L'Etoile Maison d'hôtes

Meet our friend Philippe Papadimitriou

Rencontre avec notre ami Philippe Papadimitriou与我们的朋友Philippe Papadimitriou会面Встреча с нашим другом Филиппом Пападимитриу
Philippe Papadimitriou

Paris Hotel in CairoOwning a guest house can be a dream come true for some, and a necessary source of income for others. For Philippe Papadimitriou, an adventure enthusiast, it was a harmonious blend of both. Nestled in a quaint village north of the Cévennes, his guest house stands as a testament to his journey.

Hôtel de Paris in Cairo, EgyptPhilippe, a tall young man with a lineage tracing back to the owner of the Hotel de Paris in Cairo, Egypt, was described by Nicholas Crane in ‘Clear Waters Rising’. Crane, who had embarked on a year-and-a-half-long journey from Cape Finisterre (Portugal) to Istanbul (Turkey), had the pleasure of staying at Philippe’s guest house, L’Etoile.

During his stay, Crane dedicated a significant portion of his narrative to Philippe’s transformation of an old holiday hotel into a welcoming guest house. He described Philippe’s decision as an “intuition, not a scientific experience.”

Crane was evidently captivated by Philippe, a Belgian-Greek former gold prospector whose life was a tapestry of diverse experiences. Philippe’s journey to the Cévennes is a tale worth telling.

While residing in Brussels, Philippe seized an opportunity on his 29th birthday to renovate a farmhouse in a small village in the Gard, owned by a fellow Belgian. This was a welcome change, as Philippe had been yearning to work abroad.

Upon completing the project, Philippe decided to walk back to Brussels from the south of France. However, his journey was cut short after thirty kilometers at the small village of Bordezac in the Gard. There, he met Olivier, the young owner of a farm-inn “Le Mas du Lauzas,” who was looking to cease his operations. Philippe, intrigued by the prospect, attempted to take over the establishment, but to no avail.

Homemade breadPhilippe extended his stay by six months, during which he decided to traverse the country, accompanied by a friend and two horses lent by Olivier. They followed the old Roman road “La Régordane” (GR®700) through the Cévennes to La Bastide-Puylaurent, where they spent two summer months in 1989 before heading to the Vosges along the GR®7. This month-and-a-half-long adventure ignited a spark in Philippe, inspiring him to change his life.

Innkeepers Exchange with Horse Creek Ranch, Alberta, CanadaThroughout his travels, the idea of opening a guest house increasingly occupied Philippe’s thoughts. He explored the Pyrenees and the Cévennes before returning to La Bastide-Puylaurent, where the old “Hotel du Parc” or “Hotel Ranc” was up for sale. Without hesitation, he purchased it and transformed it into a haven for hikers, which eventually evolved into a guest house.

For Philippe, this was indeed a dream realized. From June 15 to September 15, he immerses himself in cooking, cleaning, baking bread, serving Belgian beers, and creating a homely atmosphere.

Philippe likens the opening of his guest house to embarking on a sailboat set to cross an ocean. “It’s no longer work but a beautiful adventure!” he exclaims. He devotes himself entirely to managing his large “boat.”

In addition to his daily duties, Philippe tirelessly works on his websites to promote his concept and share his motivation for a different way of living together, working, and developing this adventure. “I may be a businessman but not a merchant; money will come if the idea is good and rich, it has to ring true,” he asserts. By Nicholas Crane

When the gite closes, he travels to meet other gite-owners such as Strawberry Mountain Inn B&B, Prairie City, Oregon, USA; Mowbray Park Farmstay, Picton, New South Wales, Australia; Horse Creek Ranch, Fort Assiniboine, Alberta, Canada; Mr. Benlhou, Hotel Zagour, Zagora, Morocco. More information about International Innkeepers Exchange.


L'Etoile Guest-House between Cevennes, Ardeche and Lozere in the South of France

Old romantic Hotel, L'Etoile Guest-House is a mountain retreat in the South of France. With a beautiful park along the Allier River, L'Etoile Guesthouse is located in La Bastide-Puylaurent between Lozere, Ardeche and Cevennes. Many hiking trails like GR®7, GR®70 Stevenson trail, GR®72, GR®700 Regordane way, Cevenol, GR®470 Allier river, Margeride. Many hiking loops. The right place to relax.