Dordogne Boutique Villa
Saint Avit Senieur, Dordogne & Lot, France Book from Book from £543 per night
When British owners Rebecca and Greg first discovered the property, which was formerly an 18th-century paper mill, it had fallen into disrepair. They recruited Dutch designer Joris Van Grinsven and set about on a year-long project to transform it, careful to keep a sense of the building’s industrial past. Today, it’s a gorgeous conversion with grey-framed glass doors, open-plan spaces and whitewashed beamed ceilings. There’s a state-of-the-art kitchen with a poured-concrete breakfast bar, a sitting room with four large sink-in-me sofas, and upstairs, six ensuite bedrooms, with one that can be used as a stand-alone apartment. Backing the house is an enormous (12m x 6m) heated pool among manicured lawns and rainforest-thick greenery.
Rebecca and Greg live in the adjoining wing, but you get complete privacy, with a separate entrance. They are full of local knowledge and are very happy to book local activities for you. There's heaps to do in the Couze valley, with pretty villages all around and restaurants just a five-minute drive away. The Dordogne is a foodie hotspot: it’s the honking heartland of foie gras, and the wine, cheese and salami are delicious. Stock up on ingredients from the local food markets and then head home to cook up a feast. Bon appétit!
- Secluded and lushly rural location on a private island, yet a five-minute drive from local villages and markets
- An enormous heated swimming pool surrounded by sunloungers, deckchairs and a hammock; great for families
- Masses of local knowledge: a list of chefs for catering at home, restaurants, bars, things to do locally, plus helpful owners on hand to advise
- So much space to spread out both indoors and outdoors, with a forest and two rivers on the villa's land
- Close to wine tasting, markets, night markets in summer, canoeing, caves and historic sites
- Seven-night minimum stay in high season (July and August)
- WiFi wasn’t extending to bedrooms on our visit, but this is something they’re planning to address
- We found the bedrooms very warm at night (there was a heatwave), but they're considering installing AC upstairs (it's installed downstairs)
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Villa
- 6 bedrooms
- Self catering + dinners on request
- All ages welcome
- Closed: Nov - end Mar (excl Xmas & NY)
- Heated Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Bicycles Available
- Weekly cleaning
The villa spans two levels. Down on the ground floor, the sitting room is airy and open-plan, with white beams and plate-glass doors leading into the garden. There are shelves of board games and novels, table and chairs, four squashy pigeon-grey sofas, a large flatscreen TV with Netflix, and a contemporary wood burner. The kitchen combines polished concrete units with the original terracotta floor tiles, and adjoining it is a dining room lit by industrial-style pendant lights, with another woodburner and views out over the garden.
There are six bedrooms on the first floor (can be set up as doubles or twins). One can be used as a stand-alone apartment as it connects to a separate downstairs sitting room and kitchen. They’re all white offset with pale grey, with high thread count Egyptian cotton and soft pillows, fluffy grey towels, grey framed windows, copper bedside lamps, and plenty of wardrobe space. Most have pale, polished, minimalist walk-in showers (one room has a bath), double basins and Honest skincare toiletries. The three in the original house have double-height, exposed beam ceilings. All rooms have views over the greenery outside, and one has an egg-smooth freestanding bath.
- DVD player
- Ipod dock
- Swimming pool
- Washing machine
Dordogne Boutique Villa is self-catering, with a high-spec minimalist kitchen that’s well thought out for cooks: lots of worktop and storage space, an American fridge and a large range cooker. You’re greeted with a welcome basket of cheese, bread, wine, beer, and so on, while it’s five minutes by car to the local boulangerie for morning croissants and groceries from the local markets. For warmer days, there's an outdoor kitchen with a sink, fridge and gas barbecue, and a big shaded table for alfresco meals.
Rebecca can offer dinner on request, or there are some great restaurants in neighbouring villages, and you'll receive recommendations on arrival. During July and August, there are night markets nearby where you can go to eat and drink from food stalls while listening to a local band: nearby Beaumont du Périgord (five minutes' drive) holds its weekly shindig on a Monday.
Rebecca and Greg can also recommend several superb local chef services who can come and cook you a meal at home (or bring you the prepared ingredients) if you don’t feel like self-catering or going out.
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Dinner by arrangement
- Food blender
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Welcome hamper
- Basic ingredients
- Kayaking or swimming in the Dordogne river: there's a local beach at Beaumont. You can hire a canoe from multiple spots along the river, paddle downstream, and then catch the bus back to your starting point. There are places along the way to stop for a drink or a bite to eat. Allow at least half a day
- Horseriding: there’s a local stable where Rebecca keeps her horse, which also offers pony rides for kids and adults
- Explore nearby prehistoric caves and wander around the UNESCO-listed Abbeys of Saint Avit Senieur and Cadouin
- Rebecca and Greg can arrange visits to local vineyards, as well as private winetasting at the gite
Wonderful for families, with masses of space outdoors for playing, and no neighbours - you can make as much noise as you please! The heated pool has steps in and out, and it's the same depth throughout. Kids can borrow inflatable toys for the pool and there are lots of games, including boules, Swingball and a table tennis table. The Couze valley has heaps of fun activities for all the family, like horseriding, swimming and canoeing on the Dordogne River.
Family friendly accommodation:
All six bedrooms can be set up as doubles or twins, and all have ensuite bathrooms (five with showers, one with bath). One room can be set up as a self-contained apartment as it has an additional living area (kitchenette and lounge) - ideal for grandparents or teens wanting independence. There are also two baby cots available to borrow.
Kids Activities on site:
- Heated pool
- Table tennis
- Books, games and DVDs
Families Should Know:
Keep an eye on kids around the water - there's a lake, a pond and two rivers on the property
- Airport: 25-minute drive (Bergerac)
- Shops: Five-minute drive
- Hospital: 30-minute drive
For more family-friendly places, see our Kids Collection
Dordogne Boutique Villa is in the Couze valley in the Dordogne region of southwest France. It's a 25-minute drive from Bergerac airport and a five-minute drive from Saint-Avit-Sénieur and Beaumont, with their restaurants, bars and markets.
Fly into Bergerac airport and hire a car from there.
Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.
- Bergerac Dordogne-Périgord Airport 29.0 km EGC
- Beach 180.0 km
- Shops 3.3 km
- Restaurant 3.3 km