From Alastair - a little about us
Keeping the quirk and the fun
The world of regulation is mad in parts, and encourages uniformity. We are a fiercely independent, passionate bunch, and so are our owners. We have fun with them and encourage them to be themselves; we want them to avoid destructive norms, to cook, serve, and converse, entertain in their own way. If we support them in this then together we can resist the pressure to behave like sheep.
How it all began
We began as a gentle campaign against the grimmer aspects of mass tourism and the relentless march of chain hotels and restaurants. I had been a tour leader and could not resist leading people off the beaten track to villages and private houses, farms and hamlets, picnics under fig trees and nourishing human encounters.
I then wanted to shout about the people and places I had found. So we began a publishing business and started in France with a book on b&bs. Then we did the same in Britain, and after that the word was fully out. We helped others to be independent as travellers by introducing them to a rich list of fascinating people.
Along the way we acquired a reputation for being trustworthy. And that helped convince us we were doing the right thing. We set out our stall and time and time again people chose us over the competition because they trusted us to get it right. Our fans loved our owners and our owners loved our fans. And then they all told their friends.
Walking our talk
I am struck by the disjunction between the values of humans as individuals and as employees. Here, we’re exhilarated by the combining of personal and working values. We are determined to have a positive impact on our world. We encourage our owners to use local and organic food and to run their places sustainably. Why? We want to be part of the solution to the alarming energy and food-production challenges facing us all. If our 5000 Special Places all over Europe are doing their bit, and their guests are inspired to do something similar, then we can feel proud of what we do.
We certainly have wheelchair-users in mind on our travels. Go to our search page on our self-catering site and tick the 'wheelchair access' box, then 'filter my results'.
But please DO phone beforehand to check exact details. We really hope we have something that you like and that meets your needs. Let us know if you need more help. Happy travels!
Alastair, we would love to visit your beautiful special places but we travel with a wheelchair user who needs completely accessible accomodation -are any of your self catering places suitable ? if not the provision of such accommodation could be your next challenge!
We would love to hear more about your organic b&b. Here's the link to the application page on our site.
First of all I would like to congratulate you for your excellent web site. I think it is very useful and you have selected lovely places to stay with style which is very difficult to find.
I am planning to refurbish a cottage in Brittany (France), move to the country and start an organic bed & breakfast. I would like to post my cottage at your web site. Please let me know the procedure, cost, and the requirements to be at your web site.
Looking forward to more news!!
Have a nice day
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