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Beautifully Converted Farmhouse, Huge Garden And Children's Play Areas

25 Reviews
Bedrooms 6
Separate WC's1
Property type farmhouse
Minimum Stay 2 - 4 nights

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Minimum Stay
2 - 4 nights


Photos and Description of this 6 bedroom holiday farmhouse in Saint-Malo-en-Donziois - L'Autre Vie

5+ bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, huge garden and terrace, tranquil setting

This large, recently renovated farmhouse is set in a tranquil hamlet surrounded by countryside, and is situated at the heart of the hamlet behind the old lavoir, where the women of the community used to come to wash their clothes. The only noise you are likely to encounter will be from the passing tractors and cows and at night you can sit on the beautiful terrace and enjoy star-gazing undisturbed by any competing light. The terrace benefits from outdoor dining and lounging furniture and lighting, and both a gas and charcoal barbecue. In the daytime keep a lookout for the buzzards and deer that appear both in the garden and in the surrounding fields. The house, formerly two farmhouses and two barns, has been renovated to a high standard with original features throughout but all modern conveniences such as underfloor heating and quality fittings in the spacious and well-equipped kitchen and four bathrooms and downstairs toilet. The kitchen has a double-oven and grill, plate-warming oven, dish-washer, food-mixer, Raclette machine, full cooking and baking equipment and a large dining table and chairs, plus a high chair. In the separate utility room there is a washing machine and dryer plus iron/ironing board. The house has five bedrooms (three doubles, one twin and one room (through which access to two of the double rooms is necessary) with bunk beds, a single folding bed plus an extra single mattress so it is possible to rearrange who sleeps where if desired). There are in addition two rooms on the ground floor that can be used as bedrooms, each with a double sofa bed, one of which is located in the TV room, which has a television and a DVD player. There is in addition a playroom, with desks and a children's table and chairs, with lots of toys, puzzles and games. The house has one fixed cot and one travel cot for guests' use. The three upstairs double bedrooms are all en suite, with bathroom 1 benefiting from a large corner bath, separate shower and two sinks. Both of the other en suite bathrooms have a toilet, sink and bath with integrated shower, and heated towel rails. In the very large sitting room, which is open to the beamed roof above and with a galleried landing around, is plenty of space for relaxing and, in the colder months, enjoying the lovely open log fire. In the mezzanine gallery above, is an additional relaxing area with Playstation (2) and DVD/video player. The very large garden and terrace are perfect for enjoying a barbecue and relaxing in total calm, or for watching the children playing on the large trampoline, in the playhouse, on the climbing frame/swingset and in the large sandpit. The house is in a lovely location for gentle or longer, more challenging, bike rides (we have two adult bikes (one with child seat) and three young child (age 4-7ish) bikes available for borrowing), for trips into the wine country of Pouilly and Sancerre or simply for relaxing! Day trips to Vezelay and into the Morvan forest are also highly recommended for nature and food lovers alike!

  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • wheelchair inaccessible

Vikki Luijkx
Member since: 2012
Speaks English, French, Dutch
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
21 October, 2016

About Vikki Luijkx

We are a Dutch/English couple, who lived for a long time in Paris, France. When we started a family we decided to buy and renovate a house in the country so that our children would have somewhere to run around outside, as we lived in an apartment. That renovation idea turned into a labour of love when we stumbled across a completely rundown farmhouse with attached barn(s) that were in the process of being reclaimed by nature and at the time were totally uninhabitable. 7 years later the buildings have become one, and now boast the luxuries of a roof, windows and electricity to name a few that weren't there when we first fell in love with it! And our two children are now old enough to run around and truly appreciate the space and freedom that the spacious house and huge garden (or field, rather) provide!

Vikki Luijkx purchased this farmhouse in 2005

Why Vikki Luijkx chose Nievre

We chose to look for a property in this region as it was only 2 hours drive from Paris, so easy to access, but all the same completely 'away from it all' and truly within unspoilt French countryside. We then fell in love with this house as it has such great space and character, and we loved the tiny hamlet within which it lies and the lovely neighbours we met there - unobtrusive but super-friendly and helpful.

What makes this farmhouse unique

We wanted to make this a home-away-from-home for our family, and worked on the basis that it should be at least as luxurious as our main home, else we wouldn't use it as much as it deserved. It's in a quiet non-touristy area so you make your own entertainment - hence we have our own trampoline, sandpit, swing/slide-set and climbing frame for the children, plus Wii and Playstation, DVD and video/English satellite TV for rainy days. We also love just lounging on the enormous terrace staring up at the starry sky which is unaffected by light pollution, whilst drinking the local wines and eating the local produce, or relaxing indoors in front of a roaring log fire in the open-to-the-rafters living room.

