Lovely 2-bed 2-bath gite with 13m pool / Deux ch., deux SdB & une piscine de 13m
About Kathryn Turner
Hello, I am Kathy and have spent the last 16 years living firstly in Portugal and now France. In Portugal, my husband and I owned a grand villa that we rented to large families and groups. Several years ago, we came to this area of France for an extended winter holiday and never really left. We have been hosting holidaymakers, travellers and business people for 16 years, and have managed to accrue many visitor books and comments pages full of great reviews. We bought our property in France in early 2009 as my husband needed a project and the, then, derelict cottage and outbuildings became that project.
Kathryn Turner purchased this Cottage in 2009
Why Kathryn Turner chose Saint-Marcel-Campes
We spent many weeks driving around the area, looking for the right type of property and the right location. We wanted a quiet countryside location but still to be able to walk or cycle to the local market and shops. We also wanted the property to be within half an hour of a large town and an hour or so from a big city. The house and outbuildings needed to be adaptable and offer the opportunity to be developed to become a gîte and/or chambres d'hôtes. Now there is both!
What makes this Cottage unique
Whilst there are many gîtes to choose from, there are very few that have been renovated to such a high standard. For keen cooks, there is a very-well-equipped kitchen and living space, which is just perfect for preparing wonderful lunches and dinners with the best of local fresh produce. The beds are good quality, to promote a good night's sleep, and the owner on hand to provide expert local knowledge and guidance to ensure you get the most from your well-earned holiday.
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Nice, but overpriced
As we discovered, the Tarn region is outstanding; plenty to see, activities to enjoy and good food & wine to sample.
The gite is well located and visually beautiful. It is within walking distance to Cordes and set down a quiet country lane next to the owner's property. We stayed as a family of five, incl. three late teenagers, for two and a half weeks.
Although comfortable and charming, there were a few things with which we had to 'make do', which did disappoint:
- on arrival, and for the first week or so, the swimming pool was algae green and not to be used. This was during the period when the weather was blazing hot. Thereafter, the pool required various treatments that had to be worked through before it was safe, and then the pool had to be topped up with water daily - only the water was ice cold and the use of the pool became impossible.
Our hostess, Kathy, did offer to compensate us for this but, a fortnight later, this has not yet been followed through on. We are very much hoping to hear back in this respect.
- as others have suggested the pool area could also be improved by offering some more privacy, more shade options and particularly something different to the black artificial decking that burned the soles of our feet.
- the gite has no air conditioning and, in the height of summer when temperatures were high (particularly so this year), the rooms were suffocating. After some days, a neighbour arranged that the children could have an a/c machine in their bedroom, and this proved a blessing.
- although described as a very well-equipped kitchen, we were missing a number of key essentials. Importantly, there is no extractor fan and things smoked up very easily. With one bedroom directly next to the kitchen, it was food smells, heat and airbone fat without borders. Ultimately, we simply found it better to cook outside or eat cold cuts.
- as a family, we like to explore and missed a welcome pack from the owner, with key information on the property and what's on in the area, where to visit, where to shop/eat/swim etcetera. The tourist offices were quite parochial, so it took us visits to different ones in different parishes to build up a fuller picture of what there is to do. Given the lack of tourist books on the area, a welcome pack would have helped enormously.
In short, nice, but we feel that it could have been so much more, especially considering the amount that we paid.
The day after arrival, as a goodwill gesture, I refunded 350 euros in cash as the client queried the price they paid.
The inside living area is indeed open plan, as shown in the photos, the hob being on the island. The extremely high, vaulted ceiling would make it very difficult to fit an extractor fan. Luckily, one entire wall consists of bi-fold doors and another window to the side of the room allows movement of air.
Yes, the decking became hot in the middle of the day, and I emailed the clients before their arrival to remind them to bring flip flops in their luggage.
The gite doesn't have air conditioning, and as the weather was so hot, I arranged for one to be put in the upstairs bedroom which the clients enjoyed 24 hours a day, whether they were in or out, for most of their holiday.
