Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 3029: La Closerie De La Collegiale St Martin, Duplex Piment
1bed/1bath apartment in Colmar, Alsace-Lorraine
July 21, 2007, 7 nights
Our rental was located right in the heart of the old town of Colmar. The location was perfect but no elevator, three flights of stairs to climb. This apartment is one of three for rent. There were other apartments in the building and they appeared to be rented by long term tenants. The area was very busy during the day but after about 8pm the daytime tourists tended to leave and it became very quiet. You are right between two churches, and the church clock that 'booms' out every hour, right through the night. We didn't feel this was a problem for us, we took it in stride and decided that staying in a building dating from 1542 was worth the stair climb and the clock chiming.
There are lots of cafes and bakeries close by to pick up your morning croissant. The large Monoprix supermarket was a two-minute walk from our street. You could get absolutely everything you might need. Lots of restaurants in the old town; do try the Tarte Flambee, it is like a very thin crust pizza with onion and bacon and creme fraiche. You can also choose other toppings, almost all the restaurants and cafes have it on the menu.
As stated the building was dated 1542 and was in lovely shape. Our apartment had been lovingly restored, with exposed beams. As you enter the apartment there is a steep flight of stairs that takes you up to the living area. On this level there is a nicely furnished living room, with a sofa bed (not used by us), two chairs and book/storage unit, a TV that had mainly French channels but CNN and BBC Prime. The dining room could seat four around a modern glass table. The kitchen and bathroom were on this level as well. On the second floor, up a steep open staircase, was the bedroom in the sloping eaves of the house.
There was a terrace for use of the tenants one floor down, you looked over the terrace from our bedroom and kitchen. We didn't use it but there was a long table where you could have taken your food etc. and sat out.
All the furniture was in good shape. The couch wasn't as comfortable as it could have been, but that was probably because it was a sofa bed. The apartment was very clean and nicely furnished in a modern way.
The bed was fine, and as mentioned earlier the eaves sloped down quite a bit. My husband did worry about banging his head when getting up in the night. Although I must say it didn't take us too long to get used to it. A door leading off the bedroom housed the washer and drying rack which we used. There was a fan but no air conditioning; the weather wasn't exceptionally hot when we were there and with the windows open there seemed to be breezes most nights.
The bathroom was very clean and bright with a small window that looked out onto the terrace. There was a bath/shower, toilet and sink. They had supplied a couple of rolls of toilet paper and after that we bought our own but made sure to leave some behind for the next guests.
The kitchen had a small fridge, gas burners and an electric oven, toaster, kettle, coffee maker. We found all the utensils and pots/pans etc. perfectly fine for our needs. We didn't make a full meal but you could have quite easily. The kitchen was very clean and well looked after. They supplied many basics things such as, tea, coffee, oil, spices, pasta, rice, sugar and dish detergent, paper towel. In fact we were quite surprised at the amount of extras in the cupboards and fridge. I would assume you use some things and leave some behind, that is what we did at least.
Problems or Bonuses
We had no trouble finding the apartment. We phoned the owner's cell phone and he gave us directions of where to park our car and he waited for us outside the building. One bonus is that there is a free car park about an eight-minute walk from the old town and after the first day that is where we parked the car. In the living room there were lots of windows, four down one side and two on the other. We loved to get up in the morning and throw open the windows and watch the street below us come to life.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owners were very professional to deal with and spoke excellent English. When we arrived they had a welcoming bottle of wine and a brioche waiting for us (a nice touch). We were expected to clean the apartment before we left, they supplied all cleaning supplies and vacuum. If you didn't want to clean then you were expected to let the owners know and they charged you an extra €50. We booked this apartment almost a year out and at the time paid €450 in July; I believe it has since gone up a little since then.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, we would stay here again and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to family members. One thing to bear in mind is the stair factor, the sloping eaves in the bedroom and the clock chiming. We felt it added to the ambiance of this beautiful town and ancient building we were so lucky to be experiencing.
Things to do in this area
You really need a car to visit the little villages around Colmar, they were all quite charming. We took the train from Colmar to Strasbourg, very easy to do and much faster than driving. We expected Colmar to be very crowded and were pleasantly surprised when at night we had the town to ourselves.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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