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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.