Guest Control Office
Although I have generally been pleased with the quality of guests sent to us in recent years I do feel that I have cause for complaint regarding our recent allocation (Summer 2010).
If people know that they are coming to the South of France for a holiday one would think that they would make certain purchases in advance. This is not the case with many of our guests. Suntan lotion, mosquito repellent, beach towels, medicines, travel adaptors and sun hats all appear to be hard to purchase in the UK these days but as we have these freely available, guests have had no need to worry and we have been able to answer to their every whim.
Other aspects of guests’ behaviour give cause for concern. It is not difficult to arrange car hire, given the availability of the internet, but often people seem to prefer our personal airport chauffeur service which gives them free fuel, motorway tolls and parking charges throughout their stay. It also means that we have them with us 24 hours per day which could be regarded as a mixed blessing to say the least.
We have been particularly grateful this year for the chance to observe family relationships within the holiday setting, although these do have repercussions for the hosts. Young children’s bedtimes have caused serious difficulties with regard to the timing of the evening meal and the subsequent cabaret turns have not always been suitable for a relaxed evening ambiance.
Demanding teenagers who stay in bed until midday and then require personally tailored meal schedules and constant Facebook access have stretched our resources and patience almost to the limit. Sibling squabbles concerning make-up and clothes are also very tedious and intrusive for us, particularly when conducted at full volume accompanied by stomping up and down the hallway. It is a pity that they do not make an equal effort to go past the gate to see a little of French life.
We pride ourselves on offering guests a taste of local food and wine but were unaware until recently that that meant providing every item ourselves with no input from guests. It is particularly frustrating when people leave specially purchased breakfast croissants uneaten yet sit passively by while we run to and fro cutting up loaves of lunchtime bread, slicing tomatoes and ensuring that the cheese and wine are at the correct temperature. The supermarket is only a stone’s throw away as are local markets, but guests see these as somewhere to buy little goodies to take home rather than somewhere to buy us the odd bottle of wine or packet of chocolate.
After our busy schedules of cleaning, washing, tidying up and cooking my husband and I have often felt ready for the odd lie-down by the pool, but our guests appear to feel that the best sun loungers are theirs by right and we have crept quietly to the hard plastic chair or threadbare rug by the side of the pool.
It has been a hard life having visitors this year and we beg your indulgence in improving the standard of the guests you offer us.