Domaine de l’Abey

Vence, South of France

Domaine de L’Abey is set in five acres of its own gardens in a supreme position in the heights above Vence. With spectacular 180 degree views from both villa and gardens over Nice, Cannes and the coast it enjoys an unrivalled position. By day or by night the view is awe inspiring. With a large swimming pool, spa and tennis court the facilities and gardens are superb. The villa is spacious, extremely comfortable and perfectly located to enjoy all that this renowned area offers.

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Overview

Sleeps: 12

 

Bedrooms & Bathrooms

2 double bedrooms – both ensuite

4 doubles or twins – all ensuite

More information on the bedrooms and bathrooms.

Rent per week

£9600 to £13000 per week depending on the season. Saturday to Saturday

Detailed break down of  price per week

 

Key features

6 bedroom villa in superb situation

Swimming pool and spa

5 acres of garden and grounds

Tennis court

Air conditioning 

All bedrooms are ensuite

Testimonials

"We fell thoroughly relaxed after only a few days, it is just a shame we have to go so soon. We don’t have the words to tell you how much we enjoyed ourselves"

Paul and Becca, Brighton

"Two weeks of fabulous holiday in one of the world’s most beautiful houses"

George, Kent

"Our cares slipped away into timeless days, a most precious gift"

Tony, London.

"We have loved every minute staying in this beautiful part of the world"

Peter and Anthea, Gloucestershire

"What a wonderful 10 days, what a wonderful place…"

Heather and John, Cape Town

The House and Accommodation

Main Living Room/Salon: This is a magnificent living space filled with natural light though its huge glass windows to the Southerly views out to The Mediterranean sea beyond and The Cote D’Azur below. This room is effectively open plan but with distinct areas within it including:

A central sitting area with 3 large sofas around a large coffee table. There is a small card table and 4 chairs to one side.

At the eastern end of the Salon is a separate sunken seating area forming a cosy cockpit with seating on two sides and a large open wood burning fireplace.

Sliding doors/windows lead out to a terrace seating area adjoining the swimming pool.

The two levels of this living area are divided by a glass cabinet containing objets d’art and a model yacht.

The Kitchen: is accessed from the garden terrace on the West. It also links directly to the salle a manger/dining area with gas barbecue and to the dining room inside. The kitchen is L shaped. The longer side of the L comprises the main kitchen area with sink, marble tops, wall and base units, a fridge freezer with ice maker and cold water dispenser, electric oven, microwave, toaster, Nespresso coffee making machine and dishwashing machine. There is also a cooker on an island surface with 4 ceramic hobs. The kitchen is well equipped throughout. The other half of the kitchen contains a seating/eating area with a round table seating 6.

Dining Room has a dining table seating 10 comfortably.

Salle a Manger/Gas barbecue area adjoins the kitchen, salon and Dining Room. Its table seats 12.

Mezzanine gallery: on the first floor that overlooks the main living area. At one end of the gallery is a small bar with a West facing balcony. There is a pool table and a glass display case containing a model of HMS Victory and a separate seating area with sofas, coffee table and flat screen TV (with TV and DVD system) which provides another separate area to relax.

Bedrooms & bathrooms

Bedroom 1 The Master Bedroom with 4 poster super king bed accessed from the Living Room on the Eastern side of the main living area. A large bedroom with wooden floors on two levels and ample fitted cupboard space. Glass sliding doors open onto its private terrace with comfortable seating for two framed by young palm trees and a view to the pool and spa. Its ensuite bathroom with a bath, twin wash basins and a walk in shower. There is a separate/adjoining WC

Bedroom 3 This contains an office area with desk, seating for two and a super king double bed (1.8w x 2m) which can be split to form a twin room. The office area opens to a private balcony with an awning for shade. Its ensuite bathroom is a small shower room with washbasin and WC. The office area opens to a private balcony with an awning for shade.

Bedroom 4 a children’s bedroom with two twin beds (.9 x2m) which can be made up into a double if necessary. There is a desk and French doors open to a private patio. Its ensuite Bathroom adjoins with bath, separate shower and washbasin. There is a separate adjacent WC.

