When we say HomeExchange.com has homes of all shapes and sizes, we mean it. Meet Sylvie and Didier, who offer **their castle **when they swap homes. That’s right…a castle!
Sylvie and Didier run a charming hotel, the Varenne Castle, near Avignon, France. They have been members of HomeExchange.com since July 2008, and offer the unique experience of staying in a castle. Obviously, they have no shortage of exchange inquiries in their inbox. They have already done five exchanges with two more scheduled. Silvie and Didier have perfected the art of treating their exchange partners as guests of the castle. Almost nothing in Provence has changed since the eighteenth century; guests are invited to travel back in time, to let themselves be enchanted by the charm of a large park and lounges, and to feel like true guests of the castle as in the days of horse-drawn carriages.
For Sylvie and Didier, the pleasure of receiving guests implies rather demanding daily work. But during the low season, when the castle is closed, it’s time to get away. Didier recalls his previous home swaps: “Two exchanges in Costa Rica, two exchanges in Brazil, one exchange much closer in the north of France – that makes five in total. This year we will spend Christmas exchanging in Panama, and we are preparing an exchange for Christmas 2015 in Orlando, Florida. It’s an apartment located in Disney World. Our kids are looking forward to it!” Their two sons, Mael and Swann, are far from protesting. At each exchange, they have their own room and share unique experiences. “Brazil was delirious!” says Silvie. “A driver picked us up at the airport in an armored car. There, wealthy people do not joke about security. We had a villa on a private beach with a chef and a butler. But the craziest thing was when the skipper of our exchange partner’s yacht asked us when we wanted a ride! In Costa Rica, we were greeted by the French designers who had built their house on the Pacific. We are still friends.”
** In exchange, Sylvie and Didier’s partners benefit from one of the 13 rooms of the castle for free.“Or more rooms if they are more people in their exchange group,” says Didier,“but of course we prefer that our exchange partners come at mid-season.** Fortunately for us, during the high season the castel is often full.” “And like that,” Sylvie adds, “We can have our dream holiday for the price of the transportation. The fact that we live in a castle, does not mean that our resources are unlimited!”
Feel like living in a castle for your next adventure? Check out Sylvie and Didier’s listing here.
Do you also run a hotel or b&b and want to join HomeExchange.com? Learn more.