We stayed four weeks in France, booking three different vacation rentals through VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner). The last was 5 Rue Ranfer de Bretenière in Dijon. Being new to the whole business, we found the process to involve some adventure. This one was typical.
Unlike a hotel stay or even a timeshare, renting a stay at a privately-owned apartment means you don’t walk up to a desk in a lobby somewhere and pick up your room key. The process usually involves meeting the owner’s agent at the property on a prearranged schedule. This can be an issue.
In our case we made the booking two months in advance, and we went through several pieces of correspondence to make sure we were in agreement regarding the meeting time. Coming by train from Tours, we had to coordinate with the available train schedule and arrive at a 2 p.m. meeting. The owner assured his father would meet us there. Our train arrived about noon, giving us ample time to have some lunch and to wander over to the apartment with our baggage. That’s covered in a separate story.
We got there and waited. And waited. Nobody arrived at 2 p.m. Maybe we had discussed 2:30. We decided to hang on until then. Came 2:30, and we were still waiting. Barbara worked a solution. Not having any comprehension of the French phone system, she attempted using the WhatsApp on her phone, which we were assured was a solid way to communicate with the owner. Not having used it before, Barbara was having no luck. She figured to give text messaging a try, and the owner responded within seconds. A misunderstanding. The owner’s father would be there shortly.
And he did arrive shortly, and a very helpful, English-speaking, gentleman he was. He gave us a set of keys, of which we only needed one to get into the apartment, itself. There was fob that activated the front door to the building, and our host took us up and showed us all the facilities. Here is Barbara working the front door fob.
Inside accommodations were completely satisfactory. To start, there was a modern kitchen with about all you could want, except no microwave oven.
The kitchen table was roomy enough to accommodate my computer, leaving room for two to dine.
And dine we did. On our final night Barbara insisted we remove the computer and show a grand meal she prepared for us.
The bathroom was completely satisfactory, as well, with a modern, glass-enclosed shower and a wash basin with excellent lighting for those of us who have to shave every day. Sorry, I did not get around to taking any photos.
Neither the sleeping area (until the last morning), which featured a queen-size Murphy bed. We pulled it down the first day and never put it back up. There was plenty of room left over with the bed down. Here’s the photo as we were preparing to leave for Paris.
This apartment has a balcony, which we did not use. Lighting was excellent, compared to may places we have stayed. We brought along a number communication devices (phones, tablets) and a computer, and we never ran out of places to power-up. WiFi service was absolutely solid. Especially nice was the building’s elevator, almost a necessity, since we were on the third floor, three flights up from the street. We also welcomed the ample closet space and storage shelves, something lacking in other places we have stayed.
Leaving was straight-forward, We locked the door to the apartment and took the elevator down, dropping our keys in the number 34 mail box in the building lobby. It was time to wind down after being on the road for four weeks.