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“A must stay while in Port-en-Bessin”
Review of La Maison Matelot

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La Maison Matelot
Reviewed 31 May 2014

Port En Bessen - I had never heard of it before, however, what a great find. A small fishing town, a few hundred yards from Omaha Beach.

Astrid and La Maison Matelot on Rue Halley, another amazing find. We rented the one bedroom on the second floor. You walk in and there is the complete kitchen, dining area and a couch/extra bed. The windows open to the next street over where you can delight in the stone buildings and weathered shutters. You may not think much of that, but when you live in the mountains of Colorado, you don’t see that, so you absorb all the old architecture. To the left, is the bathroom, heavenly-modern-big, and then through the dining area, the bedroom.

What was so enjoyable about this place was it was livable. There were hooks to hang your coats. There were hooks to hang the dishtowels. In the kitchen was this beautiful armoire that contained all the dishes, glasses, a microwave, spices, wraps, etc. There was a stove, oven, refrigerator and nespresso machine. We enjoyed breakfast every morning, only made complete with a fresh baguette from down the street and the local apple juice that Astrid provided to us when we checked in.

The heavenly bathroom? the shower was dangerous. Once in, you never wanted to get out. The showerhead literally was 12” plus. Big fat towels, shampoo and hand soaps provided – presented on washcloths with a couple starfish. It’s the small things. The space was big – the whole family traveling could all get in and do what was needed. Again, not only a towel rack, but towel hooks. Delightful.

The bed was super comfy – and my son, raved about the sofa/ bed in the dining/kitchen area. He never wanted to leave.

On one side of the apartment was a small market run by this adorable little couple that will supply you with grocery basics, including alcohol and baguettes. If you go the other way, at the end of the street is a patisserie that will supply you pizza, more baguettes, pastries, incredible quiche and anything else a sweet tooth may desire.

One of the cool things taking place during our stay; it was scallop season. At night, the boats would storm into town, and off came the tons of scallops. Amazing to watch the production – boats in, unloaded, stored and then next one pulled up. Bag after bag of scallops, pallet after pallet removed from the dock and taken into the warehouse.

Right behind the apartment, 1/ 2 block or so, is a free parking lot for your car.

Last but not least, a huge thank you to you Astrid! for taking the time to find my power plug, and returning it back to me in the states. I look forward to my next time in town to see you again, as this one was of our best stops on our journey through France.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Casbay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9 - 15 of 91 reviews

Reviewed 2 May 2014

We could not have been happier with our choice of La Maison Matelot for a three night stay in Port-en-Bessin. We stayed in the first floor apartment which was delightful. It was light, beautifully decorated and comfortable. Astrid was very pleasant and greeted us warmly before showing us around the apartment and making recommendations for restaurants and day trips. She has thought of everything to ensure her guests feel at home. The lovely town is an excellent base for visiting the D Day beaches, memorial sites and Bayeux.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kalamata13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2014

This was truly a magical weekend--the Matelot loft is beautiful, stylish, comfortable, and has everything you would need to cook a meal or hang out at home (not that you would want to with so much to do outside the house). Astrid was extremely accommodating, especially when we got stuck in traffic and arrived two hours after we thought we would. She even left us a bottle of local cider and some Easter chocolates.

I wish we could stay longer, and I want to go back!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Julie U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2013

We came to Normandy principally to visit the D-Day beaches, and La Maison Matelot made a perfect home base. We stayed in the well-furnished loft (3rd floor) and we loved everything about it. Astrid was very nice and very helpful. We loved the furnishings and being able to open all the windows. (They do all have shades -- I had wondered about that from the pictures!) We also loved having pastries from the corner bakery and as much coffee as we wanted in our own little apartment each morning. We were within very easy walking distance of a small grocery store, free parking, several restaurants and shops. We really didn't cook while we were there but it was very nice having the kitchen -- particularly the refrigerator and coffeemaker! There was also access to a washing machine and dryer. We loved our stay here and truly wished we could have stayed longer.

One helpful hint -- La Maison Matelot is on a very small street. We drove right past it originally, not recognizing that it was a street. It looks like more of a pedestrian walkway.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Dona8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2013

Port-en Bessin is an idyllic fishing harbor located in Normandy and near the D-Day beaches. We had the good fortune to stay at La Maison Matelot in the "Le Matelot a Carreaux" apartment on the ground floor. The apartment is situated in the center of town on a quiet cobblestone lane. Down the street is the harbor, several restaurants, a fabulous patisserie, and a wine and cheese shop. Around the corner is a small family operated grocery store. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Astrid and a bottle of local cider and found our apartment to be one of the most charming, clean, uniquely decorated and fully stocked vacation rental. Astrid is a delight, very professional yet friendly and easy to work with. I highly recommend staying at La Maison Matelot.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank 47Mary356
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2013

My husband and I stayed here for a week at the end of September/ beginning of October on the start of our 3 week vacation. La Maison set our accommodations standard for the trip pretty high. We stayed in both the loft and the 1st floor apartment as Astrid didn't have one week continuously in one place. It was not problem though as she moved our luggage on the day that we changed so that we wouldn't be inconvenienced and we got to see 2 of the 3 apartments in the building. Quite honestly - I'd be hard pressed to say which I like better!

As mentioned in previous reviews, Astrid has thought of everything. The towels and robes are plush, every possible kitchen appliance is available and the decor, with its muted grays, is perfect. It really does look like the pictures.

