“What an incredible couple of days we spent at the newly opened Villa Baulieu. It was the tail end of a long European trip – and rest and some chill time was the MO. Lounging by the dramatic/classical pool, biking through the vineyards, reading in the salons – it was as if time stopped and we were able to enjoy the true pleasures of quieted calm. The grounds are stunningly gorgeous and the interior and furnishings are out of a story book – antiques, objets and some modern unique pieces all placed to perfection; having been sourced from all over the world over the 10 year restoration period of this family home. It all was incredibly grand and romantic. It’s a real treasure nestled in a corner of Provence – an experience not to be missed.”
(Date experienced: July 2012)
A romantic retreat for two: think wine tasting, poolside relaxation, country strolls, quiet dinners and chilled evenings in – equally, a large family or group of like-minded friends to take several rooms or the whole house.
Ideally, your honey.
Dinner at the “Host’s Table.” Once a week the family holds a “Table d'hôte” on a specified day in their sumptuous formal dining room. Brimming with period pieces and a 24-seat dining table, the setting was just as memorable as the meal. Dinner was a delicious display of color and taste, made with the freshest of ingredients and paired with wines of the region. Two dishes in particular we will never forget! Trust me: this is an experience most rarely get to have in life.
Best time to go
Spring to early summer months when the lavender is in full bloom. August is too hot! September & October are gorgeous.
Good to note
The entire home can be rented – just imagine a wedding here! Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire.
The property is not a ‘hotel' nor an inn. It is a family home with rooms to stay (all ensuite and all immaculately restored and very top-end in design and comfort). The downfall, and a reason many may not book to stay here, is that meals are not served outside of breakfast, but one dinner per week. So, guests must venture out for every lunch & dinner – 10+ minutes drive away, rather than being able to stay & enjoy the utterly gorgeous settings of this Tuscanate Provencal villa!
Eleven guestrooms ranging from Prestige Rooms to Junior Suites to Suites, each with their own inspiring views of the property and gardens. Every room is assigned a historical name significant to Baulieu and decorated in his/her honor and antiques and beautiful furnishings make for a truly unique feel. Expect luxurious European interiors rich in color and comfortable in design. All rooms come with the necessary amenities including well functioning air-conditioning (can be a challenge in this area), free WiFi, a safe, hairdryer, iPhone dock, and Nespresso machine.
Service & vibe
The hosts and house manager are incredibly kind and beyond helpful. It feels like staying at a distant relative’s extravagant home – attentive and accessible, but never overbearing.
Continental breakfast is served daily in one of a few gorgeous spots on the property – a delicious affair with coffee and fresh juices, cakes and croissants, local breads and jams, vegetables and eggs, honey and cheese. Regrettably, lunch & dinner are not served here unless the whole house is rented. The family chef, Christophe, is extremely talented churning out the highest quality Provencal style dishes one can imagine. It helps that his sourcing from the region (and Italy) is a 'no-holds bar' approach! However, only once per week can one experience his delicious concoctions, as VB is, remember, a 'family home' rather than a hotel/guesthouse.
Price per night
$520 to $1680 a night, breakfast included
To Do & See
Stroll, shop Aix en Provence – approx. 20 minutes by car. Villages: Lourmarin & Cadenet are closest and very charming, the other villages of Luberon are all between 20 to 45 minutes away including Gordes & Cassis.
Sport & Activity
There are a handful of excellent golf courses nearby – the house manager would be happy to set up tee time for you, as well as horse riding in the area, and of course the many seasonal Festivals of Jazz/Classic music etc. Find all the basic info here: www.aixenprovence.com/v/festivals/
Spa & Grooming
The Villa doesn’t have a spa but it does have a lovely pool for swimming as well as a hammam for relaxation. And if you’re feeling really sore from a day out on foot, the house manager can arrange a massage either in your room or out in the vineyard.
There are a handful of tasty restaurants within a 15-20 minute drive. Here are a few of the owner's favorites: La Fenière (in Lourmarin), Pierre Reboul, La Tomate Verte & Les Deux Garçons (all in Aix), QUAI 70 (in Puyricard)
A visit to this special design shop in Aix en Provence: 'Designers Studio' (on Rue Boulegon) – a real must!