Photos and Description of this 4 bedroom holiday villa in St-Paul-de-Vence - La Sonine
4 Spacious en-suite Bedrooms plus Games Room, Heated pool, ideal for 2 families
La Sonine is a beautiful stone-built villa, nestled in 5500 sq meters of garden and wood-lands just outside the walled hill-top village of St. Paul de Vence , one of the world's most beautiful medieval villages. La Sonine is located 1km from the village, an easy walk along a pretty path just outside the gates. We are in a unique position bordered by protected forest lands and therefore offer rare peace and privacy in the heart of Cote d'azur. The grounds are extensive with lawn for croquet and badminton, forest for shady naps and children's adventures and various sunny terraces for basking. The villa is typically French in style with ancient terra-cotta floors, arched windows and simple elegant furnishings. Inside, there are 4 double bedrooms, all en-suite. We are just completing a complete remodelling of all bathrooms and kitchen - do ask for photos of the improvements! Gessi fixtures and beautiful tiling and practical design - very luxurious. Underfloor heating provides comfort to our Christmas and mid-season guests. Two bedrooms have spacious private terraces, one opens onto the garden and tiled pool and the 4th enjoys its own access from outside.
The furniture and furnishings all originate in France, China, Japan and Indonesia and have been carefully chosen to create a simple but elegant Asian/French atmosphere.
The cupola-ceilinged dining room seats 8 and the spacious and light sitting-room has a fabulous fireplace, card table and gorgeous artwork. The kitchen has just been remodelled\fully equipped, including 2 fridges, Nespresso, Quooker, ice-maker, food processor, micro-wave and lots of cook-books, 2 ovens for our culinary guests and underfloor heating for Christmas and off-season guests.
In the basement is a large TV/Games room with flat-screen T.V.,
DVD player, DVDs, Ping Pong, Table Football, books, games and sofa-bed. The separate Laundry room is also in the basement and has Washer and Dryer and sink - very practical for large groups and busy families.
There are two bedrooms upstairs, both enjoying lovely private terraces and en-suite bathrooms. The spacious upstairs master bedroom, has a queen-size bed and walk-in wardrobe while the smaller 'blue and white' room has two single beds which can be pushed together to make a king if required. The master bedroom, with its king-size four-poster bed is located on the ground
floor and opens up onto the garden and pool area. This spacious room has a study area (with fax machine, scanner, printer) and sofa-bed should one wish to accommodate a child within the same room. The fourth bedroom is in the basement but is light and airy, due to a large glass door than offers independent access. This 'Japanese' room, enjoys a modern bathroom with double sinks in glass and multi-head shower.
Outside, the dining terrace off the kitchen seats 12 and makes an ideal place to eat during the day (when the cover of the oak tree provides welcome shade) and in the evening. The gas barbeque makes for easy al-fresco cooking and, if you prefer, there is also a charcoal version. The covered terrace off sitting room makes a lovely place for drinks and a quiet retreat from sun and pool. The stone and tile pool (4.5m x 11m) is heated, has an automatic, retractable security cover. The pool is salinated as opposed to chlorinated - salinsation is much gentler on the eyes and skin, having a PH level that is the same as one's eyes. It is surrounded by grass which is lovely under-foot and there are plenty of sun-loungers and chairs.
Bikes, heaters, fans, stroller, cot, highchair and some toys for children are all provided. Our storage 'chalet' is a wonderful place for children to play house, have camp-outs etc. La Sonine is a highly secure property. It can only be accessed by electronically controlled gates covered. All access points are under 24hr-digital CCTV surveillance, linked to a Response Centre. Fire and Emergency panic buttons are in place that link directly to a voice-response centre. There is also a sophisticated burglar/bandit alarm
system and 2 safes. Saying this we have never had any issues with security.
In terms of location, we are 15-20 minutes drive from Nice airport - We are about 1km from St Paul de Vence which is an ancient walled city, made famous as artists such as Picasso, Chagall and other impressionists settled here. Chagall's house is just down the road from us. Every year, over 2.500.000 people come and visit St Paul. Statistically, it is the third most visited historical site in France after the Mont St Michel and the Chateau de Versailles. St Paul 's landscape, natural site, architecture and buildings are all protected by law as part of the national heritage. Its uniquely mild climate, with over 300 days of sunshine a year means that it
is wonderful place to visit summer and winter alike. It also enjoys a unique geographical position with the Med, the river Loup, wonderful museums, ancient villages and fantastic dining all within 15 minutes drive and La Fondation Maeght in walking distance. I love this art gallery because it is small enough to visit with children and lots of it is outside so they can run around. It is very much an artists town - to find out more visit:
We love the location because there is so much to do a stone's throw away. You can be swimming in the Mediterranean Sea in about 15 minutes drive or visiting some other stunning local villages such as Tourettes sur Loup, Vence (where there are some fantastic music festivals), Biot, Valbonne, Grasse . The river Loup runs through a pretty village called Villneuve Loubet which is about 10 minutes away and it is nice to take the kids there with fishing nets and a picnic. There is also a fantastic tree climbing place here which our kids adore. There are 2 Michelin starred restaurants in
St Paul and others a short drive away. Nice itself is about a 20 minutes drive and I think a trip is never complete without a stroll down the promenade and lunch on the beach there. Frankly, there is so much to do andmnone of it is difficult because we are so central. Saying this, we are away from the crowds and traffic on the coast in July and August and as we are tucked up against the National Park we could be in the middle of nowhere.
