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Chilled Out Comfort of Catalonian Trad. Stone Farmhouse/ Tranquil Gardens Pool

Overview

Property

Updated: 06-Dec-2016
3/4 Bedroom Large Stone Farmhouse for 2 Families Sharing/Couple wanting privacy and tranquilty with nightlife optional. 5 mins drive to market, 20 Mins To The Bea

Beautiful 200 year old stone farmhouse, completely renovated to ensure easy living with open-plan downstairs and garden eating/playing/relaxing areas. Providing all the comfort and privacy for a perfect Mediterranean beach or poolside chill-out hideaway. Perfect for families with children or a couples retreat.Minutes from beautiful bustling market town of Thuir, yet tucked away in peace and quiet of the countryside, surrounded by peachfields and views of the Canigou and Alberes Mountains and foothills. Toddler/child/wheelchair friendly with private, secluded and safe private pool and garden. Plenty of comfy sofas, chairs, hundreds of books and recent-release films and DVDs, state of the art and high quality kitchen equipment together with an eclectic art and music collection, luxurious bedlinen and all the extras you don't want to pack (hairdryers, towels, toiletries, books, inflatables, toys) makes for the most relaxing and comfortable of holidays. Thuir is famously visited for its medieval walls,streets, pink marble pavements, shops, restaurants and lazy day cafes.

  • Sleeps 10
  • 4 Bedrooms
  • 2 Bathrooms, 1 Separate Toilet
  • Parking
  • Garden
  • Swimming pool
  • Barbecue
  • Internet
  • Dish washer
  • Washing machine
  • Towels provided
  • Linens provided
  • Wheelchair access
  • Bookable online

Top Traveller Review

About the Owner

I moved to the Languedoc from Hampshire and Sussex in 2001, with my two small sons. They are both bi-lingual and culturally and socially at ease in both countries. I am sad about the British referendum vote to leave Europe as we have had such a wonderful, life-enhancing experience as guests free to settle in a country other than our own.

I came here to paint and write and have done everything but (tiling, grouting, pointing, digging, scrubbing and driving a tractor) but it has been an amazing journey of discovery for me. Now my children are grown-up I am going to take the time to explore and enjoy this beautiful area of Catalonia as our Summer guests have been doing for years. At last!

Call Owner
Speaks English, French

Guestbook comments from the owner

"We arrived from Manchester with two small children, tired, thirsty and hungry. Within minutes of arriving, the kettle was on, the beer was chilled and most of us were in the pool."



"It was a very hot day when we arrived (from Toulouse) and we were greeted with a Magnum each and a bottle of wine chilling. All the basics were already there (tea, coffee, fresh milk -bliss - bread and cheese) so that we didn't have to immediately go out again to the shops. Our whole stay was punctuated with little kindnesses like this. We will definitely recommend it to our friends."



"Staying at the 'Mas' was extremely relaxing. Like a home from home. The huge TV, fabulously comfy beds and ready-inflated toys in the pool meant that we really did feel at home in this beautiful house. The children amused themselves with all the films, toys and books and our little girl, who is 3, actually slept better here, despite the heat, than she does at home in her own bed! Thank you for a wonderful holiday!"
Nov 2007
  • 1 of 1

11 Reviews

4.4
based on 11 holidaymaker reviews

5

Wonderful

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I were spoilt for choice at the Catalan Mas, being so close to Montpellier, Perpignan and Gerona. All three cities are chic, cosmopolitan and full of Christmas shopping opportunities, not to mention the cultural aspect of all of them. We love that the Catalan culture of this corner of France is so much in evidence. The Cathar castles and monasteries are all around us as we drive through Plane tree-lined straight Roman deserted roads, and the scenery is stunning. Vineyards, peach and cork groves abound and we were surprised to find the average French motorist is much more polite and observant of the speed limits etc than the Brits.

