4 adults and 4 children from 4 years of age to 10 came together for a restorative week in this beautiful area. We were greeted by Gary a cup of coffee and essential provisions.
We were extremely lucky with the weather and spent most of the time at the property in the garden.
The house is beautiful and had all essential items for cooking. There were plentiful childrens games in the downstairs living room. The house was warm and there was underfloor heating if required.
There were a couple of glitches, Wii games mostly scratched and pool area not draining well. The caretaker and owners were informed.
The beds were OK, probably in need of new mattress in the master bedroom, but children all slept well.
Good for running if you like hills and Gacé is a short drive away for provisions and a walk around. Chateau open from May.
No Wi-Fi but this did not bother us at all!
We did venture to Trouville on one day (1hour drive) Mont-Ormel Museum (Battle of Normandy) and Pony Trek (Vimoutiers). All thoroughly enjoyable and interesting. There is so much more to see in this area and we are looking forward to revisiting.
This was a 'get away from it all' holiday for us, blissfully peaceful and a stunning spot to rest and recuperate.
What wasn't clear to us when we booked this AMAZING property, was that you actually get two buildings!
The main house was beautifully dressed for Christmas, with a tree, a stunning fireplace garland, and a second tree in the basement - even the hand soaps were Christmas themed!
LOUNGE: The living room really makes this home - it has a huge stone working fireplace and three two-seater sofas for curling up on with a good book. There's a TV mounted on the wall and a dining table with six chairs in the room also. There's a stereo in the room, although current iPhones won't fit in the dock so we took our own bluetooth speaker, and Sky TV is available throughout with the basic channels. We barely used the TV - there was far too much to do! In the hallway off the lounge you'll find a cupboard full of board games, kids' toys, and outdoor balls/frisbees!
KITCHEN: The kitchen/diner is LOVELY and equipped with everything you'd expect to find in your own home, including sink, dishwasher, washing machine, oven, fridge, freezer, coffee maker, kettle, and toaster. We took baking trays and mixing bowls with us so we could bake Christmas treats, but we needn't have bothered because there were plenty of them there! There are two cupboards that are kept empty for your food and drink, but everything else is choc-full of crockery, cutlery, utensils, and anything else you'd expect from a modern kitchen. They really have thought of everything! There's another six-seater dining table in the kitchen, although we never used it because the lounge is so cosy! There's a TV in the kitchen, above the table, also.
BASEMENT: The basement isn't really a basement as it has beautiful double doors opening out onto a patio with picnic table. The stairs to the basement are in the kitchen and have been beautifully crafted. The basement room is perfect for children - there are toys stored under the stairs, a HUGE TV with a wide range of DVDs to choose from, a DVD player, and two three-seater sofas.
BATHROOMS/TOILETS: There is a toilet on the ground floor and a second one upstairs. The master bedroom has a shower and sink, as does the double bedroom, but toilets are separate. Downstairs there's a stunning separate bathroom with a big modern bath/shower and sink for those who have children, or just enjoy a soak in a tub.
KING BEDROOM: The master bedroom has a king-size bed, large Chesterfield chair, chest of drawers, and bedside tables, with a window overlooking the gardens. The en-suite has a shower and sink and hanging space for clothes (tops only - not high enough for dresses/trousers). My husband and I shared this room and it was cosy despite the high, vaulted ceilings, and didn't require much heating to get it warm.
DOUBLE BEDROOM: This room has a standard double bed, hanging space in the alcoves, windows overlooking the gardens, drawers, and an en-suite with shower and sink.
TWIN BEDROOM - UPSTAIRS: This room offers two single beds and is ideal for children - there are drawers available for storage and some children's books, with bedside tables and lamps.
TWIN BEDROOM - DOWNSTAIRS: This room offers exactly the same as the upstairs twin, but also has a small closet. It is next to the bathroom and opposite the toilet.
GROUNDS: The house has extensive grounds and is situated in a beautiful valley so there's always something to see. There are steps leading up to the main house, at the top of which are two picnic tables and a gas barbecue (which we used, even though it was freezing!). There are horses and cows in the surrounding fields, and at night you can hear the moles and foxes - we even had an owl! It is perfect for stargazers who want to bring along a telescope - there's no light pollution so visibility was excellent.
PARKING: There's so much driveway, I don't think you'd ever run out of space!
SECOND BUILDING: The second building is the fun one! I'll break it down into three parts:
INDOOR POOL: The pool may not be particularly big (you can't really swim lengths in it) but it's clean, modern, and well designed with coloured mood lighting. The pool room is warm, and the water was like bath water, which was perfect for winter! There are doors opening out onto a lovely patio, but as it was winter we didn't use it! There's a shower for rinsing off before and after entering the pool, a sauna, a changing room, a toilet, and a little room with the controls for the electrics and the pool, which the caretakers will show you how to access and use. The pool has a cover to keep the temperature regulated which needs to be placed each night, but it's easy to do. One third of the pool length is shallow (I estimate about 30/40cm), which was perfect for the splashing toddler! We couldn't find any pool toys or inflatables, but we had brought our own so that didn't matter.
