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“Our long awaited vacation....ruined!”

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La Maison des Tournesols
Ranked #10 of 17 Niort B&B and Inns
Reviewed December 11, 2011

Everything was great...up until arrival. The owners of La Maison des Tournesols were so helpful and accommodating, making sure that everything was perfect for my 5 year old son and I. It was supposed to be our first holiday together as a single parent family....needless to say I was very apprehensive. We booked the studio gites, we couldn't afford the meal prices offered by the owners, so had no choice but to cater for ourselves. Unfortunately, I had a passport problem and had to reapply at the last minute. The owners were so kind and understanding...stating there was no problem and we could change the date of our stay. At no point was there any mention of a change in accommodation. So, we went ahead. On arrival, I was overwhelmed by the natural beauty, and peaceful location...I thought we'd arrived in paradise. We were greeted with tea, lovely. The owners then announced their accommodation was full, even the studios???? But weren't supposed to stay in one of those??!! Oh no....we couldn't possibly as we'd changed the dates, we were told!!! I was horrified...we'd had no written confirmation, let alone any verbal notification. We were offered a room, without Sky TV (which I'd paid for as part of the studio, for my son) not even a kettle!! (apparently they bought a kettle, but it never materialised!). Upset and angry we went out...and cooked supper in our camper. The next morning I said we couldn't stay, and the owners offered a refund. When I accepted this I was greeted with hostility..."Oh, I'll HAVE to go to the bank now, you'll just have to wait"!! How rude! They then concoted a story about having a 'witness' to their phone call about the change in accommodation. What rubbish. The owner Chris, then 'shooed' us away, as if we were peasants..."go and find your little campsite then"!!

These people seriously need to retrain in customer service, and to deal with complaints! They haven't a clue. My 5 year old son was very upset...I had to remain composed...well someone had to! These people were rude and aggressive in front of my child.

When I tried to lodge a complaint on our return to the UK, I was told my methods were underhand, and I knew what I was doing! Had I more time and patience for this scenario I would have contacted the French Tourist board to instigate an investigation.

Very....VERY poor service. Would not recommend!!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank ChefWirral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 - 18 of 24 reviews

Reviewed September 1, 2011

This B&B is in a quiet little village but with lots of places of interest to visit not far away. The rooms are bright, comfortable and very clean. There is a lovely new swimming pool where you can go and cool down and relax at the end of a busy sightseeing day. Breakfast is plentiful, varied and with lovely home made jams. We also stayed for evening meal and the owners did a lovely BBQ. We will definitely be going back - such good hospitality.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank CampinginFrance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2011

My wife and I and our two children have just returned from La Maison des Tournesols having spent a 6 night stay as B&B guests.
Words cannot do this place justice, the owners Chris and Gill are the warmest and kindest hosts that you could hope for, nothing is too much to ask of them. They are always on hand to ensure that you enjoy your stay but are never intrusive.
The new pool is a welcome relief from in an area of France where the temperature regularly reached 30+ degrees every day, the kids absolutely loved it, we went in every single day, our daughter even insisted on staying by the pool for two days as she enjoyed it so much.
Gill provides a 4 course dinner which is to die for, we ended up eating with Chris and Gill for 3 out of the 6 nights, they were such great company with loads of interesting tales to tell, and the food and wine was of such a great standard that we couldn't get enough, you must eat with them at least once if you're stopping with them. The breakfast is continental style, everything is fresh and the coffee is endless.
The surrounding area offers plenty in the way of family activities and Chris and Gill take an active interest in the local tourist attractions and towns and are always on hand to offer advice on where to visit etc.
All in all this was a lovely place to stay, the family room was spacious and well furnished and the bath was perfect for the children every night. We couldn't have wished for a better first experience of France than this.

Room Tip: The family room is at the back and away from the pool / front door which makes it silent in the even...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank TherealKP56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2010

We stopped over here for 2 nights before going on to the Dordogne and were not disappointed. I found it by good old googling b&bs near Niort and though the hosts are English they are really trying to be a French style chambre d'hote, which is what we wanted. The rooms are spacious and well furnished with good bathrooms/shower rooms. Breakfast was plentiful and served at the time we wanted it...very relaxed. We also had a lovely evening meal on one night.
We had a 14 year old and a 12 year old (our sons!) with us, and again the hosts were extremely accommodating - obvious they have (grown up now) kids of their own!
If I had any comment at all even remotely negative it would be that the unusually angled stair case can be a bit tricky, but it is manageable - even for us with our disabled son! Oh and probably a bonus if you like cats! (I'm not keen but luckily they mostly stay outside) However our younger son now refers to the Maison de Tournesol as the "cat B&B" - and was very much hoping that we would be staying there overnight on the way back from the Dordogne too!
Oh and there was free wifi access too - great for route planning etc

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank weeherdy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2017
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  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank vraigourmet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2017
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  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled with family
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Thank lolobye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2017
Google Translation

Stayed: July 2017
Thank Philippe G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Maison des Tournesols

Address: 25 Rue de L'Huilerie | Vallans, 79270, Niort, France
Location: France > Nouvelle-Aquitaine > Deux-Sevres > Niort
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Niort
Price Range: $68 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Maison des Tournesols offers bed and breakfast and Gite accommodation in the beautiful Poitou-Charentes region of central western France. It is situated in the relaxed hamlet of Les Touches on the edge of Marais-Poitevin, also known as Green Venice. With its tranquil waterways, this area of outstanding natural beauty is ideal for walkers and cyclists. Historic La Rochelle and the sandy beaches of the Ile de Re are also close by. ... more   less 

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