The house is beautiful. Then garden feels tropical and is full of exotic vegetation around the secret, hidden pool area. We loved the silence and the sheer size of the open-plan downstairs which meant we could really relax and enjoy pottering on the rare days indoors. My husband loves cooking and found the kitchen to be well-equipped and well thought out. He was able to cook while I devoured all the books on the book shelves here. Then we could sit and watch any number of up to the minute films we hadn't seen at home because we don't usually have the time to catch up.

We loved sleeping in the honeymoon bedroom with its en suite downstairs by the pool. It really was a romantic week and one we shall talk about often.

  • Review Submitted: Dec 6, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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1

Owner refused to refund our money!

  • 1 of 5

We could not stay long term as planned. As French Law states that tenants of Furnished rentals 'can end their tenancy at any time, for any reason, with one months notice' we did not foresee a problem in having our 5 months prepaid rent and damage deposit refunded back. We are still waiting to be refunded! The owner (Amanda) told us 'we can discuss money, if and when, I find suitable replacement tenants'. Amanda has NO CLAIM to our money.

At the inquiry stage, we were given an amount for utilities. After arrival, we were told to pay more than double the quoted amount each month for utilities. Amanda did not meet us upon arrival. NO meter readings were taken & NO walk through done.

When we asked Amanda how to turn on the heating, we were told that there was only enough fuel to last us a week and that if we intended to turn on the heating, we MUST purchase more fuel. This meant the new utilities amount now payable did not even include fuel, when the original quote DID include fuel!

We were led to believe that the pool would be swimmable. We arrived on Oct 1 & the pool was freezing. The tenants before us also complained that the pool was too cold in Sept. We were also never told that we would be responsible for pool maintenance. Our neighbour explained to us that Amanda refuses to cover the pool for winter. Winter tenants are expected to: skim leaves, vacuum the pool floor, change the filter, change the chlorine tablets, and top up the water level. MANY chores for a pool that is un-swimmable.

We also did not expect there to be anyone else living on the property and were only informed a few weeks before arrival that there was someone renting the attached barn. We had expected the property to be completely quiet and private but it was not. The barn is attached to the back of the house, and you can hear every noise made from the other home which did not work well for us as our baby was often disturbed during naps.

Although the property is in a great location, our dealings with the owner over shadowed everything. The owner was very quick to take our money but three weeks after leaving, we are still waiting for it back, and she has given every excuse in the book as to why the refund has not taken place.

  • Review Submitted: Dec 1, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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0 3
4

Wonderful happy time!

  • 4 of 5

We had a marvellous holiday in Mas Ribere. It was a real home from home: we loved the wonderful selection of books and DVDs and the cool restful atmosphere of the farm house nestling among the fruit orchards. The bikes were great fun and we loved exploring Thuir and eating at the restaurants on a hot summer's evening. Amanda was a great source of knowledge, providing us with directions for beautifuldirves through the Pyrenees and down towards Baynols. We loved the pool and the many meals and chess games played under the shade of the magical mulberry trees.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 22, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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4

Excellent location, well organised and friendly

  • 4 of 5

The property is well maintained, has a great array of features and the organisation is second to none. What really made the difference was the local information and recommendations which made the stay so much easier, relaxing and hassle-free.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 24, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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5

Beautiful retreat

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at the Mas for 2 weeks in July and had a wonderful family holiday. Amanda was incredibly welcoming when we arrived and had thought of the small touches that make a big difference (especially after a 1300km drive!).....cold beer and wine in the fridge, fresh bread, milk and fruit.

The house has everything you need to help you relax. Loads of books and DVDs, fully equipped kitchen and the outdoor kitchen, bbq area was fabulous. We spent many evenings using the BBQ, listening to music while sitting under the lights in the mulberry trees and talking nonsense.

It was very hot during our stay, but there is plenty of natural shade so you can always escape the sun if you feel like it. The pool was also a big hit and extremely safe with a child proof gate.

I would definitely recommend the villa. It is a perfect retreat, in beautiful surroundings and we very much hope to return.

Thanks Amanda for your warm hospitality and the boys say 'hi' to Poppy dog.

