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“Dream Gardens”
Review of Val En Sel

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Val En Sel
Ranked #1 of 2 Saint-Pere B&B and Inns
Reviewed 29 February 2016

One of the most beautiful medieval village in France is Vezelay, where Benedictines build a beautiful abbey in 10-11 century. The second and third crusades started in this small picturesque place. There are a few hotels in and nearby but Val En Sel B/B is a very special place. It is located at the end of a small beautiful village St Pere which is not far from Vezelay. BB itself is a 18-19 century small chateau surrounded by two beautiful gardens.
One is a French formal garden and another is a former vegetable garden or "potage" converted by Dominique, the owner of B&B, into a flower garden. This flower garden, semi-formal and semi-overgrown, adds to the whole place a fantastic fairytale feeling of a sleeping beauty, where time is slows and you enjoy every instance of it.
We stayed in the Yellow room which had windows to both sides of the building: one was opening to the inner courtyard and another was directly above the second garden. It is truly difficult to find a more beautiful room with a view. Our yellow room was spacious, light, comfortable and had large bathroom with shower.
The owner of the place Dominique, whose ancestors build this place, is an embodiment of hospitality. Upon our arrival we were offered wine, while making acquaintance and discussing plans, and then a bottle of Burgundy wine for our improvised dinner. In the mornings we were given fantastic breakfasts with fresh croissants, ham, cheese, yogurt, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and the most delicious raspberry jam we tried in France. Dominique assisted us with our travel plans, giving us advices what to see, when to see at the best light of the day and how to reach our destination. Besides Vezelay, to where you can actually walk, B& B is perfectly located for touring Burgundian villages and some chateaus. It is also very convenient for investigating Morvan however we unfortunately did not have enough time for it. Three days that we spend in Val En Sel last September were absolutely unforgettable, especially seating in lounge chairs in one of the flower garden with a glass of local wine after a pleasant day of sightseeing.

  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank kf59traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 36 reviews

Reviewed 3 October 2015

We stayed for two nights and wished we were staying longer. The property was lovely especially the large garden. We purchased wine and snacks and ate in the garden both nights. It was just lovely!! So peaceful and beautiful! Rooms were comfortable and the breakfasts were delicious.
We walked into Vezelay Friday evening and looked through the shops,,,nice town with many shops and restaurants. On Saturday we drove to Avallon for the market. The market had a good selection of local produce and baked goods.
If you like walking there are many paths in the region. We did one 6 mile hike but could easily have stayed longer and hiked other paths.

  • Stayed: August 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank citycat60640
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2015

We stayed here and visited Vezelay, only a short 10 minute drive. Dominique, the owner, makes your stay comfortable and she had terrific advice on restaurants and other sights to see. Our "red" room looked out over the gardens. Great value.

  • Stayed: August 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Jack M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank homeoncape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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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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