|Minimum Stay||2 nights|
Newly refurbished apartment in a old archbishop's house (at the time of Avignon popes) situated in the remparts of Bonnieux. This is a unique place with 12th century vaults and walls made with old Provence stones. The whole place has been restored with ancient materials and has retained its original features including exposed beams and tiled floors. The bedroom is nested in an ancient oratory. The whole apartment has a beautiful view of the countryside.
Temperature is ideal any time of year thanks to 2 meter-thick walls.
Car parking is very easy, just in front of the entrance.
Beautiful little garden (at a 2-minutes walk) is included with tiny fruit trees and a wonderful landscape on the Luberon mountain : an inviting setting to benefit from the warmth of the sun or the cool evenings.
Very calm place, ideal to enjoy pleasures of the Luberon, getting some rest, sightseeing of the several perched villages of the Luberon (Lacoste, Roussillon, Gordes, Menerbes... are all at maximum 15 minutes by car).
The apartment is within a 10-minute walk to a bakery, butcher, grocery as well as typical quaint Provençal stores and antique shops.
There are lots of classical music concerts you can enjoy in Bonnieux and the other villages.
Bonnieux also offers casual and top-of-the-line restaurants which are also within a walking distance of 5 minutes.
There is no such rental in the Luberon : what we offer here is a very unique way of living in an historic, authentic and preserved place.
Some expert from our Guest Book
I am a French student in medicine, and my mother a former doctor too, passioned by the restoration of our house, history, art, music, nature and by the joy of making people discover the place we love, welcoming and sharing our experience and passion with people who have made the effort to come and discover our country.
Historical Apartment purchased this apartment in 1970
My mother and I have a strong passion of the place, discovered by our parents and grand parents 40 years ago who have bought it as ruins and have put all their strengths in its restoration. This is a very special place of memory for us, a part of our history. Do not hesitate to ask us more about this history, this is a part of ourselves.
We like decorating, imagining, restorate the place. Enjoying the garden. Seeing all our welcoming friends. We like music very much and go very often to lots of the concerts that this place offer in summer (Orange, piano international festival in La Roque D'antheron, Opera Festival in Aix en Provence...). We particularly love the calm of the place and all what it stands for in terms of remembrance and love of our family. This is a kind of shelter for us, since we live the major part of the year in Marseille, a one-million-inhabitant city on the Mediterranean shores.
We stayed 10 days in this amazing place! (We loved it so much we extended our original planned 7 days.) It was love at first sight: the moment we stepped inside the castle-like house, we knew it was going to be very special. Utterly charming, spacious, with room after room (and more secret rooms!) connected by stone stairways and corridors. Even with the place being so big and extremely rustic, it felt like home to us. Filled with antique furniture, lamps and chandeliers, armchairs and lounging daybeds, it has a very cozy and warm country-home atmosphere. Each room has its own unique character. We loved our bedroom, with the vaulted ceiling, painted walls and a little window with the breathtaking view of the Luberon Mountains. In fact, every room has a window with a view and lets in plenty of the bright Provence sunshine and summer breezes. The kitchen is our second favorite room, well stocked with cooking/dining ware and furnished with modern flat-top stove, microwave, and refrigerator. We made breakfast and ate at the kitchen table every morning, planning our day of sightseeing. The formal dining room was also great for spreading out maps, guidebooks, and using our laptop (Internet worked great for us especially in this room). We felt very comfortable and safe staying here. A leaky faucet in the bathroom, bats flying in the entryway, squeaky doors, mysterious locked rooms, all contributed to an unforgettable experience of living in a 12th century castle! It may not be for everyone if you are looking for hotel-type accommodations, but if you are open to a truly unique and affordable vacation rental – there is no place like this! Convenient location, short leisurely walk to the restaurants, shops, and Friday farmers market. From here, it’s easy to get to many other beautiful towns in Provence, as we did on our daily sightseeing trips. We also rented electric bikes (from Sun-e Bikes located down the street) and explored nearby Lacoste and Menerbes. We always found a parking space for our rental car on the street below the house. The owner, Mme Michelle Mattei is a lovely, charming, très sympa lady. We had a delightful tea party one afternoon on the terrace, enjoying delicious local cheese and wine, listening to her stories about the old house, and were entertained by her energetic little dog. We highly recommend this place for anyone looking for an extraordinary experience!