Liz, Fraser, Harry and Austin

  • Review Submitted: Aug 11, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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5

Heaven

  • 5 of 5

My stay at the villa can only be described as heavenly. Memories of my time there evoke images of blue skies, palm trees, sunshine and wonderful cuisine. All the best things in life in one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. Amanda was a wonderful host and I hope to return to this paradise soon!

  • Review Submitted: Jun 8, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Location

From the Owner

The wonderful thing about this area of France is that you can fly here from the UK in under two hours and yet when you get off the plane (and even now I experience the same thrill) you feel and see the difference in the light and the temperature. The sky is blue and cloudless and immense and the light is so bright. Bright enough to need sunglasses during the day and to create the dramatic sunrises and sunsets that feel so exotic they are almost unreal! At the height of the summer we stay near the pool and enjoy the cool shade of the house and

Activity and Interests

Nearest Airport : Perpignan at 15 Kilometres Nearest Barpub : Bar 7, Thuir village at 2 Kilometres Nearest Ferry : Collioure at 40 Kilometres Nearest Golf : Argeles at 29 Kilometres Nearest Train : Perpignan at 14 Kilometres Nearest Motorway : House easy to find from nearest motorway exit at 5 Kilometres Nearest Restaurant : There are several excellent restaurants in Thuir at 2 Kilometres Nearest Ski : Les Angles at 83 Kilometres Nearest Beach : Saint-Cyprien Plage at 19 Kilometres Car: recommended

Perfect for Artist/Nature-Lovers/Bird Watcher/Beach-Going/Poolside Retreats, Couples Retreats and Family Get-Togethers alike.

The Catalan Mas is perfectly positioned slap bang in the middle of the moutains and beaches of Catalonia, making it an ideal centre for art groups or painting holidays. The owner is herself an artist who is very happy to organize informal trips to local sites of artistic merit and interest. The picturesque vineyards, rocky coastal coves and snow-covered mountains provide endless creative inspiration for small accompanied trips, aswell as beautiful places in which to sketch or just soak up the artistic history and organic Catalan flavour:the old fishing port of Collieure, made famous by the Impressionist french painters, such as Matisse, the picturesque Spanish fishing Port Lucat, at Cadaquez,was home to Salvador Dali, the Dali Museum in Figueres and Ceret Museum of Modern Art, founded by Pablo Picasso and many fascinating galleries to be found in Perpignan (including the '500 Metres from the Centre of the World', which refers to the words, used by Dali himself, to describe the city's old railway station, which he decorated).

Coast/Beach:

The house is between 20 and 40 minutes comfortable drive from a wide range of beaches along the Mediterrean coast. Choose between long sandy stretches of beach such as Argeles, St Cyprien and Canet Plage or quieter, smaller beaches, such as Le Racou and Collioure. Or drive along the old coastal road and the corniche towards and over the Spanish border, with its tiny coves and out of the way but excellent little tapas bars, restaurants and cafes all the way to Dali's home at Port Lleucat.

Travel:

To get to the Mas you have the choice of 5 airports, all served by UK budget airlines. Perpignan airport is closest, just 20 minutes drive door to door from the house (Ryanair, Easyjet and FlyB). Second favourite is an easy 40 minute drive to Gerona in Spain (Ryanair). Toulouse is an easy 2 hour drive, Montpellier 90 minutes drive,Bezier and Carcasonne (Ryanair and Easyjet) an hour. Barcelona Airport is now only one hour from Perpignan via a scenic new TGV train taking an hour or is a very beautiful and comfortable 90 minutes drive away. Some of our visitors choose to spend a few days in this cultural, colourful city en route to us.

Distances:

Thuir is a beautiful medieval market town, just 5 minutes drive from the house. The breathtaking fortified medieval town of Castenou, which has won the Prettiest Village in France award over several years, is just 5 minutes drive away and lovely for cool evening walks and drinks or supper, sitting looking down over the stunning valley below. Historically and aethetically-fascinating Cathar fortresses and monasteries, gorges and canyons, archeological sites such as the Caves at Tautavel (where the oldest human remains in Europe have been found) and areas of outstanding natural beauty, such as the ephemeral sandstone natural outcrops, sitting like natural sculptures of a scaled-down Grand Canyon of Les Orgues, at Ille sur Tête are between 20 and 40 minutes drive away depending on how much you get side-tracked... The livelier, more bustling city of Perpignan, with its tradition in art (Picasso and Dali are famously among the many creative visitors drawn by the incredible light of the South of France), music, food and folk festivals throughout the summer months, is 20 mins drive from the house.

