CAN YOU TRUST US?
We hope that if you've made it to this page it's because you like what you see and are seriously thinking about coming to stay in our gîte.
But let's be honest. It's a bit of a scary prospect, travelling halfway across Europe - or even across the world - on the strength of some pretty prose and even prettier pictures.
You wouldn't be the first to have read in the press about holiday scams, and even though they're exceptionally rare occurrences, those who've been caught up in them often want, understandably, to make a lot of noise about it.
So we understand that you might feel a little nervous about entrusting your hard earned holiday to two strangers you don't know from Eve or Adam who live in a mountain farmhouse in an area you may never have heard of. Put it like that, and who wouldn't?
On this page we tell you a bit more about us and give you (we hope) reasons why you can book with total confidence.
STILL NOT QUITE REASSURED?
Give us a call, via phone or Skype. We'll be delighted to answer any questions you might have, or just chat about the weather. We don't have staff (as if!), and apart from our guests nobody lives here but the two of us, so it's always going to be one of us that picks up the phone. Find our contact details here.
HOW DO WE KNOW YOU'RE REAL?
Well, we live here, all year round; we've done so since the beginning of 2007, are legally and fiscally resident here, and our bank accounts and Paypal account are registered to this address. We're registered as an accommodation provider with our local Mairie (town hall), with Google Maps and with the tax office in St Girons.
CAN WE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOU?
Yes. I (Kalba) have been writing since April 2008 about our life here; I'm also listed on LinkedIn and am a regular contributor to the accommodation owners forum and network Lay My Hat, where other professional members will be happy to vouch for me. Between 1998 and 2006 we lived in the village of Cley next the Sea in north Norfolk, UK, where we had a restaurant with rooms; our various websites from those days, along with my professional sites from those days and later, can still be accessed via The Wayback Machine. Please feel free to ask me for more specific details if you want to follow any of this up - we're perfectly open and transparent about who we are! You can find us on Facebook too.
CAN WE CHECK OUT THAT THE HOUSE EXISTS?
Yes. Because Grillou is an official 'lieu-dit' (place name), you'll find it on Google maps, Google Earth, and Geoportail simply by searching for Grillou, 09420 Rimont. There are no other houses in this little lieu-dit, just ours, as you'll see if you switch to satellite view: that's us, where the little house icon sits in the map on the left. We're not on street view, because we don't have a street! But we are marked on the larger scale IGN maps.
DO YOU LIST ON OTHER SITES?
Yes, a few. The biggest is Chez Nous; we've also been listed on Organic Holidays since around 2002, first in Norfolk and now here. You'll also find us from time to time on The Holiday Let, on Gitelink, on a handful of walking and dog-friendly sites and on one or two French sites.
DO YOU HAVE A STAR RATING?
No. Like an ever-increasing number of other unique and very personal accommodations, we choose not to affiliate ourselves to Gîtes de France or any other rating organisation because what matters to us is not whether we provide a pressure cooker (yes, it's a requirement!) or have the correct number and size of white tiles behind the cooker, but whether our accommodation has soul. And how do you measure that?
WHAT ABOUT REVIEWS?
We've never sought external reviews as we feel it's too intrusive to our guests' privacy, but many people write to us spontaneously after their holiday. All the comments here are from 'real' guests; personal details have been omitted to preserve privacy, but we're more than happy to put you in touch with past guests on request.