Bedroom 5 with super king double bed (1.8w x 2m) that can be divided into twin beds. There is a delightful mural and the views east from this room to St Jeannet and the observatory of Nice are spectacular. French doors open to a private terrace with superb views over Nice to The Mediterranean. Its ensuite bathroom is a small bathroom with bath (with shower over), washbasin and WC.

Bedroom 2. A large double bedroom with super king double bed (1.8w x 2m), dressing table and access through sliding glass doors to its own private balcony overlooking the pool and views to the the Mediterranean. There is a writing table, chair and access to its ensuite bathroom with twin washbasins, bath and separate shower. There is a separate adjacent WC.

Bedroom 6 with a kingsize bed is set in its own studio setting, separate from the main villa, located adjacent to the tennis court. The studio has a bar and a galley kitchen. Its ensuite bathroom is a small shower room with WC.

Garden and Grounds

The gardens and grounds of Domaine de L’Abey occupy some 5 acres and offer supreme views over the country below and to the sea. The distinctive rocky outcrops above and behind the villa are indicators that this is about as high as you get above Nice!

A series of planted terraces rise up the hillside behind but the villa and gardens are principally orientated South to maximise its glorious setting. There is a generous lawn area to the west side of the swimming pool shaded by 3 fine umbrella pines and providing wonderful space for children to play.

The lawn area continues around to a lower level where there is a pétanque pitch (terrain des boules) bordered by olive trees and a cypress pine. A magnificent lone Palm dominates the lower lawn and a gallery under the swimming pool provides the site for a table tennis table. An ornamental cascade fed by a water fountain runs into a small lily pond with goldfish.

Additional buildings, terraces and eating areas

On the western garden terrace under the shade of a palm and umbrella pine is a teak dining table/area that can comfortably seat 8.

Alongside the tennis court is a tennis pavilion. This studio is used as Bedroom 6 when the villa is accommodating 12 guests.

Tennis Court

The tennis court is located a short walk down the drive from the villa. A superb all weather surface and court framed by magnificent palm trees and open to the spectacular southerly views. Alongside the tennis court is a tennis pavilion. This studio is used as Bedroom 6 when the villa is accommodating 12 guests.

Swimming Pool

The large swimming pool dominates the area to the front of the house. Measuring an impressive 9m x 22m (1.2m at the shallow end and 2.5 m at the deep end). Roman steps are built into the shallow end and pool steps allow gentle entry into the deep end. There is a diving board. The pool is framed by generous paving. This extends to a terrace to form a poolside dining area with teak furniture and a table seating 12.

There are 6 sunbeds and a sun umbrella.

At the eastern end of the pool steps either side lead up to a spa with an infinity edge and views over Nice, Antibes and Cannes.

Location

Domaine de L’Abey is located in the most prestigious area of Vence above the old town, just 5 minutes by car. Its position provides a panoramic view which is more than 180 degrees from the foothills of the Alps down to Nice, across to Antibes, Cannes, the Lerins islands and out to Corsica.

There are extensive shopping facilities in Vence including Leclerc, Casino, Carrefour and SuperU supermarkets. There is also a market on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

How to get there

Airports

It is 19 kms/30 minutes from Nice airport.

TGV

Nice, Antibes and Cannes.

Things to see and do nearby

Vence

is a 20 minute walk down to town but you may want to arrange a lift back. It’s quite a climb back up the hill. The Chateau Villeneuve is at the entrance of the old town near the Fontaine Du Peyra. Always an art exhibition here. A walk around the streets and cloisters of the old town is worthwhile. The city dates back pre Roman times. It was formerly the ancient Roman settlement of Vintium. The cathedral in the main square is worthy of a visit as are the art and antique shops. The Chappelle du Roseraie in Vence which Matisse designed and decorated, is also not to be missed. There are lots of good bars and restaurants. The House Information book gives more detail. The Office de Tourisme has plenty of ideas for activities and events and is situated close to the main car park ‘Marie Antoinette’.