Further Details:

Thuir, with its pink marble pavements, is itself a place where visitors come to wander around and admire the medieval streets, shops, restaurants or just to sit and watch the world go by at one of the many street cafes. The saturday market with its choice of wines, olives, bread and cheese, is still where a lot of locals do their weekly shop. There is a good selection of restaurants and cafes, 4 butchers, an excellent fishmonger (try the freshly-caught 'seche de calamar'), several boulangeries, chocolate and cake shops and a wide selection of places to buy gifts and treats. (There are also 3 banks in the town!) Perpignan, Gerona and Figueres are all great for shopping, or further afield you could bathe in the thermal baths at St Thomas (1 hr). Diving, snorkelling, kayaking and rafting are just some of the water sports available in the area (30 mins to an hour by car). There is also the outdoor watersports centre of Aqualand,just 30 mins drive, for those with energetic children or teenagers.

Prices and Availability

Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event Price
 
Year Round Sunshine 2016/2017
4 Sep 2016 - 5 May 2017
7 night minimum stay
£1,998
for 7 nights
£1,998
 
 
Early Summer
6 May 2017 - 30 Jun 2017
7 night minimum stay
£2,290
for 7 nights
£2,290
 
 
July and August 2017
1 Jul 2017 - 2 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
£2,599
for 7 nights
£2,599
 
 
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
£600
for 3 nights
From
£200
£750
£1,500
 

Additional pricing information

Pet Fee £70
Refundable Damage Deposit £300

Please note before booking:

Booking Deposit and £300 Refundable Security Deposit:

A 25% deposit is requested at the time of booking and the balance together with a £300 security deposit is payable 8 weeks before your arrival

Changeover Day

Changeover is at 4pm each Saturday during Summer months (although flexible during the rest of the year in order that you might benefit from some of the low-cost flights available from the UK). The house must be vacated by 10am on the last day which we would ask our guests to respect in order that we can ensure the house will be in the same good order that it was in when they arrived themselves. We are happy to make suggestions for child-friendly beach clubs with all day food service, delicious seafood, shower facilities easily accessible from the motorway and Perpignan airport for all day waits if your arrival means you might be hanging around waiting for access to the property here.

Additional Guests:

Any additional guests to the house that are added after the time of your holiday booking will be charged an 'additional person supplement' of £20 per person per night to cover extra laundry and cleaning costs. We ask that wherever possible you could give us final numbers at the time of booking to avoid additional costs to you and last minute organizational nightmares for our cleaning team.

Traveling with Pets:

Well-behaved and house-trained canine companions are welcome at an additional weekly charge of £70 to cover extra cleaning costs.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Facilities

From the Owner

This area is so full of geographical and historical treasures. The beautiful coast, Cote Vermeille,or Emerald Coast due to its crystal clear colour)has attracted such artists as Matisse (whose grandson, Paul, recently stayed at our house!) and Dali, is beautiful for swimming, snorkeling or just visiting, steeped in art history right down to Barcelona (only an hour and a half's drive). The mountains (if we get up at 8 we can be on the ski slopes by 9 in the morning) and the dramatic sandstone hills remind me of the Grand Canyon in miniature. The dramatic gorges for rafting and body rafting (no thanks!) and the gently undulating hills covered in vineyards producing over 70% of all French wine. I will never tire of waking up and walking out onto this beautiful uplifting landscape!

Property Type

  • villa

Theme

  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions

General

  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Garage ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove ...

Kitchen

  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob
  • Toaster

Dining

  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area

Entertainment

  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Game Room ...
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Pool Table ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Games ...
  • Video Library ...