And yes - the bakery is right at the corner, just steps away, with fresh baguettes and croissants to have for your breakfast every morning (except Monday, when it's closed). The grocery store behind the apartment sells everything you could want from fruit to laundry detergent to wine.

Port-en-Bessin is located in the middle of the beaches with Omaha and Utah a short drive to the west and Gold, Sword and Juno located to the east. Bayeux is just 15-20 minutes away and we were even able to take a day trip to Mont St Michel without spending the whole day in the car. The local market is on Sunday morning. Just pay attention to the signs so you don't find your car parked in the middle of the market as we did!

I've done a few vacation rentals now and La Maison is really one of the best!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MacAttack67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2013

We stayed at La Maison Matelot for 4 nights in September as part of our honeymoon. While we stayed at fancy hotels in London and Paris (Hilton London Park Lane and Westin Paris Vendome), our favorite was La Maison Matelot. We were able to completely relax and live like locals.

I had struggled to find a place for our Normandy stay. I knew we wanted to be close to the beaches but the hotels that I found were not up to my picky standards. I felt like they were overpriced for how they looked in pictures. I stumbled across La Maison Matelot on Homeway after looking at what seemed like hundreds of rental places. I am so glad that I found this place and it was open for our trip date.

We had the Normande apartment. It is exactly like the pictures. It is decorated like a seaside boutique hotel. The bathroom was modern and super clean. Tons of hot water and plush towels. The whole place was spotless. We slept with the large windows open each night and in the mornings were woken up by the sound of seagulls and the smell of bread baking from the bakery down the street. Perfect!

Astrid has thought of everything that you might need. She had a bottle of cider for us when we arrived There is every kitchen utensil you could think of in case you wanted to cook. Our favorite was the nespresso machine. There is a little store right across the courtyard that sells the nespresso pods. It was great to sit at the table in the morning with espresso planning out our day. There is a washing machine and dryer on the first floor complete with detergent. This was a lifesaver on our 14 night trip. My husband liked there was a copy of the Longest Day. Part of the movie was filmed in Port-en-Bessin. It was neat to watch the movie knowing we were yards away from where it was filmed. On the table in the hall there are cards from recommended restaurants, bike rentals, etc. Astrid met us when we arrived and departed promptly. We paid a deposit and she returned it when she met us to collect the key.

I really can’t think of one thing negative about the apartment. It was beyond amazing and made our stay in Normandy the best part of our honeymoon. If we ever return to Normandy, which I hope we will, I can’t imagine staying anywhere but here.

We loved Port-en-Bessin. We planned to eat in Bayeux most nights because looking online there doesn’t appear to be much going on in this town. We were wrong and never left Por-en-Bessin at night. There was no need to drive anywhere with what the town had to offer. The apartment is located in a small cobblestone alley that leads out to the main road along the canal/port. Within steps of the hotel there is a bakery, café and about 6 or 7 restaurants. We ate at Fleur de Sel two nights and really enjoyed it. All the restaurants are pretty small and were full by 8:00pm. If you want to dine late make sure to make a reservation earlier. There is a small Italian restaurant not on the main road, kind of hidden in the streets behind the apartment. I cant remember the name but they had great pasta and pizza. They even offered pizza to go for one night when we just wanted to relax at home. On the weekends they have a fish market on the pier. Very cool to see all the different types of seafood. If you enjoy shellfish this is the perfect place to be. All the restaurants offer seafood towers and mussels. The seafood is very fresh literally just off the boat and the value for the amount of seafood you get is amazing compared to inland cities.

There are two German bunkers on each side of the town. The one on the west side is kind of hard to find. You have to go up a very steep road and then walk into what looks like to be part of the golf course. There is a monument dedicated to the English soldiers who freed the town and you can go into the bunker. It was a very different experience to go into the bunker that was empty as opposed to the crowds at Point de Hauc. The other bunker is on the east side. There is a hiking/walking trail along the cliffs that is stunning. Tall grass blowing and amazing views.

We did a full day private tour with Tim Smith of France Custom Tours www.FranceCustomTours.com . I would highly recommend him. He came and picked us up. Along with the big sites that every tour takes you to, he took us to places off the beaten path that were even more interesting. He was a walking history book and kept us totally enthralled all day with giving us background and telling the stories. We would have never gotten off the beaten path and seen so much of the countryside on our own. We would pass what looked like just to be a normal farmhouse but Tim would tell us about how German officers lived there or this was where the paratroopers got into a firefight with Germans. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I am not interested in military history but thanks to him I really enjoyed the day.

Room Tip: The apartment on the ground floor had a cute patio but we liked our 1st floor (2nd US floor) because...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Liz_S777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Maison Matelot

Address: 11 rue Halley, 14520 Port-en-Bessin-Huppain, France
Region: France > Normandy > Basse-Normandie > Calvados > Port-en-Bessin-Huppain
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Port-en-Bessin-Huppain
Price Range: £101 - £122 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
“La Maison Matelot” is situated in a paved street of Port-en-Bessin, at a stone’s throw from the harbour, close to the shops, and only 100m fromthe sea and fish market. In this pretty stone house, three cosy and charming apartments, fully equipped with kitchen, for 2 or 3 guests. Week-end breaks, week or mid-week stays, for leisure or business. All included (charges, linen, wifi, final cleaning).2 nights minimum.At the heart of the D-Day Beaches. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Maison Matelot Port-En-Bessin-Huppain, France - Normandy

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