We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Excellent French immersion school”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Riorges
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Ecole des Trois Ponts
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 9, 2013

I have attended the school twice, 3 weeks in total. I find it hard to think of how the experience could be bettered and am currently planning my next visit.
Most importantly for a voluntary learning environment, the atmosphere has always been friendly and welcoming with only about 12 to 16 students attending the school at any one time. Since it is an immersion course the learning continues throughout the day and evening, including the meals and this is aided by first class food (not to mention the nightly education in French cheese!) The bedrooms I would describe as motel quality and perfectly adequate. Most importantly the teaching is really excellent - varied in approach to maintain interest (I've usually taken 25 hrs a week of classroom work), perfectly pitched for the various levels, and the classes are always small (never more than 3 in my case altho I havent attended during the 3 summer months).
Roanne itself offers all one would expect of a large town. Not having a great deal of "tourist" interest means, conversely, it does not present the sort of distractions you would experience in Paris or Provence for example. For the weekends the surrounding countryside is lovely and the great city of Lyon only an hour away by train.
Very highly recommended.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank macca99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (143)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

130 - 136 of 143 reviews

Reviewed January 3, 2013

I have gone to this french immersion school four times (my wife three times) and we both have loved it every time. The owner Rene and the headmistress Valerie run a tight, but very enjoyable, ship. The people that come here are usually here to learn but also meet others interested in french language and culture. To a person they have been friendly and supportive of one another. The communal dinners, with fine food and the nightly cheese course are both very tasty and a great way to practice french. The rooms are also comfortable. Finally, given the quality of the accommodations and food, coupled with the excellent instruction, this is the greatest bargain ever. I particularly like the fact that the classes are never greater than 6 people (and usually less) and have multiple levels. I have gone from beginner to a moderate level and thank the folks here for my improvement.

Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
3  Thank aagourmet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

If you are serious about improving your French and you’d like to do it in a fun, friendly, authentically-French atmosphere, then Ecole des Trois Ponts is for you! I made my first trip to Ecole des Trois Ponts in 1997 with my mother and three friends for two weeks of French immersion. The school was located in an old Chateau outside Roanne at that time, not far from its present location. I returned for another two weeks in 2001 with my niece Betsy, and again in 2010, 2011 and 2012—but now to the new location at Villa Beaulieu in Riorges. My 2011 visit was especially enjoyable, as my granddaughter Carol, a second-year university-level French student, accompanied me. We had a fabulous time together—and her speaking ability improved dramatically in just two weeks. But, in fact, every one of my five experiences at the Ecole has been extremely rewarding, not only because I’ve been able to maintain and steadily improve my skills in French but also due to the many wonderful people I’ve met. The instructors have all been remarkable, and I can’t say enough about the leadership team of René, Valérie and Geneviève. Classes are very small, at most four or five students, sometimes only two or three, all of whom are at the same level of proficiency. I remember fondly people from each of the five sessions I attended, people who came from all corners of the world, all united in a common love of France, French language, food and culture. At various times I’ve studied with Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, Brits, Germans, Indians, Japanese, Norwegians, Sri Lankans, Spaniards, Irish, fellow Americans and more—what a pleasure it has been to get acquainted and study with each and every one of them! On one occasion, the school was full at the time I wanted to attend, so I accepted the possibility of a roommate—a delightful woman from Ireland. It worked out perfectly. Meals are served at a gracious communal table and offer a wonderful opportunity for using one’s French skills in a relaxed setting. Chef Anthony is highly skilled, and every meal is a delicious adventure in fine French cuisine. I practice a vegan diet, and Anthony conscientiously made sure there was always an acceptable alternative for me. Housekeeper Nadia will keep your room in tip-top condition, and will even take care of your laundry upon request for a small fee. I will definitely be back—and perhaps we’ll find ourselves in a class together!

Room Tip: Rooms are rather modest, but quiet, sparkling clean and comfortable. All are en suite.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Sharon S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

I was looking for a French immersion school to study French at a more intense level than taking a weekly class at home. After searching out some possibilities in France, I chose Ecole des Trois Ponts, because of the variety of available programs, the emphasis on learning by immersion, the inclusion of room and board and their website appearing to market to adult learners.

