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“Different class”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Valerie's

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Valerie's
Norwich UK
Level Contributor
423 reviews
113 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 295 helpful votes
“Different class”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2009

I owe it to Valerie to write an honest review, though a big part of me wants to keep her place a secret – I’ll want to be back and don’t want to find her complèt. But this is no ordinary b&b; they are ten a penny - Valerie is a kind, generous and enthusiastic host who unreservedly welcomes you to her marvellous refurbished fin-de-siècle town house in the centre of increasingly trendy B-d-B and you will undergo a transition from paying guest to a welcomed invité – and you soon feel like you have lived in Bagnères for years. (not an unwelcome delusion) She has room for just two sets of guests and has only recently extended her repertoire to summer months (I gather that this is an ideal location for the ski season as well) But for summer in the Bigorrian Pyrenees this is an idyllic base, and I can do no more than enthusiastically endorse “Valeries” as the best decision you could make if you wanted to spend some time in this lovely part of the Pyrenees. Forget about whether or not there is a lift, if you can park, if there is air-con, or if she takes credit cards – get over those trivias and book up !

Stayed June 2009, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank PeterHarvey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
UK
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2009

Valerie's is a superlative B&B because Valerie herself is a delightful, generous and intelligent host who willingly shares her charming home and detailed knowledge of the locality and her adopted language - which is very useful to those of us not fluent in French! Valerie's suggestions for town -things to do, local walks and drives further afield, really contributed to providing us with a thoroughly enjoyable - and busy - stay. Finding Valerie's home and parking nearby was not a problem, despite being in the town.

Valerie provides excellent meals, including an evening dinner of several courses, if wished. Ours was cooked to perfection, lasted long into the summer night and will remain in our memories for the enjoyable company, easy conversation and detectable onion tart! This is definitely a gem of a find and a great place to spend some summer days. We recommend this B&B wholeheartedly.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank churchmob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hove, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2009

Bagneres-de-Bigorre

We found Valerie’s via a google internet search. I can be a bit of a geek, so checked out loads of places, and then had to choose between staying in Bagneres-de-Bigorre and Bareges. Both provide excellent access to the Tourmalet skiing (the Pyrenees biggest area)
We are really glad we decided on Valerie’s and on Bagneres-de-Bigorre.

Valerie’s is a B & B (far more in the American sense than the UK meaning, in that it is in a historic building and the quality is very high – think $200 a night in USA for similar!).

The house is an old townhouse – more than 300 years – so you really get the atmosphere of living in a Pyrenean Spa town. It is about 2 minutes around the corner from both spas, (Aquensis is great, and would be a super place to dump a non-skier, and great for skiers to recover). In the other direction there is a great wine shop and about 30 metres away is the “Halles”, the local market.

The rooms are really nicely furnished, the house is wireless (but Valerie will let you use her PC if you need to).

Food – top class, you really have to try it to realize how good her cooking is. We had dinner only one night, as we wanted to check out the local scene. Some of the nicest duck I’ve tasted.
Breakfast was beautiful. All the food is sourced locally, the breakfast food arriving from the market the same morning, bread still warm. Valerie is great company (and very laid-back, I wasn’t so sure before I booked about staying in somebody’s house) and the wine and conversation flows freely in the evening.

There are several excellent and not too expensive restaurants nearby.

Bagneres-de-Bigorre itself a really nice old town. Lourdes is only half-an-hour away. It is really worth visiting if you are there in the winter, as the pilgrimage season has not started, so you can really see everything.

Skiing:
When we were there, it was 24 Celsius in the town, but cooler up the mountain. La Mongie is 20km up hair-pin bends (but a very long and gentle climb, kept clear of snow).
The resort itself is a functional ski station, which means facilities are very good.
The skiing (and ski hire) is amazingly cheap compared to the Alps, especially if you book on-line http://www.n-py.com/, in which case they send you a credit card which stays in your pocket and automatically lets you on all the lifts.
The resort has many runs for all levels, if you are really top-rate and get fed-up with the black runs, just go off-piste!
The views are really beautiful, and if you want a really stunning experience, take the two part cable car to the top of the Pic di Midi.
The ski school is really friendly and good, prices are reasonable, even for individual lessons, and on-mountain food prices are just a little higher than you’d pay elsewhere (no 10 euro beers or coffees here!).
If you have no French, do book the lessons a little in advance though!

