Self catering gites in the Ardeche, France
Description from the accommodation owner
Self catering gites in the Ardeche, France: the story of this holiday company
This company was created in 2006 as ‘The Ardèche Specialists‘, offering bespoke tours, accommodation and summer holiday packages in the magical region of France that had become their home. In the winters the team travelled to Courchevel in the French Alps and established the winter holidays side of the business with catered ski chalets, self catered apartments and airport transfers, all based from the village of Courchevel Le Praz. The company has enjoyed steady growth over the years – much of it due to our old clients talking to their friends about us. We believe that this has been achieved through our commitment to retaining the personal aspect of our holidays. We recognize that customers have many options but believe that by really working to listen to each of their unique needs we can provide the very best in personal, flexible, fun holidays. These days we feel really pleased when clients from the Alps come to see us in the Ardèche (or vice versa) or come back to see us year after year. We hope that this means that we are doing something right!
Responsible tourism: Self catering gites in the Ardeche, France
We are aware of the impact that tourism can have on the social and physical environments that we work in. We strive to make this impact positive wherever possible and to do our part in minimising damage or waste. We act by ensuring that guests are given up to date information on local events and directives and that they take part in the village recycling scheme and community events. We work hard to train and educate our staff so that they in turn can advise our clients on how to enjoy the region without having negative impact on the environment.
In addition to the physical concerns, we believe that it is vital that we work in partnership with the communities that we live in and to embrace the cultural and linguistic differences. All of our English speaking staff are given lessons and advice on French speaking and are obliged to converse and interact at every opportunity. Wherever practical, we work with local companies and suppliers to provide services for our clients. We believe that this not only improves our local relationships but it adds to our clients experience and improves understanding of the local environment for all involved.
We always try to:
- Remove all of our litter (and a little extra!) when we are in the outdoors.
- Encourage our guests to use green transport or offset emissions where possible for international travel.
- Reuse or recycle wherever possible.
- Respect wildlife and habitats by using established trails and not altering the natural environment in any way.
- Minimise consumption of artificially stored water and electricity by close monitoring and using devices such as timers to prevent waste.
- Manage our properties in order to limit energy consumed to heat or cool them.
- Make recommendations to our guests regarding how to care for the local environment.
- We try to raise awareness of local, sensitive environmental issues.
- Offer opportunities to visit local heritage sites, local historical buildings and national parks.
- Work with local businesses to provide activities, accommodation, shopping and meals.
- Visit and, where possible take part in local shows and events.
- Buy locally produced foods (we’d be crazy not to – its great!).
- Behave responsibly and with respect for the community by encouraging considerate interaction and conduct.
- We like to take a moment to consider how our presence may be perceived by those around us and to behave accordingly.
We work with local accommodation and activity providers to help support the local economy,
We ensure we recommend our clients shop in small independent house and explore the local markets. We encourage guests and staff to submerge in local culture taking part in local festivities.
We respect that we are foreigners operating in France and try to us the local language where we can.