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I can honestly say that the Villa exceeded our expectations.
"Following our fantastic experience at Neil and Nat's B&B my wife and I were desperate to return to Provence for more cycling. We had talked with them about their plans to have a villa using the same hub and spoke approach to cycle touring. This was the perfect solution for us as following our last visit the year before as we had had an addition to our family.
We felt the Villa would be ideal for us as we could bring our daughter and grandparents (to share baby responsibility) without bringing the disruption of a 4 month old to the B&B. I can honestly say that the Villa exceeded our expectations.
Neil gave us the grand tour. The open plan kitchen, diner and lounge were perfect for our needs and was the perfect place to relax following a day cycling. The kitchen had modern appliances throughout with all the utensils that we needed and an all important laundry room for that sweaty cycling kit. The lounge had a TV with English channels as did all the bedrooms.
Outside there was a terrace with a second dining table and another lounge area perfect for relaxing, planning the next day cycling and alfresco dining. The pool was also perfect for a post cycle dip and the lawn was the talk of the town. It really was we had a number of people ask how it was kept so green.
We had the standard high level of cycle planning from Neil. He would visit and ensure that we had the bike routes we required. There was a "route menu” on a blackboard in the living area with the corresponding route numbers for the garmin. We would mostly choose this from but Neil was more than happy to tailor a route to our needs.
The selection was diverse and catered for a range of cycling abilities. Perfect for my wife and myself but also my parents who to be fair are fit (dad did summit Mt Ventoux during the trip) but wouldn’t be planning on doing long rides every day. The cycle track was a couple of kilometres away and linked nicely with Coustellet and is a perfect way to get to areas a bit further away from the Villa.
My wife and I took our own bikes but my parents used Neil’s. The reviews from both my parents were very good and if they did not already have their own at home I suspect they would have been investing.
For the evenings we did not want to cook for ourselves we were provided with a folder with information about local restaurants. The ones we tried were fantastic (5 or six in our two trips). We particularly like the L’arome in Bonnieux. There is also a handy takeaway pizza place 5 minutes drive away which satisfied our carb and cheese craving one evening.
We would without hesitation return as we feel there is still much to explore on our bikes and Neil and Nat are so welcoming. The Villa is fantastic for those wanting a little more independence and privacy in comparison to the B&B and perfect for a family or a group of friends.
Really a first class service.
Despite being away from the B&B we still felt we were just a well looked after as if we were staying there. Hopefully when we return our daughter will be able to go in a bike trailer so she can join the fun too."
Cycling Holidays France in Provence - Oli & Sabina - UK - Sept 16 - 5* Tripadvisor review.
Following are our 2016 Tripadvisor reviews for our self guided Provence bike tours:
Following are our 2016 Tripadvisor reviews for our self guided Provence bike tours:
Following are our 2016 Tripadvisor reviews for our self guided Provence bike tours:PLEASE NOTE THESE REVIEWS ARE FOR OUR B&B BASED TOURS AND NOT OUR VILLA-BASED TOURS.
THOUGH NOT 100% RELEVANT, THEY WILL STILL GIVE YOU A GOOD FEEL FOR OUR VILLA BASED TOURS AS MANY OF THE ATTRIBUTES ARE THE SAME.
WE STRIVE TO DELIVER QUALITY HOLIDAYS AND COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE ACROSS BOTH TOURS.Fantastic Provence Cycling Holiday!
"Wow! Our six days of cycling from Neil and Nat's B&B has been our favourite biking experience ever! From the moment we arrived, we felt completely comfortable. The B&B is homey and the hospitality wonderful! Neil and Nat have that special quality about them that anticipates guests' needs. First of all, around the table... We thoroughly enjoyed breakfasts of delicious fresh fruit, yogurts, granola, homemade jams, breads, and croissants that were picked up daily from the local boulangerie. I could hardly wait to get out to the veranda every morning to enjoy breakfast and to discuss the day's ride with Neil. Three evenings, Nat and Neil served beautiful home-cooked dinners that featured local produce and the classic tastes of Provence. They are fabulous cooks and serve with just the right amount of panache. They served "bike-riders' portions", which was much appreciated. The other three evenings, we walked 8-10 minutes into Coustellet where we had our choice of several good restaurants. Nat and Neil were kind to book a table for us. They know what is around and make great recommendations.
We also really enjoyed the other guests with whom we dined at the B&B! Animated conversations, plenty of wine, lame jokes, hilarious jokes, serious conversation... it was all so very enjoyable! Nat and Neil made us feel like we were family. In addition to great meals, we loved the way Neil helped us plan our bike tour each day. His GPS guided tours are fantastic! He has tracked brilliant routes noting sites that are worth seeing and excellent stopping spots for lunch or ice cream. We headed out knowing how many meters we would climb that day and he always planned a pleasant down-hill at the end to bring us home. After a day's bike ride, we cooled off in the lovely swimming pool in the back garden.
