Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to get to Bordeaux?
To reach Bordeaux, depart U.S.A. for the overnight flight to any European gateway city. Catch a connecting flight to Bordeaux. From Paris, you can also take the TGV train.
How do we get to Maison d’Aliénor?
Our private coach picks you up mid-afternoon in Bordeaux. For those arriving in Bordeaux early, we can provide suggestions on where to stay and what to do.
Should I rent a car?
You will not need a car for our workshops or programs.
What should I bring to wear?
Bring clothes which are casual and comfortable. Be sure to bring a sweater or jacket for cool mornings and cool evenings outdoors. As many towns and villages in the area are medieval ones, comfortable shoes are a must for walking on cobblestones.
What will the weather be like when I am there?

Most days start out cool. Evenings are long (it doesn’t get dark in summer until 10p.m.) and even in summer the nights are refreshingly cool. We’ll eat dinners outdoors on the Grange Terrace whenever the weather permits, so a sweater or light jacket is a must. It rains occasionally so make sure to pack a compact travel umbrella.

To find out what the weather will be like the week you are with us, go to www.weather.com and type in Bergerac (the closest town to us on this website) for a ten-day forecast.

Can you offer any advice on calling long distance from France?

If you choose not to bring a cell phone, you can purchase an International Calling Card at any news stand. You will receive what appears to be a receipt, but it is actually the phone number to call and the code to activate the ‘minutes’ you have purchased. You can make calls from any pay phone and from Petit Rousset.

You can receive phone calls at Maison d’Aliénor and if we are out, your caller can leave a message.
Maison d’Aliénor Telephone Number:
From the U.S.: 011 33
From within France: 05 53 22 05 89

Please remember that France is 9 hours ahead of Pacific time 6 hours ahead of East Coast time

What activities are available for my spouse/partner who is not participating in the classes?
For spouses or companions of participants, we expect that they will join us for all meals and all excursions. During Studio Time, they may relax with a book from our library, swim in our private pool, check their email or walk into town to mix with the locals. We also provide information & maps for Nature Walks and walks to the village and nearby spots of interest.
How can I determine the exchange rate between the dollar and the Euro?
The rates are updated continuously at this website: http://www.xe.com
How do I get Euros? Should I exchange money in the US, bring dollars or travelers checks?
An ATM card is the easiest way to get Euros in Europe. Using your card assures you of the best exchange rate. You must have a 4 digit PIN#. There are ATM machines most places we visit and there are 2 in our hometown. Make sure you let your bank (and credit card companies) know that you will be traveling Do NOT bring Travelers Checks—you won’t necessarily be near an open bank when you need one since Bank Holidays and Hours of Opening are unpredictable. The proliferation of counterfeit US bills around the world means that if a bank agrees to exchange your dollar bills for Euros, the exchange rate will be very unfavorable.
Is there Internet Access or an Internet Cafe:
You are welcome to bring your lap top computer to Maison d’Aliénor. We have WIFI internet access
There is also WIFI Internet access at several of the cafés in the center of town
What is the smoking policy?
Smoking is not permitted in any of the public or private spaces at Maison d’Aliénor
What if we wish to extend our stay in France/Europe?
At the conclusion of the workshop, we will take you to the Bergerac train station. From here, you can pick up a rental car or catch a train heading east towards Provence or west to Bordeaux. From Bordeaux, you can continue your onward journey by plane or train (including the TGV, fast train), to Paris.
What is the payment schedule and payment options?
A deposit of $700 will hold your space. Deposits accepted by check or money order or online.
Fifty percent (50%) of Balance is due 150 days before Workshop start date;
Final fifty percent (50%) of Balance is due 90 days before Workshop start date.
Payments of balance may be made by check, money order or credit card (processing fee applies).
What is your cancellation policy?
Terms & Conditions Refunds and Cancellations
Cancellations for all or any part of the trip will not be effective until they are received in writing
in the offices of S.F. Seminars. Should you have to cancel, the following terms will apply:
reservations are subject to a $200 per person cancellation fee from the time of booking through
150 days prior to departure, 149–91 days prior to departure, $500 per person, payments
by credit card, service charge non-refundable, 90 days prior to departure, no refunds will be
granted unless the program is sold out and your space is resold. If your space is resold, a
$500 cancellation fee applies. Because these cancellations policies must be strictly enforced,
we strongly recommend for your protection that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. We
also suggest that you review your own insurance policies to determine if you should purchase
medical, accident and evacuation insurance. 

Do you sell Travel Insurance?

We recommend that you consider the purchase of Travel Insurance. You can either purchase it through your own travel company or contact one of the many companies that sell this insurance. Here is contact information for 3 of them. People who have purchased insurance through them have been satisfied. However we are in no way connected to any of them.

Travel Guard International. 1.877.248.8992 or www.travelguard.com
AAA Members Insurance. 1.800.922.8228 or www.travel.aaa.com/travel-insurance
Insure My Trip: 1.800.487.4722 or www.insuremytrip.com