Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 3223: Les Hiboux, Cottage
Farmhouse and cottages on estate near Niort, Poitou
Sept 07, 1 week
The farmhouse and gites are laid out around a courtyard and are in a lovely rural location in farmland five minutes from the nearest town. The complex is in the Poitou-Charentes area of France, which is full of lovely villages and historic architecture and La Rochelle, the coast and the amazing Futurescope theme park at Poitiers are all easily accessible.
The local town of Niort which is five minutes drive away has everything you need including a number of good bars and restaurants.
The old farmhouse and converted farm buildings are in a really quiet location, there are four rentals, the main farm has five bedrooms sleeping 12, there are two further cottages with three bedrooms each and another four-bedroom property sleeping 10. One of the three-bedroom houses has a lockable door through to the four-bedroom one if you have a party of 16!
The decor is very comfortable and allows the old architecture to show through, whilst providing all modern conveniences.
There are gardens a pool, vegetable plots and a field at guests disposal. In the garden are a football pitch with goal posts, swings, a slide and a children's cabin, a sunken trampoline, a safely fenced carp pond and a swimming pool. Two boule pitches allow children to use one while Mums and Dads use the other with that glass of local wine in the non-playing hand. Bikes for all ages and a games room with pool, table football, table tennis and darts are all available plus loads of toys, books, DVDs, videos and board games.
The place was well equipped and all the furniture was in good shape, combining antiques and more modern.
Beds were big and comfy and all our bathrooms were new.
We think that the owners like their food as the kitchen was chock a block full of big pots, pans and razor sharp knives.
Problems or Bonuses
Les Hiboux was really relaxing especially as our children were always happy thanks to the most thorough selection of facilities in the garden and the games rooms.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owners Tim and El and their son Nathan were tremendously helpful, with constant tips, fresh veggies from the garden and some much needed translation skills.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
If you want good food, quality time with your family in rural France, want happy kids and the chance for them (and you) to meet new friends doing the same then you need to book this place up; it's also very good value.
Things to do in this area
There are great days out to be had at the Vallée des Singes (Valley of the Monkeys, the National Zoodysee Park in the Forest of Chize, Mouton Village and the Chateau des Enigmes, there is also a local goat farm that specialises in rare breeds and small tours can be organised with the owners. Kayak and canoe trips are available locally on the picturesque Boutonne and Charente rivers.
We had a mad day out at Futuroscope with our teenagers who reckoned it was better than Disneyland; it's situated near the cultural and historic town of Poitiers. Puy du Fou, the medieval theme park in the Vendee is also a really entertaining day out.
We also visited a variety of sandy beaches at the nearby isles of Ré, Oléron and Aix, and had great days at the beach resort of Royan and had a day on the beach plus a top meal and night out at the old walled seaport of La Rochelle - apparently it's the largest marina on the Atlantic coast.
The Marais Poitevin, a marshland area of great beauty, Cognac - the official cognac website boasts a labyrinth of waterways that can be explored by punt or canoe.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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