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"MAGICAL PLACE! When we were children in the seventies my…"
When we were children in the seventies my parents used to rent La Bastide every summer and I remember how we looked forward to our vacation all through the year.The house then was very basic.There was no separate kitchen, instead an old stone basin, a gas cooker and a fridge along the wall in the main room.There was one bathroom on the top floor and a tap on the ground floor, with which we children used to shower.Yet, we loved the place for its charm and uniqueness, the various spaces by the brook where we could sit and read undisturbed or simply collect clay to make pots. It was such a change from New York, we savoured every minute of our holiday. Each year we felt transported into another world. In those days, we were probably the only foreign tourists in Seillans, and certainly the only American ones. We loved walking to the village to play with French children on the placette. One day we received word that the property had been sold and we could never spend time there again. We were down-hearted. We liked the area so much, we rented another house for the following summer. However, we soon realised that it was the Bastide with its unique setting, history and charm that drew us back to this place. It was like losing an ancestral home. Then, out of the blue the new owners (Europeans who happened to live a few blocks away from us in New York City) got in touch. They had found our subscriber's name on an old copy of the New York Review of Books, which we had left behind in the house. We have been returning to La Bastide ever since, sadly no longer with our parents, but with our children and many friends. The new owners have comprehensively upgraded the house, but it has retained its charm. And nothing can take away the peacefulness of the location and surroundings. We are still sorry to leave this unique place at the end of each vacation.Read moreLess
"I too was baffled by the negative reviews of this…"
I too was baffled by the negative reviews of this fabulous property. As we are a large family, we rented both the farmhouse and the Villa Magali directly from the owner who was a pleasure to deal with at every point. We found the farmhouse in particular, a very special property and encountered none of the problems mentioned in the criticisms. The setting is idyllic and we had a wonderful two weeks making the most of the pool area as well as exploring the surrounding area. We enjoyed eating together on the terrace, catering for 21 adults and children as well as dining out in the beautiful village of Seillans. There were enough bathrooms - people don't all get up and go to bed at the same time!- and rooms were comfortable and clean with the top bedroom being immense. Every single member of the family loved the holiday and hope to return one day.Read moreLess
"As a user of both Dominique's Villas and La Bastide,…"
As a user of both Dominique's Villas and La Bastide, I am baffled to read these two negative reviews on Mumsnet.
We have been renting from DV for several years and the service has always been exemplary. They have always been so eager to help and make our holiday a great one. The manager is extremely fair and scrupulously honest and we always had our deposit returned before we even asked for it.
As for La Bastide, we have stayed there four summers altogether and each time we arrive at this fabulous place our children echo our wish to stay for ever. It is impossible to be unhappy with the property, whether adult or child. The space, the flora (you walk through the grass and a whole herbal bouquet sticks to your sandals) the art and objects displayed throughout the house reflect the nomadic life of the family which has lived on 4 continents. There is nothing cynical about the art, and certainly not about the thousand or more interesting books, some of them first editions. We always wonder how this family can bear to let complete strangers have access to their books and CDs.
Everyone has their own appreciation of a house, especially one as individual as this. However, with a fully-equipped modern kitchen, wifi throughout, satellite TV, libraries, games, marble bathrooms, special linen and glasses (even its own olive oil one year), it should appeal to everyone. It certainly does not feel like a rental, but more like an eccentric aunt's house. We hope the owners will go on allowing us to come to this unique and idyllic place.Read moreLess
"My extended family of 15 people booked La Bastide du…"
My extended family of 15 people booked La Bastide du Vieux Moulin, Seillans in the last week of August 2011 and I felt constrained to write to the owner, to complain about the shortcomings of the place. That was 2½ weeks ago and I have had no response, so I am now posting my comments on the internet. The owner was very slow all along to respond, so I am not entirely surprised but I would have expected some kind of message of disagreement, if not an apology of sorts.
Here is the letter of complaint to the oowner of La Bastide du Vieux Moulin, Var, Provance, Cote D'Azur.
5th September 2011
Re. La Bastide du Vieux Moulin, Seillans
I am sorry to have to write to register our disappointment with the accommodation at 'La Bastide du Vieux Moulin'.
