Domaine du Sourire - Dordogne, France
Very accessible and well equipped Gites apartments, with good access wet bathrooms and disability bedrooms, good kitchen with washing machine, dishwasher, microwave, oven & hob. Satellite TV. Bicycles available free of charge – enjoyed the cycle rides to the local character pub in Champagne! Beautiful countryside surroundings and many places of interest to visit.
Good solar heated swimming pool with wheelchair ramp access. Good facilities for children with learning difficulties such as soft room, sensory room, general playroom and playthings in the grounds. Very welcoming hosts, Teresa and Alan, for whom nothing is too much trouble. Excellent BBQ's for all from time to time. Equipment hire - mechanical rising / tilting medical beds, air mattresses and electric hoist was provided on request.
I have visited 3 years running now and not been disappointed.
Chris Brown, Christchurch, Dorset.
My husband, Richard, is a C7 tetraplegic and has, for the last two years, received the very best attention from Teresa and Allan who run Domaine du Sourire in Champagne et Fontaine in the Dordogne south west area of France.
They have both assisted Richard in the ramp accessed pool whenever he has wanted to have a swim – nothing is too much trouble for them – they are extremely generous with their time to give both support and encouragement. In the past, we have had a lot of difficulty with high disabled toilets (which are the French criteria for disabled accommodation) but a temporary ramp (for wheelchair use) was put in place in our accommodation to overcome this difficulty of the difference in height between wheeled shower chair and toilet.
The accommodation (consisting of four gites) is surrounded by lovely countryside and is in easy distance of rivers, lakes and many ancient sites. The city of Angoulême is within easy reach and you can obtain a disabled parking place next to the river which gives easy access to a lovely path along it's banks.
Richard & Val Thompson (South Yorkshire)
Domaine Du Sourire was the perfect holiday for our family of 5. Our eldest daughter Stella, is 7 and fully wheelchair bound. We then have a 6 year old and a 3 year old so catering for everyone's needs can be tricky! However, here we were all happy. The accessibility meant that moving Stella around the gite was easy – none of the usual moving furniture just to get into a room like you do in some places. The fact that the whole complex is safely gated and the pool in particular is secure – meant that the kids felt free to roam and be independent which was so relaxing for us.
Having separate play rooms/soft play and sensory rooms enabled each child the opportunity to run off steam or play quietly....more importantly it also helped to keep them cool when the sun was at its hottest! We loved hanging out by the shared pool and it was a wonderful treat being able to wheel Stella into the water so that she was fully included and able to join in the silly splashing antics.
Teresa and Alan welcome you with open arms and were on hand to help with advice of places to visit or simply share their knowledge of the best spots for lunch.
I almost dont want to share how much we enjoyed it as I dont want it to be booked up for when we next go! But we do thoroughly recommend it.
Jo snow (and family)