This year we visited “A Beautiful Stone House” in May and found that the house is, as stated, beautiful, extremely well built, and situated in a truly lovely location. Despite this, we had a terrible and frustrating experience – our first out of the 14 or so gites we’ve stayed at.
We rented the gite through TripAdvisor, but after paying in full, including the deposit, I received a long contract from Gers-tourisme that had to be signed in order to obtain the gite address. After an argument about paying more for the use of linens, I signed the contract, and immediately all communication with Gers-tourisme ceased. I sent at least six unanswered emails at that time. Since I was under the impression that Gers-tourisme was managing the place, this was disconcerting.
The day before my scheduled arrival at the gite, in a bit of a panic, I went through all of the Gers-tourisme paperwork in detail and finally came upon the address of the gite printed in small letters along with the name and phone number of the owner. There was no mention of this in the Gers-tourisme emails or I would have looked sooner. In any case, I texted the owner and surprisingly, he responded. He met me at his appointed time, gave me a brief tour of the place, handed me an inadequate stack of linen and left. I was provided with a nylon bottom sheet, another bottom sheet, and a cheap comforter that I hope had been washed. My daughter received an old duvet cover, mismatched pillow cover and a bottom sheet. There was nothing welcoming or friendly about our greeting.
Later that day when I tried to cook in the seemingly well equipped kitchen, I discovered that the stove didn’t work. I contacted the owner and he told me that at the level I paid, I wasn’t entitled to use of the stove. I complained to TripAdvisor about the stove but their contacts were non-native English speakers and initially misunderstood my complaints. Even when they finally did understand, they didn’t offer to do anything useful or refund any money.
The weather was cold and miserable that week so that in addition to my disappointment at not being able to cook hot meals, I was very unhappy that the heat would not turn on. I believe there is an extra charge for heat (also in the contract but not on TripAdvisor) , but it is supposed to be levied if the heat is used; the heat is not supposed to be turned off.
Lastly, the pool was not in working order so that when the sun finally came out, it couldn't be used.
Not one complaint that I made to TripAdvisor was handled and the agent at Gers-tourisme simply told me that she had done everything correctly and that I was wrong. I use several agencies to rent my gites and I can easily avoid TripAdvisor and Gers-tourisme in the future. Beware. On the good side, the owner did return my deposit. The WIFI was excellent.