On the positive side, the setting is pleasant with lovely views and it was nice to walk through the grounds, to the village of Seillans. The terrace provides a super place for a large group to enjoy lunch, although the dreadful smell from the septic tank outside the kitchen, did rather detract on occasions. The pool area was a useful space, although the water was murky & cold, despite the pool cleaner having called twice, & the continual, loud belching of the pumping system was a nuisance.
The biggest disappointment of all though, was the poor value for money which 'La Bastide' represents. Like you, we've travelled extensively, and will happily to stay in 5-star accommodation or the humblest of Bed & Breakfast places, as circumstances provide. But value for money is just as important in a 5 star hotel, as it is in a B&B, and 'La Bastide' is substantially over-priced given its condition and facilities.
'La Bastide' shows signs of neglect and there are significant inadequacies: Several of the beds were far too small to be comfortable; some of the showers didn't work properly and/or they leaked liberally onto floors which were treacherous when wet; the shower in the en suite to the small ground floor room would not hold a constant temperature; many of the bedrooms were gloomy and ill-lit; there was no communal WC on the ground floor; the kitchenware was inadequate & contained some old & broken pieces; the hot water often ran cold during washing up and the kitchen itself was small for the needs of fourteen or so people; the barbecue had to be thoroughly cleaned before it could be used and the gas cylinder was empty; some door handles were loose, coming off in the hand and keys didn't work in some of the locks.
Regarding service - we were significantly inconvenienced by the annexe not having been prepared for our arrival. Fortunately, we did not arrive in our full complement, so we were able to squeeze into the main building for two nights. On the morning of our departure, the cleaners arrived at 9.30, rather than 10.00 and indicated their frustration that we'd not already finished clearing the decks...;.which we duly did by 10am, just as you had requested. I have to say, "Rosa"; [the 'regular' housekeeper] for her part had been very helpful and charming, on the one occasion that she appeared.
The annexe is a dank, dark hole. The main bed was dismantled, left in pieces, against one wall, whilst the bed provided in its place was far too small to be a plausible 'double'. A dusty spare mattress was found in an outbuilding & placed on the floor as a temporary solution. The floor of the adjacent en suite bathroom and the floor outside the central bathroom were both permanently under large puddles of water which would not clear during the day because there was insufficient natural light, so the bedding in the entire annexe was permanently damp, as were any clothes left there during the day. It made for a thoroughly unpleasant place to spend time and to try to sleep. The annexe simply should not be let out in its present state and is in need of substantial improvement, to make it into a suitable space for four or five people.
Although the main house provides a splendid, airy master bedroom flooded with light, and affording beautiful views - and this room incorporates a lovely big bath - it has to share a WC, as do the other bedrooms, some of which have beds which are either modest of size or unfeasibly small. Coupled with the inadequate bathroom/WC facilities, it's clear La Bastide cannot truly accommodate the numbers for which you are advertising.
We had a nice time, on the whole despite all these things, thanks to the weather and the countryside, and to some nice family times shared on your terrace and in the pool area. We "made the best of it"; but frankly, paying overRead moreLess
1 person found this review helpful.
"Weirdly, we have also rented this house 3 years in…"
Weirdly, we have also rented this house 3 years in a row, but through Owners Direct but we think it's paradise! Perhaps it's because our kids are slightly older (two DS, 5 and 3) but they think it's paradise, and can't wait to go back every year. They love the pool (we love the shady tent up near the pool and the fact that you can secure the pool area for little ones) and the walk to the village of Seillans in the mornings has become a family ritual when we're there. I don't know why it would be child-unfriendly - there are high chairs and loads of space to run around. Also, we found it perfectly clean, but we were in touch with the owner through the website and she was really helpful when we contacted her about arrival times etc. The beds were really comfortable and the whole place is homely. She gave us loads of tips of things to do and was really nice. So maybe avoid agencies?Read moreLess
2 people found this review helpful.
"The worst holiday I have ever had. The villa was…"
The worst holiday I have ever had. The villa was mis-sold to us as being suitable for 2 families with 5 children aged 3 and under. It was dirty and poorly maintained with one bedroom having a curtain instead of a door. However these complaints paled into insignificance compared to the service we received from Dominique's Villas. They were rude, unhelpful, disputed every complaint we raised, never apologied and were a complete nightmare from start to finish. I would strongly advise anyone to avaoid this company at all costs.Read moreLess
2 people found this review helpful.