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About Les Vallaies
This small cluster of family friendly gites offers well-appointed, self-catering accommodation to families with children under 12 years. With an enclosed garden filled with toys, alarmed heated swimming pool and a games room as well, you can be sure your children will be entertained so you can sit back and relax with a chilled glass of the locally made Pineau. The gites are furnished with the needs of young families in mind, simple not luxury, so you can relax even more and there is a wide range of baby/toddler equipment available. Located in a rural hamlet, surrounded by countryside and yet within easy reach of all the best beaches on the West coast of France it is an ideal location.
Les Vallaies is located 10km east of St Jean d'Angely in the Charente Maritime region of Western France. It is a very rural village, ideal for walking and cycling and is surrounded by open countryside. Peaceful and safe, it is an ideal location for families with young children, babies and toddlers.
Owners Wendy and Chris moved to France in 1996 and fell in love with the rural French lifestyle, the local food, the people, the countryside and of course the wine. Together with their two young boys and tons of hands-on-experience, they have successfully created an idyllic holiday spot for young families. Wendy is a registered child minder and is willing to offer babysitting services so that parents can grab a chance to sample the local cuisine. Chris' background is in the wine industry, so if you want to be more knowledgeable about what you're drinking then sign up for the sociable wine tasting evening.
The Child Friendly Gites
There are four holiday properties which have been converted from a 200 year old stone farm building and the fifth is a private modern villa. Each sleeps six in three or four bedrooms. There are two poolside gites and two garden side gites and the villa has its own large private garden area. The gites are spacious, comfortable, clean, well maintained and have everything you need for a relaxing holiday with little ones.
The garden side gites are ideally suited to families with younger children and toddlers. Vierge has a full view of the communal garden area, so you can keep an eye on the children playing in the garden. Baleine has a high wall surrounding its terrace area, so would suit families who would enjoy a greater element of privacy, yet remember there is not a view of the garden so you won't be able to see your children when they are playing. These gites are adjacent to the communal eating area, barbecue and wood burning pizza oven, so may suit the more sociable families although generally when someone organises a sociable evening they'll invite everyone. If you prefer a little more privacy take a look at the villa.
The Pool side family gites - Cygne and Cassiopee are best suited for families with older children where pool access is a priority! Cassiopee gite has an enclosed terrace area with a gate direct to the pool area. This gate has a child safety latch to prevent access to the pool area of children under 5. This gite has a number of wide steps within the gite, so is not ideal for crawling babies or toddlers. Cygne gite has an enclosed terrace area, it is separated from the pool area by two gates, one of which has a child safety latch. The pool is alarmed for extra security. The garden is on the other side of the building, access via the lane, so young children would need to be accompanied.
Pavillon family Villa - is set slightly apart from the gites above the shared garden area. It would suit a family who enjoy their own space but still want the great facilities of a small complex such as Les Vallaies. It has a large garden area (not completely enclosed) and easy access to the enclosed play area, swings and sandpit through their own gateway. Windows do look down towards to play area but a direct line of site is not possible as the view is screened by large bushes, so very young children would need to be accompanied.
Child Friendly Facilities
Parents will appreciate the huge list of baby gear on offer, from basics such as travel cots, highchairs and stairgates to potties, child toilet seat, booster seat, slip bath mats, bedguards, baby monitors, sterilisers and toddler step, all available all free of charge.
Mini guests tend to be most impressed by the huge array of outdoor toys where they will tend to spend most of their time pottering around the garden area in front of the cottages overseen by parents. The garden has swings, slide and sand pit, trampoline with safety net and a toddler's wooden playhouse. Your children can make new friends whilst you relax, soaking up the sunshine, with a good book and a glass of chilled wine.
The games room has table tennis table and bar football and each gite has a selection of books and board games. A selection of age appropriate dvd's are also available to borrow. The games room has sofas, tables and chairs...a 'club house' feel - great for the older ones to hang out.
And don't forget there is also a 'babysitting service' or a mini creche with Wendy on an afternoon, so you can relax and have the rare opportunity to enjoy a night out.
The Outdoor Pool
The shared heated pool is completely enclosed by a wall and is accessed by a gate which is self closing and has a child proof latch. It is also alarmed for extra security. The pool is 66 m2 and has a gently sloping beach style entrance, so its very child friendly and perfect for toddlers to splash around in, being just a few cm deep. It slopes gently down to an 80 cm shallow end then again down to a 1m 80 deep end. Because it is heated to 27c even younger children will happily swim / play in it from May to the end of September. The older children will be hard to get out of it. There is a bubbling jacuzzi and two sunbathing areas with plenty of sunbeds. There is shade and sun in different areas at different times of day, with several large parasols too.
The family friendly cottages are set in a rural location, 6 miles east of St Jean D'Angely in the Charente Maritime region of W France. The
region is approximately a 4 hour drive from St Malo, 7hrs from Cherbourg and 9 hrs from Calais and just a 1 hour drive from the airport at La Rochelle. Theres so much to do. The hamlet is just a 10 min drive (6 miles) from all major facilities such as supermarkets and banks. The town of St Jean d'Angely also has a good selection of restaurants.