Saint-Paul-de-Vence

is one of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera and has long been the haunt of the rich and famous. Yves Montant and Simone Signoret spent a lot of time in the town, the artist Marc Chagal lived here and, a little further down the intellectual scale, Rolling Stone Bill Wyman has a house here. Just outside the town is the Fondation Maeght museum of modern art which has a world famous collection of works by Giacometti, Chagal, Miro and many others dotted around a garden and gallery. It is a 15 minute drive from the villa and an excellent day out.

Other Villages & locations of note

The ancient villages of Valbonne and Mougins are within easy reach and the iconic resorts of Cannes, Antibes and Nice are all accessible. The casinos and bright lights of Monaco are only an hour away.

Valbonne

The lovely little town of Valbonne was formally founded in the early 16th century though there is evidence of a settlement there as early as the 12th century. Interesting little shops and restaurants are tucked into the picturesque, cobbled alleys off the main square where you can sit and soak up the sun in an open air café or visit the bustling market that takes place every Friday morning.

Mougins

the old town of Mougins (20 miles/40 minutes), dates back to pre-Roman times, and has been the home of many famous artists, intellectuals and foodies. Picasso lived here for the last 12 years of his life and many world-famous chefs including Alain Ducasse and Roger Vergé have owned restaurants here. It remains a very ‘arty’ place and has many galleries and fine restaurants. There is a car park at the bottom of hill leading up to the old town.

Gourdon

The ancient little village of Gourdon (18 miles/40 minutes) is perched on a rock above the valley of the River Loup. It is about half an hour’s drive up a good (if steep) road and the views are fantastic. There are a number of tourist shops and cafés and the castle are open to the public.

The Gorges due Verdon

Europe’s ‘Grand Canyon’ is one of the most spectacular and beautiful gorges in Europe. It is some 25 km long and over 700 metres deep and it is possible to drive much of the way along its rim. It’s possible to kayak down the Verdon River and there are some spectacular hiking routes or if you are into technical rock climbing, some 1500 recognised climbs. We suggest you allow the best part of a day for the trip and have lunch in one of the restaurants in the lovely little town of Castellane.

Tourrettes-sur-Loup

about 15minutes/5 miles drive from the villa. A medieval village perched on the top of a rocky outcrop overlooking the dramatic valley of the River Loup. It is a very popular tourist destination renowned for its arts and crafts which include weaving, painting, pottery, jewellery and sculptures, all of which are created in the village. It is home to many historically significant monuments and has many highly recommended restaurants.

The old town of Nice

(or Vieux Nice as the locals call it) is a delightful place to spend a day. It is a hive of activity by day and night and a wonderful place to wander around, get lost and have a drink, eat an ice cream or have a traditional meal in one of the many cafés and restaurants. There are colourful markets selling flowers, artisanal produce, fruit and vegetables, a big fish market and lots of shops selling souvenirs, chocolates, antiques and clothing. It is about a 45 minute drive (13 kms) to the old town.

Cultural attractions

There are a vast number of cultural attractions throughout the Côte d’Azur. Nice, for instance, has more museums and art galleries than any French city other than Paris and also has an Opera House, as well as hosting many other musical events.

Gardens

There are a number of semi-tropical gardens on the Côte d’Azur that are open to the public. Particularly recommended is the Villa Ephrussi at St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, a Rothschild villa and gardens.

Antibes

is half a 40 minute drive away. There is lots to see including the Picasso Museum, an excellent market, lots of trendy shops and many good street cafés and restaurants. A wander around the port to ogle at the billionaires’ super yachts makes for an interesting half an hour, or there is a small beach on the other side of the harbour wall. There is a footpath around the Cap d’Antibes if you are feeling energetic – a leisurely 2 hour walk. Park at Plage de la Garoupe and take the path from the far end of the beach.

Cannes film festival and Monaco F1

Two events of world importance each year are the Cannes Film Festival (mid-May) and, in the Film Festival’s last week, the Monaco F1 Grand Prix (motor racing, of course!).

Scent Factories

Many of the world-renowned scent factories in Grasse encourage visits and on-the- spot purchases, as do glass-makers in Biot.

