The Best of: Provence


The Best of Provence

The perfect places to spend a week in Provence

Words by Liz Skone James

All eyes might be on Paris this month, but we’ll be heading south to enjoy rolling vineyards, lavender fields and Mediterranean sunshine. Bliss


Set a little away from the hustle and bustle of glitzy, Saint- Tropez, La Réserve Ramatuelle is perched on the cliff edge in a secluded position, looking out over the endless, azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and surrounded by vibrant wildflowers, and verdant greenery. The 19 suites and eight rooms each have their own terraces or private gardens, whilst 13 pool villas (offering between three and six bedrooms) are spread throughout the gardens. All of the accommodation was refreshed for this summer season, with new interiors overseen by renowned designer Jacques Garcia. Fine craftmanship, hand painted frescoes and mosaics reference the golden age of the decorative arts in the French Riviera.

Indulgence is the name of the game here: foodies will delight in two Michelin-starred La Voile, where the menu gives pride of place to produce from the hotel’s own kitchen garden. And don’t miss the dazzling Spa Nescens, where a team of specialists offer the ultimate in pampering and wellness. Should you want a change of scenery, guests also have priority access to La Réserve à la Plage, on Pampelonne Beach.


Set within a cluster of centuries-old buildings offering impressive views of Mont Ventoux and the Vaucluse countryside, this picture-perfect hotel is part of the exclusive, family-run Maisons Pariente hotel group. There are just 34 luxurious rooms and suites here, spread between nine Génoise tiled houses linked by pretty courtyards and winding alleyways. Airy and cool, the accommodation feels authentically Provençal, with wooden beams, terracotta floors, antique furnishings and local artworks. Authentic flavour is offered in the restaurant, too. Chef Adrien Brunet anchors his cuisine in the region, using the very best seasonal produce for his menus at La Table du Ventoux, where the panoramic terrace offers unrivalled views to al fresco diners. Bucolic views are on offer from the heated outdoor pool, too, where you can cool off in the sparkling emerald waters or relax on one of the comfortable loungers. If this gorgeous setting isn’t invitation enough to slow down the pace, the spa should suffice. A tranquil sanctuary set within converted stables, it offers a host of indulgent treatments for face and body and is the perfect respite from the heat of a summer’s day. Sheer bliss.


Terre Blanche


Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, this world-class golf and spa all-suite resort is spread over a whopping 750-acre estate, with not one, but two championship golf courses. Accommodation comes in the form of 115 suites and villas, ranging in size from 60 to 300 sq m, all with private outdoor space. Spacious and serene, interiors feature terracotta tiles, natural limestone and neutral furnishings, while the luxurious, marble-clad bathrooms are stocked with local lavender bath salts. The latter is a little taste of what’s on offer in the two-storey spa, which boasts a 20 m indoor pool, an outdoor vitality pool heated to 35C, a sauna and steam room, as well as a modern fitness suite, and, of course, a menu of pampering treatments. There are four restaurants here, including the newly renovated Michelin-starred Le Faventia and gourmet restaurant Le Gaudina. Local food producers are integral to the conception of chef Christophe Schmitt’s cuisine, keeping it as close to the land as possible. This is all part of the hotel’s commitment to eco-responsibility that saw it recognised as a Sustainability Leader by The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) and awarded a Green Key certificate this year.