Guestbook comments from the owner

My husband and I went with our two children aged 10 and 7. The house is spacious and equipped with all creature comforts, including a superb dining kitchen, giving onto the private patio and field to the rear. Situated in a tiny hamlet, this really was a 'get away from it all' holiday. The nearest village for fresh bread and supplies is less than 5 mins by car, which is essential, but we found the area perfect for safe cycling with the children (we used the bicycles at the property), paid several visits to the cheap and lovely outdoor pool at Donzy, and made various trips out including canoeing and a day trip to Sancerre, to stock up for the return trip home. A lovely house to relax in, and a great holiday.
Aug 2011
  • 1 of 5


based on 25 holidaymaker reviews

Beautifully Converted Farmhouse, Huge Garden And Children's Play Areas
average rating of 4.8 based on 30 reviews

Excellent property - has everything

  • 5 of 5

We stayed for a week, extended family holiday which included 6 adults & 4 children ages 10, 7, 4 & 18months. The house was excellent. All rooms were clean, facilities were great & very modern. Owners have considered everything which meant the kids had plenty to keep them busy, both inside & out, while us adults could relax in the very quiet garden. We took a paddling pool so the kids had somewhere to splash about - a good idea as we had temperatures over 35 degrees for most of the week! The kitchen was great - very large so we could all eat together round the table & it had everything you'll need & more. One of the best parts of the holiday was star gazing at night (no light pollution so this was unbeliverable) with the fire pit going & hot chocolate. We all came home very relaxed indeed!!!

There are some excellent areas to explore fairly close by if you want to get out & the lake nearby keep us busy one afternoon - a nice change to a swim in the sea.

An excellent holiday, in an excellent house - would not hesitate recommending this house to anyone.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 21, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you very much for your lovely words - it always make us extremely happy when someone enjoys our house and the area as much as we do (and yes stargazing is one of our own favourite evening activities there too!!)
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Super weekend

  • 5 of 5

Il n'y a pas mieux que cet endroit! Nous avons passe un super weekend dans ce gite tres accueillant et chaleureux. Les chambres tres grandes, les 5 salles de bains, les salles de jeux pour les enfants, sont parfaits pour un sejour a n'importe quel moment de l'annee! Le coin est tellement sympa qu'on aurait aime rester beaucoup plus qu'un weekend!

Super rapport qualite/prix!

Je recommande vivement cette location.

Merci beaucoup aux proprietaires!

  • Review Submitted: Sep 22, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Nous sommes tres heureux que vous avez passe un agreable sejour a L'Autre Vie et nous vous remercions pour vos gentilles remarques !
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Great house!

  • 4 of 5

The house is very well equipped, large and very suitable for groups with children. The garden is huge and the kids had the time of their lives on the trampoline, on the swing, on their bikes and in the playroom.

Too bad you need the car for everything, but the fact that it's very remote also has its charme.

Vezelay, Sancerre, Morvan, Cosne are worth a visit!

Would definitely come again.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 28, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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Beautifully house, Huge Garden

  • 5 of 5

Vikki has been available for every question I had about the house or the things to do in the area. Her answers came promptly and she let us free on the incoming hour. I appreciate!!

The house is beautiful, very well designed, clean, and the garden is HUGE.

It's the perfect house for a friends weekend with children.

I warmly recommend it!!!!

  • Review Submitted: Jun 24, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for your kind words - It's always rewarding to share our beloved house with people like yourselves who appreciate it in the same way we do!
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A fabulous home in the French countryside

  • 5 of 5

Had a wonderful, relaxing stay at this lovely farmhouse. The house is tastefully decorated with clean, modern bathrooms and a large well-equipped kitchen. It has everything you might need for a holiday with children, including a trampoline, swings, play room, bikes, DVDs and books. We instantly felt at home and loved exploring the surriunding countryside on practically traffic-free roads. The huge garden is perfect for playing or just relaxing. The night sky is stunning on a clear evening. We didn't want to leave, and will definitely be back!

  • Review Submitted: May 31, 2015
  • Date of Stay: May 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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A beautiful house in the countryside

  • 5 of 5

Our stay in your house was perfect. The house is beautiful, modern, very clean and peaceful. We were 8 adults and 7 children, and everybody was happy and had enough space to enjoy and play.

  • Review Submitted: May 18, 2015
  • Date of Stay: May 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your kind words and for your visit to L'Autre Vie - it always makes us very happy when others enjoy their stay at our house as much as we do!
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Nearest Airport
200 Kilometres
Paris Orly
Nearest Barpub
15 Kilometres
Nearest Ferry
500 Kilometres
Nearest Golf
40 Kilometres
Nearest Train
30 Kilometres
Cosne Cour sur Loire
Nearest Motorway
25 Kilometres
A77 (Cosne exit)
Nearest Restaurant
15 Kilometres
Car: necessary

The Nièvre department is within the Burgundy region, located in the centre of France. It is an area with beautiful verdant countryside with rolling hills, perfect both for gentle and for more challenging cycling expeditions. It enjoys a relaxed pace of life, with many charming villages to explore and restaurants to discover. Burgundy is world-famous for its wines and also for its food, including some wonderful cheeses (including the famous Crottin de Chavignol - a goat’s cheese from Nievre) and charcuterie (including terrines, ham from the Morvan region and Clamecy andouillettes). The Charolaise meat from the region is renowned all over the world.

