Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 4788: Owner, Chateau Maison
sleeps 18, St Thibery, Languedoc-Roussillon
August 2007, one week
The villa was in the sleepy little village of St Thibery. It was pretty for a short evening stroll, but very small and almost ghostly in atmosphere. The villa was on one of the main streets on the outskirts of the village.
There were practically no nearby amenities. There was a bakery and a post office in the village. We did not come across any restaurants or hotels that were open. There were one or two that were boarded up and for sale. The nearest grocery store was a Lidl at a few miles drive away. There were a few restaurants at driving distance, but nothing that we could find within walking distance.
The villa was quite large with room to sleep 18 (I think nine bedrooms). However, the condition of the villa was very run down.
The garden and pool area was definitely the highlight of this villa. It was private and quiet. However, there were only two sun loungers to share between the 13 of us. The villa advertises itself as accommodating 18. We did not see the pool being cleaned during our one week stay. Also, the pool did not have any security (i.e., fenced off or alarmed), which I understand is a requirement of French law, so we had to be extra vigilant of the three young children in our group.
The living room looked pleasant in the advertising, if a little old-fashioned. However, when we arrived we found the furniture to be old and worn. The sofas in the living room all sagged in the middle due to missing slats. Some of the kitchen chairs were broken. During our stay we glued together a broken curtain rail. The kitchen looked clean when we first arrived, but the oven had not been cleaned inside.
The bedrooms were functional in decoration. There was one nice one, which was shown in the advertising, but the remaining eight were passable. The mattresses on the beds were old and worn and didn't look very clean. Fortunately we had our linen with us to cover them. Some of the beds were old camp beds which sagged in the middle. In the main bathroom there was a note on the shower that it shouldn't be used, so most of our party of 13 used the en suite shower in my parents' room - one of only two working showers, the other one being up three flights of stairs. The toilet seat was broken in the downstairs toilet.
The kitchen didn't really have enough pots and pans, so we barbecued most nights. The oven had not been cleaned so were not inclined to use it. There was no dishwasher, which was most inconvenient for a party of 13. The indoor dining table would not have accommodated all our party. Fortunately the weather was nice most nights so we ate outside. It did rain one night so we started to pull the rain cover over the dining area, only to find it was broken in one place and looked like it was about to fall on top of us, so we wound it back in and didn't use it.
Problems or Bonuses
We did enjoy our stay here, more because the garden area was quiet and we had enough room outside for the 13 of us. However, we were disappointed overall in the quality and cleanliness of the accommodation.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We found this villa online and then dealt directly with the owner. She spoke adequate English. We paid £1,900 for the week, plus £1,900 deposit. She also asked for extra for electricity, gas and taxes. We felt that the advertising did not accurately reflect the quality of the accommodation.
Note from SlowTrav: The villa was originally listed with holiday-rentals.co.uk but has since been removed. In addition to the website, registered to the owner above, it can also be found at Properties in France, also registered to the owner.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We could not recommend this villa to others, because it is too isolated from restaurants, beaches or any other amenities. Also, the villa itself was very rundown. In addition, when we arrived home, the owner refused to return our £1,900 deposit. We have taken her to court, won our case and obtained a county court judgment against her, but three years on were are still awaiting payment.
Things to do in this area
We visited the nearby bustling little town of Pezenas, which was one of the highlights of our stay. We only managed to get to the beach once because it took us 45 minutes, although it had been advertised as five minutes from the beach.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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