best rates, least risk and greatest peace of mind, many gites
can be booked directly with owners. Direct booking allows visitors to
avoid the hidden costs and the risks of going through a third party
Gitelink is not a booking site. For most properties
take visitors directly to the owners' website, where they can then make
enquiries or book, in English, directly with the property owners
For some properties, notably those where owners are
not confident in English and prefer to leave international bookings to
a third party, links take visitors to an
online booking website, where properties can be booked directly at no
Gitelink specialises in attractive holiday
cottages in rural
with character in villages or the countryside. It includes a
range of accommodation varying from simple country cottages
through to châteaux and manor houses. In all cases, the
emphasis is on
quality, good value and an attractive environment.
direct booking process
self-catering holiday cottage directly
with the owner
is generally one of the safest and
ways of ensuring a successful holiday - especially when you have had
the opportunity to thoroughly check out the property you have chosen,
as is the case with the Gitelink guide.
Private owners renting out
their property directly often live in the same village, or close by,
and have their own
personal reputations to defend if there should be a problem. Many, if
not most, take pride in ensuring that their visitors get a great
welcome, for if not, it is they, they owners, who are in the direct
firing line. They have no anonymous travel agency or tour operator to
Remember, bad news travels much faster than good
news, and holiday cottage owners have every interest in ensuring that
no-one starts spreading bad news about their rental property.
Many of the
properties in the Gitelink directory are run by British or
; flags in the directory indicate the languages
in which they have put up their website.
There is a standard tradition in the world of holiday cottage rentals
in France. A deposit
usually between 20% and 40% of the rental cost, is required to secure
the booking, and the balance
is due either a month or so before arrival or sometimes on arrival.
There is also a standard damage
requirement, called in French "la caution
- though there is no fixed rate. Between 200 and 500 Euros is normal.
Usually the visitor must deposit this in the form of a cheque which
will not be paid in unless required. In some cases a deposit in cash
may be easier. Bookings made through one of the big rentals portals may
have different arrangements.
Some gite owners accept online
and those who do, especially if they use Paypal, often ask the customer
to pay the transaction charges if there are any. The owners of many of
the gites in the
directory will accept cheques
on a UK bank or in Euros on a French bank.
When payment is required in Euros
this is no big problem even if - as is probable - you do not have a
French chequebook in Euros. European banks have now all adopted the IBAN
(Single European Payment Area) system, and every bank account in France
now has its IBAN number.
Holiday cottage owners who do not accept payment in Sterling should be
able to provide an IBAN number; it is then a simple matter to instruct
your bank to make payment of the required sum to the IBAN account
indicated. You may even be able to do this yourself online, if you have
Internet banking. Bank
on IBAN / SEPA transfers are low, and even - for transfers between
countries in the Euro zone, which includes the Republic of Ireland -
cottages in the Gitelink directory
are not accepted into the Gitelink Directory unless they provide
sufficient information and photos on their website for us, and you the
potential visitor, to get a good picture of the property concerned. We
specialise in traditional rural gites, which are like homes from home
in French villages or the French countryside. We do not
the Gitelink directory accommodation that is too
cramped, lacks an outdoor space, is inadequately furnished, or
otherwise liable to prove less attractive than was imagined.
almost twenty years of operation, Gitelink has received just one single
and unjustified - complaint regarding a property listed in the
What is a "gite" ? Click here for details on distinguishing between gites, villas,
cottages and other rentals
When making enquiries with
any of the properties listed in the directory, please remember to say
that you found them on
►Find gites or B&Bs now Gites in France
in France Gites
Book directly with holiday-cattage owners and make sure that you get
the best rates, with the least hassle and the least risk.
rates, no risk, no hassle
For all travel products, hotels, accommodation, cruises,
airline tickets and ferries, the big aggregators put massive amounts of
money into advertising all the fabulous deals that they have on offer.
Sometimes the deals really are good – specially out of season
: more often they end up being a lot less fabulous than suggested.
Even if the basic price for a travel product on one of the
big online travel agencies looks like an unbeatable bargain,
once all the extra costs have been taken into account, the picture may
well look rather different. Booking fees, cancellation insurance fees,
credit-card fees, service charges and who knows what else, they all end
up making a travel product seriously more expensive than the fantastic
bargain price in the ad.
And that's the potential downside even
when your trip goes off according to plan.
there is a problem, and you need to modify your
ticket, change your dates, or cancel a booking and claim a refund, then if you've booked through a
third-party site, that's when the frustrations anger and
disappointments can really add up.
Even when the refunding process does work smoothly, which it can,
travellers claiming reimbursement for unused or modified holiday
products are liable to find themselves seriously out of pocket...
assuming that they can indeed make contact with someone in "customer
service" who is willing to look into their dossier.
By booking self-catering holiday cottage accommodation, or
B&Bs, directly with the
owners - specially in France or in Spain - visitors can be sure of
getting the best rates available, direct personal service, and none of
extra costs and
risks involved in booking through a third-party site.
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