Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Review 3116: Owner, Goldilocks Cottage (#75481)
2bed/1bath cottage just outside Stowe, Vermont
August 2007, One week
The cottage is located about one mile outside of Stowe, uphill on Stowe Hollow Road. You could walk into town, though we didn’t try it because between the hiking and biking we did, we didn’t feel like we needed to add on that last uphill on the way home. Plus, the road is a country road with minimal shoulder, so you should be aware of that.
In Stowe, within a two to ten minute drive are dozens of restaurants, gourmet stores, bagel places, pizza places, mercantile, a supermarket (Shaws) and pretty much anything else you could need or want. Further a field (maybe 15 minutes) were the best cider donuts ever at Cold Hollow Cider mill, Ben and Jerry’s outlet (though we never visited) and tons of other tourist attractions.
You enter the house, through a “mudroom” area with laundry facility to your right (washer, dryer and laundry soap provided) and through another door into the open living arrangement. To your left is a living room, dining area and kitchen, straight ahead, a bathroom, and to your right, the master bedroom, which also has a seating area. From the living room, there’s a ladder that goes up, leading to a loft with another bed (which can fit two).
As far as décor, it’s definitely homey, log cabin-like, charming, I guess would be all the words that come to mind.
The cottage has two decks, one off the kitchen and one off the master bedroom. Both had a table with some chairs, the one off the kitchen also had a grill.
We preferred sitting on the one off the master bedroom as it was further from the road. Which is something to mention, the cottage is closer to the road than we had expected but after spending a week in the area, I’m thinking, in winter (i.e., with snow), you probably want your house as close to the road as possible. It’s not high traffic, so it wasn’t an issue.
On the other side of the cottage, it backs up to woods.
The furnishings were comfortable and plentiful, with chairs and couches for sitting, a large television in the living room as well as a Bose radio and DVD player. There was a small “kitchen” table for two and a larger dining table that you could probably fit six at comfortably.
We found the cottage to be clean and neat upon arrival.
There was one bathroom with a shower, sink and toilette, big enough for the two of us and we probably wouldn’t have had a problem sharing with our kids (plenty of towels and washcloths). I’m not sure I’d want to have six people sharing the bathroom though. The bathroom was definitely clean, and the shower had good water pressure.
I loved the bedroom – totally comfy and having the separate seating area was nice. The bedroom also has a tiny television mounted on the wall near the ceiling for late night watching in bed. Bedside lights provide adequate lighting for reading but I wouldn’t want to use it for more than twenty minutes or so. There was a large closet and dresser for unpacking all of our clothes, as well as a hamper for the dirty ones.
Oh and I totally forgot about the sheets and blankets – I swear that was probably one of, if not, the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in!
We didn’t use the loft at all since there were just two of us, but husband had a conference call he took up there for the cell reception and said the bed was comfy.
We cooked several meals in the kitchen and found just about everything I could want. Though I have to say (and I’ve seen this with many rentals), I would love a good six or eight quart pot for cooking pasta but other than that (and there was what seemed like a four or five quart that we used), it was not lacking. Even the knives worked well which is sometimes an issue. The kitchen had a full size fridge, dishwasher, coffee pot, oven, four-burner stove, microwave, toaster, etc. There were wine glasses, plates, water glasses, and something you don’t often find in a rental, champagne glasses! It also contained some spices, oil, and vinegar from previous tenants I guess, which is also a nicety.
Problems or Bonuses
The owner has added Internet access (but not wireless – so you work in the bedroom), which was great for updating my blog, and checking biking, hiking routes, and for the workaholic husband to check in with work.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We rented through VRBO and dealing with the owner, Jill, was a pleasure. I was able to pay by check and left the security deposit (which was returned quickly), using PayPal.
We were arriving late, so the key was left for us at a predetermined location, which worked out fine.
On our second night, we lost power (along with a chunk of the street), and the representative, AJ, arrived to keep an eye on things, and stayed with us until the power company got things restored (probably about an hour). Kudos to the power company, by the way, they were on the scene before we could even figure out who to call.
Later in the week, we had a problem with my car (needed new tires), and AJ to the rescue again, recommended a garage in the next town for us to visit – good experience that actually cost me less than if I had the work done at home.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would definitely recommend this cottage again. As a matter of fact, we’re hoping to book it again for next summer, as soon as our dates get finalized.
Things to do in this area
We visited the area during what some might consider the “off season” the in seasons being fall foliage, and skiing but we didn’t lack for things to do – which is why we’re returning.
During our week there, we did four hikes (well, two hikes, two nice walks through the woods), and a couple of long bike rides (42 and 50 – oh and don’t believe anyone, those aren’t rolling hills in Vermont – they’re mountains), not to mention some fun shopping, tasting local foods, and dining in some pretty decent restaurants.
Shoot, just writing all this, makes me want to return now!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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