Holiday gîte with heated pool in Deux Sèvres

Vernoux-en-Gatine (26km from Parthenay), Deux Sèvres, Poitou Charentes Reference: PS004178 Advertiser since: 1 June 2015
Property Board Arrival Bedrooms Sleeps Bathrooms
Les Gîtes de Fontenioux Self Catering Flexible 6 12 4

About this property

Character cottages combined to make one large home. This cottage/gite is in a rural setting.

This area is part of a sunny microclimate on the edge of Deux Sevres close to the Vendee border. Violette and Marguerite are 2 charming historic cottages with a connecting door on the ground floor so they become one large holiday home. They are part of the buildings on the estate of the Chateau de Fontenioux (although the chateau has been taken down) and are therefore built in the chateau style with slate roof and the windows framed in stone and brick. The many original features include an original fireplaces and beams The ceilings are higher than usually found in traditional cottages, although upstairs there are some quirky sloping areas with lower beams, all adding to the character. All modern amenities have been installed with sympathy for the historic nature of the buildings.

NB: sometimes we may have availability in one gite, although they show as booked on this calendar. If you are interested go to our website: You can still benefit from the 20% discount code for Brittany Ferries' fares.

The ground floor of Violette is open plan with a fitted kitchen to the rear and is used as the dining-room for the 2 gites. A separate hallway has a cosy reading corner and an artisan crafted staircase with low-rise treads. A further sitting area on the landing has views over the garden. There are 3 bedrooms and 2 shower rooms (one en suite) to the first floor.

The ground floor of Marguerite is also open plan with a fitted kitchen to the rear and is used as the sitting room for both gites. It features a corner seating area (with handy power socket for the laptop) and a spiral staircase to the first floor. There are 3 bedrooms and 2 shower rooms. One of the shower-rooms is on the ground floor, near the connecting door with Violette, the handy after a swim.



Kitchen and dining

The fitted kitchens are to the rear of both of the open plan ground floor rooms. In each kitchen there is a dishwasher, cooker (bottled gas) with 4 burners and an oven, a fridge with freezer compartment, the one in Marguerite is ideal as a drinks fridge! Microwaves, coffee-machines, kettles and toasters are also supplied. There are ample supplies of crockery, cutlery and cooking equipment for 12 people. The 2 dining tables seat 12 and one can be adjusted in size to suit your requirements.

Living rooms

The living rooms are open plan with kitchen to the rear. There are very comfortable settees and chairs plus a corner seat in Marguerite and a window seat in Violette. Large woodburners are fitted in the traditional fireplaces. Logs are supplied free from 1 October to 1 May.

NB: We usually have Violette as a dining room and Marguerite as a sitting-room when guests are renting both gites. However if you want to holiday together but still keep your own space, then each gite can have its own dining and sitting area.


In Violette there are 3 bedrooms:
One double bedroom (en suite) and 2 twin rooms.
Two double bedrooms and one twin (the beds in one twin room have zip together mattresses and can be made up as a large double)
A single bed can be added to the double bedroom to accommodate 6 single people.

Please let us know what option you prefer.

In Marguerite there are 3 bedrooms:
One double bedroom and 2 twin rooms.

All bedrooms have: a fan; oil-filled radiator; wardrobe; chest of drawers; mirror with adjacent power point plus a hairdryer. All beds have modern slatted bases.

We do not use folding beds or bed settees.

All the usual bed-linen is supplied plus a flat sheet and fleece throw per bed. Duvets, flat sheets and throws for the double beds are king-size.


Four shower rooms.

There is a family shower room plus an en suite shower room for the double bedroom on the first floor in Violette.

There is a first floor shower room and a ground floor shower room in Marguerite.

All the shower rooms have:
Modern quadrant shower cubicle with choice of spray settings, hand held spray and adjustable body sprays.
Low-level wc
Washbasin with vanity, pedestal or over storage unit.
Heated towel rail.
Towel ring or rail for hand towel.
UK shaver point with adjacent shelf to charge electric toothbrushes.

All towels are supplied:
1 bath towel and 1 bath sheet per person.
Hand towel for each shower-room.
Hand towel, 2 T-towels, oven gloves, J-cloth, sponge scourer to each kitchen.
1 pool towel per person.


There is an oil-filled electric radiator to each bedroom and for the colder months logs are supplied, 1 October to 1 May, for the wood-burners. Gas heaters are also available on request.


There are two 32" tvs with free-to-air UK satellite channels one in each ground floor room. There is also a small tv/dvd player with dvds supplied which can be used anywhere in the cottages. Ample books are provided (please ask if you cannot see something to your taste) plus a selection of boardgames.

