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the time we got kicked out of a french b&b

Provence blue shutters

When one shutter closes …

Our trip to France began with us getting kicked out of a B&B in Provence — before we even left the States.

I know.

We were so excited about our Viking River Cruise through the South of France and we spent a lot of time figuring out where to go first. You see, we always like to extend our trips so we immediately signed up for the post-cruise tour to Paris (Michael’s favorite city in the world) but decided not to do the pre-tour to the French Riviera because we had been there years ago and wanted to visit someplace new.

We thought about staying in Marseille — where we would be picked up for our cruise — but the consensus in my Facebook travel groups was that, although there were some great museums and restaurants, it was more of a port city and we should check out Aix-en-Provence.

Everything we read about it sounded fantastic and it was only a 20 minute cab ride from the Marseille Airport, so we started researching hotels. We had visions in our head of an intimate little B&B in Provence like La Gracette, which we discovered on TripAdvisor.

I had a lovely correspondence with the wife and we paid the deposit through PayPal. I had explained that we weren’t going to have a car so we would need to figure out how to get taxis into town.

Then I received this email from the husband:

B&B screenshot

My jaw dropped.

“Oh my God, Michael,” I screamed, adding a few choice words for which you’d have to pardon my French. “You’re not going to believe this.”

He took a look and his jaw dropped, too.

“We got kicked out before we even got there?” he asked, incredulous.

“Yes, and it’s because of my blog!” I was pissed. And confused. What had he possibly seen on my sweet, positive blog that would make him refund our money without even discussing it first?

I wrote back and asked him but I never received a response.

Ultimately, of course, it was the best thing that could have happened because we ended up staying in what turned out to be one of our favorite places ever.

And we find it kind of hilarious that we got kicked out of a French B&B without even leaving home.

But, really?

So I thought I’d use this experience as a kind of research tool. What do you think he saw on my blog that made him think we would not be happy in his B&B?

P.S. That gorgeous photo above is absolutely not from that B&B.


  1. Wow! Maybe we should all become award winning bloggers!

  2. Okay, that is really weird. Maybe he thought you were too “American.”

  3. It had to be the Amsterdam story. It’s all Michael’s fault.

  4. Wow, I’ve never heard of something like this before? But I guess it turned out for the best!

  5. aimee fauci says:

    That is crazy but maybe they were scared that they were not good enough and you might leave an unpleasant review about them. It is too bad they did not respond back.

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      It’s so funny because if they actually read my blog, they’d see I don’t really write negative reviews. If I don’t like something, I just won’t write about it. I wish they had responded, too.

  6. I think Aimee above is on the right track, i.e. they didn’t feel fancy enough. It could also be they didn’t want to get stuck playing chauffeur and they used the site as an excuse.

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      The chauffeur part is definitely a possibility but we would have been very appreciative if they had just written back and said it wasn’t really a good idea to stay there without a car. So weird.

  7. Could they have been worried you would write about them?

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      Possibly but I’m sure anything I would have written about their B&B – which looks really nice online! – would have been better than what I had to write about them now!

  8. Oh wow. Sucks to be them, you have one of the most positive uplifting blogs. I’d be honored to have you write about me and my establishment (if I had one!) so their loss. They don’t sound like people you’d want to stay with or give your money anyway to do something like that!

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      Oh, thank you, Jeanine! If you ever decide to have an establishment, I will be honored to write about it! xo

  9. Madge woods says:

    Frightened if they didn’t measure up and maybe bring in the center city would have more to do. Did you end up in the center of town?

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      We did end up in the center of town, which was perfect. If they had suggested that to us rather than just boot us out, it would have been a win win all around and I would be singing their praises for their concern.

  10. That is so bizarre! I didn’t see why they gave you the boot? you had them scared! lol

  11. That is pretty hilarious, can’t believe they didn’t at least give an honest reply to what bothered them.

  12. Who knows why… they’re French! It’s …not possible to understand.

  13. Weird….he probably did not want to be reviewed on your blog!

  14. Wow. Who knows? That’s really odd. I’m going with “too American” or “afraid of negative press” or maybe they didn’t want more English-speaking people visiting. Maybe if your blog had been in French (or even German, Spanish or Italian) they would have been accommodating.

  15. Their loss completely! Perhaps he didn’t want you writing about their B&B? Which begs the question…why? And did he not realize he’d get a write up anyway? Haha. Perhaps he doesn’t like elephants? Or dogs? Or writers? Well no matter what it was it certainly speaks volumes about him. xo

  16. Oh, how weird. Sounds like something that would have happened to us on vacation.

  17. I agree with the comments that they were nervous that a big shot American was coming. They didn’t think they could give you an amazing experience and the risk was too much for them. Americans would take this as a great Challenge, the French? They surrender

  18. That was very rude and I can’t see any reason for it. I am happy it worked out better for you in the end!

  19. Oh my gosh! I think the other commenters are correct in saying he was probably afraid you would write something negative about his place lol. Well, it sounds like it all turned out for the best so that was good!

  20. I’d love to visit the French Riviera. I’m so overdue for a lovely vacation. 🙂

  21. What an odd thing!

    We had a driver in the UK who had obviously looked at my blog. It was kind of unnerving. Especially since he clearly didn’t get where I was coming from.

  22. I get the feeling that they were nervous about having someone write about them. Too bad for them but it is great that it all worked out.

  23. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    I would have been panicked to have to find a new place to stay. I am so glad it all worked out for you in the end. Sounds like you had a fantastic trip.

  24. That is truly weird. I would think that they would at least contact you first before anything happens. Well I’m glad you still had a good time.

  25. I would say that that is hard to believe, but I have dealt with a few b and b’s in my day as a blogger, and I have had my issues with some of them as well! It doesn’t surprise me that they did that to you!

  26. Oh my, this is insane. Are there people who think like this nowadays.. Their loss

  27. That is very interesting. Did they have something to hide?

  28. How strange. But like they say, everything happens for a reason. I’m glad you had a good time anyway.

  29. Wow, really unbelievable & crazy, something which I have never heard before. And it’s so bad that they could not even give a honest reply on what they were really scared of or bothered about.

  30. This is a story I bet you are never going to forget. I personally think he cancelled the reservation because he may have not wanted you to write about your stay.

  31. My guess is that you aired your support for Obama. There are still some decent people in France who don’t pander to socialist dictators… 🙂

  32. Well that is really unbelievable. They missed out on 2 great people and one awesome review. In the end it ended up for the best for you. Ah, you are really making me miss Aix!

  33. What are they hiding that they were afraid you would uncover? Their rejection of you 2 is the makings of a good mystery novel!

  34. I haven’t pored through everything you’ve posted, but I would guess it’s your ethnicity. Like Michael, I love Paris — but I don’t feel comfortable returning there.

  35. Don’t take it personally, Lois. The French can be a bit odd about things.

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