Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 4041: Grape Rentals, La Maison des Deux Clochers
2bed/1bath house near Beaune, Burgundy
June 2006, June 2008, 3 weeks each time
La Maison de Les Clochers is located in the center of the village Magny Les Villers, across the street from an ancient village church and from a small village school. It is indeed a very nice location, and the surrounding countryside is comprised of rolling vineyards, small forests, and other lovely villages. The atmosphere is very peaceful and quiet, full of the sounds of the countryside interspersed with the voices of the school children playing and the bells of the church ringing out the hours.
It is possible to walk to the bakery in the next village, and a larger village with grocery stores is less than five minutes away by car. Several large, modern grocery supermarkets are approximately eight minutes away by car, near the city of Beaune. We loved this location because we had easy access to the wonderful restaurants and activities of Beaune, but wanted to escape to the peace of the country for sleeping and children's playtime.
This stone house was built at the time of the French Revolution, and is an excellent example of Burgundian stone architecture. We couldn't hear anyone at all from inside the house (the stone walls are several feet thick) and it stayed lovely and cool during the hotter days. We were the only rental in the vicinity as far as we could tell. The people in neighboring buildings were villagers, and were very kind - wished us "good morning" when we crossed paths.
There was a lovely private courtyard with rose bushes where the children played games and a table and chairs for al fresco meals. This courtyard was just for our use and was within easy access to the house.
The interior of the house maintained its original character but was updated with modern appliances in the kitchens and bathroom, and had lovely bedding on all the beds - extremely comfortable beds. There was a small table in the kitchen for quick meals, and also a larger antique dining room table in the great room with could easily fit us all, plus guests. IN the same room there were also a comfortable couch and chairs in the sitting area, and TV with DVD player. On both our of our visits, the rooms were spotlessly clean, well equipped, and were absolutely charming, complete with a welcoming (and delicious) bottle of wine from a very good vintner in the same village. There were lots of videos and books for the use of both children and adults, and there was also a host of insider information on local activities, restaurants and customs, which made our stay much more enjoyable.
As previously mentioned, the beds were extremely comfortable and the bedrooms were charmingly decorated with beautiful antique wardrobes and marble topped bedside tables. Unlike many places I have stayed, antiques were not crammed into the rooms, but were obviously selected carefully, for both their function and their charm.
The bathroom was very large, with a big tub and shower with excellent water pressure. There was lots of counter space and a full-sized washer and dryer underneath. When traveling with a family, this was an invaluable feature. As with all the rest of the rooms, the bathroom was spotlessly clean.
We did a great deal of both cooking and baking in the kitchen and found it very functional. It was indeed well equipped, even to having North American measuring cups and spoons so that we could use our own recipes.
Problems or Bonuses
We were surprised to find how much we enjoyed the area around Magny Les Villers for running and biking. We profoundly enjoy the good food and wine this region has to offer, but also enjoy creating an appetite through daily runs/walks/ or bikes through the vineyards and neighboring villages. We were delighted to discover that we could set off in almost any direction and be met with fantastic scenery, interesting routes, and excellent signage to ensure that we made it home again!
We were also thrilled to find out how many interesting sights there were to explore within a half-hour of the village. Blessed with a child prone to car-sickness, we were concerned that it might be difficult to see much of the area, but we easily filled three weeks of vacation time with wonderful points of interest (chateaus, caves, parks, shopping, restaurants) without spending hours in a vehicle.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owners of the gite and several other gites in the area, (Laura and Franck) do speak English and were extremely helpful to us in terms of helping us create an agenda of activities that satisfied our interests for the trip, and even helped us arrange a doctor's visit for a sick child. I would say that the house was possibly more charming than in the photos on the website (It helped that we had spectacular weather both trips). The information on the website was very reliable and everything was there that was listed. We thought the price was extremely reasonable for a house that easily accommodated our family of four, and staying in a gite where we could do much of our own cooking was both easier and made the vacation very economical. I also prefer the privacy of a gite compared to a hotel or bed and breakfast.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, I not only "would" stay here again, but hope very much that I "will" stay here again in the near future. On our next visit we may plan to spend half of the time in Laura and Franck's other gite in the city of Beaune, as I have seen beautiful photos of it and I trust the owners to do a good job making the place a wonderful place to stay.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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