Self-Catering Rental, 2-3 BR, big kitchen, bath (2 showers-2 sinks), sleeps 5-6
George & Mary Haling
- english, french
About George & Mary Haling
As a semi-retired professional travel/corporate photographer who has lived at least 3 months a year in Provence since discovering this village in 1969, Venterol has always provided a vital annual dose of good food, clean air, beauty, peace and quiet.... everything necessary in which to paint, photograph, discover, breath fresh air and make friends. After earning my BFA and MFA degrees at Rhode Island School of Design and Yale, I traveled the world on assignment for many European / American magazines and major corporations (incorporating my design training at both Rhode Island School of Design and Yale School of Art & Architecture). Now, I exhibit my Art Photography in our own nearby medieval courtyard. For all these years Venterol has been both refuge and solace for my family and our guests. My wife maintains this accounts for our excellent health. At any rate, after traveling the world, it is the place where we feel most at home.
George & Mary Haling purchased this House in 1971
Why George & Mary Haling chose Venterol
In 1969 my girlfriend and I were looking for something as a pied-a-terre in France. I had already lived in Paris and could imagine the possibilities of such an idea. An Italian friend of ours suggested Venterol, directing us to two Swiss women who wanted to sell their summer refuge. The village was nearly abandoned, many empty buildings with black, gaping windows... streets with open sewers, one habitually empty crumbling cafe. The house I bought had dirt floors, primitive plumbing, no electricity, a bed with straw mattress, leaky roofs, no windows and resident scorpions. But it was very large, a complicated labyrinth layout: I was seduced by its many rooms, the attached farm buildings, and the seemingly endless possibilities. I worked summers from dawn to after dark, cutting new windows into the walls, tiling floors, surfacing walls, re-doing roofs... all that was necessary to just make the place barely habitable. Over the years, each time returning with some of the winters earnings to invest in improvements, the house began to become what it is today. In the huge suitcases permitted at that time, we brought over many personal items, both art work and furnishings.... ultimately making this place both home-like and welcoming. I always loved the nest-like shape of our village, clinging to the slopes of mountains behind. It also pleased me that the house was situated on the outer edge with a partial view of the valley below. Why this property? Because a little boy from New England once dreamed of castles and knights, and then, years later, found a place where they actually once existed. Besides that, my father farmed, so I like being around farms, farmers and the growing cycles.
What makes this House unique
Olives, apricots, lavender, wine grapes, the Mediterranean diet mixed with dependable sunshine: all the ingredients to make one healthy and happy. A lot of great cultural things to do: concerts (jazz and classical), painting galleries, opera, choral music, theater. Art Galleries in Valreas, Nyons and Venterol (Le Temple). Cafes nearby that are perfect for settling back with a "cafe- creme" to read Le Monde or Liberation. Plus some of the most interesting, kind and generous people I have ever known.
Check-in: 3:00 pm
Check-out: 10:00 am
Only family gatherings allowed
Smoking outside or on balcony only.
100% refund if cancelled at least 60 days before arrival date.
An enchanting house
This is a very special place to stay - spatially intriguing and filled with objects that are both useful and beautiful.
We ate breakfast on the balcony each day, after our walk to the boulangerie for croissants and bread (and sometimes honey, wine and pastries).
George was was an entertaining, informative and welcoming host. He introduced us to the lovely bistro on the square, where we ate two excellent meals, and took us to the market in Nyons to buy local fruit, veg, cheese and lavender.
We swam in the river at Nyons beneath the Roman bridge and travelled to Arles for the photography festival and to ancient chapels, extraordinary mountains and nearby towns such Dieulefit.
Venterol is a fascinating tangle of alleys, steep steps and houses, above fields of olive trees, vines and lavender. A kind of heaven...
Expérience provençale authentique
Si vous cherchez une habitation typique d'un village provençal et qui a une âme, l'appartement de la Famille Haling, mitoyen de leur maison, est à recommander. Maison de village donnant sur des rues étroites, l'habitation est rustique mais décorée avec soin. On y trouve notamment de superbes photos du propriétaire, par ailleurs artiste. Comme toutes les maisons dans ce type de village, il n'y a pas d'espace extérieur (hormis un balcon) et pas de possibilité de garer sa voiture près de la maison, mais il y a une place charmante à proximité (où l'on peut se garer), avec un café-restaurant très agréable sous les platanes. Pour les familles, il y a un parc près de l'école du village où les enfants peuvent jouer en toute sécurité.
