Jardins Secrets is a secluded boutique hotel in the heart of Nîmes, featuring a spa and a beautiful swimming pool surrounded by lemon and orange trees.
How would you describe L’Albiousse in a nutshell?
L’Albiousse is authentic. We’ve tried to provide a true-to-life Bed and Breakfast experience in a traditional historic house in the heart of Uzès, Provence by putting a lot of attention into the details, yet at the same time keeping things simple.
What was your inspiration to open a small Bed and Breakfast?
Opening a B&B had been in the back of our minds for quite some time because my grandmother and great grandmother also used to have a B&B in North Wales. My partner’s and my love for traveling also played a big role in our decision.
We opened in the summer of 2009 with four rooms. Now we have five rooms and things have been growing steadily ever since.
Please tell us about the history of the building and the interior design of the B&B.
The building is a grand 16th century family home and used to be owned by the Albiousse family. It is located on one of the oldest streets in Uzès, a medieval town, strategically placed between the bishop’s cathedral and the duke’s castle. The façade is very simple, but once inside the grandeur of the place speaks for itself. The property was renovated in the 18th century, which is when a lot of the décor was added. However, the vaulted stone and French beam ceilings are examples of 16th century architecture. We added more 18th century décor to the rooms and contrasted that with contemporary furnishings.
Our intention was to create something simple that wouldn’t take away from the original building so we tried to respect the character of the house. The atmosphere at the Bed and Breakfast is cozy, calm and relaxing. There’s something peaceful about the house that will make you feel at home and at ease. It is very important to us that L’Albiousse is elegant yet not at all pompous.
To you personally, what’s so special about staying at L’Albiousse?
We offer a local experience with a lot of attention to detail to make people feel at home and at ease. We try to make sure they have everything they need in terms of comfort and luxury.
What’s been the biggest reward to you about running a Bed and Breakfast?
Our vacation guests are people from many different countries with lots of stories about the travels they have done and the places they have visited. Our clientele varies greatly, which makes for an interesting job. That’s what makes it so worthwhile.
Do your vacation guests normally venture out during the day?
The average length of stay at the B&B is four nights. It various tremendously what guests do, but most people venture out. They’ll tend to spend time at the markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the afternoon, and then spend time exploring things on this side of the Rhone. Those who stay longer often visit Provence.
There are both public and private beaches that guests visit to have lunch and spend the afternoon. A lot of our guests will go to the beaches along the river to go swimming there, even though the water is quite cold.