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Review Of La Bastide des Chênes-Holiday Rental In Provence

Sorry to break the news to you, but sometimes you can’t have everything you want when you are choosing to rent a house in Provence (even if you go over your budget). I came close to getting what I wanted and have done this review of the Odalys property, “La Bastide des Chênes”. It’s located close to Gordes which was my goal.  I think during one’s lifetime, everyone should stay in Provence, and more specifically, the Luberon, for at least a week! 

**Contains an affiliate link. I paid for my own accommodation.**

My Holiday Rental In Provence: La Bastide des Chênes

1. My Preferred Location

As I mentioned in a previous post [The Most Beautiful Hilltop Village In Provence: Gordes], I love Gordes. I have so many fond memories of the town but more importantly, it is beautiful. I never get sick of looking at it. So, Gordes was the town that I wanted to stay in, but, it didn’t work out that way…… I didn’t stay IN the town, but I did stay near it.

This is the Chateau de Gordes in the main square.

Chateau de Gordes

NOT Inside The Town Of Gordes

Why didn’t I want to stay inside the town? Too expensive and crowded. Parking can be a nightmare as well. It is a town which never fails to attract hoards of tourists (and lots of tourist buses) to the point that many years ago the town finally had to install additional parking lots as the parking became a nightmare.  So instead of staying in the town, I wanted to find a holiday house or gite near Gordes, as I have had so many fond memories since my first visit in 1978.

Although I still find the town beautiful, I would rather stay in a quieter place that’s not so touristy. I love to walk through the alleyways and narrow pathways (there are many) but it’s not a place I would necessarily find quiet until the tourists have gone for the day. Most likely I would not find the privacy, rest and relaxation I want (and need). The search was on to find a suitable place within my budget.

2. Résidence Prestige Odalys Chain

I checked a number of hotel websites as they can advertise many houses to rent in France. I also checked Gites-en-France, but found many of the properties to be way out in the country too far from any civilization. Many were “old” in the truest sense and while I like “charming” and “authentic”, I just can’t handle really old properties (that might have bugs). I hate bugs. If I am travelling with a friend, I ask the friend to kill the bug. So, cleanliness is very important to me.

10 Tips For Renting A Home In France

La Bastide des Chênes

During my search, I came upon a company that has many vacation rentals not just in France but also in Spain, Portugal, Croatia, and Italy: Odalys. They get excellent reviews. The photos on the website looked great—-big rooms and modern but still retaining the southern France charm (sorry).

The place I rented for a week was called La Bastide des Chênes. Not perfect, but lovely enough. [Note: I paid for this rental and it was not sponsored]. It is a gated resort with townhouses and a shared pool.

My house in Provence: La Bastide des Chenes in Gordes , France

La Bastide des Chenes in Gordes , France

Pool at La Bastide des Chenes in Gordes , France

Pool at La Bastide des Chenes in Gordes , France

La Bastide des Chenes near Gordes, Provence

La Bastide des Chenes near Gordes, Provence

Likes And Dislikes About La Bastide des Chenes

Here are some of my likes and dislikes:

1. What I Liked

My house in Provence outside the town of Gordes: La Bastide des Chenes. Here is the kitchen, dining room and living room.

My house in Provence: La Bastide des Chenes. Here is the kitchen, dining room and living room.

Kitchen at La Bastide des Chenes

Kitchen at La Bastide des Chenes

Bedroom at La Bastide des Chenes

Bedroom at La Bastide des Chenes

Terrace at La Bastide des Chenes

Terrace at La Bastide

  • big free parking lot with trees to provide shade
  • no bugs
  • very clean when I arrive
  • spacious: sleeps 4 (1 bedroom and another room with a bunk bed). (There are larger units that can accommodate more guests.)
  • large kitchen with a dining area and living room
  • terrace with sun chairs, umbrella and table and chairs for dining alfresco
  • washing machine, oven, large fridge, microwave
  • air conditioning—-I was pleasantly shocked
  • lots of dishes and utensils
  • option to pick up a baguette for 1 € at the font desk each morning(or use the delivery service provided) 
  • shared swimming pool
  • good size bathroom with a tub and a heated towel rack
  • refundable damage deposit could be done via a credit card. Cash not required.
  • it had a tv with a number of French-only stations. I didn’t use it at all.
  • quiet: dead quiet. No wild parties next door. No crazy pool parties. It was the retreat I wanted.
  • although I didn’t have a cat/dog with me, my understanding is that it is pet friendly
  • the booking process was very easy as was check-in.
  • Price: 505 Euros for the week (plus a tourist tax of 18E and towel rental for 7E). Not bad for early June

