Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 4176: Owner, Chez Westfield (#30388)
5bed/4.5bath house in Ansouis, Provence
June 6-20, 2009, 2 weeks
The house was a focal point in the centre of the small village of Ansouis in the eastern part of the Luberon. It is only a very few steps from the boulangerie, the tabac, the Bar des Sports, a Vidal mini-market and a minute walk to a very good local restaurant, La Closerie.
See above - we were steps from several local amenities; a few minutes drive to Cucuron and Lourmarin, two larger and attractive villages and about half an hour into Aix. The TGV in Avignon was just over an hour away and many villages of the Luberon - e.g. Bonnieux, Gordes, Roussillon, Lacoste were within a very reasonable driving distance. On different evenings we visited restaurants in Bonnieux, Lourmarin and Cucuron.
According to the owner the "home is an official historic monument. All aspects of its appearance are under the watchful eye of our Mairie. After the French revolution, Ansouis remained 'loyal' to the royals. Our home was the local meeting place and headquarters for those in favor of the new Republique." It has been renovated to a very high standard. The house is on three levels. The ground level has large kitchen, very large living/dining room area, small dining room off the kitchen, powder room and outside patio leading to the garage. There are large double-doors opening to the street off the living room and a single door off the kitchen. The second floor (or first floor in France) has three bedrooms, each with en suite bath and separate toilet. There is also a large sitting/living room area with a TV and computer. The two bedrooms on the third floor share a separate shower and toilet. The top floor also features an outside terrace, nicely furnished and popular in the mornings for coffee and evenings for drinks of a different nature.
There is also a garage included in the structure of the building, but our mini-van was too large because the wide doors swung inward. Most often we parked a few steps away in the square opposite the Mairie or sometimes on the street leading down the hill. I was mildly concerned about parking at first, but everything worked out OK.
There were two "outside" areas - both within the structure of the house. There was a small downstairs patio off the living room. It was enclosed by walls extending to the third floor. We never used it - suspect it is used mostly as a walk-through to the garage. There was a terrace off the third floor - well-used in the mornings and early evenings.
The property has been renovated to a high standard and is very well-maintained.
The beds/bedrooms were all fine. One bedroom had a king-sized bed, three had queen-sized beds and one had two singles. One bedroom on the top floor did not include a chest of drawers. There were four bathrooms and five separate toilets - three of each were en suite with the bedrooms on the second floor.
The kitchen was excellent - large and very well-equipped. Every appliance or gadget we needed was close at hand. All the drawers were well-labeled. It would be difficult to fault the kitchen in any way.
Problems or Bonuses
This was by far the best rental we have experienced in France. There was an Internet computer available for our use. Skype was available on the computer - a great feature for us as made numerous phone calls to keep in contact with five families back in Canada, as well as many calls to locations within the south of France. No need for a cell phone.
There were air conditioners in each bedroom.
Also, while it may seem very minor, we were very impressed by the reading material available in several locations throughout the house. It was like a personal library.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked the rental over a year in advance. We dealt directly with the owner before we arrived. We met with the on site person (who lives only a few steps across the street) for a few minutes on arrival and very briefly before we left. The owner checked in by phone and email a few times while we were there - a nice touch. We were very impressed by the quality of the rental. We paid $2750/week in June 2009. All our communications and interactions were very positive. No problems.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
This was an excellent rental for our group. The quality, size, furnishings, location and overall impressions exceeded our expectations.
There are only two possible qualifications in our recommendation.
1. There are 19 steps to each of the top two floors. It might be an issue for people of limited mobility, since there is no bedroom on the ground floor.
2. There were late-night parties nearby on at least four nights of our two-week stay. The noise was most noticeable on the top floor. The air-conditioners covered most of the noise. Of course, I don't know how common these parties are at other times, but it was an issue when we were there and is apparently of concern to at least some of the local people.
Things to do in this area
Well, we were in the Luberon, a very popular area of the south of France. We were easily able to keep busy every day. This was our third time in the Luberon in five years. Three new discoveries this time were the very good Friday market in Lourmarin, the distinctively local Tuesday market in La Tour d'Aigles and our new favourite restaurant in the area - Restaurant de l'Horloge in Cucuron - excellent!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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