The location is an easy train ride from Lyon to Roanne, then a short taxi ride to the school in Riorges. I was warmly welcomed by the director, René Dorel, and met the other participants over a chilled rosé.

The following morning we were individually assessed and placed in classes of people who were at a similar level of ability. Class sizes are small, mine had four participants. Taught by Valérie, the sessions were intense and fun. My ability to speak improved dramatically during my first week.

I stayed two weeks for which I was very glad because at the end of the first week I felt I was just beginning to grasp some comprehension. My first week had the afternoon cooking class with Chef Anthony, when we essentially helped to prepare the evening meal while learning techniques and creating delicious desserts and main courses that I continue to prepare at home. We also had a seminar on wine to enhance my French wine experience. Each evening, before dessert, Chef Anthony gave an explanation of the cheeses we were being offered. My second week was down to business with intensive French with Geneviéve that enabled a quantum leap in ability. Classes were, again, intense but great fun. A sense of humor is required!

The accommodations are not luxurious but very comfortable; each room has en suite. I would ask for a room on the west side where the sun is less intense during the day. The common lounge has a beautiful piano as well as a TV and DVD player for evening movies.

At the beginning of my time at Ecole des Trois Ponts, I felt shy and intimidated by those who were far more advanced but those feelings quickly disappeared in the warm and encouraging atmosphere of the school. I heartily recommend this school for anyone at any level of competency and I hope to return next summer.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank SurreyGoldfinch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2012

to be immersed in the French language! I've attended this school three times in the last three years, nothing by comparison to some people (I know one who has attended for 18 years!). There are so many reasons: the high quality of instruction, the hands-on cooking classes-I've taken all that have been offered-the good-natured staff, talented and patient teachers (the chef de patisserie et chocolat is a M.O.F.), the miraculous bonding that occurs each and every time among the students, the location of the friendly city of Roanne, the beauiful countryside, the ease of getting there by train, the chef de cuisine, the comfortable accomodations....this is boarding school for adults! I will go back as often as I can and really cannot imagine going anywhere else for such an experience.

Room Tip: All rooms are good. There is no air-conditioning but fans are available on request. Wi-fi is availab...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Jobee9356
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2012

This is by far the best language school that I have ever attended. I stayed on a number of occasions and was driven to return by the friendliness of the teaching staff and the enthusiasm and general sense of enjoyment that everybody at the school has.

My ability to speak French improved massively and I still remember it after periods of not using it. I think the biggest thing I took way from the school was confidence and if it wasn't for family commitments, I would return every year.

  • Stayed: August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Dinks876
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2012

I spent two weeks learning french at Ecole des Trois Ponts. The trip was made so easy by Rene and Valerie who made everyone feel so welcome. The accommodation was good and the chef made dining a delight. The Intensive Course was just that. We ate, slept and lived French. I'd recommend this very highly for anyone who was serious about improving there French and who wanted to live a real french experience.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
1  Thank barkingdogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Ecole des Trois Ponts? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Ecole des Trois Ponts

Address: 645 rue Marechal Foch | Villa Beaulieu, 42153 Riorges, Communaute d'Agglomeration Roannais, France
Phone Number:
Location: France > Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes > Loire > Communaute d'Agglomeration Roannais > Riorges
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Riorges
Price Range: $88 - $106 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Ecole des Trois Ponts created in 1991 specializes in short-term French language immersion courses for adults, in addition to French language combined with cooking classes. French immersion courses are offered in General, Intensive, Private and Holiday formats for all skill levels by professional and native French speaking tutors all fluent in English. During select weeks, hands-on cooking classes with our in-house Chef take place in the afternoons, as guests learn to create French culinary specialties. The Villa Beaulieu is a 19th century country house in the community of Riorges, adjacent to the town of Roanne, near Lyon. Nine guestrooms surround a peaceful, central garden in a quiet residential area close to patisseries, cafes and parks. ... more   less 

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing