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“Amazing Hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Maison du Frene

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La Maison du Frene
1 place du Frene, 06140 Vence, France   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 15 Vence B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Amazing Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

We had a weekend here and had one of the top floor suites. Such lovely hospitality and the hotel is full of the most wonderful pieces of art and furniture. The owners who are delightful were so helpful suggesting both restaurants and travel tips. Their recommendations were perfect. We had a wonderful time and would certainly return.

Room Tip: Top Floor suites are wonderful very quiet and spacious
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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98 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

Three nights with Guy and Thierry at La Maison du Frene was simply not long enough. These charming, generous, knowledgeable hosts bend over backwards to ensure that your stay is enjoyable, comfortable and unique. Each of the four, incredibly spacious, luxurious suites is decorated in a unique style to an unbelievable degree of detail with furnishings, artwork and accessories to rival any interior design magazine photograph. Similar care and detail is lavished on the delicious breakfast served personally by your hosts, and their advice regarding sightseeing, dining, travel, even the purchasing of artworks, is expert, generous and can really make your time in the region extra-special. Vence itself is a charming, authentic, historical French village, with a mediaeval centre, a village square and lots of great places to eat. Nearby are other beautiful localities with sights, shops, restaurants and beaches, all just a short drive or bus ride away. So, Vence makes an ideal, tranquil base for a Cote d'Azur holiday, and La Maison du Frene (and its amazing hosts) are the delightful icing on this already delicious cake!

Room Tip: Each room is unique in style and all are incredibly spacious and beautiful. Two rooms are on the sec...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

This is a MUST do if staying in Vence. Very large bedroom and large bathroom and entrance all amazingly furnished and decorated in a bright and eccentric style that has the WOW factor. Guy and Thierry's love and devotion to this place is obvious. Read all the superlative reviews and book early as there are only 4 rooms in this wonderful B&B.

Room Tip: We had the classic room. There is also a pop-art room. Not sure what the other 2 themes are.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

Believe the reviews----they are true. This is a fantastic place and you should not miss staying here if you are in Vence. I was a bit concerned that so much art would affect the comfort and practicality of the rooms, but that is not the case. Maison du Frene is a wonderful place to relax and we did not want to leave. Both Thierry and Guy are the best hosts: very professional, but at the same time very helpful and friendly. They make their guests feel so at home and their suggestions and recommendations are great. Guy suggested a drive up in the mountains, recommended we take a lunch and have a picnic, and pointed out some stops to make enroute----it was a great day trip!

We stayed in the Vallauris suite---such luxury! Nothing was overlooked. A great bed with fantastic linens, comfortable sitting area, desk, hallway (with fireplace) leading to large bathroom with great rain shower, dressing area, high quality hair dryer, numerous lovely amenities, oh...did I forget the art?...lovely art. We would have loved to stay for weeks. Breakfast was excellent....I am a fan of French breakfast croissants and Guy's are the best. And all presented in such a lovely atmosphere. It is evident that Guy and Thierry are experts in hospitality. We were pampered and would love to return.

Vence is a "real" town....well located for visiting the many surrounding points of interest. Maison du Frene should not be missed....It will probably be the highlight of your vacation too!

Room Tip: All the rooms are wonderfully decorated.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ulm, Germany
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

We have spend time at the Maison in two consequtive years, two weeks each time. Vence is a fabulous town, filled with real people and with a good culinary/leisure offer. It is well located for visiting many other places in the area, ranging from the coastal region to the mountains. The Maison du Frene is a gem of a hotel, more like staying in a house of dear friends. Thierry and Guy are two formidable characters that made our stay most enjoyable. Their advice is always wise and they were always ready to help and share their expertice. There is only one thing I can fault and has nothing to do with the Maison but with the area. Traffic is insane. If you are impacient and would want to park easily when you wherever, this is not the right part of the world. We visited in mid September, so I do not want to think what the height of summer must be! We will try the late autumn or the winter next time... ;-0)

Room Tip: We have always stayed at the Chapelle, in the top floor. The bedroom itself has a double aspect, wit...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Comox, Canada
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

Going up the stairs, I encounter a black and white work of art by English artist Brett Rhodes-Neal. The frame is composed of what looks like cut up pieces of newspaper print on wood, glued together. The work itself, a distorted face that only Picasso could love, complete with a dialog bubble announcing “That's the way it should have begun, but it's hopeless.”

Next, an Andy Warhol collection of six squares with Warhol quotes.

Then there's a work by pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, a man and woman in a car, with forlorn looks on their faces.

I'm in a museum. Maybe. I'm in a B&B. Perhaps. Actually I'm in...both. I'm in the heart of Vence at La Maison du Frene(house of ash, referring to the 500-year-old ash out front). Museum or B&B, everything about this residence reflects a love of modern art.

Owner-manager Thierry built his collection from artists who had previously visited Nice and Vence.

Entering and proceeding up the stairs to the reception area is like taking an art tour. In the lobby, a glass bookcase with ornamental urns, jugs and other art objects. In the hall at the bottom of the stairs, a multi-colored urn with Picasso-like figures of faces, on a black and white decorated stand.

Stained glass windows let in light from outside.

Going up the stairs, a thin ebony and olive striped table with lion's head legs. A collection of pottery featuring black primitive art on an ivory background, by ceramist Vincent Buffile.
An African antelope head collection. A Greco-Roman bust wearing turquoise and ebony jewelry around the neck. Picasso-like faces on a black and white dog wearing what appear to be tennis shoes by Brett Rhodes-Neal. Yet another Picasso-like work with the face and contorted, ballooning body parts, on a board. A display of paint brushes on a board by owner-manager Thierry.

Guest rooms don't have numbers on the doors. Instead, different colored tassels indicating individual rooms.

In the living room, a lamp with a ruby shade over a cherry fruit base. Modern paintings on the walls.

In the bedroom, a folding screen with sailboats, books in faux shelves, and a globe, painted on a chocolate brown background. A Navajo rug on the floor beside the bed. That night, I listened to modern jazz on the radio before falling asleep.

La Maison du Frene, in the heart of Vence, couldn't have been more conveniently located. Steps away, La Victoire Restaurant, where I enjoyed several lunches. Steps away, a sidewalk restaurant where I had my last dinner of filet of salmon with a round of vegetables, a pina colada, and two scoops of vanilla ice cream.

The last morning, French delicacies at a round table in one of the breakfast rooms of the B&B.

If modern art is your thing, this B&B-museum is worth a visit.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfield County CT
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

We chose Vence as a way of being close to the coast and the Foundacion Maeght in St. Paul. Saint Paul is just too crowded, but Vence is a real town and has excellent restaurants. Staying at La Maison was the hotel highlight of our two weeks in the South of France. Each room is decorated thematically and filled with art, collectibles and books. Pop Art is a particularly entertaining example. The beautifully renovated18th century property was bought by Thierry and Guy eight years ago when they left Paris--Thierry grew up in the area--and they have filled it with things they have collected over their forty years together. We stayed in Le Chateau for one night and enjoyed its wonderful color; two nights in Suite Vallauris and adored its space, light air and classic gracefulness. The croissants at breakfast are as good as I have ever had, the juice, coffee, fresh fruit and jams are served in a room with trompe l'oeil bookshelves and books; color is everywhere; it's spotless; the bed, linens and towels super; the shower is indeed great and each room has a small refrigerator. Parking is in one of the town's nearby lots. Recommendations for restaurants and things to see were great, and we were shown every kindness by the hosts. You can take a bus to St. Paul and to Nice if you don't want to drive, and it's very close to Nice airport. We would love to stay there again --it was luxurious and great fun all at the same time.

Room Tip: Choose from the we pictures--our favorite was Vallauris and we think it would particularly appeal to...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about La Maison du Frene

Address: 1 place du Frene, 06140 Vence, France
Location: France > Provence > French Riviera - Cote d'Azur > Vence
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in Vence
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
La Maison Du Frene Hotel Vence

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