Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 2870: Owner, Le Plessis (#23364)
1bed/1bath apartment near Amboise, Loire Valley
June 2007, 4 nights
The farmhouse loft was located in the countryside, surrounded by pastures, woods, and farms. It was essentially in the middle of nowhere, so a car is essential. The area was very quiet and peaceful.
The closest convenience store (like a small Seven-eleven) was about 10Km away. However, we always drove to the supermarche, Hyper leClerc, in Amboise to get food and gas. That was 15 minutes of driving at 50mph, so it wasn't close.
The loft is the upstairs of a very old French farmhouse (250-300 years old) which, I believe, was used as a hayloft originally, and was converted into a very well appointed 1bed/1bath residence. You entered through an outside staircase to the front door, which leads into a large room that contain living/dining/kitchen areas. Additionally, there is a spacious bathroom with a huge tub that fits two and a separate bedroom with a double-sized bed. This is the only rental on the property. The owner lives below and has a separate entrance.
The property is about four acres. It has a nice pond (if filled with water) with a large breezy willow tree adjacent. It has a fenced grazing area with two sheep (Nicky and Paris), a chicken coop with two chickens, a very, very nice fenced garden that grows raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, grapes, carrots, etc. The owner, Veronica, generously encouraged my daughters to pick raspberries and strawberries for breakfast. There is a gazebo and a nice sitting area for meals outdoors or just relaxing. There was no pool.
The loft was very clean and the furniture was in good shape. The furniture style and decoration were in keeping with the French farmhouse style. There was a dining table with four chairs, a couch that turned into a sofa-bed for two, another regular couch, and a ottoman that folded out as a single size futon. There was a TV, including satellite, with numerous video tapes. The owners also offered us their DVDs. There was a phone, but no WiFi.
The bed in the bedroom and the foldout couch in the living room were very comfortable. We particularly liked the easy flip-out couch (rather than fold-out couch)in the living room. There was a chest of drawers, valet table, two nightstands in the bedroom with lamps. The living room area had an armoire for hanging clothes. The bathroom was large, with a large tub/shower, and ample water pressure (hate hotels with weak water pressure). The towels were thick, of good quality. Hairdryer, iron/ironing board were provided.
The kitchen area had two burners, coffee and hot water makers, ample utensils, dishes, glasses, etc.. There was a small fridge and a microwave/convection oven. It was very well appointed. We reheated cooked and frozen food we bought at Amboise markets and made our own salads. There was enough room to do all that.
Problems or Bonuses
We usually didn't return to the loft until in the evening, except one day when we came back at 2pm. The front door was left open to allow for more natural light (the loft could use a skylight). Although insects were not a problem even with the door open, that day when we returned in the afternoon, little gnat-ike bugs (the kind that infests roses) came in. My daughters were busy wiping them off walls. We thought it might be due to the high humidity. The loft had fans, heaters, but no air conditioning.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Steve and Veronica, the owners, were very gracious and helpful. They're an American and Canadian couple who have lived in France for 20 years. We thought it was real generous of them to extend their fruit/vegetable garden for our enjoyment. Their website is very descriptive and matched all that were there in person. I think €95/night was a very good deal.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would definitely recommend this loft. The only drawback was that it was rather far, in my opinion, from Amboise. But, if you have a car, that's no big deal. They're very close to A10 which makes it convenient.
Things to do in this area
The owner told us about "vide greniers", a community garage sale. We went to one; it was interesting to see French household junk. I even picked up a genuine Limoge dish for 50 centimes!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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