Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 1795: Provence Rentals, Menerbes Village House
2bed/2bath apartment, Menerbes, Provence
October 2005, 1 week
This house is in Menerbes, a small "perched village" in the Luberon area of Provence. It's at the top of the village, above the tiny business district, and seems to hang over the side of the hill that it's on, giving it a fantastic view of a valley full of vineyards and farms and the Luberon Mountains beyond. It was quiet, and because of its location on the side of the hill, extremely private in spite of large windows with no window coverings. The walkway below the windows is too low for anyone to see in.
It's about a five-minute walk downhill to the business district, where there's a small boulangerie, a boucherie, a nice small grocery with surprisingly nice produce, a cafe, a couple of small restaurants, and a few other small shops. It's about a 10-minute walk back uphill!
There are large supermarkets in Apt and Cavaillon, each probably 20 minutes away in either direction.
Based on the reviews we saw, we did not try any of the restaurants in town. There are many apparently better choices in other villages within a 15-minute range in several directions.
The house spans the space between a tiny narrow street above and a walkway 10 or 12 feet lower on the other side. Our first introduction was through the entry off the street, which didn't give us an auspicious first impression. It looked like a shed, about five feet high with a tiny hobbit door. However, since the house was actually built down the hill from that street entrance, the door opened into a beautiful, spacious, high-ceilinged and light-filled space with large windows out over the valley.
From that entry to the right was a step up to the dressing room and master bedroom and bath. To the left was a large dining area, a small but very well-equipped kitchen, a large living room with fireplace and the loggia, a small covered terrace with a huge open arch framing the view. Straight ahead were steps down to the downstairs laundry room, bedroom and bath. It was large, and because of the open flow from room to room, seemed even larger.
The house was in very good shape, freshly painted with no signs of wear and tear anywhere.
The small loggia was the only outside area. It was a very comfortable spot for two to watch the sunset, and manageable for four.
The furniture was clean and attractive. The chairs and sofa in the living room have cushions that seem to have lost their oomph - they weren't terribly comfortable, but we never felt like it was a serious issue. There were plenty of chairs in the dining room and the living room.
We only had dial-up computer access and the phone line was near an antique console table in the living room, so we didn't have ideal desk facilities, but adequate for the hour or so we spent on the computer each day. One improvement I would suggest would be to add a phone line near the dining room table, or perhaps a small desk space in the corner of the living room near the phone line.
The house had satellite TV, lots of guidebooks, and a large collection of movies on video.
I was surprised to find a large laundry room, with washer, dryer, a sink for hand washing, ironing board, and iron.
The entire house was very clean.
The master bedroom was terrific, with lots of space, a very comfortable bed, good lighting and its own dressing area with plenty of closet space. The bathroom upstairs was beautiful. The walk-in shower overflowed the drain the first morning we were there, but once we learned NOT to set it to go full blast, it was fine. We were able to use the shower at a more reasonable level without any problem at all.
The bedroom downstairs was quite a bit smaller and darker, probably better suited to a couple of kids than the two adults we had sharing it.
The kitchen was great, very pretty and very well equipped! Plenty of pots and pans, dishes, everything we needed, including a toaster, electric kettle, and drip coffeemaker.
Problems or Bonuses
This house has a really beautiful and professionally done website, and I had a tiny nagging doubt over the many months after I reserved it until I saw it that maybe it might not live up to the website. If anything, the reverse was true - it's better than the website shows.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked directly with the owner. He was very responsive to my questions and easy to deal with. We only saw the onsite person briefly when we arrived, since we didn't have any problems, but he seemed very nice and helpful.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes! I would love to stay here again. My only hesitation would be that the downstairs bedroom and bath really aren't as nice as upstairs. That might be a consideration for groups of four adults traveling together. It would be fine for one or two children downstairs, I'm sure.
Things to do in this area
I loved walking up to the very top of the village, where there's an austere old church and a very charming old cemetery right on the tip of the hill. Menerbes is close to Gordes, Roussillon, La Coste, Bonnieux, and all the other villages of the Luberon. It's a wonderful area with lots to see and do.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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