House, 8 Bedrooms + Convertible bed(s), 3.5 Baths, (Sleeps 10-12)
Pool / Spa
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 11:00 AM
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
French quaintness with American practicality
We stayed here with our two teenage girls with grandma for a week, and a wonderful week it was. The house was so cozy and the yard so welcoming that we didn't really see a need to go anywhere the first couple of days. It's a magical house with lots of rooms to explore and a warm, welcoming kitchen we spent a lot of time in. Nicely stocked with plenty of towels, kitchen utensils, patio furniture, stereo with I-pod dock, movies and books! The house is filled with books, some of us were racing time to finish our novels before we left. We spent hours playing badminton and jeu de boules in the back yard, and had our day meals in the back yard. The children had a fun day riding horses at the horse farm down the street. We visited the local caves and towns, really enjoyed Toulouse. We really recommend this house, one of the nicest, most fully furnished houses we've stayed in.
À bientôt, Le Merviel
Our group of 10, aged 1 to 70, stayed at Le Merviel in October 2013.
Two weeks wasn’t long enough in this grand, yet intimate country home in a region mostly undiscovered by guidebook crowds.
Perhaps it’s less trespassed because rail lines don’t reach this tiny village. But the SNCF is easily accessible. We caught a train into Toulouse to amuse our sons and made a pleasant day of it.
You’ll want a car for day trips to nearby ruins, medieval villages, and prehistoric caves. (Don’t make our mistake. Skip Andorra.) Our sense of human history was reshaped by a guided English-language tour of 13K-year-old cave drawings at Niaux. Stirring, especially for Californians like us who think the Gold Rush happened a long time ago.
We broke up our adventures with long stints sunning on the patio and feasting on our farmers’ market finds. We toasted many return visits together.
Nowhere in France have we enjoyed lovelier scenery. Picture a quilt of farms beneath castle-topped foothills and the Pyrénées just beyond.
Tony has wonderful suggestions for hikes, sights, etc. Take him up on as many as you can.
But first, book it.
This is a wonderful house! Great kitchen, lots of space, terrific book collection, beautiful grounds, and even a piano! We happened to arrive just as the cherries on the tree in the back yard reached perfection, so we had bowls full of cherries every day. It looks as if some lucky travelers a little later this summer will enjoy a bumper crop of pears.
There were six of us traveling together, and we all love to cook. The kitchen is well equipped, and it is designed so that several cooks can work at the same time without being in each other's way. There are beautiful and interesting places to go in every direction, and there is also plenty to keep you occupied at home if you simply want to relax.
We particularly enjoyed the prehistoric paintings in the Niaux Cave, about an hour away. (English tours are available.) Before visiting the cave, we spent a couple of hours at the Prehistoric Park about 10 minutes away from the cave, and we were all glad that we had been to the park first, so that we knew more about what we were seeing in the cave. The park has lots of activities and information for children, too. We also spent a wonderful day in Albi, with its amazing cathedral and Toulouse-Lautrec museum, and a fun morning at the market in nearby Mirepoix. Eric dropped by several times to make sure everything was ok, and we enjoyed talking with him. This is an excellent place to spend a vacation!
Absolute holiday feeling: french charm in a quiet and beautiful surrounding
We, a family with young children, have spent 9 days of our holiday in this beautiful house before staying another week in a huge 5 star luxury villa in St Tropez. It could not compare to this house in any way!! We loved the personal and authentic interior of the house, the charming kitchen, the books, piano and not in the least the beautiful patio, park and great pool. The owner, housekeeper and neighbors where very friendly and helpful. Everything about the house and garden made us relax from day one and enjoy the good things in life like cooking, playing music, reading by candle light on the patio, making evening walks with the kids in the garden before bedtime, running on the streets to buy bread when we hear the baker blow his horn... Everybody, kids included, just enjoyed themselves with simple things. It has been a long time since we have all been so relaxed: the days where very long! If you want to get more active, there are lots of nice towns to visit and my husband made some nice biking trips. As for me: I didn't feel the need to leave the house at all and just spend the whole week enjoying it with the children!! We look forward to coming back!
Wonderful stay in Merviel
We've just spent 3 weeks in Merviel; back to France from Canada for a family reunion to celebrate my parents' 50 years anniversary and we very much enjoyed our stay there.
The house is located about an hour away from Toulouse and Carcassonne and only minutes away from Foix, Mirepoix and Pamiers. It was just the perfect spot for us, traveling with small children, with its huge park and swimming pool. The house was large enough to nicely accommodate the 10 of us without having to be in each other's face all the time. Each bedroom has very high ceilings (so do have the vast majority of the other rooms as well), and is simply, yet nicely, decorated with vintage country furniture and accessories. Each has also very large windows over the park and its beautiful mature trees or over the surrounding hills. You can see and feel how this house was built and rearranged by its successive owners to now accommodate the needs of 21st century travelers without loosing its 19th century unsophisticated country charm. The kitchen is the perfect example of that evolution with the cohabitation of large beams and counters made from logs and raw wood (reminiscent of times long gone when this room was used a stable or a barn) and the state-of-the-art gas range that will please the most elaborate cook.
This house has a soul, as we say in French, and it is a perfect haven for those seeking a peaceful spot in an original and preserved country environment. It didn't take long for all of us (regardless of our French, Polish, Italian, Catalan or Canadian origins) to feel at home in this house.
Sports enthusiasts will love the small hilly roads and trails around Merviel for cycling, jogging or hiking; sailing amateurs will enjoy Montbel's lake, 1/2 hour away from the house for a great sail with a breathtaking view over the "Pyrénées ariégeoises"; food lovers will be delighted by the (fresh) produces available directly from local producers (right next door in Merviel or on any of the public markets in nearby Mirepoix, Foix or Pamiers); history lovers will have plenty to see with the nearby "Chateaux Cathares", Mas d'Azil and many other places...
Finally, a word on Eric, who takes care of the house in the absence of its owners, and Nathalie, who we hired during our stay for housekeeping and laundry. Both were very helpful, efficient and discrete and helped us make this stay in Merviel a family success.
Hoping to return there one day!
Home-Away-From-Home of your Dreams
A truly lovely, commodious, friendly house in which to spend a week of relaxation and exploration! I agree with former poster that the photos do not do justice to how beautiful and welcoming this house is - both inside and out. The backyard is private and spacious, full of fruit trees with lovely pool and lawn furniture and views of the Pyrenees Mountains. The interior is very large and well-furnished with all manner of antiques, books, ceramics, textiles -- it shows real style and taste, yet not too precious to make use by visitors difficult. The nearly on-site caretaker is a help and very friendly. And, the region offers wonderful excursion opportunities in every direction. Our only regret (we were two couples from NYC) was that we didn't have more time to hang around the house to appreciate its beauty. A wonderful choice for independent travelers who want to experience this region of France and the freedom a house-stay offers. Would return!!!
Badminton, French tuition, GoKarting, Photography, Wine Tasting