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What makes la Joliette a great holiday rental
Very few holiday properties can match the elegance of la Joliette. It's a beautiful yet very informal home, tastefully renovated by its English owners. la Joliette delivers the whole package - superb accommodation, high spec, privacy and outstanding views.
Families for whom the beach is less important but who do want a successful combination of outdoor activities and classic French culture. Outside the summer school holidays, La Joliette is available in winter for ski-ing groups, hikers in Spring & Autumn and is popular with couples here to enjoy the local scenery, market towns and culture.
Anything to watch out for?
The pool fence in some of the pictures is no longer there. The pool is protected by a cover.
A charming and bustling market town in 'deep France'. There are a few monuments of interest but the market day is the best time to visit and sample the Bearnais life. Oloron is also an established gateway to the Pyrenees and its many activities.
Luxury maison de maitre with heated pool and games room, in generous grounds.
From the moment we arrived at the entrance gates to la Joliette, we had a good feeling about this property. The long, gravel driveway leads to an imposing, beautifully presented property and one which can be seen from many parts of the town. The quality of accommodation is beyond that normally associated with holiday lets.
The property is well-known in the town and has quite a colourful history too. The house was built in the mid 1800s for the Bishop of Oloron. It was owned by the Church until the 1920s, and by one family since then, until an English family purchased it in 2005. For some years, from the 1960s until the mid-1980s it was a small hotel and restaurant and the present owners tell us that it had "a bit of a reputation". For what, we're not quite sure but for us it just adds to la Joliette's appeal!
The accommodation is spread over four levels.
Games room with table tennis table and CD stereo (with iPod input), TV and Sony Playstation which can also be used for DVD's- it's a great place for the kids to unwind and amuse themselves away from adults.
There is a shower & WC here also - ideal for when you are relaxing by the pool. Also handy is the drinks fridge.
The laundry room can also be found in the basement.
The main entrance, via the stone staircase, leads into a spacious entrance hall. To the right is a dining area with table for up to 10 persons, and to the left is the kitchen. Generously equipped, the kitchen also has access to a south-facing decked terrace.
The hallway leads to the spacious grand sejour. This is the principal room of the house and has been furnished to a very high standard. Features include huge mirrors and a marble fireplace. This is an extremely comfortable space for resting in the evening, after a long and delicious meal on the terrace! There is plenty of seating (three 2-seater sofas), plus flat screen TV, CD stereo, DVD and vcr. There are lots of DVDs and videos for guests' use. Only French TV channels are available here - if you are interested in watching UK TV during your stay then it is possible to do this if you bring a laptop with a VPN loaded up that can be plugged into the TV.
A wonderful, original carved wooden staircase leads from the hallway to the first and second floors.
Four of the bedrooms are situated on the first floor. Each has a pleasant aspect and benefit from attractive, original wood flooring.
Bedroom 1 - queen-size double bed, double wardrobe, bedside cabinets x2. En-suite shower room with WC and basin. Views to the front of the house.
Bedroom 2 - twin beds, chest of drawers, dressing table. En-suite shower room with WC and basin. Views to the front of the house.
Bedroom 3 - twin beds, double wardrobe, dressing table, bedside cabinets x2. En-suite shower room with WC and basin. Views west to the rear of the house.
Bedroom 4 - king-size double bed, double wardrobe, chest of drawers, bedside cabinets x2, fireplace. Private bathroom with bath, shower, double basins & WC. Views to the south and west.
At the top of the staircase there is an additional bedrooms which is closed off for personal use/storage.
The house lies in a generous plot of land, about 1.5 ha in total. There is plenty of space front and back for kids to play.
The breakfast terrace is south-facing and the rear pool terraces are south and west-facing. There is plenty of room for dining outside. The patio terrace can be accessed directly from the living room and basement.