Enfin, l'accueil des propriétaires, amoureux du village, est très sympatique et leurs conseils avisés permettent de découvrir tous les charmes de la région.
A wonderful and joy filled family. Took lovely pictures of group on breakfast balcony. GH
Beautiful house; lovely village; great location
What a great place! My wife, 11 year old daughter and 3 year old son just got back from our 11 days in Venterol: we loved the house. It was perfect for us -- we could easily have accommodated a fifth family member (there's a bunk bed in one of the rooms that we didn't use). The house is decorated with antiques and art work. It feels very real and very homey -- it doesn't have the sense of an artificially created "vacation home" environment. That's a crucial consideration for me.
The kitchen is big and easy to work in. We shopped in local markets -- held weekly in the nearby towns of Nyons and Valreas, with amazing, very affordable produce and of course cheese and the other ingredients of French cuisine. We mostly ate at home, which was healthy, economical and delicious. French big box style stores are also conveniently nearby -- a sad development, but the food there equals what you can find in a place like Fairway in NYC. There is a bakery in Venterol itself, as well as a wonderful small restaurant and a more typical bistro in the town square.
I had never heard of Drome or Vaucluse before -- these are the two "departments" closest to Venterol (it's in the former). I'm very glad we ended up there, rather than further south, more in "Provence" proper. Venterol's region is far less crowded and expensive, but I found it to be exquisitely beautiful. Venterol itself lies up against small mountains (high hills?), giving it a pleasing topography -- a landscape defined by vineyards, olive trees and green ridges. (We had weather luck: only 2 or 3 days of temps above high 80s).
You can work very hard and make many day trips. Vaison, Avignon, Orange, Aix, Arles and other well known destinations are an hour to 90 minutes away. It's even possible to get to the Riviera in about 2 and a half hours (we did a day trip to Cassis. loved the Calanques boat trip. didn't like the beach and the crowds). We also did a very nice, very manageable day trip into the Alps. Ultimately, we preferred hanging out in Venterol or in the nearby villages.
George (the owner) was extremely helpful. He's owned the house in Venterol for 40 years, and he knows the region extremely well. He has an engaging expatriate sensibility. We valued his presence.
The town has a small playground. There are plenty of hiking trails, swimming spots, and vast opportunities for biking.
We give this place the highest possible recommendation
True village life in the South of France.
If you're looking for luxury accommodations, keep looking. If you're looking for an authentic small village experience in the south of France, this is it. Close enough to Provence and all it has to offer, and also close to the Alps and less than a day's drive from Paris. Our family of seven stayed here for a week, and it was ideal for us. We really got to experience village life. For day trips, try Avignon, Aix-En-Provence, and the Gorge. There are other small villages in the area to explore also, like Grignan. George will take good care of you and he has great stories to tell. Highly recommended.
A disappointing experience in a beautiful region
This is a classic old converted farm house in a classic Drome Provencal village, reasonably close to nice towns. However, we would not recommend staying here for several reasons:
1. There are numerous aspects of the property description that are inaccurate and could affect your experience. Ask owner for floor plan. Bathroom is substandard--e.g., camp style showers. There is no separate living room--it is part of the master bedroom, so it cannot be used if someone is sleeping in this room. This would leave only the uncomfortable kitchen as a hang-out space. The laundry facility is shared with the owner and requires permission to enter his property. Furthermore, the machine has an extremely small capacity. The bathroom is located in the basement, two flights of stairs down from the bedrooms--very inconvenient in the event of a midnight bathroom need. The house is very dark. The natural light of this region is beautiful, but you wouldn't know it in this house. There are no clear views of the natural landscape--only of the next-door building. There is no outdoor space (e.g. patio, garden etc.) with this house except, again, for a courtyard which is part of the owner's house and you need to share with him.
