residence that combines the traditional with the contemporary. You will find art of different styles throughout the house and ambient lighting. The house still retains many of its original features such as the wooden beamed ceilings, the huge fireplace in the dining room and the elegant staircase from the reception to the upper floors. The garden and its swimming pool is rare in a Medieval town and they can be a very welcome reprieve from the Provencal sun.
Based on your guests' opinions, what feature of your B&B has made their stay special?
Since opening ours doors we have had many compliments from our guests. Many leave with good memories of the design, comfort and ambiance of the house. We recently had the pleasure of being hosts to the theatre company of Jeanne Moreau during the Avignon Festival and they each wrote wonderful things in our guestbook. Again, they were impressed with the design and comfort of the house and the warmth of their hosts.
Please describe in short your bed and breakfast and its general services and amenities.
Les Saisons occupies a 3 storey 17th century house on a small placette. The spacious reception has a guest cloakroom. The ground floor has a very elegant salon with TV area - there are double doors onto the terrace. Opposite to the salon is the dining room and its huge fireplace where we serve breakfast in Winter or on rainy days and evening meals. Next to the dining room is a small preparation area with fridges and microwave that guests are welcome to use. Beyond this area is the kitchen, which isn't accessible for guests. There is a large terrace with steps down to a lawned garden and a swimming pool. All these areas are accessible for our guests. We love music so there will probably always be a little in the background. No need to feel uncomfortable, just relax!
How many rooms are offered at your B&B and what is its maximum capacity?
We have 4 rooms and can accommodate up to 10 people. The Spring room can accommodate 3 people. The Autumn can accommodate 2 people. The Summer room can accommodate 2 people. The Winter room can accommodate 3 people (Family).
What kinds of rooms do you offer?
We have 4 rooms: 2nd Floor: The Autumn room is a double with a Queen Sized double bed and en-suite shower, bath and W.C. A beautiful fireplace (non functioning) portable air conditioning. The Summer Room is a twin or double with en-suite shower and W.C, portable air-conditioning. The view gives onto the Magnificent Fort St.Andre and the Mont Ventoux. The Spring suite has twin or double beds, en-suite shower room and separate W.C. There is also a single bed in the adjoining room. Portable air conditioning. View onto the Fort St. Andre and the Mont Ventoux. 1st Floor: The Winter Room is a very spacious room with en-suite shower and W.C. Wooden beamed ceiling and ceiling fan. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT HAVE AN ELEVATOR.
Please describe the in-room facilities for each type of room in your B&B.
All rooms are en-suite shower with W.C. Linen, Bathroom Requisites. Portable Air Conditioning in the 2nd Floor rooms.
Which room is your personal favorite?
All our rooms are very different and each one has aspects that we like very much. Each room has been designed around the colours of the seasons of Provence. We are sure that you will find your accommodation very comfortable whichever room you choose.
What do the room rates include?
Our rates are per room per night for 2 people. We also have rates for one person. The price includes your accommodation, Continental Breakfast and use of the garden and pool areas. Wi-Fi is available throughout the house.
Do you offer any special packages?
We offer special weekends at Christmas and Easter.
What may guests expect from a typical breakfast at your property?
The included Continental Breakfast consists of Tea or Coffee or Hot Chocolate - Fruit Juice - Cereal - Fresh Bread - Fresh Croissant or Pain au Chocolat - Butter and home made jams and conserves. We also offer Ham and Eggs and Toast at a supplement.
When and where is breakfast served?
Breakfast is served between 9am and 11am, however this is flexible and we always accommodate earlier and later requests. It is served on the Terrace during Summer and the Dining Room during Winter. If you prefer to have it served in your room we are happy to arrange this for you.
Are dietary needs accommodated?
If you have any special dietary requirements, please inform us at the time of booking and we will endeavour to accommodate them. Please note that Gluten-Free products can often be limited in France. We can always accommodate Vegetarians.
Do you serve other meals?
On arrival we offer a welcoming drink. Either Wine, Tea, Coffee or Juice. Apart from the included breakfast we do offer lunch and dinner on request. Each day we will display menus for the day and their tariffs. All evening meals must be ordered at breakfast time.
Are there cooking facilities, which guests may use?
We do have a Microwave and a fridge that guests may use freely. We do offer tea and coffee etc. should a guest request it and this is chargeable.
Is your bed and breakfast suitable for children?
We have accommodated many families and they have enjoyed their stay. We do not however have any special facilities for children i.e. games room, garden amusements etc. The house is more suited to adults.
Do you accept pets?
We love all animals! However for the comfort of all our guests we have decided not to accept pets except guide dogs for visually and hearing impaired guests.
What is your smoking policy?
We allow smoking on the terrace and in the garden areas only.
Is there a parking facility on premises or nearby?
