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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Beautifully Converted Farmhouse, Huge Garden And Children's Play Areas

Bedrooms 6
Half Baths1
Space 3,229 sq. ft.
Property type farmhouse
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

6+ bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, huge garden and terrace, tranquil setting

This large, recently renovated farmhouse is set in a tranquil hamlet surrounded by countryside, and is situated at the heart of the hamlet behind the old lavoir, where the women of the community used to come to wash their clothes. The only noise you are likely to encounter will be from the passing tractors and cows and at night you can sit on the beautiful terrace and enjoy star-gazing undisturbed by any competing light. The terrace benefits from outdoor dining and lounging furniture and lighting, and both a gas and charcoal barbecue. In the daytime keep a lookout for the buzzards and deer that appear both in the garden and in the surrounding fields. The house, formerly two farmhouses and two barns, has been renovated to a high standard with original features throughout but all modern conveniences such as underfloor heating and quality fittings in the spacious and well-equipped kitchen and four bathrooms and downstairs toilet. The kitchen has a double-oven and grill, plate-warming oven, dish-washer, food-mixer, Raclette machine, full cooking and baking equipment and a large dining table and chairs, plus a high chair. In the separate utility room there is a washing machine and dryer plus iron/ironing board. The house has five bedrooms (three doubles, one quadruple (double bed and two single beds, one more in the nature of a child's bed) and one room (through which access to two of the double rooms is necessary) with bunk beds, a single folding bed plus an extra single mattress (so it is possible to rearrange who sleeps where if desired, as you can move the folding bed/mattress elsewhere). There are in addition two rooms on the ground floor that can be used as bedrooms, each with a double sofa bed, one of which is located in the TV room, which has a television and a DVD player. There is in addition a playroom, with desks and a children's table and chairs, with lots of toys, puzzles and games. The house has one fixed cot and one travel cot for guests' use. The three upstairs double bedrooms are all en suite, with bathroom 1 benefiting from a large corner bath, separate shower and two sinks. Both of the other en suite bathrooms have a toilet, sink and bath with integrated shower, and heated towel rails. In the very large sitting room, which is open to the beamed roof above and with a galleried landing around, is plenty of space for relaxing and, in the colder months, enjoying the lovely open log fire. In the mezzanine gallery above, is an additional relaxing area with a DVD/video player. The very large garden and terrace are perfect for enjoying a barbecue and relaxing in total calm, or for watching the children playing on the trampoline or on the climbing frame/swingset. The house is in a lovely location for gentle or longer, more challenging, bike rides (we have some bikes available for borrowing though they are quite basic and old, so keen cyclists should consider bringing their own), for trips into the wine country of Pouilly and Sancerre or simply for relaxing! Day trips to Vezelay and into the Morvan forest are also highly recommended for nature and food lovers alike!

Vikki Luijkx
Member since: 2012
Premier Partner

This HomeAway partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks: english, french, dutch
Response time:
Within 2 days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
September 16, 2018

About Vikki Luijkx

We are a Dutch/English couple, who lived for a long time in Paris, France. When we started a family we decided to buy and renovate a house in the country so that our children would have somewhere to run around outside, as we lived in an apartment. That renovation idea turned into a labour of love when we stumbled across a completely rundown farmhouse with attached barn(s) that were in the process of being reclaimed by nature and at the time were totally uninhabitable. 7 years later the buildings have become one, and now boast the luxuries of a roof, windows and electricity to name a few that weren't there when we first fell in love with it! And our two children are now old enough to run around and truly appreciate the space and freedom that the spacious house and huge garden (or field, rather) provide!

Vikki Luijkx purchased this farmhouse in 2005

Why Vikki Luijkx chose Saint-Malo-en-Donziois

We chose to look for a property in this region as it was only 2 hours drive from Paris, so easy to access, but all the same completely 'away from it all' and truly within unspoilt French countryside. We then fell in love with this house as it has such great space and character, and we loved the tiny hamlet within which it lies and the lovely neighbours we met there - unobtrusive but super-friendly and helpful.

What makes this farmhouse unique

We wanted to make this a home-away-from-home for our family, and worked on the basis that it should be at least as luxurious as our main home, else we wouldn't use it as much as it deserved. It's in a quiet non-touristy area so you make your own entertainment - hence we have our own trampoline, sandpit, swing/slide-set and climbing frame for the children, plus DVD and TV for rainy days. We also love just lounging on the enormous terrace staring up at the starry sky which is unaffected by light pollution, whilst drinking the local wines and eating the local produce, or relaxing indoors in front of a roaring log fire in the open-to-the-rafters living room.