My husband and I were lucky to snag the last room available the week of our stay, so we shared a bathroom with two others. While we weren't sure how that would be, we found it to be just fine. It is a lovely new bathroom, with a great shower. Our room was comfortable, roomy, and clean. The old stone house with thick walls stays cool even on hot Provence days. Coustellet, while it's not an exciting town, it is the perfect jumping-off point to bike the Luberon Valley. Many ancient hill-top villages are within reach, and a smooth tarmac bike trail connects the B&B to great cycling routes. Cyclists of varying skill levels would be very satisfied to bike from Coustellet, especially with Neil's GPS attached to the handlebars. Our bikes were a little heavier than we have at home, but they were perfect for our rides. Neil keeps them well-maintained. I hated to give mine up at the end of the week.
Just know that if you decide on a Provence cycling holiday, you are in for a real treat with Provence Cycling Holidays! Natalene and Neil, the perfect host and hostess will take such great care of you! Our only disappointment was not getting to meet their adorable children, Lucy and Jamie, who happened to be with grandparents the week of our holiday."
Bike Tours France in Provence - Bonnie & Eric - US - July 16 - 5* Tripadvisor review.Provence Cycling Holidays.
"We couldn't have asked for a better holiday. Neil and Nat make you feel totally at home in their wonderful property in Coustellet. Enjoying a typical French breakfast on their deck with Neil and the other guests to discuss our self guided, tailor made cycle rides for the day was a lot of fun. Neil is so professional and is a mine of information re what to do, where to eat and what to see on the various rides. The location is superb and even though it rained one day, we were able to jump in our hire car and enjoy a day exploring Arles.
Dinners were wonderful, and Neil and Nat are amazing cooks. Coming back from a day's cycling to a cool off in the pool and then to enjoy wonderful home cooking, interesting conversations and many laughs with Neil, Nat, their two beautiful children Lucy and Jamie as well as fellow cyclists from the US and Canada just made for a perfect holiday.
I would recommend Neil and Nat's single base Provence Cycling Holidays, to anyone looking for a well organised self guided cycling holiday with a bit of luxury thrown in !!!!!!
Room Tip: We didn't have an ensuite but it wasn't an issue at all."
Bike Vacations France in Provence - Chris - Australia - June 16 - 5* Tripadvisor review.A Wonderful Experience.
"Our experience with Neil and Nat's property and guest experience was extraordinary. There is no better way to sightsee a beautiful area than on a bicycle seat, and it's nice when all the routes and planning are so well laid out and easy to negotiate with GPS units. In addition to the bicycle experiences, Neil's and Nat's advice, support, and facilities were remarkable. During one of the great meals they provided, I noted that the around the table were persons from the UK, France, Canada, Australia, and the U.S. This made for stimulating conversations and great new friends. To top off this great experience, Neil's and Nat's children, Lucy and Jamie, were a lot of fun and made us feel as if we were part of the family. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable venue.
Room Tip: We were in Oppede, which was very comfortable."
Bike Holidays France in Provence - Hugh - US - June 16 - 5* Tripadvisor review.Perfection.
"My wife and I are fortunate to travel quite a bit, but this was a new experience for us. It was highly recommended by some friends of ours. We had been wanting to take a trip with our son and his fiancée who are in their mid-30's and this was the perfect way to do it! We were all at somewhat different biking levels, but it didn't matter one bit! Neil put together amazing rides where we saw breath taking scenery, gorgeous little towns with so much history, and fantastic restaurants. The bikes were so comfortable, and the GPS worked perfectly. We felt totally comfortable the moment we arrived at Nat and Neil's B&B. The rooms were great, the beds very comfortable and the shared bathroom with our children worked out very well. I so much enjoyed early morning conversations over a cup of tea with Neil. Nat was terrific and the children were charming which definitely added to our enjoyment of a family vacation. A highlight was the end of the day sitting around a large dining table enjoying a delicious meal made by Neil, drinking wine, and having conversations with the other visitors from other countries. Just a perfect vacation in every way!"
Bike Trips France in Provence - Gail & Alan - US - May 16 - 5* Tripadvisor review.Lovely Cycling Holiday!
"This was our second stay at Neil & Nat's farmhouse B&B. This trip in May we went with some friends. The hospitality was just as outstanding as before, and Neil's cooking just as good! Breakfast on the terrace a great way to start the day, and dinner at the farmhouse on the alternate evenings was a pleasant end to the day. Good choice of restaurants in the village for those nights when we ate out. Neil has cycling routes to accommodate all abilities, taking in the picturesque Luberon countryside and the pretty villages. It is a great way to see this area of Provence. I can highly recommend staying here. We had a lovely vacation."
Cycle Tours France in Provence - Mairi - Saudi - May 16 - 5* Tripadvisor review.Fab Cycling Holiday in Provence.
"Neil and Nat are the quintessential hosts. Wonderful relaxing breakfast and 3-course dinners on the terrace overlooking gardens and pool. All rides set up by Neil who is both a cycling enthusiast but also makes it a fun challenge ! Great local restaurant recommendations for lunch/ dinner. Sightseeing to include wonderful, picturesque villages and antique markets.
Hotel decorated in true Provence style.
Cannot recommend highly enough."
Cycle Holidays France in Provence - Tracey - Dhahran - May 16 - 5* Tripadvisor review.
For other years' Provence bicycle trip reviews, please click in the Menu.