“Comfortable house of character with facilities that well suited our enlarged family group of a wide range of ages.”
I and my family stayed at Beau Rivage for 2 weeks in early August 2012. The weather was generally very good, hot with occasional strong winds and the odd shower. We were a family party of 14 covering 3 generations and included 3 couples and 8 children with ages ranging from 2 to 16.
We all immediately reacted well to the house. It was spacious with a comfortable atmosphere. The sleeping arrangements worked well as we were effectively 3 family units (2 bedrooms and a shower/bathroom each). The dining area, sitting and play areas were very roomy and well equipped. There was plenty of space for the younger and older children to do their own things. The kitchen was also well equipped with plenty of glasses, crockery and cooking utensils. Refrigerator space could have been better for us at the expense of some of the very large freezer capacity (the “girls“ restricted the beer in the frig!). But the wine was OK in wine coolers (2!).
Wi-fi , hi-fi and TV arrangements were very extensive. Having a separate upstair‘s seating area with its own TV and hi-fi was helpful given the age range of our children and the tastes of the Dads! There were plenty of DVD‘s, books and toys available for various ages.
We had a couple of relatively minor technical problems with the house (plumbing) which were attended to willingly and reasonably quickly.
Outside, the garden was secure and big enough for the youngsters to play some games (table tennis, swing ball, sand pit etc). The garden tables and benches were sufficient for our party although the sun-awning was not very effective, particularly in the evenings, and had been rather clumsily erected on the patio with exposed metal footings to catch unwary feet. This was a bit surprising because generally the owners appear to have made safety a priority. Sun loungers were plentiful.
The youngsters, in particular, loved the swimming pool which was used extensively. Although a bit “Heath Robinson“ in construction, the water was clean and warmed by the sun – I did not see any heating arrangement for other seasons. The pool was secure against the younger children. But the time restrictions on its use in the mornings (from 10.00am) was a bore and unjustifiable given the absence of residential neighbours who might be disturbed. Private car parking was good.
As time went by, our appreciation grew of the thought that had gone into making the house and garden facilities user friendly for a family group.
A young British couple provided local support, advice on local activities, cleaning services (extra payment)and maintenance needs. They were welcoming and helpful throughout.
My wife and I gulped a bit when we saw the terms and conditions and rules for renting and using the house and were very concerned that their OTT authoritarian tone would continue into our stay. In the event we were pleased we had overcome these concerns – we all had a very relaxing holiday and enjoyed the house.
Beau Rivage is located about half a mile to the south-east of the village square of Longueville. The village is quite attractive with the usual local facilities such as small shops including the boulangerie, information centre and a few restaurants very close to the house. A reasonable supermarket and petrol station is on the other side of the village (a 5 minute drive). We enjoyed the Monday and Friday village market with local produce that occupies much of the village centre. The village is, however, something of a traffic hub most of the time but especially on market days when it extends to Beau Rivage.
We enjoyed the local coastline and beaches – easy by car and we always managed to park (free). The sea was surprisingly warm with exciting surf which we enjoyed. However, the beach does get very cosy when the tide is in!
There are plenty of places to see and activities for all ages close by. The information in the house was helpful which we supplemented with a visit to the local information office. We were very impressed by La Rochelle as a city and maritime centre - the acquarium, nearby museums and old port are well worth a visit. Les Sables –d“Olonne is interesting from a sailing perspective. But La Tranche sur Mer itself has little to commend itself.
We made a mistake with bicycles. Southern Vendee has a reputation for cycle paths and so I booked 6 bikes for the whole period of our stay. In addition, my elder son brought his own 3 bikes. From Beau Rivage one can get onto 2 or 3 c20km cycle routes through the fairly flat country side without too much traffic, but to get to the coastal cycle tracks which are, of course, much more interesting to the family requires crossing the traffic hub referred to above. This was a considerable disincentive to all of us and particularly the youngsters, who would not go off on their own. Bike usage did not justify the cost.
Overall, the house served us well and met my (the grandfather) objectives of having a relaxing holiday with my two sons and their families and my wife‘s nephews and nieces. In our particular circumstances it was money well spent.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.