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“Brilliant off the beaten track” 5 of 5 stars
Review of L'Atelier du Soulondre

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L'Atelier du Soulondre
16 bis, Chemin des Tines, 34700 Lodeve, France   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 6 Lodeve B&B and Inns
Leeds, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Brilliant off the beaten track”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2014 via mobile

This was a very random choice and I'm glad I came here rather than a run of the mill hotel. As soon as I booked, the lovely owner emailed me to make sure I had ample info on how to get there. Parking on site isn't possible but you can park down the road. You enter into a gorgeous courtyard and garden, and the room I stayed in felt more like a wonderful English farm house room than a B and B, with shelves packed with books and colorful patchwork quilts. I wish I'd stayed longer. Very generous breakfast and lovely owners

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Management06, Owner at L'Atelier du Soulondre, responded to this review, March 5, 2014
Thankyou very much indeed for your lovely comments - it certainly helps us when we have some adverse ones. Do hope to see you again and stay longer this time.
Sally
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19 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    14
    2
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    2
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

I can't speak highly enough if this fantastic experience more a home stay. Sally and David are great hosts and Sally a terrific cook, and we had 3 meals a day. Make sure to at least have a dinner with them. The table groans at meal times! We had a comfortable room with a bathroom. The beds comfortable and the linen good. David is a excellent teacher who gently guides and encourages you with great wisdom. My partner and I spent the week he a non painter. He explored the area and relaxed. My only complaint is that a week was not enough for me!! Lodeve is a working town, but there are beautiful villages and scenery close by. Sally drove us there to paint, sight see or walk. Sally is tireless in helping sort out anything you may need to make your stay very memorable. Outstanding! I will be back!!

Room Tip: We had an ensuite bathroom. But it would not be a proble, to share. This is a home stay.
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  • Stayed September 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
david m, Owner at L'Atelier du Soulondre, responded to this review, September 15, 2013
We thoroughly enjoyed having you both and hope you'll come back.
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london
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

This was a very different holiday experience - more like staying with friends or family in their house, rather than in a hotel.
We were there for the art lessons, which were very enjoyable. The most interesting bit of the trip was meeting the other guests and hosts, having meals together, and sharing their art and life experiences too.
The place is basic, but clean and pleasant, as long as you like friendly, gorgeous dogs!
Delicious food, and an altogether very enjoyable trip - I would recommend 4/5 days.
The entrance to the street is very narrow - you do not need a car for the holiday, unless you are going on somewhere, so best to avoid and arrange transfers with the host.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

I wanted a holiday where I could paint and meet with other artists. I wanted to have artistic advice from a world renown artist such as David. I wanted to stay in a picturesque and quiet town where I could easily walk around and paint en plein air. I wanted to share delicious meals around a huge table with interesting people from all over the world. I wanted to feel at home and have nothing to think about except for what I was going to paint next. I wanted somewhere where I could practice my French when I walked into town to shop or just have a coffee. I wanted to be able jump on a bus and visit a larger town if I felt like it. Yes, I wanted it all and L'Atelier du Soulondre ticked all these boxes! Thanks to David and Sally ( Mc Ewen ) I had an absolutely wonderful holiday!

Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

As a new member of the painting fraternity I was delighted, relieved and thrilled when I arrived at L’Atelier du Soulondre in Lodeve for four days last year (Sept 2011).....so much so that I returned this year (Sept 2012) to stay for a week.

I rarely ‘return’ to a holiday location; however David and Sally (McEwen) are so delightful it seemed like the right thing to do!!!

When I landed at Montpellier airport Sally was there with her welcoming smile. We - Sally, Lisa (another painter on her first visit) and I - headed to Lodeve. From the moment I arrived I felt as if I had come home. My room was the same one as the one I had last year and with David’s paintings on the walls to inspire I was ready to go.....

The days (I was on a painting workshop course) are fluidly structured – if that makes sense....Breakfast then morning class/painting, Lunch, Studio time and then dinner. All the meals are prepared and cooked in Sally’s fab kitchen and she really is a great cook....varied menus, fabulous local produce and the most wonderful ratatouille I have ever tasted ... some of the tastiest cheese...oh and wine of every hue on offer.

So to the painting!!! David is a marvellous teacher – as a beginner I probably needed his attention a little more but he never let that impact on the other students. A bit like someone who is bi-lingual he could move from me to another painter of many years experience and just switch into their level – it really is very impressive....He is always there ready to ask any questions, even the silliest, or help you get over that ....’Why don’t I take up knitting instead’.... moment.

I have learned so much and he has guided me towards an area of painting that I now really want to continue and try and master. I have returned home with three watercolour paintings that a week ago I would never have dreamt of even thinking of doing with a passion to continue and just get better......and all because of David’s gentle, and sometimes laugh until you cry, encouragement. He is really very special.

Now don’t think I was a slave to painting (I wish) – oh no we went exploring to the local market in the visiting town...and happened to pop into an art shop!!, played at Lac du Salagou where I went swimming and I actually got a little sun and look a bit healthier than when I arrived!!!

