Brilliantly Restored France Villa in Aquitaine - La Ferme de la Dronne
Brilliantly Restored France Villa in Aquitaine - La Ferme de la Dronne
Imagine a place that was "brilliantly designed" and "a real gem." Sounds pretty intriguing, right? Well, you'll find that those are the exact words used to describe this vacation rental in France by previous guests who just loved it! Bordering the Dronne River, this self-catering accommodation near Chenaud has a peaceful and pleasant setting in the beautiful countryside. Incredible, stunning, and lovingly restored, this is just the place to spend the holidays in France!
2.6 hectares (6.4 acres): The chateau was built in the 17th century, with the foundation dating back to 1090. In the 18th and 19th century the chateau was enlarged with 2 more parts. All sections are attached to each other with 3-foot thick walls. The different styles of the various constructions are visible, which lends an attractive rambling aspect to the building. For example, in the 17th century the cellar, now used for wine storage, was the kitchen. The original details are still visible. The property is accessed via a quiet little road that connects two small villages. The graveled courtyard leads to the house, barn and garden. The backyard overlooks the winding Dronne River where there is a dock (4m x 7m) where guests can sit and to enjoy the riverside and the canoes passing by. The large garden is completely private; the north, south and west sides consist of typical large French walls; the river Dronne is on the east side of the property. The south of the property has a splendid view of the 12th century Roman church of Chenaud. There is garden furniture in both sunny and shaded areas of the garden. There are huge 100-year old oak and line trees, as well as apple, peach, cherry, prune and chestnut trees. New plantain trees have been planted. At the far end of the garden is a little pond.
The largest part of the chateau, an apartment named Silver Truffle, was built in the 18th century, and the second unit, La Floreale, dates back to the 17th century. Both sections are tastefully decorated with antique and exquisite fabrics, combined with pieces of modern European art. All bedrooms (except the two in La Floreale) still have the original fireplaces, but due to safety reasons they are not useable. The 19th century part is still under restoration and in use by the owners. Beside the main house is a large barn with two towers and an old well. La Vesunna is an apartment in the barn, which has been beautifully restored and decorated.
Ground Floor: One enters the entrance hall with floor tiles and wooden beams from the 17th century. From this hall one can access the living area, a bedroom, and a bathroom with a washing machine and dryer. The living area includes a large fireplace (wood is available for an extra cost), a fully equipped kitchen, dining table and comfortable seating close to the fireplace. The decor is a combination of antique and modern art. The bedroom has a king-size bed (or twin-beds, depending upon the preference), 300-year old oak floors, built-in electronic safe, and a small wash basin. The bathroom, separate from the bedroom, has a WC, shower, sink, washing machine and dryer, and radiant floor heating.
First Floor: From the hall there is access to the 300-year old staircase to the first floor. From the landing there is a wonderful view over the Dronne River. From here there are three spacious bedrooms. The first bedroom, with a safari theme, has a king-size bed, and an ensuite bathroom with a WC, circle-shaped shower, sink and floor heating. This bedroom also has a built-in electronic safe. The second bedroom, decorated in red, has twin-beds which can be made into a king-size bed upon request, and an ensuite bathroom with WC, shower and sink. There is a built-in electronic safe. The third bedroom has twin-beds which can be made into a king-size bed upon request, and an ensuite bathroom with WC, shower, sink and radiant floor heating. The bedroom has a built-in electronic safe. There is central heating and each radiator can be individually adjusted.
Ground Floor: On the ground floor is the living area, including a living/dining room, kitchen an entrance hall and guest bathroom. From the entrance hall one can access the guest bathroom with a WC and sink, as well as the washing machine and dryer, iron and ironing board (located in a closet). Also from the entrance one can access the living/dining room and the fully equipped kitchen. The living room is the oldest part of the chateau, dating back to 1626. The living/dining room decor is modern with antique elements and the room features a wood stove with the furniture surrounding the stove. From the kitchen you can access a large balcony where you can enjoy your breakfast in the morning sun. There is a built-in electronic safe.