Guestbook comments from the owner

My husband and I went with our two children aged 10 and 7. The house is spacious and equipped with all creature comforts, including a superb dining kitchen, giving onto the private patio and field to the rear. Situated in a tiny hamlet, this really was a 'get away from it all' holiday. The nearest village for fresh bread and supplies is less than 5 mins by car, which is essential, but we found the area perfect for safe cycling with the children (we used the bicycles at the property), paid several visits to the cheap and lovely outdoor pool at Donzy, and made various trips out including canoeing and a day trip to Sancerre, to stock up for the return trip home. A lovely house to relax in, and a great holiday.
Aug 2011
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Saint-Malo-en-Donziois Farmhouse Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • farmhouse (detached)
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 3229 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: Flexible
  • /
  • Check-out: Flexible
  • Max. occupancy: 14
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets considered
  • Non smoking only ...
  • No noise outside that could carry after 10pm..
  • All bins to be emptied into outside dustbins, and all recycling taken by guests to recycling stations before leaving
  • Used bed linen and towels to be removed and left in utility room on departure
Location Type:
  • Rural
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Fireplace
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
  • 4 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 4 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Downstairs toilet - toilet
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , shower , Large corner bath, separate shower, double sink
  • 6 Bedrooms, Sleeps 14
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 3 - 1 queen , 1 baby crib
    Bedroom 4 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 5 - 2 twin/ single , 1 sleep sofa /futon , Bunkbeds plus folding bed, plus one additional mattress
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , 2 twin/ single
    Bedroom 6 - 1 sleep sofa /futon , 2 person sofa bed in TV room
    Bedroom 7 - 1 sleep sofa /futon , Dble sofabed, ground floor bedroom - WC (no bath) downstairs
  • The house sleeps 12 in terms of 'fixed bed frames' plus there are: 1) a single mattress that can be placed if and where desired in the house (there are plenty of other rooms that could be used for sleeping, albeit not designated as bedrooms), 2) double sofabed in downstairs bedroom and 3) double sofa bed in downstairs TV room.You have to walk through bedroom 5 to access bedrooms 3 and 4 hence this room works best for families/groups that know each other. The folding bed in bedroom 5 can easily be moved to another room if desired, and there is space in this bedroom for the single mattress to be placed on the floor if desired. The fixed cot can be moved between bedrooms 3, 4 and 5; there is also a travel cot in the house which can be placed where desired.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Foosball
  • Games
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo ...
  • Television
  • Toys ...
  • Video Games ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Outdoor Grill
  • 5 bicycles
  • 12 garden chairs
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • walking
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(34 traveler reviews)

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Beautifully Converted Farmhouse, Huge Garden And Children's Play Areas
average rating of 4.852941 based on 39 reviews

Beautiful barn conversion in a peaceful location

  • 5 of 5

We were after a large property for 16 (8 adults and 8 children). This property was absolutely ideal with room to spare. Located in a lovely part of France well away from everything in a small hamlet yet not too far from shops and amenities. The house is well equipped and ideal for young children with their own play room equipped with masses of toys and games. Huge well equipped kitchen with large fridge and freezer. We were lucky with the weather and able to make full use of the massive patio for evening meals every night; though had we needed to be inside there was a large lounge to relax in.

The owner was most helpful and responded quickly in answering any queries and questions throughout.

  • Submitted: Aug 27, 2018
  • Stayed: August 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Excellent property - has everything

  • 5 of 5

We stayed for a week, extended family holiday which included 6 adults & 4 children ages 10, 7, 4 & 18months. The house was excellent. All rooms were clean, facilities were great & very modern. Owners have considered everything which meant the kids had plenty to keep them busy, both inside & out, while us adults could relax in the very quiet garden. We took a paddling pool so the kids had somewhere to splash about - a good idea as we had temperatures over 35 degrees for most of the week! The kitchen was great - very large so we could all eat together round the table & it had everything you'll need & more. One of the best parts of the holiday was star gazing at night (no light pollution so this was unbeliverable) with the fire pit going & hot chocolate. We all came home very relaxed indeed!!!

There are some excellent areas to explore fairly close by if you want to get out & the lake nearby keep us busy one afternoon - a nice change to a swim in the sea.

An excellent holiday, in an excellent house - would not hesitate recommending this house to anyone.

  • Submitted: Sep 21, 2016
  • Stayed: August 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you very much for your lovely words - it always make us extremely happy when someone enjoys our house and the area as much as we do (and yes stargazing is one of our own favourite evening activities there too!!)
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Super weekend

  • 5 of 5

Il n'y a pas mieux que cet endroit! Nous avons passe un super weekend dans ce gite tres accueillant et chaleureux. Les chambres tres grandes, les 5 salles de bains, les salles de jeux pour les enfants, sont parfaits pour un sejour a n'importe quel moment de l'annee! Le coin est tellement sympa qu'on aurait aime rester beaucoup plus qu'un weekend!

Super rapport qualite/prix!

Je recommande vivement cette location.

Merci beaucoup aux proprietaires!

  • Submitted: Sep 22, 2015
  • Stayed: September 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Nous sommes tres heureux que vous avez passe un agreable sejour a L'Autre Vie et nous vous remercions pour vos gentilles remarques !
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Great house!

  • 4 of 5

The house is very well equipped, large and very suitable for groups with children. The garden is huge and the kids had the time of their lives on the trampoline, on the swing, on their bikes and in the playroom.

Too bad you need the car for everything, but the fact that it's very remote also has its charme.

