Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 2130: Owner, Artist's Cottage in Honfleur
2bed/2bath cottage in Honfleur, Normandy
May 2006, 1 week
This artist's cottage in historic Old Honfleur was ideally located for us. Immediately surrounding it were local residences, greenery, a grassy plot, and public steps shielded by a stone wall. It felt like we lived there and we loved it!
Walking around Honfleur was a primary attraction for being here. Despite the large flow of tourists, it remains picturesque and interesting. Coffee shops, restaurants of all descriptions and price points are a couple of blocks to perhaps half a mile way, with plenty to see along the way.
We found one supermarket, many bakeries, and numerous specialty food stores within easy walking distance. And let us not forget Normandy cider, pommeau, and Calvados.
Be prepared for very uneven cobblestones throughout the town.
This is a historic cottage as described in the classified listing on this site. It is a stand alone cottage on three levels, exactly as described: 1)bottom floor with bedroom (two single or one large bed), generous eating area, galley kitchen, bath and toilet rooms, and working fireplace; 2)middle floor with sitting area, small eating area, galley kitchen, and toilet room; and 3)top floor bedroom with charming beamed walls and ceiling and bath with sink, tub, and shower.
In good weather, the large outdoor terrace is awesome. There are indeed at least 36 steps from top to bottom, so this is not a good fit for toddlers or those with mobility problems.
The terrace is a splendid, quiet place surrounded by lovingly tended flower pots.
Everything in the apartment was in amazingly top shape, no easy task in a historic property such as this. For part of the week we were two couples and found no problems "hanging out" together in the cottage. For light meals and snacks we gravitated to the middle floor, keeping the bottom floor as "private space" for the couple who slept there.
Upstairs bedroom is positively enchanting, with the beams and tapestry-covered walls. The downstairs one was perfectly fine and very large when considered as a "suite." Nice lighting everywhere with a slightly confusing array of switches, but once we figured them out we were fine. Bathrooms are small but everything worked well and there was plenty of hot water.
We did not do any serious cooking. The dishes provided were especially nice for a rental, the best I've encoutered in a handful of places. Virtually new electric coffee pots were most welcome, and I have no doubt that full meals could be cooked. The place was so well stocked with coffee filters, tea, and the basic supplies that it felt more like house sitting (which we also enjoy!) than renting.
Problems or Bonuses
The large number of original contemporary art works by a local artist were a delightful surprise and most fitting for this artist's cottage. The terrace was even better than we imagined.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Dave and Aralynn are the epitome of good hosts. They gave us prompt and clear communications throughout the process. I just had none of the qualms that sometimes occur before actually seeing the rental as I had the feeling we were dealing with a trustworthy friend. And indeed it was so, everything was as good or better than described. Their onsite person did not speak English but had several colleagues who did and who helped us through the very few formalities. And the information manual in the apartment (in English and French) covered everything for us.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We absolutely would stay here again and have put it on our list of places where we would like to return.
Things to do in this area
Strolling Honfleur to enjoy its historic boat basin, harbor, galleries, gardens, and museums will offer something for most everyone. We enjoyed day trips to Bayeux to see the tapestry and the cathedral and also took one full day for the D-Day sights. There is much in this region left for us to explore next time.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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