In France there are thousands of Villes Fleuris, villages in bloom. This competition of cities and villages in bloom started in 1959, organized in France to promote the development of green spaces in cities. National and free, it is open to all municipalities. Over time, criteria have evolved, and begin to take into account environmental aspects and sustainability of flowering.
Tourteron won their little ‘village fleuri‘ flower just a year ago. Everybody happy you would say but Continue reading →
When you start a holiday rental there are numerous ways to communicate your offer. In my job as a creative director I can write down quite a few options. It’s not rocket science, it’s merely straight forward thinking about the who, when and why’s?
Who would be interested in your rental and how much do you want to adjust to their needs?
When would these people most likely rent your home and when do you want to be there yourself?
Why would somebody rent your home and how do you give them reason?
The Who should be the easiest to make it your home. The more you adjust the house to others than your own needs, the less it will feel natural. You’ll make it a #fail from the beginning. With the water mill our needs are leading. It should be nice, comfortable, clean and breathe the right atmosphere to invite friends. For us the main idea of the water mill is to be there with friends for a short get-away. Long walks, prepare a good dinner with local ingredients, maybe even some from our own garden. Eating, drinking, fireplace.
We decided to open the gates of the Water Mill the first of June. Despite feeling a bit uneasy we pointed the date in the agenda and sent out a warm welcome to our friends. In our opinion: it’s always better to try your system with friends before having complete strangers make you feel like an amateur.
All our Dutch speaking friends, or at least those who have a valid email in our address book, received a personal email telling they get the chance to sleep for free in our new gîte. The restrictions are few: book before April 1, 25% off, and only when we’re not around. It would feel odd to ask for money if you invite friends when you’re actually there yourself. 🙂
Figures on the direct mailing:
655 emails were sent
70 bounced for wrong email addresses (10,8% of people change jobs TOO often)
20 replied with an out of office (3% were on spring break – bad timing on our side)
240 visits to supergites.nl coming from email (42,5% hit the link)
Around 35 replies with a Good Luck wish (including one Bon Courage).
5 reservations and 4 confirmations so far (around 1.6% booked or will book)
You are looking at one lucky man. Now my question to you … who would you ask for a short week of relaxation?
At the Mill of Tourteron everybody is working hard on the renovation. Deliveries of equipment and materials create a continues coming and going of trucks and vans. And even though it’s minus 3º Celsius the workmen don’t care and arrive at 7 in the morning to leave at 6 in the evening. Almost like ABC’s ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition‘ people are working around the clock.
The current severe winter is not helping much. Due to the freezing temperature we can’t pore concrete for the drainage nor for the bathrooms. First we’ll have to insolate the old wooden structure to start getting it a bit more cozy inside the mill. Stephane bought 4 heat blowers but in my modest opinion … i would even heat my bathroom with those. Too small for King Frost.
But nevertheless there’s improvement. The downstairs bathroom has a new wall. The ceilings have glass wool insulation. The new walls are built. We can’t wait to make new pictures.
So it’s time we start to communicate the Supergîte concept and spread the word: “A Supergîte has the comfort of a star hotel with the privacy of a home.”
With one of the biggest Dutch tour operators we added our publication (in Dutch – I know – it’s a start).
To our big surprise, Tourteron has been awarded with ‘one flower’ by the Village Fleuri committee. Of course we’re delighted about the news! There are special guided tours offered through the Flower Towns of France–though sometimes it’s not more than some cranesbill next to the city name sign.Still, we wanted to thank and show our appreciation to the town of Tourteron, so we sent this letter to the town hall:
Dear Town of Tourteron,
On our arrival in Tourteron for Christmas we noticed the ‘Village Fleuri’ sign for the first time. Is it true our lovely town is awarded with one flower? We’re really happy about it since we had the wish to help our city with this. How is it organized? Is there something we can do to help maintenance? Is there a budget to make Tourteron look better with the flowers? If there’s anything we can do to support, please let us know.We have one suggestion for Christmas next year. In Brandeville (Meuse), the town offers electricity for the decorations and the town gardener places all the Christmas trees. The community helps decorate the trees. We’d love to help.Your new and proud inhabitants,
Marco and Hugo.
In French it’s translated like this:
Chers ville de Tourteron,
A notre arrivée à Tourteron pour Noël, nous avons remarqué le signe «Village Fleuri» pour la première fois. Est-il vrai que notre belle ville est récompensée par une fleur? Nous sommes vraiment content de ça depuis que nous avions le souhait d’aider notre ville à la présente.Comment est-il organisé? Y at-il quelque chose que nous pouvons faire pour aider à l’entretien?Yat-il un budget pour faire Tourteron plus belle avec des fleurs? S’il ya quelque chose que nous pouvons faire pour soutenir – s’il vous plaît nous le faire savoir.Nous avons un sugestin pour l’an prochain Noël. En Brandeville (Meuse), la ville offre l’électricité pour les décorations et le jardinier de ville place tous les arbres de Noël. La communauté aident décorer les arbres. Nous serions ravis de vous aider.Vos nouveaux habitants orgueilleux,
Mr. Winter is about to leave. The sun is getting warmer. The first flowers are popping up from the cold soil. In Tourteron we’re looking forward to Spring and Summer 2010. It’ll be the first time you can enjoy the peace of the valley, the shades of the fruit trees, the smell of the flower garden, and the quality of the house.
To be sure those weeks off are yours, you should go to supergites.nl and make your booking.
I must say it’s quite a lot of work starting your own real holiday home rental. Going by my Second Life experience in rentals it looked all too easy – big LOL! Yet in fact, we’re still working on the official SuperGites.com and its reservation/payment system. Until that one is up and running, we’ll have to do it manually for friends and family.
You can rent the Water Mill of Tourteron starting April 1, 2010. Renting the mill includes a double fireplace, four bedrooms (each with its own bathroom), a 90-square meter living room, designer kitchen, and a warm welcome. It does not include electricity, wood for the fireplace, or cleaning.
4 bedrooms; 2 double beds, 4 single beds
Pets and children allowed 🙂
400-square meter living space
5,700-square meter terrain
Garage for 2 cars
Fully-equipped designer kitchen
Linens available on request
iPod dock stereo set
Costs A full week’s stay (Saturday 14.00 hours to the next Saturday 10.00 hours) will be 1200 euro in high season and 800 euro in low season.
Seasons High season is the the last week of June, the full month of July and August, the first week of September and three weeks around Christmas. The rest of the year is low season.
Long Weekends In low season there’s the option to come and enjoy the mill for a long weekend stay (Thursday 14.00 hours to Monday 10.00 hours) for only 600 euro.
*Special WordPress Offer!! Some people just can’t wait to get their 2010 vacations booked. To those who want to be the first to rent, we have an exclusive WordPress/Twitter/Friends offer! You early birds: When you pay before January 2010, you’ll get a 25% reduction.
You should check the calendar below to see if your week is still available and make a booking here. You will receive all further information by e-mail.