Restaurants and eating out

There are so many restaurants in the area that you will be spoiled for choice. They range from the Michelin starred to something more modest. A number of local ‘favourites’ are listed in The House Information Book with the owners’ very helpful comments. Details can be provided in advance on request.

Markets and shopping

Cannes and Antibes are, of course, famous for their up- market shops but at the other end of the scale is the bustling Rue Meynadier in Cannes with its market atmosphere, affordable clothes shops and artisan food stores. There is an excellent market in Grasse on Wednesday and Saturday and in Valbonne every Friday morning and in Mouans Sartoux (45 minutes/22 miles) every Thursday morning.

Golf

There are many high quality golf courses in the area. (See the list provided in the House Information manual)

Walks and Hiking

There are lots of spectacular walks and hiking trails in the region (Google ‘Walks near Vence’)

Beaches

There are countless beaches up and down the coast to explore. There are suggestions in The House Book.

Horse Racing

Cagnes-sur-Mer also has a racecourse which holds meetings, mainly trotting, throughout July and August.

Additional Information

Arrival welcome and departure: Tenants will be met on arrival and will be shown how everything works, both inside and out. 

Wifi and Broadband: There is a telephone system and broadband fibre internet connection with wifi coverage throughout the main house (measured 600mpbsupload and download)

Housebook: The House Information Book provides information in more detail.

Additional entertainment: There is a piano, boules court and table tennis. There are a number of English and French language books for the use and enjoyment of guests.

Services included: There is a caretaker/gardienne couple (Alain and Gil) who live in a small cottage on the drive to the villa. Guests will be largely unaware of their presence but they provide security for the estate. Swimming pool and garden maintenance are included

Optional / additional services available: Provided sufficient notice is given, a cleaner and/or part time cook can probably be found. His/her/their wage will be the tenants responsibility and can be ascertained in advance should tenants so wish.

Air conditioning and heating: This is an all year round property and is centrally heated throughout. 

Children: A travel cot and high chair can be provided on request.

Car Parking: There is covered/garaged parking for 3 cars.

Rents
2024
2024 Rental prices per week are as follows:
July and August £13,000
June and September £9,600
Jan, Feb, Mar, Nov and Dec POA
Terms & conditions and the booking process

The Booking Process – A deposit of 25% of the rent will be payable to Anglo French Properties Ltd on signing the Rental Agreement, with the 75% balance to be paid 8 weeks prior to the commencement of the tenancy.

Security Deposit – A Security Deposit will also be payable to Anglo French Properties Ltd. This will cover (a) the cost of telephone calls made on the landline during the tenancy, (b) the cost of replacing/making good any losses, breakages and/or damages incurred during the rental, (c) the cost of heating the spa (if required) @ £200 per week and (d) any exceptional cleaning work which may be required at the end of the tenancy. It will be refunded (less any deductions as outlined above) within 4 weeks of the conclusion of the tenancy.

Minimum stay: Unless otherwise agreed, all rentals will be for a minimum of one week and will begin and end on a Saturday.

Arrival Time & Departure times: Tenants should arrive as soon as possible after 5pm on the commencement day. They will be welcomed on arrival, given a tour of the property and shown how everything works. Tenants should leave by 10am on the agreed day of departure.

Number of People: Unless otherwise agreed, there should not be more than 10 people staying in the property at any one time.

Security: The owners’ insurance policy requires that all doors are locked, and that all windows and shutters are closed when tenants are away from the property.

Energy costs are included: The energy costs are included in the rental price.

Heating costs are included: The heating costs are included in the rental price. 

Heating of the spa:  the cost of heating the spa (if required) @ £200 per week will be taken from the security deposit.

Linen and towels: 400 thread count Egyptian Cotton bed linen and towels are provided and changed on a weekly basis.

Smoking allowed: No smoking allowed inside the property. Caution should be taken when smoking outside during the summer months as the risk of fire can be extremely high.

Internet access: yes, included in the rental price. 

Optional / additional services available: any additional services, if available, (eg extra cleaning or cooking) will be agreed in advance at a pre-agreed rate per hour. These costs will be the sole responsibility of the tenant.

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