Our converted barn and farmhouse is located in the heart of a small hamlet, behind the local 'lavoir' at the source of the stream (where the women of the community used to wash their clothes). The nearest amenities (boulangerie, small supermarket, pharmacy, tennis courts etc) are 4 km away and 15km away is the small town of Donzy, which is charming to wander around with its roads of quaint old houses and church, lovely local restaurant and walnut oil-producing mill, or for using the open-air swimming pool. Cosne sur Loire, a further 15km beyond Donzy, has many shops and larger facilities, and just outside Cosne is La Ferme du Port d'Aubry - a working goat farm (with many other animals, including ponies on which during the summer months they can take rides) which the children will love to wander around (for free) with a farm shop, which sells local produce including (naturally) goats cheese, preserves, wines and beer. The towns of Sancerre and Pouilly sur Loire are a 30 minutes drive where you can sample the many world-famous wines, both within these lovely towns or by meandering through the vineyard-covered countryside around. To the east is the beautiful Morvan forest region and slightly more north-easterly the gastronomic town of Vezelay is worth the 50km drive, both for its restaurants and beautiful abbey, one of the most important starting points for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Another recommended destination is the Château du Saint Fargeau with its beautiful farm, through which the animals roam at will and love to be fed by the visitors. On the way to Saint Fargeau, just 15 minutes or so past Donzy, is the lovely town of St Armand en Puisaye, famous for its pottery - lovely for wandering around the dozens of potteries and stopping off in a restaurant or café.

Around the hamlet lie miles of quiet roads with local bars and cafés in the villages along the way; perfect for biking or wandering, whilst looking out for the local wildlife including buzzards, wild boar and deer.


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday farmhouse in Saint-Malo-en-Donziois, Nievre

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Xmas 2016
22 Dec 2016 - 7 Jan 2017
4 night minimum stay
for 4 nights
Winter 2017
8 Jan 2017 - 2 Apr 2017
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
Spring 2017
3 Apr 2017 - 30 Jun 2017
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
Summer 2017
1 Jul 2017 - 31 Aug 2017
4 night minimum stay
for 4 nights
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights

Additional pricing information

Linen hire (not towels) £89
Refundable Damage Deposit £311
Pet Fee £44

Non-smoking property (inside house). There are a number of steps/staircases throughout the house so may be difficult for people with mobility issues, and parents will need to keep an eye on newly mobile babies who are not yet adept at navigating stairs!

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Accommodation and facilities for this holiday farmhouse in Saint-Malo-en-Donziois in Burgundy

Property Type:
  • farmhouse (detached)
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 300 m²
Location Type:
  • rural
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Fireplace
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
  • 4 Bathrooms
  • 1 Separate WC
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath (no shower) , Shower Enclosure , Large corner bath, separate shower, double sink
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Bath with Shower
    Bathroom 3 - Toilet , Bath with Shower
    Bathroom 4 - Toilet , Bath with Shower
    Downstairs toilet - Toilet
  • 6 Bedrooms, Sleeps 16
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Large Double Bed
    Bedroom 3 - 1 Large Double Bed , 1 Cot
    Bedroom 4 - 1 Large Double Bed
    Bedroom 5 - 2 Single Bed , 1 Sofa bed/Futon , Bunkbeds plus folding bed, plus one additional mattress
    Bedroom 2 - 1 Large Double Bed , 2 Single Bed
    Bedroom 6 - 1 Sofa bed/Futon , 2 person sofa bed in TV room
    Bedroom 7 - 1 Sofa bed/Futon , Dble sofabed, ground floor bedroom - WC (no bath) downstairs
  • The house sleeps 12 in terms of 'fixed bed frames' plus there are: 1) a single mattress that can be placed if and where desired in the house (there are plenty of other rooms that could be used for sleeping, albeit not designated as bedrooms), 2) double sofabed in downstairs bedroom and 3) double sofa bed in downstairs TV room.You have to walk through bedroom 5 to access bedrooms 3 and 4 hence this room works best for families/groups that know each other. The folding bed in bedroom 5 can easily be moved to another room if desired, and there is space in this bedroom for the single mattress to be placed on the floor if desired. The fixed cot can be moved between bedrooms 3, 4 and 5; there is also a travel cot in the house which can be placed where desired.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Toys
  • Video Games ...
  • Bicycles
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Barbecue
  • 12 garden chairs
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • walking
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling

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