The Dordogne in May: Hotel or Gites?

Mar 14th, 2010, 12:38 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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The Dordogne in May: Hotel or Gites?

mjoy on Mar 14, 10 at 3:26 p.m.

Hotel vs. Gites?:

Our first trip to France and I want it to be special for my husband and I.
We are spending two nights in Toulouse, two nights in Cordes Sur Ciel, two nights in the Rocamadour area, either Martel or Carennac (not sure which town yet) and five nights in the Sarlat-Domme-La Roque-Gageac area, also visiting Font-de-Gaume, kayaking and whatever else we can fit in.
My husband and I like very nice accommodations, not run down, special in some way and convenient to what we want to visit. I am just wondering how I would fair with a gite, because I am having difficulty finding a hotel that has consistently nice reviews such as on TripAdvisor.
I'm not sure what a gite is or what is entailed in renting one and whether I would have more options than the hotels I've seen. We will be arriving on a Thursday. Don't know if that makes a difference. We will be driving so we are not relagated to public transportation. However, on June 1, Tuesday, we have to drop the car off at the Brive Train Station by about 11:30 a.m. to catch the train to Paris at 1:45. (Avis is closed from 12 noon to 2 p.m. for lunch.)
Your advice would be greatly appreciated as it has always been in the past. You guys are really great.
mjoy is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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While in Cordes, you should definitely consider Le Grand Ecuyer: a 13th century hunting lodge with a fabulous restaurant. The rooms overlook the countryside around Cordes and Albi.

A gite is a cottage or home which practical for groups of several people: I don't know how practical it would be for only 2 people. Typically a gite will easily accomodate at least 4 people and some will be large enough for 8-10 people. A gite is usally equipped with a kitchen, so cooking is an option if you choose not to dine out.

Hope this helps somewhat..
Langcraft is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 01:28 PM
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We've stayed in 30 different gites for a total of 70 weeks in France. All the gites we rent are through Gites-de-France - and require a Sat to Sat stay. Our Gite in the Dordogne rents for about 500E per week in June - less in May. There are only 2 of us. We've rented anywhere from 2 bedroom/1 bath gites to 5 bedroom/5 bath (really) gites. Several Gites we've rented in Provence have private pools. All have nice kitchens (that's what we look for), private gardens, lots of light, most not-attached to any other property, and most all have been in the countryside - not the city. There is some overhead to renting Gites vs hotels, however. The rental process us usually more complicated (at least it is with the Gites-de-France), and you must also rent sheets & towels, and you are responsible for cleaning the interior - although you can pay to have someone else do it.

There are other Gite rental services. We like Gites-de-France because the properties rented through them are less costly than the same property rented through elsewhere. I don't divulge specifics about the Gites we rent - it is getting harder & harder to rent them every year (we have 3 reserved for this June/July).

Here are sites for some other gites that I've boolmarked from Fodor's posts. I have not stayed in these places or visited them.

The last one is owned by Carlux, a frequent poster here. She also manages several other gites.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 01:43 PM
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Our favorite spot in Dordogne, (both for dining and accommodation) was Le Pont de L'Ouysee. This is a very, very special place.
maztoz77 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 02:06 PM
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Two thoughts about your car rental:

Usually, a rental office does not have to be open when you return the car. We've often just used the drop box, or similar. Check with AutoEurope or whatever firm you are renting from/through.

As I recall, you need an automatic car. The day before your rental starts, call the rental office in Toulouse to make sure they have an automatic on their property - reserved for you. If not, call AutoEurope (or whoever), and have them contact the Toulouse rental office & move an automatic car from another site to where you are scheduled to pick up the car (airport to train station, for example).

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 09:10 PM
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We stayed here for a week last year and loved it. This farmhouse has all the amenities you could want, charming owners, private rooms, and it is a short hop to Sarlat. We visited the Dordogne extensively using this lodging as our base.
muskoka is offline  
Mar 17th, 2010, 05:14 PM
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mjoy on March 17, '10 at 8:00 pm

Langcraft - Thanks for that wonderful description of Le Grand Ecuyer. I have booked it for two nights - can't wait. It sounds wonderful.

StuDudley - Thanks again for all your info/advice. I'll make sure to bring the car rental Toulouse phone number. It will be added to my to do list. I still have to purchase a Paris Visite Pass.
Once I see the Dordogne I'll know better for the next time what area to rent a gite. I'm all for saving a few pennies so I can spend them on dining in nice places or shopping.
I was thinking of staying in Martel for one night at the St. Anne Relais. Are you familiar with this place?
This will allow me to see Rocamadour at night all lit up and visiting some of the pretty little towns in the area. Then off to Domme and Sarlat.

Maztoz77 - Thank you for the info. Possibly will have lunch there.
Muskoka - Thank you for the Sarlat area info. I need to check it out. My husband made reservations at Clos Boetie in Sarlat. It looks nice but there was one very bad review on Trip Advisor.

Thanks again everyone for your help. I really do appreciate it. It's fun planning your own trip as opposed to going on a tour.
mjoy is offline  
Mar 17th, 2010, 08:20 PM
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If you do stay at Les Granges Hautes, Jean-Yves and Beatrice will provide you with a map with driving directions to some of the most charming little towns I have ever visited. It is a dandy jumping off point to so much of the Dordogne, and I know that you won't be disappointed. We are picky about where we stay and where we eat.

There are several nice restaurants in Montignac, too, which is a 15-minute drive from the farmhouse.
muskoka is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 02:33 AM
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I am sure you will enjoy Le Grand Ecuyer. I truly enjoyed my stay there.. The rooms all have names. If possible, request the room named 'Seigneur de la Prune'; it has a small balcony looking out directly onto the countryside. The restaurant is also a treat; plush yet not stuffy. Be sure to have a glass of Banyuls in the small lounge next to the dining room.
Langcraft is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 04:21 AM
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I second les granges hautes, we spent a week there and it was lovely!! Would love to go back!
jamikins is offline  
Apr 20th, 2010, 07:17 AM
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Hey josephine - stop advertising. It's not allowed here.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 20th, 2010, 07:25 AM
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We've stayed at the Charmes de Carlucet near Salignac; they
rent both gites, an apartment and B&B rooms. It is a lovely
property with gracious, helpful hosts. Check out the reviews
on TA.
immimi is offline  
Apr 20th, 2010, 04:13 PM
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My last two trips to France (Dordogne and Burgundy) we rented gites thru Gites de France. My wife and I love small villages so for me a gite is perfect for us for a weeks stay. the one we stayed in we thought was fine for us, but we did not spend much time there, and it was May. For us it is the only way to go. we got a list of all the local outdoor markets and brought food back each night and sat out in the garden in both locations. Loved the experience. Check out their site and you might find info on ones that look good on different travel forums. We loved Font du Game and do not miss Roccamadour! Their is a great monolithic church in Aubeterre Sur Dronne. Some of it dates to the 5th century. We got there at the end of the day and no one was there!
glaciermeadows is offline  

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