Our fabulous first season at Marcadis Gite
Well it has been a few months since my last blog due to a very busy first season. We opened our doors in June and what a season. We were rewarded with bookings from June up until tomorrow (9th October 2017), which came as a shock. Listening to other Gite owners in France we were advised not to be disheartened if it did take 2-3 years for our gite to become fully booked; this was not the case.
Despite a very busy fist season we wouldn't change it for the world. We have had fantastic reviews as shown on our website plus realised some amazing ideas we can take forward to next year. Over the year we have listened to our guests and taken their ideas forward resulting in new developments and designs.
Over the first year we have seen the development of our romantic hideaway - a romantic spot by the lake which is home to a BBQ, table and chairs, hammock, gazebo and relaxing seating (separate blog to follow). This has proven to be a very popular area for guests so we have decided to develop it further. Our land (13 acres) and our 3 acre lake has proven to be the highlight of our guests stay. Guests inform us that they feel different as soon as they arrive - relaxed, energised and romantic. We notice guests relaxing in the grounds just in the bed wear or taking a late night stroll around the grounds, others have taken the rowing boat out at midnight with a bottle of champagne under the moonlit sky whilst some get overwhelmed by romance and propose.
Our first season saw one of our guests, Jonny, propose to his girlfriend Katie down by our lake. Such a positive for Darren and I to know someone would select our Gite for such a special memorable event..
"The most perfect setting for such an occasion" Katie
Our first season also brought friendship. We have had many nationalities and different age groups. This has enabled Darren the chance to practice his French. Yes we do struggle and speaking French does not come easy but so far all of our guests have had a fabulous stay and the language barrier has not caused a problem. As the years pass we will become more fluent but for now we continue to practice.
Next year is going to be a very exciting second season with lots more developments. We are going to develop the kitchen in Marcadis Gite and install a dishwasher. We will also see the well overdue development of the hanger barn. This will be home to our reading room and library, dining room and social room, pool table and entertainment area. It will also see the development of the barn garden which will see the installation of an outdoor kitchen and pizza oven.
Our biggest development will be the Butterfly Meadow which will be a field of flowers which will attract the beautiful butterfly's located within the beautiful area we live. In the middle of the field will be a gazebo with feeding stations and comfy sofas for guests to sit and enjoy beauty at its best. A paradise for nature lovers. This will take lots of designing and hard work by Darren but will be a masterpiece I am sure. I will be blogging about this once the works gets underway.
This year will also see the start of our home renovation. After one year of living in an old farm house the time has come to start. We will be doing all of the work ourselves (except the electrics) so I will keep you updated as it progresses.
For those of you out there who are thinking about making that move to France to set up a gite business - Do it. But always remember:
It is hard work
You will need more than one gite to make a profit
Focus of doing something different that is not out there and what people may want
Learn the language and become involved with the community
Accept criticism and do something with that criticism
Every day we pinch ourselves as we cannot believe what we have and what we have developed. Our only negative is that we should have made the move sooner.
Thank you for listening and taking an interest in the development of Finders Keepers France.