The week just disappeared and at all times the atmosphere was one of fun, creativity, and warmth (and not just because of the fantastic weather). David and Sally welcome you into their lovely home of 16 years like a friend and, if you are as lucky as I was, you get to spend time with the most wonderful mix of guests – at one point it was more like the United Nations – Finnish, American, Australian, German, Italian and British....oh and did I mention David’s wonderful ability to spin a yarn....laugh...until our stomachs were aching.

Will I go back again....well now let me think - a place full of laughter and friends, a teacher who encourages and stretches you and a time to reflect on life, the universe and much much more.......I am already checking my diary...

Fiona M United Kingdom
Stayed one week - Sept 2012

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blanes, Spain
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

I recently stayed in this B&B with my partner and son for one night. It´s difficult to get to as the road is EXTREMELY narrow (in the end we gave up, reversed and parked somewhere else!)
We were shown into our room by the owner while she was smoking (inside our room!!). Tea and coffee facilities in the room consisted of a kettle, some empty saches of sugar and 2 saches of coffee (no cups!!). It was not very clean, the toilet didn´t flush properly, the towels were really hard... We asked for a key to our room and we were told that they never locked anything so there was no key. We had booked an evening meal and they had forgotten about it, so they had to take us to the restaurant were they were meeting some friends and booked a separate table for us. Not once they checked if we were ok, or if we understood the menu. The following morning they didn´t tell us where breakfast was served, so we were left hanging outside until we asked (at least continental breakfast was OK). I would NOT recommend this B&B!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management06, Propriétaire at L'Atelier du Soulondre, responded to this review, September 6, 2012
yes it is true I forgot that these clients had booked dinner. I arranged for them to have a table next to us, as they had a small child with them and I thought it would not be good for him to be with noisy adults. I positioned myself so I could see how they were getting on and smiled in their direction and took note of what was happening at their table. I paid their bill.
The toilet functions perfectly. They were told where breakfast was but it is very obvious. They only had to ask for more tea, coffee or anything else they required, which they were told about. Bed & Breakfast etablishments are peoples homes usually so no keys. A long time was spent with them at breakfast discussing their desire to open a bed & breakfast in Spain and advice given.
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Barnsley, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

I didn't really have any preconceptions of my stay with David and Sally McEwan.... I had seen David's paintings from afar on a number of internet sites, and after 'meeting' him on Facebook, decided that this summer was the ideal time to push my own painting practice forward and make the journey over to Lodeve to paint....
The journey was pretty easy, I was travelling alone, and was delighted to find David's wife, Sally, waiting for me at the arrivals at Montpellier airoport! I basically had a complete door to door, arriving at L'Atelier du Soulondre to be greeted by two of the most adorable smiling dogs and a warm welcome from David....

My room was beautifully cool and very French with numerous stunning original paintings on every wall! Very inspiring!

My first evening, I settled into the studio and painted under my own steam till nearly midnight, something if I may add, I NEEDED to do to settle myself into a working headstate!

The next day after a tasty breakfast, David and I devised a 'game plan' for my painting intentions... Why I had come, what I wanted to achieve, how I wanted to do it.....
For a number of years, I've needed a serious critique of my work to push it upwards, David quickly discovered where my practise lacked, found the 'holes' and the areas where I was shortchanging myself and started giving me a series of artistic challenges, the benefits of which were immediately evident... and also so much fun! I rapidly felt I was moving into untried terratory!

In 10 days I produced 5 paintings, each one a higher quality than the previous; I discovered new techniques and methods under David's guidance- colour glazing using glazing medium, accurate under painting, using pencil shading when planning, how to soften and sharpen detail, layering and building depth, how to retain accuracy and also how to enchance and correct work in progress.

It's only now, when I look back on my previous 'sloppiness' that I realise the enormity of what I have learnt......

I didn't spend all my time slaving in a studio though, after a wonderful trip to lake Salagou, I finally got the tan I wanted, a superb photography trip to a historic village with the best creperie in France (no exaggeration) and the most wonderful trip to a top Arabian horse stud, where I collected over 500 reference images to paint back home in the UK, I really felt that I'd also seen France, not just the inside of the studio!

At all times, I felt very welcome, David and Sally just couldn't do enough to accomodate; super fresh meals, lovely wine, relaxed atmosphere, friendly guests and the most rib-tickiling tales after supper around the table.....

I'm going back again! I've found a place full of friends with seriously good tuition and have found someone who can, will and has pushed my work onto a professional level....

If you are serious about your painting, and want a serious painting holiday.... you've found it here....

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about L'Atelier du Soulondre

Address: 16 bis, Chemin des Tines, 34700 Lodeve, France
Location: France > Languedoc-Roussillon > Herault > Lodeve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Lodeve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bed & Breakfast plus dinner (by reservation) in artist's own home with garden and terrace. Five minutes walk from town centre, on Chemin de St Jacques. Very quiet, next to river. ... more   less 
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