This is a interesting and beautifully updated dwelling in the ramparts of Bonnieux. There is a charming garden a short walk down the street from the apartment. The town has several nice restaurants but is not too overrun with tourists. It is fairly quiet and a good base from which to explore the area. The stay was a little rough around the edges -- no internet the first day, no hot water the last day, no instructions in the apartment about how things work, where the garden is located, etc. You have to use a flashlight to reach the apartment from the street, and a bat lives in one of the rooms along the way. The owners would improve their guests' comfort by providing some basic supplies -- toilet paper, soap, etc. The owner's mother is very sweet and helpful.
This is a unique and beautiful property, but it does come with some complications.
On the plus side, the apartment is very large, carefully restored and tastefully decorated. Rooms are on numerous levels wit some uneven stone floors, if you have mobility issues. Electrical outlets are plentiful and conveniently located, but several bulbs needed replacement. Kitchen equipment is sparse yet sufficient and the refrigerator was larger than expected. You’ll need to supply all pantry items and cleaning supplies.
The apartment was clean, but there was a steady traffic of harmless bugs. This is to be expected and didn’t disturb us. Beds and linens were quite comfortable, but the bath towels were rough and threadbare. The terrace, while underfurnished, is the highlight of the property with unmatched views day and night.
On the minus side, the owners disappointed us. While we recognize they are not professional hoteliers, there were a few missteps and some instances where we felt misinformed.
The average low in late May is 8°C (48°F) so we inquired about heat before booking. Jean-Camille assured us, “we have several heaters to help. However we never saw guests use heaters in May.” In fact, there were no heaters and the apartment was frigid. A small towel warmer in the bathroom was the only source of heat that made showering tolerable.
Two guests in April (here in 2014 and at another Mattei rental in 2015) cut their stay short because space heaters simply could not warm the apartments. If the owners expect to rent during colder months, they can’t continue to ignore this feedback.
We were also sad we didn’t receive the same hospitality that other reviewers enjoyed. Although Jean-Camille told us, “my mother lives in Bonnieux and is always happy to help our guests,” that was not our experience. Within minutes of arriving, Michelle abruptly left to devote her full attention to a tour group that came to see her cellar. We had to insist she return later to show us how to operate the stove. Only then did she inform us her son was in Paris and she was promptly departing to Marseille for the duration of our visit. We were told to drop the keys in the mail slot on our final day, but given no other guidance (like where to dispose of our garbage).
While this apartment is distinctive, the lack of heat makes it unsuitable for cool weather. Self-sufficient travelers (like campers) might enjoy this rental during warmer months, but casual vacationers may prefer more creature comfort.
My daughter and I stayed in this unique apartment built into the ramparts of the village, with the goal of having a unique experience in a scenic and interesting Provence hillside village. It was so interesting to stay surrounded by all that history. We loved the experience-- Michelle was so sweet and helpful upon arrival, and told us about the apartment and the village. The apartment is quite roomy, and the village is a great place to explore on foot. We were there in early April, so the springtime weather was still a little chilly, but clear and beautiful. We found the apartment to be quite cold even though there are space heaters. In fact we cut our stay short by one night because it was so chilly. I think it would be very comfortable in warmer weather, and I think it would be an awesome place for a summer stay in a unique location. A couple of suggestions to Michelle and Jean-Camille: please add cleaning supplies in the kitchen (dish soap, towels), preheat the rooms in the cooler months, and upgrade the wifi access. The Friday market has a large selection of food items, clothing, crafts and gifts.
Many activities are available. Please feel free to ask us about Luberon secrets...
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
|Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $11 per night, per additional guest|
40€/guest above 2 guests is for the entire stay, not per night
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.