Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 5293: France Bound, Villa Caromb
4bed/3.5bath villa near caromb, Provence
May 2012, 1 week
Villa Caromb (called Les Malagrones by the owners) is set just outside of the town of Caromb, in the Cotes du Rhone area. It's an easy walk into town, maybe 10 minutes at the most to the grocery, butcher, etc. It is on one hectare and it set well back from the road, and well landscaped to screen it from the neighbors, so it feels very private.
Caromb is a wonderful town of about 3000. It's pretty, with staircases and fountains, but not so picturesque that tourists go there. The town has everything you need - two small groceries, a produce store, a butcher (who also sells other specialty foods), two boulangeries, a TI, a couple restaurants and some bars and cafes. The town is well located for touring the Cotes du Rhone and Mt Ventoux areas; it is about a half hour from Avignon.
We could easily walk to the shops in Caromb, but the village parking lot was easily accessible (probably a one minute drive) if we thought we'd be buying too much to carry.
The house was built between 1800 and 1870 and the owners have spent the last 20 years restoring it. It was absolutely perfect. We didn't have a single complaint. All of the bedrooms had a bathroom. We rented the house as a three bedroom; a fourth bedroom was up a staircase on the third floor and is optional. The living areas are spacious and clean, and the kitchen was wonderfully equipped. There is a dining room with a large table as well as a table in the kitchen. There is a wonderful view of Mt Ventoux and nearby vineyards from the second floor.
You can view the property directly: Villa Caromb.
The garden was lovely. There are cherry trees and the cherries were ripe in May. The landscaping is beautiful. There is a pool with a pool house and grill area. There is a dining table that seats six outside, which we used often.
Everything was very nice and comfortable.
The mattresses were comfortable, and the beds had reading lights. The showers all had doors or shower curtains, which you don't always find in France. There is one hair dryer at the house.
It was fantastically well equipped. We cooked many meals with no problems.
Problems or Bonuses
The surprise was just how nice it was. I thought an old house would have some quirks that might compromise comfort but there were not. The free WiFi worked well, and the phone included free calls to North America.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
France Bound was great to work with. I have no complaints. The on site caretakers were very nice (they spoke enough English) though quite unobtrusive. They lived in another part of the house but we rarely saw them, due to the way the yards were screened with landscape plants. The owners keep an apartment on the third floor and they were lovely (they were vacationing there at the time; they are Canadian and not retired yet, so aren't usually there). They had us up for aperitifs one night. I had been told they would be in residence, and I worried it might be odd, but it was so nice to have them around (they were a great source of local info).
We paid $2700 for the week in May, which was a very good value.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Absolutely. I cannot wait to go back again. I've visited Provence before but I have to say, I think this area (particularly the nearby Dentelles de Montmiral) is the prettiest part of the region.
Things to do in this area
Our favorite boulangerie was the one behind La Mirande restaurant.
We hired Mike from Wine Safari to guide us on a tour of the area's vineyards, and I'd highly recommend him. He picked us up at the house, we toured the area and then went to a well known winery where we sampled seven or eight wines and toured the facility. Mike is Dutch but has lived in France for decades, and this tour was one of our highlights.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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