Many of our guests say that they don't do half as much exploring as they had intended as the villa is so comfortable that it is difficult to leave.
More photographs: If you'd like to see a further 51 photographs of the property and village, please ask us for link. Here are some comments from the guestbook we keep at the house.
Guest Comments: Mr L Taylor (UK) 2007
The villa more than lived up to its description on the excellent web-site. Very comfortable, very spacious, very comprehensively and tastefully furnished, with everything we could have wished for in terms of extras. I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone to anyone who, like us, prefers the comfort, convenience and congeniality of a villa, rather than several hotel rooms to meet the needs of a group.
Idyllic, peaceful, beautiful and a wonderful place for a family holiday. What a contrast from Doha, Qatar, Manchester, Dubai, Southampton and Scotland. Thank you for all your help, advice and recommendations. This is a very special place and we would love to return. Excellent place to celebrate our 60th birthday. Thanks for the Champagne.
T. Roose (USA) 2007
We greatly enjoyed our stay at La Sonine. What a lovely place! You are indeed fortunate to have it -- I hope you and your family are able to get back and forth to France very frequently to enjoy it --
Aug 2 2008
A beautiful house with absolutely everything you could want to make you feel immediately at home. Perfect environment to just unwind and relax and lovely hot weather all week make this a lovely experience. St paul is a fantastic area with a beautiful town and the main areas of Nice, Monaco, Cannes and St Rafael are all within easy distance. The swimming pool was brilliant. Kent, England
We have had a lovely time in the Villa and out. It is lovely and big and the forest is very exciting. St Paul is a lovely little walk and we have found a shortcut! We have been to some really nice beaches in Juan les Pins and Antibes. The swimming pool was excellent and all the floats for it were very good. All the bedrooms are very nice and the beds are very comfy. We have had a lovely time. Thank you very much! Liverpool, England
Many thanks for sharing your absolutely amazing place with us. We have had a fantastic week in beautiful surroundings. Warm Regards - Kazakhstan
We had a wonderful stay at La Sonine. The kids had a wonderful time running around the garden and swimming in the pool while the adults enjoyed the peace and quiet of the patio and terrace. We love St Paul de Vence. Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. Looking forward to a return visit in the future. Boston, MA
The house was cool. The pool was warm. The beds were comfortable. We loved our stay here at La Sonine. The home is beautiful and we had a great time. Many memories have been cherished in this house. With thanks The Watenabes
We had a fabulous stay. Your house and suggestions were the foundation for an amazing family getaway. Great Cultural experience for our kids and great relaxation for us. Thanks
This past week met our expectations in every way. The Villa was just right...comfortable, relaxed and beautiful.
Is the week over already. Darn feels like we've just arrived. Many thanks for sharing your home. It was fabulous. Thanks especially for such a well stocked kitchen and linens. We loved dining outside also laundry access was a great benefit. Thanks for everything. Colorado Springs, USA
- suitable for elderly or infirm
- children welcome
- Long-term Renters Welcome
- wheelchair inaccessible
- pets not allowed
We live in London having just returned from 17 years living in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. We have 3 children aged 11-14 and for them, La Sonine is home. Having owned the house from the time they were infants, we are experts on what do to in the area and are very happy to advise.
There are few places left untouched on this planet, and even fewer which are located 15 minutes from an international airport. To walk through the alley ways and around the walls of St Paul de Vence is to step back in time. In more modern times, the town was adopted by many well-known artists and this has only added to the richness of the area and village itself. Tourettes sur Loup, Biot, Valbonne, Grasse, Moujins and Vence all offer different flavours of the region and make wonderful 1/2 day trips for lunch or breakfast. A favourite for us is to nip up to Tourettes for breakfast and the market on a Wednesday morning or to walk to Vence for lunch. With the beaches and the high-life of the Cote d'Azur in view and just 15 minutes drive it is easy to duck in and out of this scene and then retreat to the quiet and tranquility of La Sonine. There are not many houses in the area that offer flat land, or houses that are well laid out for 2 or more families. This is what we love about our home and we hope you will too.
We are upgrading. The bathrooms and kitchen are being remodelled Autumn 2012 - do ask for photos!