Gitelink France
Auvergne gites & cottages
listed with Gitelink
Holiday France Direct - Save on Brittany Ferries when you book this property

Category: General

Debit and Credit card payments

We have accepted direct bank transfer and cheque payments without any problems for many years however we have come under increasing pressure to offer Credit Card payments.

None of this pressure comes from holidaymakers themselves – we have never had a direct request or enquiry about such payment methods.

Our main portal supplier Owners Direct / HomeAway have been pressing us to use their booking system for a couple of years and they are steadily increasing this pressure and encouraging holidaymakers to use their system for accepting bookings. The downside of this is that the holidaymaker is then charged an additional 6% or thereabouts for this service. Note that this additional fee cannot be refunded in case of cancellation by either party.

Media pressure is increasing by stating that direct bank transfer is unsafe and that the preferred payment method should be via a Debit or Credit Card.

We are addressing this issue by offering Debit, Credit and Paypal payments ourselves. We will be using a third party business processing service to supply this direct to the holidaymaker, probably Paypal or Wave.

When the holidaymaker receives an invoice they will have the option of using bank transfer, cheque or online Debit/Credit card payments.

We are not adding to our base prices for this service. We may subtract any direct costs (third party processing fees) from the Security Deposit if any have been incurred. We are currently being quoted about 3.9% for processing using this process. We will review this over the next year and will respond to any feedback we receive.

Cancellations – If the holidaymaker cancels their holiday then, subject to the standard terms and conditions, all due monies will be refunded as usual with the exception of any Credit/Debit/PayPal costs incurred. If a cancellation is by ourselves then these costs will be covered by ourselves.

Diesel and Petrol

We confirm that the diesel and petrol shortages throughout France are now over.
In practice the shortages never really had much impact as fuel was always available though some outlets were restricting amounts purchased.
In our local area supply was not a problem though additional cans were banned and there was a temporary limit of 20-30 Euros purchased.

If such problems are repeated then the advice would be:

  • Leave the UK with a full tank, most areas of really short supply were in the north of France.
  • Top-up wherever convenient
  • Use the internet to locate supply of fuel rather than travel.

The best site for checking for fuel availability and supply is here http://mon-essence.fr The site is in french but pretty easy to navigate / understand.
Go to the blog page to see any fuel supply problems.
They also have a really good downloadable app for finding fuel based on location – suggest you download this in the UK from the appstore before you leave.
 

Owners Direct / HomeAway Update

Owners Direct / HomeAway have been our main source of enquiries since we started in the Gite rental business in 2012.

In the last couple of years the way this site operates has changed significantly from a contact portal to a full holiday booking site.
The site has increased fees and reduced the number of contacts made and made other changes which mean that our listings no longer achieve the same visibility they have traditionally had.

In the last month the site has added a fee to the holiday-maker in addition to the fee component of the rental that they have always paid.
This fee is only charged if the booking is made via the Owners Direct / HomeAway site.
We have never actually taken any booking by this route and always recommend that bookings are made direct with us via our own site (http://gitesinfrance.info ).
Like most owners we have operated in this way for many years, our clients trust us and have seen no need to use the Owners Direct / HomeAway site booking system.

If holiday makers wish to book via Owners Direct / HomeAway and pay the additional fee then we will be happy to accept their booking though we would not be able to refund this fee for any reason.

We will be exploring other portal options for 2017.

Owners Direct / HomeAway

Owners Direct / HomeAway are our main source of enquiries.
We currently take bookings via our own site though we may move to their site in the future.
It is possible to pay for your holiday at La Gravette via Owners Direct if you prefer and they do not charge any extra for this, they do however, charge us.
We continue to prefer payment by bank transfer or PAYM but if you wish to pay via Owners Direct then we will not pass this charge onto you though in future we may have to increase our prices to cover these increased costs.

New Property

Today we have added a new property (Le Rif) for letting.
It is rather bigger than La Gravette and we hope to achieve the same standard of facilities.

More details to follow….

Ferry Bookings

The Portsmouth to Le Havre ferry crossing is excellent for getting a sleep before the drive on Saturday morning especially if travelling from the north of the UK, you also save the drive from Calais to Rouen.