First Floor: A staircase goes to the first floor, where there are two double bedrooms, each with king-size beds (or twin-beds, depending upon the preference). There are two ensuite bathrooms, each with a shower, sink and WC. There is central heating.
Ground Floor: This accommodation is in the old barn. From the entrance one can access the guest bathroom with WC and sink and the laundry room with a washing machine, dryer, iron and ironing board. The living area includes an open-plan, fully equipped kitchen, with door which opens onto a beautiful south-facing terrace with a view of a 12th century church. The living room is tastefully decorated. There is a CD player and a built-in electronic safe. There is radiant floor heating in the living room.
First Floor: There is a large bedroom with an electronically adjustable king-size bed and a bathroom with WC, bidet, sink and shower. There is radiant floor heating in the bathroom.
Arrive & Relax: Stocked with enough food to get your group through Saturday night and Sunday, this property allows you to show up, drop your bags, and settle in without a hassle. No searching for a grocery store after that long flight, and no worrying about Sunday store closures. You can deal with the details later... after a meal and a good nights' sleep! Arrive & Relax provisions include:
* Dinner: Tomato sauce, olive oil, and pasta
* Breakfast: Fresh fruit, eggs, and corn flakes
* Lunch: Various cheeses and local bread
* Beverages: Mineral water, orange juice, coke, milk, coffee, tea, and wine (red and white)
* Extras: sugar, salt, butter, jam, napkins, dishwasher tablets, and toilet paper
Extra Services: The following are listed as an aid for trip planning; the services and prices are approximate and cannot be guaranteed by Rentvillas. All extra services are payable locally in cash.
* Portable Baby Crib: Upon request
* Firewood: Upon request
* The property is not well suited for handicapped people.
* Because of the river, children must be watched closely.
* Because of the 3-foot wide walls, there is no need for air conditioning, as the walls keep the house quite cool in summer.
Additional amenities include: welcome basket, ipod dock, iron and board, fireplace - indoor, housekeeping available - extra cost, electric tea kettle, firewood available - extra cost, cd, cook service available - extra cost, outside area - private, near the sea, independent villa, balcony/terrace, free parking on premises, portable baby crib/play pen - upon request, outside dining, american coffee maker.TripAdvisor property ID 2027139...Read more
Left on 11/29/2008 for a stay in November 2008 | A FlipKey verified reviewerReviewed Nov 29, 2008Stayed Nov 2008
Incredible. The chateau is absolutely stunning, the owners-managers were really great, etc.
Hmm, everything! The exterior is fantastic, and each of the rooms is decorated like a luxury boutique hotel. The bathrooms are extremely modern, etc. The fireplace in the main living room is a highlight.
The power went out quite a few times while we were staying there...
We didn't do much in Chenaud, but cities like St. Emilion aren't far...
Left on 08/30/2006 for a stay in August 2006 | A FlipKey verified reviewerReviewed Aug 30, 2006Stayed Aug 2006
First, this is a huge and beautiful old house, painstakingly and lovingly restored. The design has real character, the decor is distinctive and every room exudes a kind of personal touch that only a proud owner carrying out the work for their own pleasure can achieve.
Plumbing throughout is modern, even luxurious, which I mention here because plumbing is not always the highest priority in France. The kitchen also is well appointed, fully stocked with all utensils one could reasonably need, and we liked the way the kitchen was part of the main living room which meant that whoever was cooking was not cut off from the flow of conversation. The owners were staying in the house next door which I would normally regard as a negative, but in this case they were a very pleasant and helpful couple and we enjoyed having them around. My younger daughter had her first birthday while we were there and we were really pleased that the owners baked a birthday cake for her. On a more neutral note, the grounds of the house are very large and the setting by the river very beautiful. However, little landscaping has been done as of yet so that there was no "garden" as such. I am sure the owners intend to address this.
There was no swimming pool. I would not have booked this property if I had realized this - although one was not advertised on the web site. The immediate area disappoints. To the west, there is Saint Emilion and the glories of Bordeaux but this is about an one hour drive away. To the east, there is the beauty of the Dordogne but it takes over a one hour drive to get to any of the beautiful towns and villages.
We did not find the immediate area to be of much interest.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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