Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 4015: Owner, La Ménagerie
3bed/2.5bath cottage near Chitenay, Loire Valley
February 2009, 4 days
This cottage is all by itself about three miles from the nearest town of Chitenay. It is very well suited to visit the chateaus and larger towns like Blois are easy to get to.
You have to follow Patrick's directions or you won't get there ... "turn at the fork" type of directions, but it is so peaceful and beautiful. The housekeeper's house is your nearest neighbor, about 1/2 mile down the road and nobody on any side. There are various one or two house groupings all around but this is farmland.
No walking to anything. I did jog in the mornings and I finally made it to Chitenay but that was after 20 minutes. Didn't see a soul, but did see some deer and a badger. In the village of Chitnay there was a boulangerie but not much else. However, as you come off the highway at Blois, there is an Auchan and other stores, this is about 15 minutes from the cottage.
Great cottage. So charming! Downstairs was an open living/dining/kitchen area with flagstone floors. Kitchen was good, well equipped and had some interesting extras. This area never warmed up (with the heat cranked) to my American/pajama wearing liking, but we built huge roaring fires (unlimited wood supply in the garage barn) and it was fine. Downstairs there is a bathroom, and a separate toilet, two bedrooms and a sauna and washer and dryer. We didn't use the sauna or washer/dryer. Bedrooms had great heaters and were charming and comfortable. Upstairs was another bedroom with en suite bathroom and a TV viewing loft, the heat worked great up there too. The windows are original (we never opened them, it was February) and the front door is a split door, very cute! Big huge beams in the downstairs, beautiful wood staircase.
The outside seemed nice, although in February, we didn't use it. There was a deck, a BBQ, a small pool and endless open space. The car is parked between the house and barn and my SUV had no problems doing a three point turn to get out (that is saying something).
Furniture was nice. House was clean, chairs for six at the table, couches were fine. The person who showed us around said you could sleep two more in the loft, and technically I guess you could, but I think six is the right number for this cottage.
Beds comfortable, dining table good, enough dishes, nice linens. The downstairs shower was very slow to drain, and if you didn't pay attention and close the curtain right, the upstairs shower could get the floor wet but we figured that out. The upstairs bed is on the floor, which worked out great for me, as my four year old daughter apparently falls out of bed without bed rails, but at least she didn't have far to go. But if you have back or knee problems, you might not want that bedroom. The downstairs bedrooms were a twin and a double.
Problems or Bonuses
Wireless worked very well in the house. There was a large supply of DVDs and we didn't turn on the TV, although the two teenagers with us watched movies every night up in the loft. I was surprised how isolated the cottage was, but we really liked that and in the summer, it would be amazing with windows open but quiet, the open fields everywhere.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Patrick the owner was very easy to deal with. He was prompt on emails. Phillipe shows you the house, and his English is pretty good. Bernadette, the cleaning lady lives up the road and she is very nice, but not a word of English. Cell phone numbers were provided in case we needed help.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would recommend this cottage. We loved it and it was really nice. We were not very warm in the winter, but then, I'm not warm unless the thermostat is at 75 Fahrenheit so most people would be fine. In the spring, summer or fall it would be perfect.
Things to do in this area
We visited the chateaus. Didn't eat in any restaurants, as we bought groceries at Auchan and ate in every morning and night and caught lunch on the fly. It was cold (in the low 30s) but winter in the Loire Valley is wonderful as there were no crowds but most chateaus were open.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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