If we manage to come again – which we really hope to – we’ve still got loads of the resort to finish skiing and we intend driving on at least one to day to one of the other numerous ski stations nearby (only about an hour), as we will definitely stay at Valerie’s.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alan-ErasmusBrighton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
France
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2009

We have just returned from a ski holiday at La Mongie, in the Pyrenees.
We stayed with Valerie who was a most amiable host, at her Bed and Breakfast accommodation, in Bagneres de Bigorre. The slopes of La Mongie were a 30 minute drive and the roads had all been cleared, so no need for the snow chains.
We had 2 double bedrooms and the kids stayed on the top floor in a triple. The rooms were very comfy and we had the use of 2 bathrooms, so no queuing!
The bin men were a bit cruel the first morning waking us up rather noisily with their crashing and banging, but the upside is that we got to the ski shop that bit earlier.
Valerie was able to also offer a very fine 4-course evening meal, taking into consideration the needs of the 3 children in our party and a non-gluten-eating adult. The food was very fresh as it was all purchased locally and was of an excellent standard. Breakfasts were delicious with a range of patisseries, cereal, yoghurt, juice and amazingly big boiled eggs. Just perfect to set us up for a day on the slopes.
We wish we had had a little more time to discover Bagneres de Bigorre, as we only had an hour the morning we were leaving to discover the little town. There were lots of interesting shops and luckily we found a bakery open where we each chose an amazing pastry to take on our picnic, on the journey home. There is obviously loads to do in the area during the Summer too. We also missed out on the nearby casino and thermal baths - still there is always next time.
Valerie’s was an amazing place to stay. Lovely and clean and Valerie was so accommodating, changing dinner time to an earlier slot as the smallest member of the party couldn’t stay awake later, after a hard days skiing. We were able to use the internet and phone back to the UK. Valerie took the non-skiing member of our party out snow-shoeing 1 day and cycling the next.
I would highly recommend Valerie’s and if we ski in the Pyrenees again, I am certain we will stay there.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank bennybettydave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2009

Stayed 4 nights and had a fabulous time - skied 3 days at the Tourmalet in excellent conditions and returned back to Valerie's to be greeted with tea and delicious home made cake that was yummy. The meals again were perfect with plenty wine, ineresting starters and tasty desserts. Apart from phoning Valerie on [-] you can email her - [-]. Definitely a good place to stay and only 30 minute drive from the slopes - biggest ski resort in the Pyrenees!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JanM28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sussex
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2009

Two of us stayed at Valerie's having seen her details on her website. We had not considered the Pyrenees or staying in a town, but the combination was terrific. Valerie was very flexible, and let us come on a Thursday evening at 1215 am, (and served a welcome bowl of hot home made soup on arrival) to Tuesday morning.
Skiing was great, and it was good to get back to civilisation away from the mountain in the evening.
Valerie provided superb food -excellent hearty breakfast, packed lunch, home made cake and tea when we got back, and not to mention the gourmet 4 course evening meal. How many times have you been to a ski chalet where you are served Kir Royale and fois gras as a starter!!?
Her house is truly charming, dating back about 400 years, with many of the original features. However it doesn't skimp on luxury and comforts. The house is warm in the coldest weather, and there are constant hot showers and baths available. We left our boots and gloves in a heated boot room, and they were fine in the morning.
I had some business calls and email to make so I was a bit concerned about losing touch while I was away. I didn't need to worry as Valerie provides free calls to the UK and free WiFi internet access. I used my own laptop but Valerie would have let me use a desk top in one of her offices if I had needed to. We also had a superb lounge with an instant flaming fire and satellite TV.
To top the lot, we were a bit aching after having done very little physical effort over Christmas so it was the ultimate luxury to have a massage after the skiing, also provided in Valerie's at a crazy low price.
All in all, the only regret we had was that we only booked for 4 days skiing, with 5 days at Valerie's. Next time a few of us will come for a week or more.

  • Liked — charming old property, traditional feel, but very comfortable
  • Disliked — that we hadnt booked to stay there longer!
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank hotcurryman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2009

We recently stayed with Valerie Forster at her perfectly positioned town house in Bagneres de Bigorre. The accommodation is truly traditional and the location is ideal for the exceptional ski resort of La Mongie. Skiing here is great and we went every day for 5 days. The lift passes are much cheaper than those in the Alps and the slopes are virtually empty in comparison - won't be long before more Brits come here I suspect. We will probably return next summer to take advantage of the extensive range of local walks - long or short through great scenery.
We chose to eat in a few nights and we were grateful that we did. There are loads of good restaurants nearby but with the value of the Euro and the fact that we were ripped off for wine in the restaurants meant that the all inclusive evening meal rate which Valerie offered far outweighed the VFM from the town.
The town is 30 seconds walk away and is lively with many authentic French bars. We also took full advantage of the nearby (200m) natural spa baths - wow - don't miss these.
In summary, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay with Valerie and would recommend to all of our friends (she has a website called pyreneeswelcome.co.uk) - OH, and don't forget that Ryanair fly to Lourdes which is 15 minutes away and at return airfares approaching £50 at the right time.

  • Liked — Authenticity of French living and convenience of location
  • Disliked — The exchange rate against the Euro
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank HappyHarryAndover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Valerie's

Property: Valerie's
Address: 1 Place Jeanne D Albret, 65200 Bagneres-de-Bigorre, France
Location: France > Occitanie > Hautes-Pyrenees > Bagneres-de-Bigorre
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 19 B&Bs / Inns in Bagneres-de-Bigorre
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bed, Breakfast and optional evening meal (booked in advance). Renovated traditional town house on 3 floors situated in a quiet square in the old town close to all amenities. I can accommodate up to 8 guests. Please visit my own website for more details ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Valerie's Bagneres-De-Bigorre, France - Midi-Pyrenees

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