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“Painting Holiday”
Review of Manzac d'en Bas

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Manzac d'en Bas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 22, 2013

An excellent painting holiday in a wonderful venue. It's difficult to know where to start - everything was just right. The accommodation has been beautifully converted and provides an ideal venue for such a holiday. The facilities could not have been better - lovely communal spaces with great character - comfortable and clean bedrooms - outdoor areas for dining and relaxation (including the swimming pool) and on top of all this a spectacular self-contained studio which served as a base for the painting activities. Above all, there is the view - across open countryside with the Pyrenees as a back-drop. The view was never the same, changing with the time of day and the weather conditions, so that you could happily just sit and watch it change in front of you - a free show! Sitting in a cold and grey Manchester my mind wanders back to memories of sitting outside under the trees with a pre-dinner drink watching the sunset over the mountains. Ah well, back to reality - I shall have to rely on photos and my water-colour sketches until my next visit. The reviews by Sally C and Westwinds 95, who were on the same holiday, cover the more practical aspects and I wholeheartedly endorse everything they have written.

Room Tip: I had an attic room, without a view, but this was fine - I only used the room for sleep!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Mike R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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142 - 148 of 261 reviews

Reviewed September 17, 2013

We had a fantastic holiday after several recommendations from other friend.
Amazing setting with views of the Pyrenees and fields of green.
The accommodation clean, spacious and plenty crockery and utensils to allow you to cook as much or as little as you want. Beautiful en suite bathrooms.Very comfy beds.
Beautiful garden to explore and have fun with badminton, croquet and of course simply run around. The pool was fun with a horizon view of the valley.
As for our hosts Giles and Louise and family- they are truly fab - professional, friendly, helpful with great ideas of trips to surrounding villages and very generous with welcoming drinks and a lovely mid week BBQ.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank MrT0ad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

I really can`t fault this holiday in any way; the location is spectacular, and the gites spotlessly clean and well thought out. Louise and Giles could not have been more friendly and helpful, even catering for my veggie diet with great imagination and flair, and driving us out to lovely areas to paint and all the time being most patient, welcoming and kind.

I wouldn`t hesitate to recommend it, either to families, couples or individuals who want a peaceful and beautiful location, as a week was only long enough to skim the surface of what there is to see. I for one would love to go back some time, whether to paint again, or to just relax and enjoy all that Manzac has to offer, including the fantastic cooking! Swimming in the pool was a welcome respite from the heat we experienced on the first few days, whilst gazing out towards the Pyrenees - bliss!

Incidentally, Giles and Louise have done the most fantastic job with converting the farmhouse and barns, sensitively done, and all very harmonious. I loved meeting Sally, with whom I has a fascinating conversation, and who cooked a wonderful meal for us one evening, plus of course their children: Fergus and Iona, and cats, dog, rabbit, guinea pig....

Thank you Louise and Giles, Sally

Room Tip: My room was at the back of the gite, which meant it only had the sun in the morning; however, it was...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Sally C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2013

We have just returned from a wonderful week staying at Manzac Gites with thirteen fellow painters and walkers/ bird watchers.
The Gites were wonderfully appointed with all the mod.cons you could need, but with all the charm and comfort, to make it a special place to stay
We had all but two meals with Louise and Giles, and we had a great variety of lovely, home-cooked food.The lunchtime that we had a picnic,our hosts arrived with a superb spread,and beers,wine and coffee.!
The restaurants that we ate out in, had been thoughtfully selected by our hosts and we were all made very welcome.
Our tutor, Mike Willdridge is patient and inspirational,and was always ready to give of his time.We were able to make use of the new studio with all round views.
The rural location and views of the Pyrennees are outstanding.
Overall, it was a wonderful holiday and our hosts were unstinting in their time and efforts to ensure we had a superb time.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Westwinds95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

We were 3 families with young children staying at Manzac this summer and we had a wonderful time. The gites are spacious, well-equipped and clean. Giles and Louise are very helpful and the facilities are great - lovely pool, table tennis, badminton etc. and the kids loved the family dog and rabbit! You can easily spend your days admiring the views at Manzac but there are plenty of things to do nearby as well with children. We will be going back!

Room Tip: La Grange is good for two families together and if you have a third or even fourth family you can bo...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank JennieV77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

Manzac d'en Bas is wonderfully situated on top of a hill overlooking the vast plains and hills of the Ariège region. The view really is magnificent : this surrounding area is totally unspoiled and it is very rare to be in contact with such nature at it's purest! The gites themselves are clean and decorated in a homely way, Giles and Louise have thought of everything and are especially well equipped to welcome young children. The bedrooms are really comfy and it was hard to get out of bed in the morning! However there is much to do in the daytime like swim in the pool, visit the local museums and local villages that have food markets on almost everyday where you can taste the local produce: we bought organic cider, foie gras and cheese a plenty. Giles and Louise have found the right balance of being on hand to offer help and tips and leaving their guests to enjoy Manzac at their own pace and leisure. Thanks to them we had a fantastic summer!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank 239stephaniek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2013

It says a lot that the other families we met at the gites had been before and it's very easy to understand why. It's a marvellous area with loads to do and see, pictures don't do the views justice, the gites are lovely and Giles and Louise couldn't be more helpful. We loved it.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank mulcahys85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Manzac d'en Bas

Address: Lieu Dit Manzac D en Bas, 09350 Castex, France
Location: France > Occitanie > Ariege > Castex
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Castex
Price Range: $28 - $55 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to MANZAC D'EN BAS, traditional luxury self-catering holiday "gites" set in the truly spectacular, peaceful and relaxing countryside of the Ariège in South West France. It is half way between the City of Toulouse (1 hour's drive) and the Pyrenees Mountain Range, in the Arize valley between Foix and Carbonne. The three spacious, self-catering "gites", called "L'Écurie" (The Stable), "Le Logement" (The Dwelling), and " La Grange" (The Barn)after their original uses, combine traditional charm with comfort and modern amenities. ... more   less 

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