Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 2959: Owner, La Maison de Village
2bed/2bath house in Bonnieux, Provence
March 2007, 2 weeks
We rented this little house in the village of Bonnieux for two weeks in March 2007. The house is owned by an American family who stay here several weeks a year and rent it out the rest of the year. Rentals are handled directly by the owner, Christine, who has taken great care in decorating and equipping her house. There are many extra touches that make the place special.
The house itself is unique, and the layout may not work for everyone. It's a village house: one room wide, two rooms deep, and four stories tall. (A fifth story is a "cave" and not part of the space a renter would use.) The levels are reached by small staircases that require some care.
The front door opens into the kitchen. While there isn't lots of counter space, the kitchen is fully equipped to prepare complete meals and present them in an attractive French style. There is a small microwave. I especially liked the crockery dishes. Beyond the kitchen is a large dining room, with a window overlooking the Petit Luberon mountain. Our family probably spent most of our time together in the dining room because of the view. In addition to the table and dining chairs, there's a comfortable reading chair. The pantry closet also has games and some books.
Beneath this level is a bedroom that sleeps one or two people. There isn't a window, but there's good closet space. This level also has a large bathroom with a good shower, toilet, sink, a clothes washing machine, and clothes drying racks.
Above the kitchen is a small living room with a sectional couch and television. The couch makes into another bed for one person. (This is where our daughter decided to sleep.) Next to this room, above the dining room, is the main bedroom, also with a window looking out over the mountain. The bed is very comfortable. There's an armoire for clothes and good bedside lamps for reading.
The top level (accessed by a very steep set of stairs) has another small bathroom with toilet/shower/sink, a small utility area and, best of all, an outdoor terrace with a lovely view. The terrace is big enough for a good sized table with umbrella and chairs. There's also a grill. The utility area has a small refrigerator so that some items for outdoor dining can be kept up there instead of carried up two flights of steps from the kitchen for meals.
The house is located near the top of the village on the Rue de République, which is the main road between Lourmarin and Bonnieux. The front door opens right onto the street. There is a small parking area just up the street, where we were sometimes able to park. Or we could always find parking on the Rue des Remparts which follows the old village walls up to the top of the village.
The house is just up the street from the patisserie/boulangerie of Henri Tomas, who we think makes the best croissants in the Luberon. We are very partial to the village of Bonnieux and over the last several years it's become almost our second home. It's a very attractive village with beautiful views and makes a good base in the Luberon because of its convenience to other villages and the level of services. The village includes small grocery store, a butcher, a pharmacy, an ATM, several restaurants and cafes, as well as other shops. The weekly market is on Friday. There are two cafes with Internet access not far from the house. There is a year-round population here, and even though some restaurants are closed in the off-season, the grocery stores and boulangeries are open.
We loved this little house, and it was absolutely perfect for our family. We will definitely rent here again. The price is extremely reasonable for the quality of the decor and accessories, and Christine is also flexible to rent for less than a week (unusual for rentals in this area). It's also very nice to be able to pay in a set amount of US dollars.
Even though the house could sleep five, I think it may work best for a couple, a few friends, or small family. Be aware that there are several small flights of stairs. And since the house is at the top of a perched (hilltop) village, be prepared to get some good daily exercise going up and down to the village to the various shops and restaurants.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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