Not Another Package Holiday?

15Jan

Planning your family summer holiday for 2020?

Stuck for ideas?


If you are tired of the usual annual package holiday why not consider holidaying in a gite in SW France.


A gite is perhaps the most traditional of French self catering accommodation and an ideal opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the French way and pace of life. Usually a gite is a rural holiday rental, frequently in a renovated traditional country cottage or barn conversion – in a village or in the countryside. Originally gites offered fairly basic, simple accommodation however, in recent years many gites now offer good quality accommodation or even luxury accommodation.


There are lots of different ways to book a gite: but take heed: booking through big online rental sites can be more costly and you can be sure most of the big booking sites are taking a good slice of the booking fee. Many gite owners struggle hard to make ends meet, and the big online rentals sites make the struggle even harder.
Depending on the rental agency used, visitors can be charged a fee of up to 15 -20% on top of the rental charge – not to mention the commissions charged to property owners. What a waste, when you could have booked the gite at the best value by contacting the owners directly.
And most gite owners do all they can to ensure good customer relations.
Of course being a small business owning and running a small holiday complex (Domaine Du Sourire) comprising of 4 gites in Dordogne SW France we would highly recommend booking direct.


So what can you expect from a gite holiday at Domaine Du Sourire?
We are located deep in rural France yet within easy reach of towns and villages – a really idyllic place where you can truly relax and unwind.
Wthin the well maintained extensive grounds of Domaine Du Sourire is a large, welcoming swimming pool. Dive into the azure blue waters on those hot, hot sunny summer Dordogne days to cool off or simply to have some family fun with the abundant floats and water toys.
Believing that accessibility should be the norm we built our pool with a ramp for ease of accessibility even for those who use wheelchairs! No need for embarrassing hoists in our pool.
Surrounded by whitewashed walls and gated off for safety you can sun bathe and chill on the pool side loungers shaded by the sun umbrellas. Being a small complex of only 4 gites you can feel like this is your own private pool or a place to have fun with a few new friends and as there is always room for everyone there is no need to pop down early with your towel to reserve your space!


To add to the holiday experience at Domaine du Sourire we have a well maintained lawn where you can play games like football, basketball, boules and we even have a crazy golf course! There is a sand pit, trampoline and playpark for kiddies. We even have a wheelchair swing! There is a games room, soft play room and sensory room all on site for yur enjoyment.


The gites
There are four gites, 2 two-bedroomed sleeping up to 5 people, 2 three bedroomed sleeping 6 and eight respectively. All of the gites have large, spacious open plan lounge and kitchen areas furnished with modern conveniences for your comfort, 3 of the gites have downstairs bedrooms and ensuite shower rooms and toilets suitable for accessibility ease. Upstairs are bedrooms, bathroom/shower and toilet. The beds are comfortable and we provide linen and towles at no additional charge. Each gite has a private patio furnished with patio table and chairs and a BBQ and they all face towards the beautiful shared courtyard with lovely shaded pergola where you can meet and enjoy some outdoor dining with new friends!


For a different perspective on our accommodation why not read some of our recent guest’s blogs:

Chilling With Lucas – Jenni Grainger

Carrie-Ann Lightly – Disabled blogger and travel writer


Fancy it? Contact us by email hello@domainedusourire.com or browse our website www.domainedusourire.com
We look forward to seeing you!


Connect with us:
facebook – Domaine du sourire
Instagram –@gites_chill

The Hair Challenge….raising awareness for Autism

30Mar

As today is World Autism Awareness Day, we would like to introduce you to 16-year-old Natalie. Natalie is autistic and is very proud of this.

What is autism? The National Autism Society describes Autism as a “lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. …autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured’. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.

Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties but being autistic will affect them in different ways. “

To raise awareness for Autism Natalie had a haircut. Perhaps for many this sounds like a simple thing, but Natalie contemplated this cut for a long time, and it is something that is very difficult for her because her hair is one of her triggers. Natalie doesn’t like anyone touching her hair and is only comfortable with her mother styling her hair. And a haircut can change one’s appearance which as Natalie considered this it was very challenging BUT, like everything else in her life that has proven a challenge, Natalie stepped up to it!

 Without adding detail, she was abruptly made aware of the horror that is cancer which made an impact on her. She loves the fact that she can help in a small way by donating her hair to help make a wig for a young person. Natalie took time to prepare herself for the hair cut and initially the date was set for 5th April, but the school Natalie attends wanted to get involved and support her, so she had her hair cut at school on March 26.

If you would like to help and support Autism Awareness and Natalie in particular, you can do so through JustGiving. Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So, it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

There is still time to support and encourage Natalie!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/colin-clark14

Why is awareness important? Chatting with Natalie’s mum, Georgina, she said,  

Natalie received her diagnosis about 10 years ago now and we received literally no support. I have been delighted at how much this has changed. Awareness and understanding of Autism is so important to us because it’s not an easy journey. ”

We asked Natalie’s mum what advice she would have for parents whose child has just received a diagnosis, she said

Advice is hard!! Ehm it’s a long, hard but very rewarding journey. It’s important to remember that an autistic person isn’t broken, they don’t need fixed. Their brain works differently from a non-autistic person. I’ve always taught Natalie this and to be proud that she thinks differently because it’s pure and beautiful. You need a whole lot of love, time and patience but also perseverance because anything is possible but in their own time. We talk about changes if possible, for a long time before it happens. Most importantly, don’t feel peer pressured by parents with children of the same age as they will never be the same. I have learned so much from having Natalie and unfortunately the world is full of judgemental people with little time or patience it’s tough, but I don’t hide this from her. She needs to be able to stand up for herself and be proud. I make lots of mistakes and am still learning too.”

Le Faon

Domaine Du Sourire is a holiday complex with 4 gites, 3 of which are accessible. It is our vision to make holidays accessible for everyone, a space where you can holiday without feeling judged. Not only do we have 3 accessible gites we have a soft play and a sensory room on site. We welcome those with the so-called hidden disabilities such as Autism, ADHD, learning difficulties to name a very few, this is the main reason the Sensory room was built so a space for kids or adults to go to for a break. This year we are revamping our sensory garden too. Families and individuals, with disability or with no disability, are welcome to enjoy a memorable holiday experience at Domaine Du Sourire. 

For more information on Domaine du Sourire please visit our website at www.domainedusourire.com

For more information autism please visit the National Autistic Society’s website www.autism.org.uk/