2. The owner is not only 'in the village' as he suggests. He is in fact in an attached unit and makes his presence felt daily if not more often. For the first week of our 5-week stay, he made excuses to abruptly enter the unit every day. Even after that, he persistently hovered and badgered us (by loud knocking, rude emails, or hollering from the road) about various things. These ranged from aggressively telling us to turn off the lights (the place is extremely dark--see above), pressing us to water the flowers, threatening to keep our deposit, and judging the character of his renters. His ongoing insertions into our lives negatively affected our experience. It is unprecedented and unacceptable for a vacation rental. It seems that the owner is not cut out for vacation rental property management because he continually demonstrates he cares far more about his house than about the enjoyment of his renters.
3. The kitchen is not fully equipped (for anyone who cooks) and we bought a number of additional things (inc. kitchen knives, salad bowl, oven dish, cutting board)
Overall, we think you can do much better for you money in this area. Go find the relaxing vacation rental experience you deserve to enjoy this beautiful part of the world.
We stand behind the accuracy of our HomeAway pages.
Our rental #4554 has a Living Room and 3 comfortable BRs on the 2nd floor. The spacious kitchen accommodates 6 to 7 people. French washing machines are narrow & deep. Our renter had never seen this style. We offer 2 machines side by side.
An impeccably clean bathroom & fixtures were presented to Michael S… plus lots of freshly laundered towels & washcloths. Bath (2 sinks/2 showers), Toilet, Pantry & large Farm Kitchen are all on the 1st floor. Only bike storage is in the basement-cellar.
Our large farm kitchen is well equipped. Implying “a number of additional things” were needed is deliberately misleading. We provide a large cutting board, knives, dishes & all cookware for preparing family meals. When he requested a small cutting board, we immediately gave him one of ours.
No patio or garden has ever been offered with this property. An arcaded 12c courtyard was offered for breakfasts, drying laundry & "hanging out." We’ve had many dinners there, often joined by our renters. Michael S. opted not to use this space.
There is no way to enter renter’s living space. The door bolts on his side. Just knowing an owner lives in an adjacent house seemed to vex Michael S. If this was a pivotal issue, he should have rented elsewhere. Despite his annoyance, some contact was necessary. Asked several times to water his flowers daily (as per his Contract), he eventually did.
This renter paid nothing for 5 weeks of electricity. We don't use timed light switches but rely on guests being conscientious about energy usage. Until now, this hasn't been an issue. Because an electrical usage clause in his Contract was ignored, we had to remind him. He said he had no copy of his Contract.
Renter was unaware that Provence houses are built to shield occupants from summer heat. Walls are thick & shutters closed mid-day to retain the coolness of dawn & dusk. Our HomeAway description states, “partial view of the vineyard valley below.” The balcony is a refuge on Venterol's edge, a place to watch swallows dip & dive at day’s end.
We are sorry Michael S. did not enjoy our rental home during his cold, wet May stay. Our efforts continue to provide the same comfortable, clean & authentic rental property enjoyed by families from all over Europe, UK and the USA for more than twenty years. We are pleased that this is the only review of this kind we have ever received.
George & Mary Haling
Wonderful Charming Peaceful Getaway.
My husband and I went to Paris, France for the first time together. We loved every minute of it. It was our getaway to Venterol that made the France trip so memorable. It was nice to get the train from Paris and be " in the country side."
George, the owner/host really knows the area, and its history so well. He was a great travel guide. The day trip to Avignon is highly recommended. The house is so charming. The village is a peaceful to walk around. You get a true taste of the village life, with the village square and village church. The house is well maintained with a working kitchen and fridge. We would go shopping for bread, cheese and sausage and pack sandwiches for our day trips. This is a lovely and peaceful retreat house with a wonderful owner.
Venterol is a peaceful hillside Drome wine village in the Cotes-du-Rhone region near Nyons, Valreas & Vaison-la-Romaine. Olive orchards climb surrounding hills & lavender fields color the valley below.
Our village lies on the southern side of small mountains bisected by streams filled with fossils & many popular hiking trails. Wild boar, chamois & fox are seen on back mountain lanes still used by sheep and goat herders. Venterol, as with so many close-by villages in Drome Provencal, is surrounded by vineyards and welcoming wine tasting 'caveaux'.
Nyons right next door has a spacious municipal state- of- the- art Swim center for family fun and recreation. Close by streams and waterfalls provide additional picnic/swim opportunities.
Prefer cultural activities to nature? Avignon, Arles are not far away, both beside the nearby Rhone. Other Activities: Wine tasting, Provence market days and, antique hunting at Isles-sur-la-Sorgue