Second visit and have booked for next year , the owners must be in designers ,the house is amazing , the best bits are the pool and grounds .Walking distance to the village , however you pass the vineyards where we always stop and buy great wine , we are planning to go in spring to see the lavender fields which are everywhere .A big thank you to the owners for this gem in the luberon william
If you have read any of my other reviews, you'll know that I hate Paris; my love of Provence is just about in inverse proportion to my dislike of Paris. What's not to like? Rolling countryside, glorious summers, quiet roads, quaint market towns, good food & wine, friendly and interesting locals.
So, it's just a question of finding a place to hang your hat whilst exploring this lovely region.
We flew into Marseille from Gatwick to collect a pre-ordered hire car: it was chaos! Why is collecting a car so difficult? Too few desks, insufficient staff, too much paperwork and, of course, dont forget the extras! I cannot think of another area of retail that is so badly organised. It was a rotten start to our holiday - it took us over an hour to get our car; but then we were on our way, driving passed picture perfect views, for around an hour. A word of caution - make sure you have good directions; French post codes cover a larger area than those in the UK and our SatNav announced that 'you have reached your destination' when we were still 2 miles away. But, a bit of old fashioned map reading and a study of the supplied directions soon took us off the main road, along a quiet avenue through some imposing gates to our holiday home. The property (I'm not an expert on this type of thing) looked like a renovated farm house to me stands on it's own land (the website said a Hectare of land - whatever that is) and is far away from the world. It has it's own, heated, swimming pool (with a shallow end: great for kids, and my non-too-confident wife). The property itself is spacious and well maintained. I struggled for a little while to work out what I liked most about it; it has all the facilities you could possible need (too many to list: see the website) but there was something more: simply, it felt like a home. All the equipment is first class, there is nothing cheap and nasty, but I am sure that the owners must live there sometimes; as that is what it felt like - a home (as opposed to a holiday rental). On arrival we were greeted by the manager who spent time showing us around, explaining things in the house - and also suggesting trips around the region. He wasn't English, but his use of English was very good and all our questions were answered. It really was easy to trundle through the house to the swimming pool to splash around or laze at the side of it, with a backdrop of just the insects buzzing gently (someone told me what they were called; I forget) which is just as much a part of Provence as the lavender fields - but try not to. You must get up and out; there is so much to see and enjoy. Boringly, we compromised and had one day 'in' followed by one day ''out', this seemed to work.
Little more to say; a thoroughly relaxing stay in a totally beautiful area. Oh yes - free Wi-Fi: hurray! I don't know why I should have to mention this but still too many places offer no wi-fi or charge for it; a pox on them and their families. To people like me, who need to keep in touch with their business back home, wi-fi is as essential as a bathroom. Makes all the difference.
Two further suggestions: firstly, a car is essential, painful to hire, but totally essential. Second, when wandering around the towns and villages check the prices of food and drink before sitting down; Provence is not cheap, but the difference between this cafe and the one two streets away can be dramatic, with no discernible loss in quality.
It's traditional, in my reviews, to have one gripe: on arrival, I was a touch disappointed that the cupboard was bare - not even coffee. I mentioned it to the manager, who passed my comments onto the owner who responded by saying that next year all guests would get a welcoming hamper featuring tea and coffee and biscuits etc to set them on their way. This had been agreed upon before my suggestion (well, they would say that wouldn't they: come-on, guys, give a chap credit for a good suggestion!).
Anyway, can we come back next year? Please.
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