Lovely provencal-style villa set in chestnut forest, with 11.5 m pool, covered and open terraces and stunning views over wooded valley. Outside dining (10) under shady pergola. Close to village.
Downstairs: Large entrance hall and a n eclectic library of books in English and French. Beamed living room with wood-burning fire-place, two sofas and armchairs, Internet TV etc.; beamed dining room (seats 8): both rooms open onto terraces and have pool and country views. Well equipped large modern kitchen which has just been installed with American style fridge freezer and separate wine fridge. Spacious air-conditioned master suite with private living room ( large sofa, 2 armchairs, TV) opening onto terrace, with large bath/shower. Small Double-bed bedroom 5 with luxury shower room.
Upstairs: Curved staircase to three further bedrooms: Bedroom 2 with ensuite shower, a/c and great views; Double-bed 3 with french windows to lovely private covered terrace, a/c and views; Large bedroom 4 twin beds and a/c. Family bathroom for beds 3 and 4. Mosquito screens on all windows.
All bedrooms except Bed 5 have large fitted cupboards and chest of drawers.Bedroom 5 has free-standing wardrobe.
High chairs, cots and fold-up beds can be supplied on request.
Broadband, phone and satellite TV.
Dogs are honoured guests and love the place (though it is not fully fenced if they tend to wander...).
Many guests to the Villa Alexandre can't tear themselves away from the lazy lifestyle it offers, with drinks on the terraces, dips in the shimmering pool and lunches, dinners and barbecues under the vine-draped pergola - though the ultra-energetic drag themselves off for a game of boulles in the gravel terrains in front of and behind the house . There is also a new outdoor all-weather table-tennis set-up.
But there is a lot more to do if you are so inclined. Closest to home is the village of La Garde Freinet - about 1.5 km or a 20 minute walk away. The village goes back to Saracen times, and a slightly challenging walk takes you to the ruins of the old fort and the more modern giant cross which dominate the village from the hills above. The village is very old with narrow winding streets, higgledy-piggledy houses and fountains everywhere. There’s a mediaeval church, the original old stone clothes washing vats with a stream running through, and a very good tourist information office. Although it’s small, it has everything you need, including La Poste, hairdressers, two butchers, two bakers, two general stores, a pharmacy, a few antique shops and galleries and eight or ten bars and restaurants, all with terraces overlooking the delightful pedestrianised main cobbled street. Twice a week, Wednesdays and Sundays, there’s a market where all sorts of local and imported produce can be bought – twenty kinds of olives and local olive oil, cheeses, artisanal bread and patisserie, locally grown fruit and vegetables, patés, hams, local pottery as well as straw sunhats and local fabrics. There’s even a fish stall and a locally-famous transvestite d’un certain age selling roasted chickens...
La Garde Freinet is a very authentic village, somehow a little more real than the beautiful but rather chocolate-box village of Grimaud, a couple of miles down the hill. But Grimaud, and it’s quaint but slightly ersatz baby brother Port-Grimaud, certainly deserve a visit – beautifully conserved architecture from the middle ages in the one and a very good fist at creating an old provencal fishing village in the other – Prince Charles would love it. Like all the towns and villages in the region, all have a selection of differently priced restaurants, many serving local specialities.
St Tropez needs no introduction, and you either love it or hate it. It can be brash and showy in the way it displays its money, but there’s no doubting the charm of the old village (and the prices in the designer shops…). And the St Tropez beaches at Pampelonne are some of the best in the Mediterranean, with a wide range of restaurants and beach clubs catering for both family and the ultra glitzy. We provide you with a back-road map to the beaches which allows you to avoid the traffic chaos of July and August, and both the town and the beaches of St Tropez have ferry services from Cogolin Plage and Sainte-Maxime. The super yachts in the harbour and the restaurants, .bars and nightclubs set the place apart from anywhere else I know…
Personally I prefer to stay by the pool with a book and a G&T, but there’s plenty more to do that doesn’t involve St Trop, including many quieter beaches. The spectacular Gorges de Verdon, Europe’s answer to the Grand Canyon, is about 70 minutes drive away, through beautiful stone villages and stunning countryside. As well as the scenic drive around the Gorge you can swim or canoe in the beautiful lake below it. There are wonderful walks around the village or in the national park which surrounds it, we have at least five golf courses within a thirty minute drive and two equestrian centres, including the famous St Tropez polo club, within the same distance. There are also lots of wine estates offering tastings (the locals favour rosé, for some reason, but all the local wines are very drinkable).
Two excellent supermarkets at Cogolin and La Foux (both 15-20 minutes away) make the weekly shop quite painless. The display and variety of fresh fish and shellfish is truly amazing, and the deli counters provide you with a host of great starters and cheeses.
Friends and family and all the guest who have stayed over the years have, without exception, fallen in love with it and the whole locality. The aim is to create a comfortable, carefree environment rather than a show house and I have set a weekly rental which I aim to be lower than comparable properties as I want the place to be used and as many people as possible to enjoy it. If there’s something you need to make the holiday special for you then I’ll do my best to accommodate you. Towels, beach towels and excellent linen will be provided, and a mid week clean can be arranged if you require it. My name is John, and please contact me with any questions.
My philosophy is that it's good to have the house used, and so I have fixed rents at about 20% less than the rate for similar homes in the area, making this beautiful, big villa with its wonderful pool one of the best deals in the area.