Vezelay, Sancerre, Morvan, Cosne are worth a visit!

Would definitely come again.

  • Submitted: Aug 28, 2015
  • Stayed: July 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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Beautifully house, Huge Garden

  • 5 of 5

Vikki has been available for every question I had about the house or the things to do in the area. Her answers came promptly and she let us free on the incoming hour. I appreciate!!

The house is beautiful, very well designed, clean, and the garden is HUGE.

It's the perfect house for a friends weekend with children.

I warmly recommend it!!!!

  • Submitted: Jun 24, 2015
  • Stayed: June 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for your kind words - It's always rewarding to share our beloved house with people like yourselves who appreciate it in the same way we do!
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A fabulous home in the French countryside

  • 5 of 5

Had a wonderful, relaxing stay at this lovely farmhouse. The house is tastefully decorated with clean, modern bathrooms and a large well-equipped kitchen. It has everything you might need for a holiday with children, including a trampoline, swings, play room, bikes, DVDs and books. We instantly felt at home and loved exploring the surriunding countryside on practically traffic-free roads. The huge garden is perfect for playing or just relaxing. The night sky is stunning on a clear evening. We didn't want to leave, and will definitely be back!

  • Submitted: May 31, 2015
  • Stayed: May 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
200 Kilometres
Paris Orly
Nearest Barpub
15 Kilometres
Nearest Ferry
500 Kilometres
Nearest Golf
40 Kilometres
Nearest Train
30 Kilometres
Cosne Cour sur Loire
Nearest Motorway
25 Kilometres
A77 (Cosne exit)
Nearest Restaurant
15 Kilometres
Nearest Beach
40 Kilometres
Lac du Merle
Car: necessary

The Nièvre department is within the Burgundy region, located in the centre of France. It is an area with beautiful verdant countryside with rolling hills, perfect both for gentle and for more challenging cycling expeditions. It enjoys a relaxed pace of life, with many charming villages to explore and restaurants to discover. Burgundy is world-famous for its wines and also for its food, including some wonderful cheeses (including the famous Crottin de Chavignol - a goat’s cheese from Nievre) and charcuterie (including terrines, ham from the Morvan region and Clamecy andouillettes). The Charolaise meat from the region is renowned all over the world.

Our converted barn and farmhouse is located in the heart of a small hamlet, behind the local 'lavoir' at the source of the stream (where the women of the community used to wash their clothes). The nearest amenities (boulangerie, small supermarket, pharmacy, tennis courts etc) are 4 km away and 15km away is the small town of Donzy, which is charming to wander around with its roads of quaint old houses and church, lovely local restaurant and walnut oil-producing mill, or for using the open-air swimming pool. Cosne sur Loire, a further 15km beyond Donzy, has many shops and larger facilities, together with a go-kart circuit and paint balling centre if you are feeling active! Just outside Cosne is La Ferme du Port d'Aubry - a working goat farm (with many other animals, including ponies on which during the summer months they can take rides) which the children will love to wander around (for free) with a farm shop, which sells local produce including (naturally) goats cheese, preserves, wines and beer. The towns of Sancerre and Pouilly sur Loire are a 30 minutes drive where you can sample the many world-famous wines, both within these lovely towns or by meandering through the vineyard-covered countryside around. To the east is the beautiful Morvan forest region and slightly more north-easterly the gastronomic town of Vezelay is worth the 50km drive, both for its restaurants and beautiful abbey, one of the most important starting points for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Another recommended destination is the Château du Saint Fargeau with its beautiful farm, through which the animals roam at will and love to be fed by the visitors. On the way to Saint Fargeau, just 15 minutes or so past Donzy, is the lovely town of St Armand en Puisaye, famous for its pottery - lovely for wandering around the dozens of potteries and stopping off in a restaurant or café.

Around the hamlet lie miles of quiet roads with local bars and cafés in the villages along the way; perfect for biking or wandering, whilst looking out for the local wildlife including buzzards, wild boar and deer. A few kilometres away, the other side of Chateauneuf-val-de-Bargis is an auberge - La Ferme du Mont - where you can have a wonderful meal (reservations in advance necessary) in a beautiful setting. We hope you enjoy our house and the beautiful surroundings as much as we do!


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $176.24
Additional Guest Fee $58.75
Pet Fee $58.75
Refundable Damage Deposit $411.23

Non-smoking property (inside house). There are a number of steps/staircases throughout the house so may be difficult for people with mobility issues, and parents will need to keep an eye on newly mobile babies who are not yet adept at navigating stairs!
Cleaning is included within the rental price PROVIDED THAT the house is left in a reasonable state: this means at least that all kitchen equipment has been cleaned and put away, barbecues cleaned, rubbish emptied and put in outdoor dustbins/recycling taken to recycling stations, furniture/other items eg toys/games returned to where they were found (including that sofa beds have been returned to their sofa state) - we don't want to charge an extra fee but have found it necessary to spell out what we expect to avoid us being in the unpleasant situation of having to do so as the house is left in a mess!

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.