The large, heated pool measures 12x6m, with a depth of between 1 and 2 metres. It is accessed via Roman steps, and protected by a cover (also helpful for retaining heat in the water). The pool is in use from May through to September. There are 6 sun-chairs and 4 sun-loungers on the pool terrace. Please note that the pool fence seen in some of the photos has in fact been removed.
Parking for several cars.
2x doubles & 2x twins
4x en-suite shower rooms / bathrooms plus basement shower. 5x WCs in total
Large, heated pool 12x6m. Depth range 1.0 - 2.0m. Roman steps. Protected by cover. Pool in use May through September.
No pets & no smoking please
The villa enjoys a 'standalone', hill-top location on the southern outskirts of the town. Its elevated situation affords it excellent views to the Pyrenees. The property is tucked away thanks to its long driveway and there is no passing traffic. As such the location feels very private. Oloron-Ste-Marie is a traditional Béarnais market town to the south west of Pau. The stunning scenery is a key reason to visit this area.
Nearest village / town: Oloron Ste Marie (2 kms)
Nearest beach: Biarritz or Hossegor coastlines are c. 1hr 30 mins
Boulangerie: In the local square 1km or Oloron-Ste-Marie 2kms
Restaurant: Oloron-Ste-Marie 2kms
Market: Oloron-Ste-Marie 2kms
A bustling market town located at the junction of the rivers Aspe and Ossau and was in fact two separate towns until 1858. It is a pleasant town worthy of a visit particularly on market day (Friday).
In the past it was an important staging post on the pilgrim’s route to Santiago de Compostela and in memory of this route there are contemporary sculptures located at historic points of interest in the town. For a great view up the Vallée d’Aspe to the mountains extending into the Pays Basque, walk along the top of the old ramparts (near Église Ste-Croix).
Other sites worth a visit are the Ste-Marie cathedral which began life in the 12th century; the Pont de Ste-Claire over the Gave d'Aspe - an early work of Gustav Eiffel; the Quartier Ste-Croix has a delightful medieval square; and the genteel Jardin Publique with its own Victorian bandstand.
This is a wonderful landscape that forms a natural boundary between France and Spain. It is also a haven for outdoor pursuits. Two beautiful river valleys – d’Ossau and d’Aspe – offer great walking/hiking, mountain biking and, in Spring, good white-water potential. Parasailing, rock-climbing, horse-riding and fishing are also popular. Skiing is possible at nearby stations such as Gourette.
At Soeix (3kms south east of Oloron-Ste-Marie), there is an excellent white-water rafting centre. It's very popular in the summer and it's recommended that you visit the centre early during your stay to book a trip.
In the Parc National des Pyrénées lives some of Europe’s most exotic wildlife including chamois, royal eagles and brown bears, whilst at Laruns there is a 92-hectare reserve for the griffon vulture. At Lescun you will find one of France’s most photogenic natural locations, the Needles of Ansabère, an amphitheatre of jagged limestone peaks rising to the summit of Pic d’Anie.
Also in the Haut-Béarn and a great day out for the kids is a ride on Le Petit Train d’Artouste. Built for dam workers, this 10 kms train journey tales passengers along the flanks of the Pic de la Sagette. It's best to book this trip in advance.
A short drive north is the stylish and compact city of Pau. Barely known of outside of France, Pau has a variety of attractions. It sprang to fame in the 19th century when wealthy British and Americans were drawn to its mild climate and it became a popular winter holiday destination. To this day Pau retains an ‘upmarket’ feel about it. There is a thriving café and bar life plus plenty of opportunity for boutique shopping, notably along the rues des Cordeliers and Serviez. Pau also has its own château (and birthplace of King Henri IV) plus one of the south west’s finest panoramic views - the spectacular array of distant, snow-capped peaks as seen from the Boulevard des Pyrénées.
A little known fact is that Pau is home to continental Europe’s first golf course, built in 1856 by a resident Scotsman. Pau also hosts horse-racing events, a vintage car race and a Formula 3 street race every year.
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