Along the Cote d’Azur by car. Continuation

Luxury Travel Tips

Despite the fact that I left Saint-Tropez a long time ago, I will tell you a little about it, since I promised. First of all, about the hotel where I lived. This Residence de la pinede. It has many advantages, but the main ones, of course, are three: a stunning view of the bay, a wonderful private beach (which, importantly, adjoins directly to the hotel) and, yes, an infinity pool, sorry for some vulgarity. And yet – living in this hotel, you are always in the center.

Residence de la pinede

In fact, Saint-Tropez is an example of how easily and simply everything changes in the world. In just a couple of centuries, yesterday’s fishing village turns into a cheerful recreation center for the best people of Europe, sparkling with yachts, diamonds and happy smiles! But for me it gets boring pretty quickly. For me, it’s too noisy and it’s rather uncomfortable. Although the town is great, of course, – what? Yes, it is already great because here the cream of society is presented in its concentrated state. Brigitte Bardot is the sun, and rays of this or that brightness and warmth emanate from her in all directions… Of course, this is an incredibly positive place in general… Turquoise sea, shopping, high parties… But… I want to relax, but for me everything is here suddenly and immediately began to turn into work (instantly met partners).

Residence de la pinede

I continued towards Marseille after a couple of days. The next point on my route was Les Baux de Provence, which means that I had to deviate somewhat from the coast and drive a little inland. The route is quite difficult, here it is on the map:

View Larger Map

I went there for various reasons, but the main thing is that I was invited to Oustau de baumaniere (part of the Relais & Châteaux), a legendary hotel that served at various times as a highly acclaimed haven for Queen Elizabeth, Pablo Picasso, Georges Pompidou, Deng Xiaoping, Jean Reno, Hugh Grant, Johnny Depp.

Oustau de baumaniere

Surrounded by the breathtakingly beautiful rock landscapes of the Alpilles (Les Alpilles), just a few minutes from the noble Roman ruins of Arles, protected by UNESCO, of course, and from the equally ancient and no less noble Avignon. From the charming town of Saint-Remy-de-Provence and many other interesting places … I think you understand now why I agreed to visit this hotel and made such a strange loop in the route, deviating from the coast …


On top of that, the hotel itself is very good. It is four-star, but, believe me, in this case it does not change anything. Around there reigns such magic and grace that the heart squeezes when you realize that you are here for a very short time. Dances of light and shadows on white rocks, gray-green landscapes, carefree cricket, the freshness of olive groves… In general, name day of the heart and nothing more. In addition, as I have already explained, the location is perfect in every way. Here you are close to the most important thing in the area.

And don’t let the somewhat rustic, rustic appearance of the hotel fool you. Inside, in the bedrooms, antiquity meets the most modern achievements of interior design, and this meeting is furnished with the rarest taste and tact.

Oustau de baumaniere

And another important thing here is a restaurant with two Michelin stars. Its chefs, Jean-André Charial and Sylvestre Wahid, are real magicians. Especially the first one. He’s in his 60s, but he’s still capable of making you swallow your tongue at dinner. Too bad he’s less and less happy now. Mostly prepared by his student, Pakistani Sylvester. He is also a master of classic Provencal cuisine, but he shows some bold innovations. For example, he served me foie gras surrounded by finely chopped apple slices in sauce. But it was delicious, to be sure! And, which also could not but please me, there are very good such portions …

Oustau de baumaniere resta

By the way, Sylvester turned out to be a very good guy, he gives lessons, and I even once looked into his kitchen to see how it goes (I myself am not a fan of cooking, but it’s interesting all the same!). It was very entertaining to watch how it all happens – a little fussy, but very fun and attentive …

And okay, since we got to talk today about Oustau de baumanierethen we must also mention the spa. It’s very close to the hotel, it has Turkish bath, swimming pool and very relaxing good massage…

And to top it all, I want to advise you an excellent guide to wine places. The acquaintance is purely professional, but she knows her business well and, in any case, you are familiar with Provencal wines. Meet, in general, an excellent sommelier Celine Vian.

See you!

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