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The Parish House at Avignon
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Reviewed 24 January 2011

Although the trip itself was terrific, the accomodations were not. The owner of the tour and Parish house acted as his own cook, cleaner, and tour guide. He succeed in only one of those. He knew his tour information and gave interesting, informative tours. His breakfasts were decent and seved on tour daysonly and don't ask for coffee or anyhting until he opens the door. We were lectured on how "rare " his dishes were and we would have to pay if one was broken. And don't mess up the towels (late walmart) . We were given 3 towels and 2 cloths and one set of sheets for 2 weeks. His dryer was broken and if we expected clean linens after a week it would take unti 11:30m pm to return the SAME linens.Or we could wash them at the local laundry l--which we did. The rooms were not clean,---- dust covered the small table and spider webs filled the corners. The toilet area was clean, but I used Clorax wipes on all surfaces before we used anything. His kitchen was a combination of kitchen, utility room, storage area, and laundry---------scary to see that our food came from there-------US health dept would close him down. He was angry, defensive and spent most our of time telling us how no one liked Americans. Our experience was that HE was the only one that didn't like us. Ironically, he lives in Colorado and is an American citizen ----much to his dismay. Hire him as a tour guide--not as a inn keeper/host.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
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4  Thank sisterwriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ParishHouse, Owner at The Parish House at Avignon, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2012

As my friends who own the adjoining LaMirande Hotel have suggested, it is unwise to respond to criticisms which are outright lies. The problem with this guest, and I will admit it is not unique, is that they are required to assert that they are "veteran travelers" who can "do without the usual amenities", in order to get a Two-Week Accompanied Small Group Tour of Provence for the price of my competitors' One Week similar tour. Once having been accepted on the tour by pretending to understand the concept fully declared on the website and an accompanying 8-Page Guide, which they sign as "read, understood, and agreed", there was a change of heart.. At that point, there is a bully-like "intimidating" characteristic that kicked in, with threats of writing a review like the one you have just read.
Like all clients, they are informed beforehand that there are new sheets when they arrive and if they want a change of sheets on a date certain of the following week, they are obliged to strip their beds, place the sheets in the pillowcases, and stack them in front of the Assembly Room. To criticize what is agreed upon and signed even, beforehand, is the first indication of a customer who, not catered-to in the manner to which she has been accustomed, will "make trouble" as she so often reminded me. My biggest problem in triaging through the endless requests to join my admittedly educational-oriented tours, is to spot people like this beforehand. My apologies to other guests when I fail to detect such a bully.
Using Half-Truths is convenient, it assuages the guilt which surely wells up in the most jaded of troublemakers and malcontents. In the case of spiders, yes there are daddy-longlegs in Provence. You can sweep the corners on the day of arrival, whether in the hallway, the stairwell, or the very rooms, and three days later you may reasonably be assured that there will be the evidence of their industrious attempt to catch a fly or mosquito. There are flies and mosquitoes in Provence too.
The kitchen which is the object of this client's ire is also subject to criticism. It has two cabinets (of 4) which do not contain food or implements, but rather tools and three cans of paint. Such is the storage problems of a 15th C. habitation. Mia Culpa. When admonished not to open cabinets and fetch glassware on her own, this client shot me a nonpareil dirty look which foretold the above unfair criticism. Nobody tells her what to do. And yes I will admit that I "instruct" clients to stay seated at the breakfast table and to ask for whatever they need. I will admit that when asked to have their milk for their coffee warmed up, that this may take more than a minute. I will admit that I do this all on my own without the benefit of a waitress person.
But I categorically reject the notion that the rooms are not clean upon arrival. The floors, all vintage tile, are much cleaner than any carpet, scrubbed. Dust infiltrates, because the Mistral Wind blows, rather incessantly. No one comes into your suite after you arrive to clean.
Neither of my two dryers have EVER been broken. Laundry facilities are explained beforehand, so that this request to use mine is just another example of an attitude which was incorrigible and insistent. It was my error in judgment to admit this person on the tour. Triaging my clients for the benefit of others who would also like to be touring in peace, which is my object, is how everyone can benefit from the educational emphasis of the Provence Tour... which even for her she cannot deny having benefited from
Signed Guidelines, clear instructions, and politeness are the sine qua non of my tour.
With this client, these instructions and directions were useless. She chose to renege on her signed agreement and instead to "have her way", and threatened and bullied her way through the two weeks. In her defense, I did not cater to her bullying in any form, and told her that she could "write any review to anyone she wished". It is unfortunate that I am not allowed under these response-guidelines to mention her name or city, an anonymity that encourages being a travel-bully. We who travel alot have seen them, and we wince at their tone, and how they reflect badly on America.
In reading her review, please consider the source, and consider whether a "self-catering" style of touring, regardless of the bargain price, is your cup of tea.

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