The heat this summer has been extreme, and the pool needed regular top-ups, as did pools owned by everyone I know around here, and normal practice is by hosepipe. The clients used the pool at the start of their holiday, but
unfortunately, went green due to unprecedented water disbursement, which caused the level to go down below the skimmers. It took my poolman almost a week to correct this, which was a terrible shame and very expensive.
The kilim rug in the living area suffered significant brown staining. I decided not to make a claim to cover the cost of professional cleaning.
I'm sorry about the lack of a welcome pack. I will put a comprehensive one together for next season.
A well furnished property in a great location.
This property has been renovated to a good standard and is nicely furnished. It has a private pool and sun loungers. We had a lovely week staying here in the summer. It could be improved further by aircon in the bedrooms and an extractor hood in the kitchen. The gardens are looking a little neglected, but the area is beautiful with Cordes Sur Ciel and all its attractions only two miles down the road.
Lovely property in rural and idyllic location
We had a lovely family stay at here. A beautiful gite, tastefully designed. The weather was incredibly hot and we could have done with a little more shade by the pool as it was too hot to sit there (so we retreated to the shade under the garden tree). Warmed by the sun, the pool itself was perfect, and the ideal length for those wanting more of a proper swim than most pools allow.
Nothing was too much trouble for Kathy who was a superb host, ensuring that we had essential groceries for our arrival (wine and nibbles as well as tea, milk and croissants for the morning) and always on hand for advice on local markets etc.
We particularly enjoyed the table tennis table and proximity to the very beautiful Cordes sur ciel where a visit to the market on a Saturday is a must! All in all a lovely stay in a very rural and peaceful location.
Wow. Beautifully appointed gite.
The gite is set in an open garden and situated on a very quiet single track lane. The gite is extremely comfortable, the beds are great, the kitchen and living spaces are amazing.
Apologies - I didn't really write a rave review about my own property!
Lovely & unique cottage
We could have easily stayed longer: the warm welcome by Kathy & Bob made us feel right at home, and the cottage - an old pig sty, mind you! - has been renovated with such a keen eye for detail: it offered everything for a couple of friends' getaway - two rooms (one via the external stairs), fully equipped American kitchen, telly, bathroom with washing machine. Sitting outside with a glass of vino on the terrace in the lush autumn evenings...
The cottage is off the main roads (so really quiet) but close enough to the village for a croissant run the morning, and too many places to visit o mention them all: vineyards, fantastic Albi, Toulouse, and, of course, the village Cordes sur Ciel itself and the other bastide villages. Again, our hosts were kind enough to help us select the best.
Kathy and Bob have done such a fantastic job of renovating the gite. I was very impressed with the accommodation and the setting is idyllic. The gite is situated in a very peaceful area close to Cordes Sur Ciel with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. There are lovely walks in the surrounding area and Cordes itself is just a short walk. The gite itself offers everything you would need to have a great holiday. The kitchen will ensure you make the most of the fresh food that you can pick up at the local market on a Saturday morning in Cordes and is perfect for the keen chef. The rooms are spacious and beautifully furnished. There is also a bbq and outside seating area, perfect for a relaxed warm summer evening. I am pleased to hear that Kathy and Bob have decided to build a lap pool – certainly provides a very good reason to go back. Kathy and Bob’s house is right next door and I enjoyed spending time with them. They were also very helpful for ideas on where to go and what to do in the local area. I would highly recommend a stay here.
Cordes-sur-Ciel won the prestigious "Village préféré des Français" award in 2014. The town is a medieval bastide dating back to 1222, famous on the Cathar trail and now full of museums, galleries, restaurants and boutiques.
There is a colourful and busy market every Saturday at Cordes, and many other markets in nearby towns and villages on other days. Albi, Gaillac, St-Antonin-Noble-Val, Villefranche-de-Rouergue and Najac are all within a 40-minute drive of the gîte.
To the immediate south of Cordes are the vineyards and wineries of the Gaillac wine region. Many of the wineries host tours and tastings, and some have summer concerts.
The roads in the area are generally very quiet with little traffic. This makes cycling and touring in an open top or classic car a real joy.
For birdwatchers, there are many birds of prey (kites, buzzards and hawks) plus many birds that are now rarely seen in the UK.