On planning a surprise trip to Grasse for Mo’s 30th birthday, I had the mammoth task of finding accommodation that would be romantic, practical and not over-priced. I spent many a day traipsing through google searches and trip advisor reviews to find a hotel that would be just right for this special occasion. None of the mainstream hotels seemed to fit the bill and just as I was about to give up, I somehow stumbled across a bed and breakfast villa called La Rivolte. I instantly fell in love and wasted no time in emailing the lady in charge.
From the first reply Suzie sent me, I knew I had found the perfect villa in Grasse.
We exchanged emails, where she answered all of my many questions and advised me accordingly about places to see and things to do. The week before we were due to leave England, I received a telephone call from Suzie to explain that due to a last minute and unforeseen emergency, she was not going to be around at all during our stay and as such, would have to cancel all bookings. All bookings that was, except ours! She explained that she did not have the heart to cancel our booking at such late notice when I had been organising this trip for a good 3 or more months and as such, she would arrange for somebody to come and give us the keys to La Rivolte upon our arrival and that we would have the villa completely to ourselves and continue our stay as we had originally planned. I was completely blown away by her generosity, excited about our trip but also sad that it meant I wouldn’t be able to meet Suzie, who had been an integral part of this trip.
On arrival at Nice we picked up a hire car (based on Suzie’s recommendation) and drove to Grasse, which is about a 40 minute drive away. Using GPS, we navigated ourselves to La Rivolte without any problems. The driveway leading up to the house is an experience in itself – long, windy and a very narrow road through dense trees! Hilarious, when you have never driven on the wrong side of a car before!! The villa is perched high up on the side of the hills with sensational views of the coast on a clear day. It is so quiet and peaceful with no noise at all from the road below. There was a gentleman there to greet us. He handed us the keys to the house and showed us around. Then, he simply left us to our devices. We were told that Suzie had even arranged to have somebody come to make us breakfast every morning! She had literally taken care of everything in her absence.
La Rivolte is a truly grand residence. There is a TV/family room (with British satellite channels) filled with comfy sofas which were great for snuggling in an evening, a drawing room with a well-stocked library, a computer area with internet access and a large open-plan kitchen/dining room – all on the ground floor. It genuinely feels like home. The gardens outside are on various levels and are just gorgeous. There is a decent-sized swimming pool on the lower level of the garden and outside the main entrance, there is a large outside dining area – ideal for dinners during the warmer months. Unfortunately for us, the weather for the entire duration of our stay was rainy and cold. But this did not by any means ruin our enjoyment of this magnificent house.
I had originally booked the Rose bedroom but when Suzie called she also said that she originally wanted to surprise us with an upgrade to the largest of the bedroom suites, Jasmine. Two large windows, where in the mornings we could see all the way to the sea, beautiful furniture and a lovely chaise. The piece de resistance was the bathroom which was pretty much the same size as the bedroom and had a private outdoor balcony. Unfortunately because of the weather we weren’t able to appreciate the balcony but I’m sure in the summertime it would be glorious. We can safely say however that all the rooms are lovely and each named after a local flower.
True to Suzie’s word, for every morning we were there, somebody was waiting in the kitchen at 9am to serve us croissants and pain au chocolat with fresh coffee, tea and a variety of juices.
The villa is about a 10 minute walk into Grasse town centre and is in good proximity to all major tourist attractions (these will be mentioned in a separate blog post). La Rivolte is also well connected to the main roads and we found it to be a perfect location from which to base our stay in the South of France. The beautiful village of Valbonne is some 20 minutes away by car, and Cannes only 40 minutes away. We managed to drive around to visit all these places without any issue, mainly because the best thing we did when we hired a car was request an English sat nav! There are many olive groves nearby, where you can buy fresh and specialist oils and Grasse town centre has a good range of restaurants should you wish to dine out.
We will never forget Suzie’s generosity and this holiday to mark Mo’s 30th will remain etched in our memories for a very long time, thanks to her. La Rivolte is the perfect location for any stay in Provence – whether you visit as a couple, or as a family. We loved it so much, we want to go back with a group of our friends in the very near future. Hopefully next time, we will be able to experience this wonderful place in the sun! I even forgot a dress in the wardrobe of our bedroom (this is what happens when you make yourself at home and start filling cupboards!) and Suzie so kindly arranged for it to be returned at her own cost.
We would sincerely recommend La Rivolte to anyone travelling to this part of the world, as at no point in our trip were we disappointed and it played a major part towards making my husbands 30th birthday trip a very special occasion.
Vive La France, Vive La Rivolte!