2. What I Didn’t Really Like

Sign leading to La Bastide des Chenes

Sign leading to La Bastide des Chenes

  • While I admit I have NO sense of direction, finding this place made me pull out my hair (thank goodness I have a lot of it). I circled the area so many times and finally found a small sign. Yes, I used a GPS and it was not helpful. Yes, I checked the directions on the website. Not really helpful. It’s amazing I even found it. For future reference I have “bookmarked” the location into my GPS and marked it on a map.
  • No and I repeat NO supplies or condiments in the kitchen, not even salt.  No olive oil. No sugar. No coffee. No tea towel to dry dishes. Usually rentals have a few supplies to tied you over until you go shopping. Fortunately, there were 2 rolls of toilet paper and two extra kitchen garbage bags. As I assumed my rental wasn’t stocked with supplies, I stopped at a grocery store on my way. At least I had some food for the evening and for breakfast.
  • While bedsheets were included in the rental, I had to “rent” towels. This is not uncommon in rentals I have come across in France. It wasn’t that expensive (7 Euros). Bedspread and pillows were in the bedroom.
  • I did buy cleaning supplies instead of paying 65 Euros to have the unit cleaned (but I would pay if there were a number of people staying there). It did have brooms and mops so I had no problem cleaning the house before I left.
  • Bedroom was upstairs and the bathroom was downstairs. Not a big deal as there were lights everywhere.
  • Unlocking the front door the French way: took me ages to get it right (and I’m not even sure this was right):
    • lift up the handle
    • turn key
    • lower the handle all the way down
    • turn key further
    • raise handle part way up
  • The biggest reason I didn’t love the place: it wasn’t close to a town. If I wanted to pick something up I needed a car. La Bastide des Chênes was 6.5 km (by car) and 2.9 km (by foot) from Gordes. It’s located north of D2 and east off D102. The nearest town that had a decent grocery store was the Super U in Coustellet, 10 km from the rental.
  • I never did go for a walk to town because the route looked so boring.

A Car Is Needed

One thing every traveller has to realize about Provence is that truthfully, a car is needed. There are so many interesting places to visit, that I can’t imagine anyone doing a vacation in this area of France without a car. And unless you are situated right in town or very close by, you will need a car to pick up groceries. Having a town nearby that has at least a boulangerie and perhaps one restaurant or cafe would be nice.

Here are some posts about some of the sites in Provence:

Would I stay here again? Yes. Now that I know where it is.

However, I am still in search of a vacation rental in Provence, in the Luberon region,  that might be closer to town, in my price range. Maybe one day.

La Bastide des Chênes near Gordes

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Keith Van Sickle
    December 7, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    I completely agree that a car is necessary in Provence.

    One town you might consider is Joucas. It’s small and charming and has all the essential services. You can use it as a base for exploring the Luberon. We once rented a place for a week in a hameau just outside of town, but easy walking distance.

    • Reply
      Jan
      December 7, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      I’ll have to look into that. I remember Joucas. I had a lovely lunch there. The town was really sleepy though…maybe because it was the weekend.

  • Reply
    Anita
    December 8, 2017 at 3:54 am

    I had to laugh at your instructions for unlocking a door in France – sounds like a great deterrent to unwanted visitors, Jan. We rely (almost) totally on our GPS here in Portugal when going to new places and I’m often confused when it announces we’ve “reached our destination” and we’re still at a loss to figure out where we are. It’s hard to describe to someone from North America how complicated finding an address can be in Europe. But oh, how fun it is when you finally arrive!

    • Reply
      Jan
      December 8, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      So true! Getting lost can actually be very enlightening. You can (sometimes) discover new sites and places.

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