GAMES ROOM: This was my personal favourite - there's a pool table, table tennis, table football, and a darts board - we had hours of fun in there! There's also a TV and sound system in the games room (although, again, doesn't work with iPads and new iPhones). There are three heaters in the room that can be adjusted, and it warms up quickly. There's a separate door to the room so that you don't have to get your feet wet walking through the pool room.
BAR: The stairs to the bar are in the games room, and the bar is FANTASTIC. There's a fridge behind the bar and plenty of cupboard space - you'll need to bring glasses down from the main house though as we couldn't find any in the bar. There's a two-seater sofa, two armchairs, and what we believe to be a double sofa-bed, although we didn't use it. The bar also has a TV and sound system (same as before re iPads and iPhones), and a Nintendo Wii games console, which was very popular! There's a huge window overlooking the pool from the bar so you can keep an eye on everyone too. We didn't really use the bar in the evenings as we didn't feel comfortable leaving the little one in the main house unattended (even though the area is very remote!), but if you've got a babysitter or you don't mind the distance between the buildings you may have no bother - there are listening devices available for parents with small children.
Both buildings have been lovingly and sensitively restored so that you really feel at home - after a week we just felt like we lived there! I wish!
DIRECTIONS: The directions given to us by the owners were perfect and took us straight to the road where the house is.
NEARBY AMENITIES: The small town of Gace is about a ten minute drive from the house and has everything you need for supplies. There's a supermarket that sells everything you could want (although there's a HUGE one a little further away apparently, but we didn't need it), bars, restaurants, and a lovely little bakery and sandwich shop. There's also a little newsagent in the town if you need one. It's a tiny town, so it's not a place to go if you're looking for nightlife! We didn't venture any farther as we were there to spend time together as a family and there was so much to do at the house we didn't want to leave it!
ARRIVAL: We arrived around 4pm and were greeted by the caretakers, a lovely English couple who also speak fluent French. We were shown around the two buildings and given an extensive lesson on anything we needed! They gave us two books with information about the house and surrounding areas, plus contact details for them in case there were any issues (there weren't) - they live about an hour away from the property so can be there pretty quickly if needed.
We had such an amazing time at this house and we've all agreed that we'll book again in the future - it's ideal for families as there's so much entertainment and there's space for everyone if you get on each other's nerves!
The owners have catered for everything you could possibly need so that you can sit back and enjoy your holiday.
Don't hesitate to book this home - it really made our Christmas!
This is a lovely family hide out! The house actually consists of two houses, as the separate pool house also houses a lounge + bar, and a large room with pool table and table tennis. The kids just loved it, and so did we! It is in a remote area so a trip to the closest d-day beaches is 100 km at least over rural roads. But it is worth it!! Highly recommended
We stayed at Grand Val in early July 2016 and had a superb stay. The whole experience was wonderful and I would highly recommend staying here.
Right from booking, the communication with Chrissie, the owner, was excellent. She responds rapidly to email questions and the information provided was concise and clear.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by Freya the caretaker, to a spotlessly clean house and a wonderful welcome platter. The facilities are excellent, everything you could possibly need was provided. Well kept grounds with gorgeous flowers and fruit in bloom.
The private pool and sauna was a great luxury and source of entertainment. The games room and bar were popular too!
One small note- there is a large bees nest in the walls of the house outside the master bedroom which cannot be removed. Therefore Windows to the en-suite must be kept closed. This did lead to our room becoming quite hot (there is another side window which can be opened) but at no point did a bee cross the threshold. It can be a bit disconcerting to hear the bees so close but they obviously cannot get in.
No wifi but was a welcome break for us.
Lovely restaurant and small town, Gace, is 4km away with InterMarche which has all necessary food supplies.
We travelled with a 4 month old baby with no trouble at all. Ferry from Dieppe is about 1 hour 45 away.
Visited Bayeux which was an hour and a half away and well worth the trip. Also visited friends in Paris by getting the train from nearby Argentan (25 min drive from Grand Val) direct to Paris Montparsse which took 1hr 40 mins.
A wonderful stay made even better by the glorious weather!
What a wonderful 2015 Christmas our family had at Le Grand Val. We arrived on the evening of the 20th December and were met by a lovely sight, the house was dressed for Christmas and it looked stunning. When we opened the door the inside of the house also looked magical. The house and barn offered comfort and the pictures provided by the owners do not do the house justice as it is even more beautiful when you see it in real life.
Le Grand Val accommodated our party of ten comfortably, one set of grandparents opted to sleep in the barn as it offered a sofa bed, seating and the opportunity to enjoy some peace and quiet in the evenings. The facilities got 10/10 we had three teenagers with us aged 13,15 & 16 and they had great fun playing pool, table tennis, table football and darts. We all loved the swimming pool and sauna; what a treat to have use of a private pool. We also took bikes with us and enjoyed some good rides, the area is hilly so very good for fitness!
There are many places to visit nearby including Deauville, Honfleur and Alencon. One final point is shopping, we found the most wonderful farm shop in Gace and bought much of our food from there including our selections for Christmas Day.
We would all highly recommend a holiday at Le Grand Val.
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