La Bastide de Marie
“I fell in love from the minute we drove up to the cypress-surrounded farmhouse. Right away, I knew this would be a special place. Charming and homey, La Bastide is somehow incredibly chic in all its simplicity. Aperitifs every night were wonderful – we met many other interesting, worldly couples, it was like going to a casual cocktail party every night. The ultimate in boutique hotels, this is where one comes to enjoy a life of leisure in a setting that never failed to stun us each morning with the gorgeous new light, food prep to marvel and breakfast of champions. And I’ll tell you, it wasn’t hard to adapt to the lifestyle: eat, drink, nap, repeat - the epitome of French living.”
(Date experienced: July 2012)
A Provencal escape. This is a place to disconnect and simply live the good life! The wine, food, lovely surroundings are just the start of it.
The smell of lavender, mint, thyme wafting everywhere we walked... the sound of cicadas in the evening with the vineyards as our backdrop – Provence out of a novel.
Best time to go
Spring, early Summer and early Fall are most beautiful and pleasent. Summer can be scorching hot, but it’s worth the extra degrees to be surrounded by fields of lavender and sunflowers! If it is the only time you can get away.
It’s somewhat tricky to find, so if you’re driving make sure you get good directions – or better yet, use a GPS: 43.824504 / 5.231647
Fourteen rooms to choose from, each with a color-coded name – rather than number (a nice touch, I thought). Every room is different, decorated in its own style, like a home – very personal and comfortable with the highest sense of refinement, eg. canopy beds, claw-foot tubs, velvet drapes. The combination of Provencal antiques with sleek, modern amenities is interior design perfection. Not a single detail is overlooked from the cream-colored linens to the sweet, ripe peaches awaiting your arrival. Request a room with a terrace, you can’t go wrong!
Service & vibe
Respectful and attentive service that somehow manages to go unnoticeable yet always there to help. The vibe could be described as rustic elegance, tasteful and casual.
It is infrequent that I recommend highly the restaurant of the hotel/inn itself. Put it this way, the sublime views layered with stylish furnishings and vibe, mixed with the tastiest, fresh, simple and delectable food... why go elsewhere? (ok, almost!) At the very least, make time for one lunch or dinner here. Their wines are good, the red, labeled "Le" is excellent and available for purchase.
Price per night
From $575 to $990 including bedroom, breakfast, afternoon tea, lunch or dinner (served with aperitif, wine from Domaine de Marie, mineral water & coffee). Room-only rates also available.
To Do & See
Seasonal summer greats include: Les Musicales De Luberon and the AIX Opera Festival. Provence Excursions provide excellent cultural, shopping, walking, architecture, and food experts - contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Of the best of the old perching Luberon villages to wander and take in: Gordes, Ménerbes, Roussillon and Lacoste are my favorites. NB: old cobblestone villages require good traction, flat shoes but please no gym sneakers!
Sport & Activity
When/if you tire of lazing around the bastide’s two pools, it’s easy to burn off some energy strolling through the vineyard and gardens, biking and horseback riding in the countryside, or golfing at a nearby course.
Spa & Grooming
The hotel’s spa adds just another level of serenity to the property. With only two treatment rooms, it is a tiny little gem of a spa featuring the Pure Altitude beauty line. Honey and rosemary, pink clay, brown sugar scrub, lemon balm water, and verbena cream are just some of the products you’ll enjoy during your treatment.
A not-to-be-missed suggestion: La Chassagnette in Arles (best for lunch in the shaded garden amongst the many ingredients you'll be enjoying). Classic, simple and farm-fresh in a setting you'll never forget!
The list is endless of course in this area - here are a couple picks to kick off your research: Every weekend over 300 antique dealers, fabric makers, interior companies set up at l'Isle sur la Sorgue - they are well set up to send your purchases most anywhere in the world. Also, L'Atelier Louis Siccard, for traditional Provencal style pottery and dishware (in Aubagne).
Enjoy nature + exercise off some of those ficelle and apricot tarts! Pack a picnic and gaze up from the walking trails of the Luberon Regional Park (www.parcdeluberon.fr). Or rent a bike (www.campinglevallon.com).
Route de Bonnieux
Quartier de la Verrerie
84560 Ménerbes, France
An hour drive from the Airport of Marseille Provence and about 40 minutes from the Airport of Avignon. If driving from Paris or Nice, get directions from the hotel site.