Garden and outside

The spacious sunny garden with attractive flower beds, has plenty of room to run around and is fenced. footballs, mini goals, badminton sets and boule sets are available.
The swimming pool with bespoke sundeck, for your exclusive use, is heated from 1 May to 1 October. The pool is 9m x 4.5m and 1.2m deep throughout so suitable for all abilities. The approved security fencing with self-closing gate ensures safety for the little ones.
Two barbecues, are available to guests with charcoal supplied.
Our home-grown tree-stump play area has proved popular with all age-groups!
There are swings with see-saw and rope ladder for the children plus small plastic play equipment for the younger ones.
Wooden picnic tables, plastic chairs and tables, plus a variety of sun-loungers and parasols, both in the garden and on the deck mean there is never any need for the dawn towel dash!
The bistro sets in front of each gite are ideal for an evening glass of wine or morning coffee.

Parking and garages

There is semi-shaded parking adjacent to the gites plus an extra parking area at the end of the drive. There is no restriction on the number of vehicles.

There are 2 secure clean, dry outhouse 'bike sheds'. They can also be used to store bike carriers, top-boxes etc. The canopy in front is handy for a bit of tinkering on your bikes. Basic tools can be borrowed.

Visitor suitability

All age groups have enjoyed their holidays here, including three generation family groups. With room for up to 12 we have often had 3 families. We are also happy to accept bookings from all male or all female groups.

Cots, travel cots (by the pool with parasol over?), highchairs, babybaths and stairgates are available.

Les Gites de Fontenioux is suitable for those who want a relaxing laid-back base for their holiday, but there are many interesting, exciting, even strenuous activities and attractions within easy reach. The hand-crafted original stairs in Violette have low rise treads and a substantial balustrade, easier for those with mobility problems. The younger ones love the novelty of the spiral stairs in Marguerite.

This is an excellent area for cycling, walking, bird-watching, photography and painting. The local produce is outstanding, Parthenais steak is particularly recommended. As an apple-growing region there are many local artisan ciders as well as wines to try.

Information about any additional facilities

Fans are supplied for each room.
A welcome pack of necessities (just let us know, red white or rose!) on arrival.
Two washing machines.
Covered drying area.
Free, secure storage for bicycles and top boxes etc.
Cots, highchairs, baby baths, stair-gates are available, please ask when booking.
FREE wi-fi.
We supply all linen: the usual bedding (king-size duvets for doubles) plus a flat sheet and throw for each bed.
We supply all towels: hand towels, tea towels, oven gloves and two generous towels plus pool towel per person - no more soggy towels in the car after that last swim!
For the cooler months: logs are supplied for the wood-burner (1 Oct. - 1 May) plus gas heaters available if required. An oil filled radiator to each bedroom. Of course there are heated towel radiators to each shower-room.
Standard departure time is 11:00 am - just pop the breakfast pots in the dishwasher.


  • Internet

  • No smoking

  • Linen

  • Child facilities

  • Shared pool



Fishing nearby

Species of fish: carp
Name of nearest fishing location: Pescalis nature reserve and fishing centre
Distance: 18 km

Horse riding

Name and address of nearest stables: Les Ecuries du Saumort, Saumort, 79160 La Chapelle Thireuil
Distance: 12 km


Name/number of nearest marked trail: Mervent-Vouvent Forest with miles of marked trails and picnic areas. On the other hand its a very nice 20 min walk to the boulangerie


About the Owner/Advertiser, Mr Trevor Robson

We moved to France in autumn 2012, having "burnt our boats" in England. We had sold our house, wound up our loft conversion business and set off, homeless for a new adventure in a new country. We needed somewhere to use our skills rather than our fortune, but ended up somewhere that needed both! but we have never regretted our decision. We so enjoy meeting new guests and seeing them unwind and enjoy their holiday here.

Year property purchased 2012
Why this location? We fell in love with this property the first time we saw it, everything we wanted in such a lovely setting, but was it pie in the sky? Fate conspired to make it possible for us buy it and move in on Christmas Eve, so that we could wake up here Christmas morning, sentimental old fools that we are. It is quiet and secluded and yet only 5 minutes away from the village by car or 20 minutes walk. We see rabbits playing tag up and down our lane and an occasional deer. There are so many birds singing and butterflies we have never seen before. It is so easy to relax with the slower pace of life, who needs the rat race?
Unique benefits of property Our property is a peaceful rural retreat in the lovely Gatine countryside for a relaxing holiday away from it all. However there are many attractions just a short ride away so your holiday can be as restful or exciting and energetic as you want. The buildings belonged to the Chateau de Fontenioux (now sadly no more) and built in the chateau style with beams and high ceilings (although some upstairs ceilings are a little quirky!) and original fireplaces. So you can live history with all modern conveniences installed in sympathy with the historic setting.

The village is only 20 minutes walk or 5 minutes drive away with an excellent boulangerie, where you will also find many corner shop items including wine. We can also particularly recommend La Petite Noisette bar restaurant a little further into the village.

The Owner Recommends

La Rochelle

Very picturesque town full of history. The tourist information centre provide walking maps to do your own tour and discover many interesting buildings and information. The aquarium is fantastic and has many interactive activities for the children.

