Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 1829: Domaine Faverot, L'Ecurie
cottages on an estate near Maubec, Provence
June 2005, 1 week
Domaine Faverot, set in a vinyard in a valley at the foot of the Petit Luberon mountains, is owned and worked by the Faverots. Its proximity to the main road makes touring very easy. There are other buildings, and the road within sight of the property, but they are not close enough to be intrusive.
There is a VERY tiny grocery store and a restaurant in Maubec, a few minutes drive away. Domaine Faverot is surrounded by many of the famous "villages perchés" of Provence with stores, restaurants and wonderful weekly markets. It would be very easy to find a market at one or other of the local villages on any given day.
Domain Faverot is an eighteenth century building which I believe was originally a silk farm. It comprises a U shaped building surrounding a central courtyard. On one side is the winery, at the bottom is the Faverot's home, and opposite the winery is a row of four cottages. This is a working farm and so farm equipment and machinery are very evident on the property. Francois is passionate about his wine and will happily conduct a wine tasting and discussion for you.
The cottage entrances are on the outside of the courtyard, with windows overlooking the courtyard where wine tastings are held. One evening during our stay a fairly large group arrived by bus for a wine tasting and dinner. The group was not especialy noisy and they left at a reasonable hour. I do not know how frequently these tours take place.
The main room of our cottage was basically divided by the staircase into a sitting area on one side and kitchen/dining on the other. Upstairs there was a central little balcony overlooking the courtyard and two bedrooms each with an ensuite bathroom. Inside the cottage did not hear any noise from the other cottages.
Each unit does have its own little patio, with a tiled table and chairs and a small portable barbeque. The patios have hedges on each side, so you are visually separated from your neighbours, but they are very close together so you can hear conversations. You have no privacy from people walking back and forth to the pool or to their cars as the cottages are all in a row and the fronts of the patios are open. The view from the patio was across a small vineyard to the road.
There is an infinity pool, with comfortable loungers and umbrellas provided however the area surrounding the pool is a little stark with very little landscaping. There are very easy steps down into the pool and an underwater 'seat' to one side. French law dictates that the pool must be fenced or have a cover. At Domaine Faverot there is an electric cover which guests are asked to close when they leave the pool. This is an infinity pool, so although the pool itself is covered there is an exposed water catchment area on two sides.
The sitting area has a sofa, armchair, coffee table and a cupboard. There was a fireplace which we didn't use. We were outside most of the time so did not use the sitting area, but I think it would be comfortable. Most of the wooden furniture was painted in an attractive, shabby chic, manner.
There are two bedrooms upstairs. The larger bedroom has a double bed, and an ensuite bathroom with bathtub and handheld shower. The smaller bedroom had twin beds and ensuite bathroom with a shower - no tub. The beds were quite comfortable although we found the twin beds fairly small for adults. There were bedside lamps. The storage for clothing was very limited. We found the little upstairs balcony very useful for storing our luggage since the one bedroom was quite small.
We did find it uncomfortably hot upstairs.
The kitchen was pretty well equipped with sufficient china, cutlery, glassware, serving dishes, and pots and pans for four people. There was a dishwasher and the usual small fridge, an oven and stovetop with four burners. To one side of the kitchen was a table with four chairs. We did cook all breakfasts and some full meals without any problem.
Problems or Bonuses
We were a little disappointed with the view; on the website the photograph is taken towards the hills, but in fact when you are sitting on your patio or by the pool you face the flat valley and the view of the hills is blocked by the house.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I dealt directly with Sally Faverot. We communicated by email and she answered all questions quickly. She is English so language was not a problem. Sally and Francois are on site and therefore available should you require any assistance. We paid Euro 950 for one week in June. We were able to use a credit card which made payment very simple.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would like to stay neutral on this one. There wasn't anything awful about the rental, and the Faverots are delightful people who work extremely hard on this farm. The cottage was OK, the location was OK, the pool was OK ... and perhaps we are unreasonable in wanting more than OK. There is really absolutely nothing wrong with it - it just didn't WOW us.
Things to do in this area
There is so much to do, and so much written about what to do, that there is little I can add!
I would say don't overlook the delightful little market in Coustellet, probably the nicest of the many markets we visited.
An American couple staying at Domain Faverot at the same time as us was very enthusiastic about the hiking in the hills behind the house.
Then you have Oppède le Vieux, Gordes, Roussillon, Bonnieux, Menerbes, Lacoste, Isle sur la Sorgue .... the list is endless.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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