Pool / Spa

  • Private Pool

Suitability

  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible ...

Location Type

  • beach
  • mountain
  • near the sea
  • rural
  • town
  • village

Attractions

  • arboretum
  • autumn foliage
  • bay
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • library
  • live theatre
  • marina
  • museums
  • naturist beach
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • water parks
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours

Leisure Activities

  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horse riding
  • outlet shopping
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking

Local Services & Businesses

  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • golf pass optional
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • paragliding
  • rafting
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • diving
  • ski lift pass
  • ski pass optional
  • ski
  • snorkelling
  • bay fishing
  • caving
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting
  • wind-surfing

Floor Area

  • 140 m²

Bathrooms

  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet, Bath (no shower), Shower Enclosure, Bidet
  • Toilet 1 - Toilet
  • Shower room 1 - Shower Enclosure
  • Romantic Bedroom One downstairs overlooking garden and pool has large Italian rain shower, hand basin and wall-hung WC. All of which is completely wheelchair accessible (with relevant supports and seats). Large family bathroom upstairs with bath, separate shower, lavatory and bidet. Separate downstairs lavatory with easy access from pool and garden area.

Bedrooms

  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Bedroom 2
  • Bedroom 3
  • Bedroom 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Double Bed, All bedrooms are large enough to have add single bed/cot
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 8 comfortably. An extra single bed or cot in 3 of the 4 bedrooms is available but must be discussed with us at the time of your booking. Notes on bedrooms: Bedroom 1 with double bed and en suite (room for cot). Bedroom 2 with double bed and room for cot or single bed. Bedroom 3 with twin beds and room for cot or additional single bed. Bedroom 4 is tiny and suitable for one adult (or two determined or happy-go-lucky teenagers/adults/children in twin beds) or 1 single with/without cot or 2 cots.

Outside

  • Bicycles ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Golf ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • Ski & Snowboard ...
  • Tennis ...
  • 4 bicycles

Meals

  • Self-catering

Learn more about this holiday rental at the owner's website

Notes:

  • Notes on accommodation: The property has air-conditioning and there are powerful room fans throughout. For winter holidays the house is centrally-heated with a large and very efficient wood-burning stove in the sitting room. The house, garden and swimming pool have been deemed extremely child friendly and safe by all our guests with small children, older children and babies (one of our recent visitors with a baby and toddler, kindly wrote a lovely blog 'Our stay at the 'Mas', which you can go to directly or which we can email you if you can't access it). The swimming pool area has a security gate which conforms to the new French safety regulations and fencing all around. The garden itself is completely fenced. Outside: The private floodlit pool is 10x4.5m, with Roman steps for small people and non-swimmers to sit in the water is surrounded on all sides by a pretty, green and landscaped private and secure screened bathing area. The garden is planted with mature Mediterranean trees and shrubs, with a mixture of gravel boules and parking areas and grassy play areas with swings and table tennis. The 'alfresco' eating area is shaded by mature mulberry trees (the fruits of which are edible) and is a favourite spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This area, together with the covered summer kitchen and barbecue area, is romantically lit by fairy light at night. The special ambiance created by this, and the beautifully underlit swimming pool often tempts our visitors to stay up long after the sun goes down to eat, chat or just star gaze, (to the accompaniment of the cicadas and chatty french treefrogs); often until the small hours. The sun shines on the pool area from first thing in the morning until late afternoon. Utility Room: Washing machine and separate tumble dryer. Iron and ironing board, extra children's garden toys (buckets and spades, tennis and table tennis balls, skipping ropes), UK adaptors, etc. The usual stuff you have at home. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Large new bathroom towels and huge beach towels are provided for everyone together with hand towels in all the bathrooms and loos, as well as hand towels and tea towels in kitchen. The pool and garden are checked and maintained regularly throughout your stay. Other: Bedrooms are light and airy with high-quality beds and new mattresses and pillows. Cool Egyptian cotton and designer linen bedcovers, fans and heavy wooden window and door shutters for undisturbed nights and afternoon naps. Playroom books and toys

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