Charlan as a B&B or Holiday Rental
When we purchased Charlan in July 2007 we also registered our Sarl property management business, AFS Immo. As it was just the two of us, we decided to open Charlan as a part-time B&B in 2008 just to make a few extra pennies whilst developing AFS Immo and to pay for small renovations to the house. We developed a website for the B&B, advertised on free internet sites, along with networking. We were an adult only establishment and only rented out the two bedrooms on the first floor which shared a bathroom, so any future purchasers who wanted to run a B&B from the house could expand this business by offering family holidays and using all 4 bedrooms. We did this as the dining room to the house is currently our office, therefore could only seat up to 6 in the kitchen/diner. The majority of our guests also had dinner at Charlan, a 3 course meal with wine which we charged between €20 and €22.50 per person. The rooms were charged out at €65 and €70 per room per night including a continental breakfast. We do have a guestbook with wonderful comments, here are a few on Trip Advisor. We closed the B&B in 2010 as AFS Immo was taking up all our time.
The majority of our clients were cyclists, cycling along the Canal lateral a la garonne: www.bikemap.net/route/865389#lat=44.08923532496&lng=0.63222999999998&zoom=8&maptype=ts_terrain and the Lot valley velo route which starts at the bottom of our road: www.tourisme-lotetgaronne.com/uk/hiking-lot-valley-veloroute.php. Cyclists were great guests as they arrived late afternoon, shower, come down for dinner at 7pm, eat/drink, go to bed around 11pm and then be up at 8am and out of the house by 9am to be on the road again.
There are no decent B&B’s in the area, especially English speaking, so there is definitely scope to expand this business. We had no problem with couples sharing the bathroom, as they could always use the top shower rooms if needed, but if you wanted to rent all four rooms out, you could always add en-suites to the two bedrooms on the first floor as there is plenty of room or keep the rooms as is and then use the office as a breakfast/dining room. We also had several enquiries asking if they could bring their dogs, which we declined.
With regard to our barn, we currently use this for storage, but the barn could easily be renovated to a large 2 floor gite or a residence if you wanted to rent Charlan out in the Summer season on a weekly basis. Pure France is one of the best rental sites for prestigious properties and this website will give you an idea of how much you could rent out Charlan on a weekly basis. AFS currently uses registered and experienced English artisans – a builder, carpenter, plumbing and heating engineer and electrician, all who are local to Charlan, so getting quotes to renovate the barn will not be a problem. (For a cost to renovate the barn to a high standard, you are looking at approximately €1000.00 per square meter).
We have had several fishermen stay at Charlan who fished for carp on the River Lot. Initially we did enquire with the river police about putting in a floating pontoon and clearing some of the 100m river access we have for fishing use and they informed us this would not be a problem as tourism is heavily encouraged in this area. All the land surrounding us belongs to the local farmer and is in use as kiwi plantations. We have one neighbour, 150m from us – a young French family with 2 small children.
We stayed with Sandra and Gregg for 4 nights in June on a half board basis. Sandra delayed dinner for us on the first night as we had a long drive down. Still managed to get in a swim in their lovely pool accompanied by a glass of chilled rose kindly provided by Sandra. The food, both breakfast and dinner, was very good and the wine flowed freely with the evening meals and by the poolside. We stayed in the Queen room which was very majestic and impressive.
All in all a very relaxing stay in lovely surroundings with very friendly hosts and their pets. Highly recommended if you wish to chill out for a few days and lots of useful information for househunters and advice on local sightseeing.
24th to 30th July 09 – Our 6th and final night … we said last August when we stayed for 1 night that we would definitely return, well we have done and you’ve both treated us in style! 6 brilliant evening meals – great cooking, wine and company; several wonderfully hot days relaxing in and around the pool; watching Hamilton win the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday; 6 great breakfasts! We wouldn’t have bettered our stay in France in any way – unless we had stayed twice as long with you both!! All the best and see you next year (+ in the meantime on Facebook!)