Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 696: Owner, Manoir de la Riviere
2bed apartment in a manor near Omaha Beach, Normandy
June 2002, one week
This farm is in Normandy, less than 5 miles from Omaha Beach and very near the seaside town of Grandcamp-Maisy. The principle farm house is 13th century and is in wonderful condition. The owners live here with their children and operate a B&B as well as two gites. The farm is beautiful. The barns are many centuries old and made of stone. The countryside is brilliant green. The owner is a dairy farmer, and keeps his herd nearby. It's all very bucolic!
Nothing within walking distance. Breakfast could be taken in the main house if arrangements were made to do so. There are a number of nice small towns near by and Caen and Bayeux are quite close.
As stated above, the building is very old and in excellent condition. There are (I believe) two B&B rooms, which I was shown. They are huge, old and lovely. The breakfast room for the B&B is also very spacious and nicely furnished. I will describe the apartments below.
There is a large yard, no pool, and lawn chairs are made available for the apartment in the main house. The garden cottage has a more private garden.
The beds were very comfortable and the other furnishings were as well. There was one unusual aspect to the 2-bedroom apartment: there is no living room. Instead there are two dining areas, one a small table & 2 chairs near the kitchen, the other, slightly larger, seats 4. There is a TV near that table.
The garden cottage is very nicely furnished. There is a steep spiral stairway to the upstairs bedroom. We opted not to take this one because the bed and toilet are not on the same floor, but it was really cute.
The beds were very comfortable and the rooms were well furnished. Beds were provided with good sheets and duvets. The bathroom was modern. There was a washer/dryer in the 2 bedroom apartment.
The kitchen was small and utilitarian. It had everything needed, but no frills. The best thing about the kitchen was the view of the pasture, and the baby calf who "nosed" our window occasionally.
Problems or Bonuses
There were no problems. The bonus was the charming owners. Gerard & Isabelle are warm, delightful people. They speak enough English to communicate well. They put themselves out to help their guests. Each of them, at different times, said to me, "I love my home and I love my life." It shows!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I found this through Alexander Sawday's book of French rental cottages. I actually changed our date of arrival at least once (twice, I think) and then we arrived late because we misjudged how long the drive there would take us. The owners were totally gracious about all that, and very accommodating.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Absolutely! We stayed in many rentals and this was one of our favorite experiences, largely because the owners were so nice to us. Also, there is so much to do in this area, and it is very beautiful on and near this farm.
I thought I had written this review several months ago, but discovered I didn't. I'm writing it now because many Americans will be heading to Normandy for the 60th anniversary of the Landing next June. If you are among them, I really recommend you reserve a spot at Manoir de la Riviere soon.
I just posted pictures of the farm house and the garden cottage in the Slow Trips photo gallery, under France/Countryside. Do a search at that page for "Manoir de la Riviere" to see the pictures. Feel free to e-mail me at TTime42@cox.net and I'll share more photos with you.
Things to do in this area
Omaha Beach is really something that needs to be seen in order to understand how brave those men were. Visiting the American Cemetery there is a moving experience. The famous war museum at Caen is well worth at least half-a-day. We really like Bayeux, and seeing the famous Tapestry there was far more interesting than either of us expected. It's a great town just to wander around in. We spent a day or two just driving around the beautiful Normandy countryside. We drove to Mont St. Michel, stopping at Coutance along the way. Both of those places are very interesting. Rouen is an hour or 2 away. One day we took the train to Paris, which is only 2 hours away. We had a great week here and look forward to returning
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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