After thirty years in San Francisco we decided to do something new in rural France. We loved life in California, but we wanted to experience a different culture, society and lifestyle. France seemed to satisfy all our desires: country-living with plenty of space and no crowds, mild climate, beautiful old stone villages and a fascinating history, a well-organized social system … It certainly helped that both of us already had a background in the language.
We knew we would need to work for a few more years; being avid travelers we realized that hosting vacationers would be just the type of work we could enjoy. We were fortunate to locate a stunning property in our favorite part of the South of France — we found the Chateau de Balsac in the tranquil department of Aveyron. Though originally much older, the Chateau was rebuilt in the 16th Century in the Renaissance style. Its donjon tower (the castle keep) dates to the 11th Century; the property has been listed as a historic monument since 2007.
Even though the Chateau had been a year-round family home for the past 50 years, it needed some major updating. In addition to hosting our guests, the renovation work has kept us pretty busy since our arrival. And despite knowing little about starting and running a hospitality business, even less about using tools and doing handiwork on a historic monument (and knowing nothing about how things work in France), we’ve made it through some very challenging episodes.
We are excited to share our discoveries with visitors in the hope that you too fall in love with Aveyron! Looking forward to seeing you soon.
— Roland and Malana