However it is expensive. There are cheap deals but they go fast and take some finding. We chanced on one of the £39 each way deals this February so they do exist. We think they have a small quota, maybe only a couple per journey? Best we can recommend is do a search daily some time in advance and see if one appears.

Flexible ticket or not?
It is good to have spare time when coming back (and going) but you have to pay a premium. If you miss your booked ferry you can get one up to four hours later.
Alternatively why not book a later crossing anyway and turn up early? Most of the carriers seem to just let you get on the next available ferry – we have never been charged extra for this and the extra they may charge isn’t a lot different to the premium you would have paid – or if it’s too much just park up and wait or do some wine shopping.

 

 

The Pool

The pool is ready for use !
The Pool We spent a week in April filling and setting up the filter system and finally had a couple of days use. The sand filter operates for a few hours during the night to ensure crystal clear water. The pool is chlorinated as appropriate.

We had a solar cover heating the pool when we were not using it and a little heater running overnight – in a couple of days we got the temperature up from 10 to 20 degrees. A little cool but as we had a few scorcher days it was a pleasure to use.

During the main season it will be generally be without the solar cover as the ambient temperature will be quite high.

Please use common sense and observe the pool safety instructions. Children should be accompanied / observed at all times. No glass in the pool and nothing that may tear the liner.

Please advise any problems as soon as they happen. Should there be a tear or leak it can take a couple of days to fix and fill.

 

Le Pal

Le PAL is a unique theme park of its kind and is one of the most popular of the French parks.
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Located in the commune of Saint-Pourçain-sur-Besbre near Moulins, some 50 miles from La Gravette, Le Pal is a must for families with young children. Even adults will find plenty to occupy them.

Le Pal Park covers 35 hectares and includes animal areas and amusement park.
IMG_0280

At the leisure park, more than  25 excellent attractions for the whole family  ranging from the Canadian River to the Magic Teacups, Mine Train and Pirate Ship.

Le Pal is home to over 500 animals from all five continents, living in semi-freedom in huge living areas very much like Chester Zoo in the UK . Species include Asian Elephants, Giraffes, Lions, Tigers, Hippos, Chimpanzees, Gibbons, Bears, Wolves, wild dogs, ostriches, … ) and several animal shows (sea lions, parrots and birds of prey in flight).

Driving Routes to La Gravette

Le Havre to La Gravette

This is the shortest driving route to La Gravette though the ferry time is longer. The ferry is overnight(Depart Portsmouth 23:00, Arrive Le Havre 08:00)
The return ferry is evening (Depart Le Havre 17:00, Arrive Portsmouth 21:30).
The marked waypoints are locations for Aires or fuel stops.
There is one recommended fuel stop for the journey down (Cheap, mid-way) and one for the journey back (Cheap and close to the port).
The ATAC supermarket is a good place to buy fuel during your stay.

Length: 275 miles
Duration: 6 hours, 46 minutes at average speed: 40 mph (including a couple of stops)
or 4 hours at national speed limits with no stops.
Click the map for a fully interactive view of the main routes to La Gravette.

LeHavreLaGravette

Booking Procedure

We take enquiries via several routes.
The main source is Owners Direct but we do advertise via Ebay occasionally.
Initial enquiries by email or form entry on this site or Owners Direct are recommended so that we can easily prioritise bookings. Telephone enquiries are fine too though we may have to get back to you to ensure the weeks you need are still available.

On initial confirmation of dates required we will ask you to send us a booking form (from a web-link we will send you) together with a booking deposit of £150. This deposit is fully refundable until eight weeks before the arrival date. If cancelation is after this time then the deposit will be refunded if the dates are booked by other guests.

We ask for the balance for the holiday eight weeks prior to arrival. This enables us to re-advertise the weeks should the booking not be finalised.

We also ask for a Security/Damage deposit of £150 at the same time as the final balance. This deposit may be used if any issues arise at changeover that are not covered by normal usage / uninsured breakages or additional expenditure or time to prepare for the next guests.
Usually this deposit will be returned in full within seven days of departure.

On receipt of the balance and security deposit we will send you final details for your holiday including detailed travel recommendations and who will meet you or where to pick up the keys.