The best Provence hotels to book for 2022 – Country Living

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From boutique, art-filled B&Bs to expansive spa resorts, we share our favourite Provence hotels
The historic province of Provence, now largely equivalent to the modern-day Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, is a vast area that takes in extremes ranging from the uniquely cosmopolitan city of Marseille with its compelling cultural mix to tiny villages lost in time.
It’s a beautiful French region and a wonderful Eurostar destination for travellers opting for eco-friendly holidays by rail. It’s home to some dreamy Provence hotels, such as grand villas covered in lush vegetation and filled with antique French furniture, as well as the location of relaxing river cruises that take you along the attractive Rhone River.
The best Provence hotels seek inspiration in and draw energy from the surroundings, whether it’s the lavender fields north of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille and east of Avignon, local markets full of eye-catching fresh produce destined for your dinner table and some of the best and freshest dishes you’ll have ever eaten, medieval alleyways and churches, or Mediterranean beaches including those of the glitzy Riviera.
Less than two hours’ flight from the UK, Provence is as ideal for long weekend break as it is for lengthier holidays, but this is also an easy destination to reach by rail. Making the journey part of the experience by taking the direct Eurostar from London to the South of France can be the perfect start to your Provençal escape.
Check out the best Provence hotels to make your base when you arrive.
Just steps from the medieval Gothic Palais des Papes that formed the seat of Western Christianity in the 14th century, this stately 17th-century villa conceals just five B&B suites mixing vintage and antique furnishings and artworks with a contemporary sheen and quirky touches.
You’ll want to explore the UNESCO-listed Vaucluse capital, of course, but when you beat a retreat from its winding streets, La Divine Comédie offers a tranquil haven of a garden with a pool, a hot tub and the candlelit, cocooning ‘Foly’ with its hammam, sauna and treatment room offering an impressive array of massage styles.
Oozing Provençal character, this four-suite boutique guesthouse in a 17th-century townhouse sits in the heart of the Vaucluse ‘island town’ known for its waterwheels, contemporary art museum, antiques shops and weekend markets. Part of the Esprit de France group guaranteeing authentic Gallic character, it even has its own gallery showcasing art, design and objects amassed ruing the owner’s travels.
There’s a swimming pool out in the secret garden and plenty of things to do: hire an e-bike or racing bike to tackle Mont Ventoux, learn to cook bouillabaisse, drive a classic Citroën 2CV, or tour local wine cellars.
This intimate hideaway holds court over one of the oldest villages in the Vaucluse with its labyrinth of vine-swathed 17th- and 18th-century buildings. With rooms and suites in 10 ancient houses clustered around a centuries-old olive tree, this icon among Provence hotels is much sought out for its superlative spa set in the vaulted former stables.
Regular retreats at Hôtel Crillon Le Brave include yoga, meditation and nature walks, and there’s a sparkling gem of an outdoor pool with Mont Ventoux views, plus two lovely restaurants each with a sublime terrace. Madeleine, the fine-dining venue, offers the seasonal likes of Mazan asparagus with goat’s cheese ravioli and Etang de Thau oysters with aniseed potato soup.
This vineyard estate north of Aix-en-Provence in the Bouches du Rhône offers airy, elegant rooms and suites, some with four-posters. From the turreted towers to the 18th-century Chinese wallpapers, Genoa leathers and Provencal plasterwork, everything conspires to a feeling of pastoral glamour at Château de Fonscolombe.
An outdoor pool, pétanque, cycling, a running trail and spots to bring a picnic basket provided by the kitchen are all on offer in the parkland, and you can take tours of the vegetable garden. Younger guests can take part in pastry workshops and herb discovery sessions with the chef, whose fresh, light cuisine in L’Orangerie majors on local seafood.
So quintessentially Gallic that it’s featured in French period dramas, this 18th-century bastide (manor) is an oasis of indulgence, with a light-flooded Michelin-starred restaurant among its eateries, a vast wine cellar including vintages from its own lush vineyards, a prestigious Valmont spa including a hammam, and an outdoor pool.
The rooms and suites at Château de la Gaude are dotted all around the estate with its butterfly walk and modern artworks, making it easy to think you’ve escaped from it all. Blending classic and contemporary to stunning effect, they include family options and a five-bedroom private-pool villa.
Within steps of Marseille’s buzzy Vieux Port and its mighty modern Mucem – Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean, this tiny gem is also a blissful retreat from days spent exploring one of France’s most exciting cities. All of Le Bords de Mer‘s 19 uncluttered rooms and suites open onto the shimmering Mediterranean, as does the restaurant, which, hovering just above water level, serves local seafood such as sea urchins cooked in fresh and exciting ways.
The rooftop bar adds cocktails infused with Provençal aromas to the mix, while the mineral spa beckons with its REN treatments, and there’s a second relaxation pool out on the main terrace.
Owned by superstar chef Alain Ducasse and once host to General de Gaulle, 10-room rural inn Hostellerie de l’Abbaye de la Celle overlooking an ancient abbey in the heart of the Var is a place for a very special occasion. The Michelin-starred cuisine is insanely good, of course; various set menus introduce you to such seasonal delights as soup of bouchot-grown mussels with saffron pistils, with many ingredients coming from the bountiful on-site kitchen and herb gardens and from the orchards.
Also out in the estate are two natural springs, a swimming pool built on the site of a Roman house, with Candelon mountain and vineyard views, plus a pétanque terrain.
Only half an hour from the Mediterranean beaches of the Riviera, this all-suite and villa resort is a serene escape in the midst of the Var region’s famous ‘perched villages’ of hilltop medieval enclaves. As the name suggests, Terre Blanche Hotel Golf Spa Resort is an expansive resort and as such offers something to please all ages: two championship par-72 golf courses, an elegant spa purveying treatments by Provence with Valmont and KOS Paris, and a kids’ club and children’s pools.
The main fine dining restaurant Le Faventia, has blissful views; other options include Le Tousco beside the infinity pool and Le Gaudina brasserie with its breezy jazz-lounge vibe.
Romantically secluded in the Alpes-Maritimes countryside yet only 15 minutes from Cannes’ glitzy promenade, La Croisette, intimate 22-room hotel Tiara Yaktsa is part of the exclusive Relais & Châteaux group. It has a distinctly French feel while also standing out from the crowd for its Arabic touches including silks and mashrabiya-latticed windows.
The sea-view rooftop suites are the most coveted, and there are terraces of cabanas to seek refuge, a year-round heated infinity pool, secret courtyards shaded by cypresses, and personalised massages in the boudoir-esque treatment room or in the spa at nearby sister Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel.
With its tapestries, antiques, original wooden beams and stone walls that testify to Mougins’ medieval roots, this beguiling little spot is worlds away from the sleek resorts of the French Rivieria despite being just inland of Cannes. Mougins is known for its gourmet food and at Les Rosées there’s inventive candlelit dinners, indulgent breakfasts of organic, Fair Trade produce and award-winning local wines (some home-produced) served in the shade of olive trees.
The rooms are a delight: free of TVs, they including one with a cosy working fireplace and one restored Romany caravan with a Jacuzzi slipper bath and its own terrace.


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