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Review of Val En Sel

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Val En Sel
Ranked #1 of 2 Saint-Pere B&B and Inns
Reviewed 27 August 2015

Given its rural location in a small village, a reader might wonder why we thought 2 days was too short a stay at Val En Sel. However, we are train travelers who enjoy walking out in the countryside and consider this area to be one of the most beautiful for doing that. Just did not have enough time to explore more....

Footpaths and unpaved narrow roads led us from St. Pere through fields lush with grapevines and grains intermingled with pastures and hilly woodlands. Along the way we encountered some equestrians and an occasional artist painting the scenery that included grazing cows and sheep. Our favorite trail led up to Vezelay about a mile from the B&B. This town, famous for its Basilica of Sainte Marie Madeleine, sits on a hilltop and is a pilgrimage as well as a tourist destination.

Here there is mainly one steep street offering shops, a helpful information center, an interesting art museum, and there is a good selection of restaurants in the vicinity. At the top, the Basilica showcases a soaring nave leading toward a gothic choir (this part under wraps for repair then). It was lovely to hear the robed nuns singing during a service in the side cloister chapel. Walk out to the rear of the church for panoramic viewing down upon the wonderful landscape. From here we continued walking toward Asquins village and unexpectedly came upon the ancient refuge of Chapelle St. Croix, one of those off-the-beaten-track treasures.

This review has strayed a bit too long away from Val En Sel itself and all the benefits of staying there - even if trekking the surrounding trails is not your delight. It is a good base for driving to day-trip destinations as well. Dominique hosts her guests with charm and ready assistance. When we commented on the unique baptismal font in the local church, she told us that four generations of her family have been baptized there. She is very knowledgeable about this area and her advice well taken.

Behind her ancestral manor she has labored, joyfully it seems, to produce a marvelous garden. The wisteria was beautiful and fragrant and it was a pleasure to relax in the comfortable garden seating - a perfect place to unwind after sightseeing with a glass of wine. Inside the very large and rambling house there are bedrooms upstairs for dreamy sleeping, exactly like the colorfully and uniquely decorated ones pictured on the website. Our attached bathroom was spacious and modernly functional. Downstairs the sitting room was just the spot for reading, having refreshments (served when we arrived) and researching the informative materials provided. In the morning, we would find a delicious breakfast presented prettily on the dining room table. We most of all enjoyed the little jugs of fresh yogurt and the tasty croissants. At the time we were there, we practically had this part of the house to ourselves so had a lot of privacy. One evening we bought our wine and supper choices at the village market and bakery for eating by candlelight in the dining room.

When we arrived at Sermizelles by train, we appreciated so much that Dominique had surprisingly offered to retrieve us from this station several miles away from her B&B in St. Pere. As we got to know her a little more, though, it became obvious that her gracious helpfulness is simply her way of giving her guests the best possible visit. We were again thankful when she brought us back to catch the train (for the 2 1/2 hour ride to Paris). Next time we travel to France we will rebook with Dominique for sure.

We recommend without reservation that fellow travelers go and enjoy the hospitality and beauty to be found at Val En Sel.

Elaine and Joe

Room Tip: Choose a garden view room.
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  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank homeoncape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 36 reviews

Reviewed 8 August 2015

We had a lovely stay here to celebrate my husbands birthday it really is a lovely house with beautiful gardens. Madame is very welcoming offering a refreshment on arrival in the garden .
The room we had (yellow) was a lovely room and bathroom very nicely furnished .
The breakfast was obviously continental but lovely fresh orange juice yogurt croissant and bread with jams and cheese.
With a choice of lovely teas with real tea leaves and very nice coffee.
All served very pleasantly with warmth and welcome

  • Stayed: August 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 335Sharon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2015

This is an amazingly beautiful 18th century manor that is now a small ( 8 room) chambers d'hotes in a small town just 2 kilometers outside Vezelay, France.
Your beautiful rooms overlook a huge garden. The owner is lovely and helpful with all kinds of good information about the area. Enjoy a glass of fine wine in the garden.
This is a wonderful step back in time. Forget about Wifi - enjoy the countryside and this beautiful house and garden. It is very reasonably priced.

Room Tip: They all overlook the garden and are quiet.
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  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SowdenNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2015 via mobile

Manoir Val En Sel is in a fabulous location, is gorgeous in the French style with the most beautiful garden. The breakfast, beds, bathroom etc are all wonderful, but best of all is Dominique who is welcoming, generous and helpful. We stayed for five nights and did not want to leave. There is so much to see and do in such a beautiful part of France and we loved staying at Val en Sel. Highly recommended.

Stayed: June 2015, travelled with friends
2  Thank Kataine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2014

We had been in Paris for a few days, then spent a day and night in Versailles, so we had been in crowds for days. We wanted to see something of the countryside, so rented a car from Versailles and off we went. After a stop at Chartres, we made the easy and quick drive to Vezelay and on to nearby St. Pere. Dominique met us, helped us with our bags up to the Red Room and insisted we come outside for wine in the garden before unpacking. This place is a total retreat from the city. VERY quiet, amazing huge garden (which she seems to take care of by herself) and the most welcoming atmosphere. We stayed for 2 nights and could happily have stayed longer. The room was large, beautifully furnished, bath and toilet down a short hall (but not shared and no other room on the floor, so totally private, kind of like a suite). I've seen other comments that breakfast was extra but that is not the case anymore. Dominique would fix eggs if you asked, but offered wonderful breads, meats and cheeses, lots of other stuff too. We were trying to book tickets on the TGV from Avignon to Paris, had a problem getting the order to go through and needed to print out the tickets. She took us into her house and set us up on her computer, which solved the problem. I can't tell you how pleasant she is and how anxious to please. Also very patient with those of us who are not experienced travelers in France. If you can figure out a way to include this in your trip, DO IT! She is an amazing hostess and the inn is beautiful beyond words.

Room Tip: We loved the Red Room, it overlooks the garden.
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  • Stayed: September 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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Thank AuntAnnie1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Val En Sel

Address: 1 Chemin de la Fontaine | St Père-sous-Vézelay, 89450 Saint-Pere, France
Region: France > Bourgogne-Franche-Comte > Yonne > Saint-Pere
Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Saint-Pere
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
2 km from Vezelay, Val Sel is a charming eighteenth century manor surrounded by extensive gardens listed among the most luxury private gardens of France.In the quiet wing, reserved for guests, the 3 rooms and 2 family suite are decorated with antique furniture, a beautiful collection of engravings and antiques that create an atmosphere authentic and refined ... more   less 

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