What if someone were to tell you that a 16th-century French chateau just became available for the night?
Hmm, let me run down to the convenience store and pick up some more lottery tickets. Then I'll get back in touch.
This may fall into the category of, “If you have to ask, you can't afford it,” but a Charleston real estate agency has indeed started offering chateaus for rent for a week or overnight.
“Escape to a chateau of your dreams with our exclusive offerings throughout France!” Handsome Properties International exclaims in a promotion.
The country mansions are “available for weekly or nightly reservations,” the affiliate of Handsome Properties says.
These short-term chateau leases are “perfect for vacations, retreats, weddings or any function,” according to Handsome Properties International.
Based on the international wing's website, one luxury chateau for rent was built in the 1500s in Normandy and “witnessed the signing of the Treaty of Cherbourg between U.S. General Lawton Collins and German General Von Schlieben on June 26, 1944” — the culmination of the D-Day invasion.
The chateau, which resembles a small castle (one definition of chateau is a French fortress), is set on a 20-acre park and is furnished inside “with period antique furniture” as well as all the modern comforts, the website points out.
According to Handsome Properties International, the chateau is between Cherbourg and Bayeux and is “an ideal base to explore Bayeux, the D-Day landing beaches, the Bayeux Tapestry, the Giverny garden and Le Mont Saint Michel.”
For golfers, there's a links course at Fontenay nearby and a parkland course at Omaha Beach Golf Club Bayeux.
If a large family or group wanted to go, the chateau “sleeps up to 15 people in comfort with eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms.” Meanwhile, “At your disposal, in the great garden, is a heated pool and tennis court, as well as wine tasting on request.”
To find out the cost, however, you have to ask Handsome Properties. On its website, the agency says the price is available upon request.
Meanwhile the real estate agency provides tidbits for people considering the chateau rental.
On the website, viewers can check out the distance from the chateau to such places as Paris — 3 hours by car and 2 hours and 45 minutes by train. They can check the latest exchange rate: A U.S. dollar as of last week was worth about .76 of a Euro.
Interested parties can get a quick history lesson on Normandie, as it's spelled in France. Rouen, the cradle of impressionism, is also home to France's tallest cathedral tower, Rouen Cathedral. Impressionist artist Monet's hanging gardens are in Giverny.
“Haute-Normandie's largest city, Le Havre, was devastated in the Battle of Normandy and rebuilt with architect Auguste Perret's designs,” the website notes.
Along with its scenic coast, Normandie sports parks, gardens, rivers, beaches, museums and historical landmarks. The surrounding countryside is home to Camembert cheese and apples for making cider and calvados (apple brandy). And fishermen haul catches of oysters, scallops and lobsters from the sea.
The real estate agency also provides a “good to know” section, including:
• William the Conqueror reigned in Normandie.
• The Battle of Normandy in World War II was fought here.
• Joan of Arc, Pierre Corneille, Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert, Guy de Maupassant, Claude Monet, Roy Lichtenstein and Marcel Duchamp are part of Rouen's heritage.
• Mont-Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island and commune just off the Normandie coast.
Along with the new chateau rental program, Handsome Properties International offers properties for sale and rent in France and in Italy. More than 70 houses and apartments are for lease in Paris and elsewhere in France, according to the website.
For more information, call Handsome Properties at 843-727-6460 or visit www.handsomepropertiesinternational.com.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A fireplace, elegant chandelier and bordered walls and doors distinguish the drawing room in Normandy chateau (Provided).×
The chateau showcases a lush bedroom, one of eight in the rental property (Provided).×
A night-time view of the French chateau shows off its ancient character (Provided).×
This curved bathroom demonstrates how modern conveniences can be designed into a more than 400-year-old dwelling (Provided).×
A swimming pool and tennis court are among the attractions at the chateau near Cherbourg and Bayeux (Provided).×
The chateau boasts a broad living room (Provided).×