Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 5152: Sainte-Agnès Cottages, Stable Cottage
1bed/1bath cottage in Sainte Agnès, Provence
June 2011, 4 nights
My husband and I rented the Stable Cottage in Sainte Agnès for four nights in June 2011. We rented directly from the owner Anita, who now has three rentals in the village, all of which are listed on this website.
We were looking for a relaxing and unique place to stay for a short break between two busy periods of our summer trip to Europe. We had stayed in Menton before and liked the area, but we didn't want to be right on the sea in a busy town. We also wanted something more economical than what we could find on the coast. I was delighted to discover Stable Cottage and also the village of Sainte Agnès.
Sainte Agnès is one of the designated "most beautiful villages" in France and also the highest coastal village in Europe at 2460 feet. The village is only a 15 minute drive from Menton, but the road is small, twisty and quite precarious. (Despite this, small buses do make the trip a few times a day.) Once you're there, you're away from it all. The village is pedestrian-only, with parking at either end and in a lot near the top. The narrow medieval streets are cobblestone and very picturesque. There are two good restaurants on the main street and Le Righi on the point, with an incredible panoramic view over the sea and to Italy. (Le Righi was open only for lunch when we were there in June.) For groceries, there is a small alimentation near the church which seems to sell a little of everything, including bread most mornings. For major shopping, we stopped at the Intermarche at the bottom of the mountain road in Menton.
The cottage has two levels. On the top level, off a very small stone passageway, is a great room with a living area, dining area and kitchen. The living room sofa makes into a bed. (Our daughter arrived during our stay and slept there for our last night.) There are also two easy chairs. The dining room seated four, with great views out over the mountains from the large window. The kitchen was extremely well equipped with everything needed to prepare and serve meals. The kitchen area also included a clothes washing machine. The bathroom, with shower, was on the upper level as well.
The lower level looked out on the terrace and included a very large bedroom with a comfortable queen bed, sofa, chest of drawers, and clothes cupboard.
The house includes lots of books (good ones) upstairs and in the bedroom. There were also lots of maps, guidebooks, and tourist info. There was a television we didn't use and WiFI that we did use. We also didn't really use the terrace for much besides hanging our wet clothes. But it did seem a pleasant place.
I coordinated with Anita by e-mail to make arrangements and thought the rate of €80 a night was extremely reasonable. We paid a small additional fee for our daughter for the one night. I paid an initial deposit and the balance before arrival and took a bit of a risk to just send this in euros through the mail. Since the amounts were relatively small, the cost of doing a wire transfer or international cheque didn't make sense. My cash got there just fine. Anita was away during our stay, but her friend took good care of us, took a cash security deposit and returned it to us when we left.
This is a simple but comfortable place in a beautiful and unique setting. It definitely gave us the break we needed and we would have been happy here for a full week. One day we stayed "up" in Sainte Agnès, but our other full days we made day trips to Menton/Eze/Monaco and then to Nice (and the Nice airport to get our daughter -- about an hour's drive). This would be a wonderful base for hiking and we saw horse trekking from the base of the village. There are also many other small perched villages that we would have enjoyed exploring.
Note: This would be a difficult rental for anyone with mobility problems. In addition to the steps between the two levels, you have to park a few minutes away and walk in via steps or a narrow path. Don't bring a lot of luggage either!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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