Cycle "La Velo Francette"

A cycle route from Ouistreham in Normandy to La Rochelle via Saumur in the Loire Valley, through the Thouet valley and passing through the lovely historic town of Parthenay, only 23 km from us. There are various stages to pick and choose from if you are not feeling too energetic and there are well signposted local "loops". There are many historic towns, meandering rivers and spectacular countryside along the route. More details on:

There are also many local routes to cycle in the picturesque countryside and pretty villages with plenty of places to stop off for a coffee or a spot of lunch.


Futuroscope at Poitiers is very popular for all ages, this futuristic theme park has something for everyone. In fact we are regularly informed the adults enjoy it just as much as the children. There are usually vouchers in the 'Deux Sevres' magazine (local news and information in English) provided in your gite.

Puy du Fou

This historic theme park was voted the world's best park in 2014. It is an experience not to be missed. Best to book tickets on their website (check for special offers) in advance of your holiday.


A lively town with restaurants, bars and a great atmosphere and there is often street theatre in the evenings. During the summer various festivals take place, notably jazz and comedy. The medieval part of town is well worth a wonder round the narrow streets with half-timbered buildings and ancient bridges. There are picture postcard views from the ramparts perched above the Thouet river.

Lac de Chassenon

Beach on a lake at Xanton-Chassenon with all the usual beach and water based activities. Sandy beach, swimming area, waterslide, playground and bouncy castle plus pedalos and electric boats to hire.

Marais Poitevin

The "Green Venice" is the second largest wetland of western France with over 300km of cycle and walking paths. Take a boat ride on a tourist boat, hire a boat or canoe yourself. Coulon is a good place to start exploring, they have little road train tour. Marans is the capital of the Marais Poitevin - and you may have heard that name before, apparently James Bond is a fan of the dark brown eggs from Marans hens!

The Mervent-Vouvant Forest: walking, cycling, adventure

The forest area has many marked footpaths and picnic areas plus 14 cycle routes. The Vendee and Mere rivers meander through the forest and a number of dams have resulted in spectacular stretches of lake. There is Natur'Zoo with watersports and tree top trails and there is also the Parc de Pierre Brune adventure park. Vouvant is one of the "Plus Beaux Villages de France" and also home to the legend of the fairy Melusine who is said to have built many castles and fortresses, each in only one night. After checking out the Tour Melusine pop in to the Cafe Cour du Miracle for a coffee and some yummy cake.

2 Reviews
  • Cleanliness: 9
  • Comfort: 9
  • Condition: 9.5
  • Facilities: 9
  • Local Amenities: 9
  • Setting: 9.5
  • Value for Money: 10
9.7 / 10 Readers 21 August, 2017

Situated in the rural area of Vernoux-en-Gatine away from the hustle of everyday life sits the ‘les gites de Fonenioux’, two lovely self catering gites that offer both peace and tranquillity. For the second year running our family & friends chose to stay in both and again received a warm welcome from both Barbara and Trevor. The gites are a great base to either chill in the spacious gardens or by the pool, or for exploring the local villages, markets and chateaus. Of which there are plenty. As a keen road cyclist the local roads are very good and it’s easy to plan your own great rides, depending how adventurous you’re feeling. With also the Vendee region not far away there are several good family routes using the ‘Green’ Vendee Velo cycle way.
As a family we all look forward to returning again.

Owner response

Thank you for your lovely review. We so enjoyed having you all here, enjoying yourselves in the pool and playing games on the 'playing field'. We look forward to seeing you again next year.

Trevor and Barbara

9 / 10 Jim's Alton Cycling Group of 9 3 May, 2017

For the second year running our cycling group enjoyed the ample facilities on offer at Le Fontenioux. I used to live in the region so know it well and we had no second thoughts about coming back and staying at Trevor and Barbara's twin gites. The adjoining properties, by opening up and sharing the communal areas, allowed us to comfortably accommodate our large party around a single large dining table and a single warm and cosy lounge. Trevor and Barbara are always available to provide even the smallest of little extra items needed, including Barbara's own herbs and spices for our barbecue (all equipment provided)! I would have no hesitation to recommend these gites to larger groups like ours requiring extra space.

Opening most days of the week, the local boulangerie in Vernoux served us well. Good supermarket facilities are just up the road in Secondigny, and local minimarket shops also in L'Absie.

There are lots of lunch and dinner options in the surrounding area, including Parthenay, Le Tallud, L'Absie, Vernoux, and Le Beugnon, as well as places further afield which we enjoyed at the lake restaurant at Mervent and on the Breche square in Niort. I would also recommend a visit to La Chagnee at St Aubin Le Cloud.

Owner response

Thank you Jim for your lovely review of our accommodation and the area. We so enjoyed having your cycling group here and look forward to seeing you all again next year. It is our aim for all our guests to have a good holiday and it is so rewarding when we see everybody enjoying themselves.