We do not have private parking, however there is a small free car park just along La Montee de la Tour, which is behind Les Saisons - Approx. 1 minutes walk. Place de l'Oratoire isn't usually a very busy place and you can often find parking spaces close to the house. Also there are 3 large municiple car parks within 3 or 4 minutes walking distance.
Is your B&B suitable for disabled guests?
Unfortunately we do not have sleeping accommodation on the ground floor and due to the nature and age of the property we can not install a lift.
What safety precautions are provided at your B&B?
Solid shutters on all windows, double locks to exterior doors, smoke alarms.
What is your check-in/check-out policy?
Rooms are available from 3pm and we request that rooms are vacated by 12pm. Of course the house and its facilities are available at all other times should your arrival or departure be earlier or later.
Are there a minimum number of nights for staying at your B&B?
How can guests check availability and make a reservation?
Please check availability by phone or email.
What is you cancellation policy?
Please note that in the event of a cancellation the deposit is only fully refundable if notification is received up to 20 days in advance of the arrival date. Deposits are non refundable. Cancellations less than 6 days before arrival or a reduction in the duration of stay will incur the the total amount of the stay.
What types of payment do you accept?
Cash, Bank Transfers, Paypal.
Is there a special etiquette that guests should know about and comply with?
We want all our guests to be comfortable so please feel free to dress as you feel.....within reason :-) Smart Casual for dinners.
Please tell us what things guests might enjoy visiting, seeing, doing, etc. in your area.
This whole region is full of wonderful things to visit. I think a basic interest in history would be preferable as Provence is steeped in it, particularly Roman Antiquities and Medieval towns and villages. Of course Avignon and the unique Palais du Papes is just across the river from us and whilst being very historic and interesting it is also very cosmopolitan with streets full of designer shops, excellent restaurants, bars and clubs. Not far from Avignon are the towns of Nimes and Arles with their magnificent Roman Arenas, which are still used today for entertainment events. Le Pont du Gard is a must-see! This extraordinary Roman Aqueduct that spans the river Gardon is still intact and is the best surviving example of this type of Roman architecture in the world. The river Gardon is also a very popular place during the Summer as its banks turn into beaches and there are various water activities to enjoy. The town of Orange, which is just north of Avignon is also well worth a visit as it is home to the magnificent Antique Roman Theatre. This Roman Amphitheatre is still used each year for concerts, Opera and Ballet. Of course you are never too far from anything of interest here in Villeneuve-les-Avignon and if you prefer to visit the traditional Provence, then you have miles of olive groves, sunflower fields and Lavender fields (please check flowering times). Also try to visit the most picturesque village in the Luberon - Gordes. You may have seen the film ' A Good Year' with Russell Crowe, well it was filmed there. Also you must visit the Ochre quarry of Rousillon - it is stunning. But don't wear white shoes! Make sure that you stop for lunch in any of the hundreds upon hundreds of small villages dotted about region. I guarantee that you will find excellent local restaurants, bistros, brasseries, food and wine! Although not within walking distance the miles of sandy beaches (some nudist) and salty marshes of the haunting Camargue region are less than an hours drive. There is so much to see that it would be impossible to list it all. However we are happy to advise you of an itinerary. VERY IMPORTANT: There are many car hire companies in Avignon but what about those of you that don't want to drive? Well, apart from the excellent train services from Avignon to the surrounding towns mentioned above there are also bookable tours of the region, lavender fields, vineyards, roman antiquities etc. either by bus or private chauffeur. Ask us for more details.
Where is your B&B located and how it may be reached?
Villeneuve-les-Avignon, just acroos the river Rhone from Avignon. The main Autoroute is the A7 - Direction Avignon. Villeneuve-les-Avignon is just across Le Pont Eduoard Daladier from Avignon. We also have 2 Train Stations - Avignon Centre and Avignon TGV. Trains from all over Europe pass through Avignon.
What would you say to people who have never stayed in a bed and breakfast?
Many people, especially those who are used to hotels may still have a very outdated perception of what a Bed and Breakfast is like. B&Bs today (well most) are no longer the dingey, distastefully decorated Pensions of yester year. We run our Bed and Breakfast as a good quality hotel. The accommodation is of the highest standard with private ensuite shower and W.C. The whole ambiance of the house is one of comfort and relaxation. The garden area and swimming pool are a peaceful retreat. You also have free access to come and go as you please. The Continental Breakfast at Les Saisons will in all probability surpass any you would receive at a hotel and our option of traditional Provencal evening meals will match any good restaurant. When you stay at Les Saisons you can remain as private as you wish but if you feel that you would like to have a chat, then we will be happy to. Breakfast is served at your table and you are not obliged to eat with or speak with any other guests. Apart from the name, we operate ostensibly the same as a hotel.
Is there something more that you want to share about your property?
We and Les Saisons are extremely relaxed. Your comfort, privacy and enjoyment is paramount and we will do everything possible to make your stay in Provence a memorable one.