Chez Ellen is nestled in the hillside of the perched village of Ansouis, which is rated one of the loveliest villages in France. In the middle ages, Ansouis held control of the pass between Apt and Aix en Provence. The Chateau d'Ansouis, which sits at the top of the village, was built around 961 and still retains its watchtower, iron entrance gate, and gardens. It is a short walk (5 minutes)from the house through the narrow maze of streets and the chateau is open for tours.
Take a morning stroll to our village boulangerie for a fresh baguette, or chocolate croissant, or to the new grocery for last minute items. Also located within a 5 minute walk are the Musee Extraordinaire, visitor's center, Bar des Sports (sports bar), the Tabac (gift shop & misc.,) our highly rated restaurants, and the Church of St. Martin.
In need of some exercise? Enjoy a hike through the vineyards and around the country homes at the base of the village. Take our bikes out for an afternoon ride. Go for a hike or swim at Etang de la Bonde (great spot for a picnic) or visit the nearby public swimming pool,there are 4 pools to choose from.
Day trips can include: the beach at Cassis (the Cote d' Azur or St. Tropez), Roussillon, the Camarque, Arles, Gordes, Marseille, Cannes, the Pont du Gard.... Take in the fresh air market offered in Ansouis (at the bottom of our street) or a nearby village almost everyday.
After your exciting day, return to Chez Ellen to relax. The first floor is designed for relaxing and entertaining. The fully stocked kitchen opens to the dining room where you will find beautiful provencal table linens. The kitchen cabinet doors were rescued from a ruined chateau as were all the house's interior doors. The living room has a candlelit fireplace along with media equipment, a large selection of DVDs and video tapes (children and adults in english and french,) wireless internet, puzzles, cards, games, and a small toybox. There is also a convertible sofa bed in the livingroom. In the sitting area, you can relax and read a book while sipping an espresso or a glass of wine while taking in the beautiful view of the Luberon through the large picture window.
Provence sunsets can be viewed from the terrace and the second floor balcony. Enjoy a beautiful summer breeze while grilling on the terrace and dining al fresco.
The two master bedrooms (located on the second level) have cozy queen-sized beds made with luxury linens. The larger of the two masters has an adjustable bed. Both bedrooms have writing desks perfect for penning postcards and each room has access to the spacious balcony where you can watch the sunrise. Along the second floor hallway is the library wall filled with an abundant collection of fiction, non-fiction, and France tour books.
We loved it! It was one of those special and magical places. In fact, it set the standard so high that our next place couldn't begin to live up to Ansouis. We loved our week at Chez Ellen and Ansouis, many happy pictures and memories. We were there 1 week and would definitely recommend it. It was our 2nd trip to Provence. Liked the 'charm', small village feel, and its proximity to other neat areas: Les Baux, other Luberon villages, market at Lourmarin.....
i have to admit as a likely returnee to chez ellen that i have a conflict of interest in heaping effusive praise on this property, but it is special and i feel obligated to share that information with other travelers. The view of the valley and the mountains in the VRBO photo literally does not do justice to the actual view from both the living room and a bedroom balcony. The house itself feels as if it's been carved into the side of a hill and is spacious enough to accommodate comfortably two couples for as long as they want to explore the luberon. The kitchen is well enough equipped to make most meals altho in this oasis of great little restaurants, you're unlikely to cook anything of significance in-house. Ansouis is a small hilltop town w/ as midieval a feel as you're likely to encounter absent access to a working time machine.
My husband, sister and brother-in-law spent an unforgettable week in Ansouis at the beautiful, charming Chez Ellen. The house was just what we imagined a home in Provence to look like. It has modern convinces but still retained it's village charm, complete with purple shutters and stone floors. The kitchen was very well equiped and functional and we cooked delicious meals from our buys at local farmer's markets. All meals were eaten on the lovely terrace with the most amazing view of the mountains and vineyards. We watched the sunset here every night and it was always different. Thanks to the Provosts for sharing their home and also giving us so much valuable information about what to see and where to eat. We hope to be back!
Have just returned from a fabulous week at Chez Ellen. The village is very tiny but incredibly picturesque. The house is absolutely charming & was equipped with everything we needed. Frankly the photos of the view from the terrace don't do it justice! Sipping rose as we watched the sunset was a favourite activity. We would not hesitate to recommend it.
Our family of four could not have asked for a better place and location for a first time experience in Provence. Foster & Karen provided us with very helpful information, which made our trip that much easier. And the house had all that we needed, including convenient parking. Ansouis is a quaint provencal town, quiet and peaceful. It is a great location as a home base, from which to take day trips to surrounding towns throughout Provence. We would always look forward to coming home to Chez Ellen, especially to unwind on the terrace, whether it was to have a meal following a trip to the market or to have a glass of wine under the stars. We only wish our stay could have been longer. We hope to be back again in the near future!
My family of 6 spent 4 weeks at Chez Ellen. This house was pretty much perfect for our needs. A typical day was getting up around 9, going to the Boulangerie (about a 2 minute walk from the house) for terrific croissants and pain chocolate. We would have breakfast on the terrace then explore the markets in the various towns around Ansouis or go to a city like Arles, Aix, Cassis or Marseille. Every place was within 90 minutes and every drive was beautiful in its own way with fields of grapes, sunflowers or lavender. We typically bought food for dinner at the markets, ate lunch then went back to Chez Ellen.
In the evening, we would fix dinner and sit out on the terrace. We had spectacular sunsets around 9 as we were eating. The summer weather which was warm during the day cooled off nicely in the evening and it was pretty much the perfect experience to have family and friends together on the terrace, watching the sun set and eating the fresh local food.
We did a lot of cooking and the house had pretty much every thing we needed. When traveling I've some times experienced stress due to not feeling comfortable where I was staying but Chez Ellen was like home away from home. We plan to go back!
We spent 8 days in Ansouis at Chez Ellen and had a great time. This was our first trip to Provence after traveling to Italy many times and Paris once before, and we thought it Provence rivaled Italy. Not to mention, Ansouis was a perfectly situated town in the center of Provence. Ansouis is a great launching point to small, magical mountain towns and larger, historical cities. The house itself is a perfect The owners are very knowledgable about the area and very helpful. Additionally, they have an English speaking caretaker of sorts, Ivan, who is Johnny on the spot. Ansouis is a very small town w/ one 5 star restaurant and one bar, so if you're looking for a town that you can spend all day in or evenings, look somewhere else. However, the town is magical and a variety of restaurants and vineyards are within 10 to 15 minutes. The house is very comfortable, charming, has tons of character and has amazing views. My wife, 16 and 14 year old daughters all felt equally same about the house and the town and we can't wait to go back.