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“Great location, a little pricey” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Villa St. Simon

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Villa St. Simon
8 cours du Generale de Gaulle, 33390 Blaye, France   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Blaye B&B and Inns
Cowbridge, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great location, a little pricey”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

Lovely room (lots of stairs!). Interesting citadel in the town right on the doorstep. Disappointed that breakfast was extra, on top of a fairly pricey room rate. However after a mix-up with the bill we were really impressed with the polite and speedy refund. Overall recommended.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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183 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    136
    36
    5
    4
    2
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18
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
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English first
Dublin
Top Contributor
373 reviews 373 reviews
84 hotel reviews
Reviews in 129 cities Reviews in 129 cities
164 helpful votes 164 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

If you are the kind of person who thinks that a Marriott makes a wonderful destination, then the Villa St Simon is absolutely the worst kind of place for you. It has no modern facilities (apart from spotty Wi-Fi, especially toward the top of the building), requires you to transport baggage up several flights of stairs depending on your allocated room, and offers a decorative style that most interior designers would barf at. But it is an extremely friendly establishment that cannot do enough for its guests, it is in the heart of a town that is a great base for touring the Bordeaux wine areas (the ferry to the Medoc area is about 200m away), and is connected to good restaurants and wineries for those who like good food. In fact, it's just a great place to stay. Free parking is available across the road from the villa. Recommended.

Room Tip: There's no lift, so a room on the 1st floor is best if you don't like stairs.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

Blaye is not exactly a jumping party town. At least, not on a very wet May weekend. But if there's anywhere to make you feel better, it's the Villa St Simon. Beautifully renovated, with charming and polyglot hosts (and excellent breakfasts), the Villa makes you feel, even on a first visit, that you're old and valued friends. Leslie and Clarissa seem to know everyone in town and for miles around, both French and expatriate, and their advice on wine, restaurants and where to shop is impeccable (thanks for the Bossis tip, Les; I took the XO).
This place is the exact opposite of a chain hotel. It's quirky, individualistic, interesting, fun for all ages (our kids loved it), and worth every penny.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013 via mobile

This B&B is located right in the town centre within a stroll of the restaurants and bars. It is also within an easy stroll of the Citadel, a17th century fortification and Unesco World Heritage site. Blaye itself is situated on the banks of the Gironde Estuary, with easy access to the vineyards of Cotes de Blaye, and by ferry (a minute's walk from the B&B) to the Medoc.

The building itself is a town house which has been sympathetically restored. The front door opens into the breakfast room which is wood panelled. Reception sits at the bottom of a stone staircase which spirals up the centre of the building. There are three floors with bedrooms, two on two of them and three on the third. The first floor has a seating area around a table, and a small kitchen area in which meals can be prepared. The sympathetic restoration continues on the remaining floors.

The rooms are similarly restored in a rustic style. The floors are wooden, partially covered by rugs, and a little uneven. The windows are a little on the small side and shuttered, and the furniture is all dark wood. This all fits perfectly with the style of the house, and as can be seen by other reviews on Tripadvisor, most visitors love it. I certainly felt the manner of the restoration was perfect for the building, but others who are expecting something a little more modern may be a little disappointed by the rustic finish.

There were a couple of very small issues. The water pressure in the shower was fine - until someone elsewhere in the house used theirs, and then it dropped to a very low level. Fortunately that does not affect the temperature, so the rapid heating or cooling of water experienced in some showers does not occur here. The stairway is quite steep, and there is no lift (installing one would detract from the aesthetics of the house, whereas the staircase enhances it) but this place is not for anyone with mobility issues. Finally, the ferry leaves from directly opposite starting from 7am, and there is a risk you may be awoken by it if staying in the front of the house. That said, the down sides were minimal, and only a few will be put off by them.

The owners, Les and Clarissa, and their staff are extremely friendly. They make sure they are on first name terms with all the guests, and are always happy to offer a recommendation on a restaurant, place to visit or a wine. And on the subject of wine, we partook of the debunking wine session offered by Les. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening learning about wine in general and Bordeaux in particular, tasting the wines, and talking wine with fellow guests whom we had not previously met. We also went on the Medoc tour, and had an excellent day touring the region, seeing some of the beautiful chateaux, visiting a couple and sampling their wines, and having lunch in a restaurant in St Julien. Again, the fellow guests were good company, as was owner Les as he drove us around and imparted his knowledge.

I have rated this house as a 4, but only as there are no halves! The couple of drawbacks noted above mean it doesn't get a 5 but it is as close as it could be. It is clear that many of the guests return again and again. Next time the Bordeaux region calls, I shall have no hesitation in heading to Villa St Simon.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013 via mobile

For our 20th wedding anniversary we took a two week tip through France, and our stay with Leslie, Julian and Clarissa may go down as the greatest highlight. Great hosts, exceeding expectations and informing about the great region. Great pastries in the morning as a topper.

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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bracknell berkshire
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Myself and my girlfriend Jane were treated for our birthdays from my mother and my nephew for a couple of nights with the tour of 2 vineyards,breakfast,the debunking which all should do and 3 bottles of wine to take home after.
We booked an extra night and glad we did.Stayed thursday 25th April to Sunday 28th April.
The hosts Les and Clarissa lovely people and make you very welcoming.The hotel feels like home from home.The rooms are very comfortable.
They also have a tapas bar called The Gallery which is a great place to hang out.Lots of items for sale in the Gallery along with art paintings.
Alison who runs The Gallery is also very welcoming and always has a smile on her face.She makes a great chocolate brownie.
Her boyfriend Gary who is sometimes there helping out is a greta guy and makes a great lemon meringue.
Myself and Jane have learnt a lot about wine from Lez and young Thomas who is also a great person to talk to and his english is A1!
Thank you both.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone who would like to learn a bit more about wine or may be just would like a stay for a night before traveling on somewhere else.
We will certainly be going back.
Thank you all at Villa St Simon.

Room Tip: Any as we looked at all of them. Loft room has a single bed as well as a double.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Chipstead, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

My wife Cathy booked a surprise 4 day break for us at Villa St. Simon. The Villa is authentic and charming - a true French classic. The owners Les and Clarissa are perfect hosts and they make you feel like a true guest. The rooms are lovely and clean and the breakfast is great value. I highly recommend you to utilise their services if you want to tour the vineyards in St. Emilion and Medoc. Les and his other guide Thomas have a vast knowledge of Bordeaux wines and have great contacts with a number of the very top Chateaux. Even a wine buff such as myself learned a huge amount and my wife, who is a novice, found the experience incredibly educational. They have an Art Galleria/Wine & Tapas Bar across the street and this is beautifully run by Alison. I also suggest you try the 'Debunking of Wine' session run by Les in the Galleria - great fun. We will return with our family soon - it's the kind of place where you want to go back to.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa St. Simon

Address: 8 cours du Generale de Gaulle, 33390 Blaye, France
Location: France > Aquitaine > Gironde > Blaye
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Blaye
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Villa St Simon - Your home from home in Bordeaux. Villa St Simon in Bordeaux offers charming period furnished rooms and modern equipped self-catering apartments. The 1860 villa is an ideal base for your guided or self-explored wine tours in the Bordeaux region and a great place for a relaxing holiday. Blaye is in the heart of the Côtes de Blaye and Côtes de Bourg winelands and only a 20min ferry trip away from the Medoc with its famous first growths and a 40min drive away from the City of Bordeaux and St Emilion. The Citadel, UNESCO World Heritage site, traditional French cuisine, and great wines of the region will make your stay with us a unique and memorable experience - that should not be missed! ... more   less 
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