Monday, January 16, 2017

Running away to Ribeauville, France... part one (apartment review)

A couple of weeks ago, my husband Bill told me he wanted to get away for the long Martin Luther King holiday weekend.  Although there are a lot of places we'd like to go, we were somewhat hampered by the fact that our dogs, Zane and Arran, would have to come with us.  Our regular pet boarder was full.  That would mean wherever we went would need to be dog friendly and close enough to drive to conveniently.

Last July, we took an overnight trip to Riquewihr, which is a picturesque little village in Alsatian wine country.  I had noticed charming Ribeauville on the way there.  I also remembered how extremely pet friendly Riquewihr is.  With that in mind, I went searching on Booking.com for a "gite" in Ribeauville.  Actually, I looked for gites in Eguisheim first, but didn't find anything that met our needs.  I chose Gîtes de la Maison Vigneronne, au Coeur de Ribeauvillé.

We enjoyed a very nice drive to France, taking a slightly different route than we usually do.  Although the weather was forecasted to be snowy, it hadn't really started coming down during our drive.  It wasn't until just until we got over the French border than the snow got to be noticeable.  Below are some photos I took on the drive to France.







Yannick, the guy who runs Gîtes de la Maison Vigneronne, au Coeur de Ribeauvillé, had told us we could check in after three o'clock.  Since he also works a different job, he said he'd meet us after six o'clock.  He gave us directions for getting the key to the apartment, which allowed us to check in slightly earlier than we meant to.  You just punch in a code by the gate and collect the key by yourself.  There is free parking near the apartments, so we found a spot and unloaded.  It was no problem whatsoever.

We rented "Pinot Noir", which is one of the four apartments Yannick has.  It's a one bedroom apartment with stone walls.  I noticed the other one near us was called Gewurtztraminer.  It was rented by a couple of American ladies who showed up Saturday, but we neither saw nor heard them.

One thing I loved about Yannick's apartment was that it was very pet friendly.  I never felt like I had to be especially careful in the apartment.  When Yannick came by to meet us, he made it clear that he's a dog lover.  If we go back to Ribeauville, we will rent from him again.  I would recommend his places to anyone who needs a place that is especially pet friendly.  Yannick also didn't take the 300 euro deposit Booking.com said we'd need.  He said he trusted us.  He also left us a nice bottle of local wine.


A gift from our host.


We even had a Christmas tree!


A washing machine if you need one, although there is no dryer.  There is a drying rack.


Bathroom sink.


Rainfall shower.


Living area.


Kitchen (part of the living area).  There's a table for four, a microwave, oven, stove top, refrigerator, and dishwasher.  It was well stocked with cooking and eating utensils.  I didn't get a photo of the bedroom, but it had a king sized bed that was surprisingly comfortable.


Little courtyard in front of the apartment.

My only big complaint about the apartment was that it was really cold in there at first.  Yannick had turned the heat on, but no one had used the apartment recently, so due to the stone walls, it was pretty chilly in there when we first arrived.  It took several hours for the apartment to heat up after we put the heat on the highest setting.  If you are tempted to rent this apartment during the off season in winter, I recommend bringing warm clothes.  


The little alleyway that leads to the main drag through the village.  The apartment is maybe fifty meters from town.  There's a bakery and a small supermarket very close.  There are also lots of restaurants, although many were closed over the weekend because the proprietors had gone on holiday.

We spent about $360 to rent the apartment for three nights.  I thought that was a fair price.  And again, Yannick is super laid back and loves dogs.  He made ours feel very welcome.  Yannick has a couple of studio apartments, as well as a three bedroom one that sleeps six.

As we were leaving this morning, Yannick showed up.  He was going to get the Christmas tree.  He bid us a cheery farewell and the dogs gave him kisses.  Seriously... if you have dogs and want to go to France, look up Yannick.  More on this trip in part two.


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