Today we will go to Provence and explore what it has to offer us in such a delicate and incredibly pleasant area as “small French hotels” – or even bolder: the best French hotels. The best French hotels in Provence!
Provence has hardly changed since Van Gogh. All the same sunny and bright region, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. “O beautiful midsummer sun! It scorches my head and makes me feel slightly intoxicated,” Van Gogh wrote. Beware, my friends, of this intoxication, for perhaps it was precisely this that led Van Gogh to the most famous eccentric act in the history of art of the 20th century. The artist took it and cut off his ear … I think, in anger at the fact that it could not compete with the eyes in the transfer of all the beauties that surrounded him in Provence (I didn’t have time to cut off the second ear, they didn’t give it). However, we will not look into Vangogh’s Arles, our path will pass near Avignon, since it is around it that all the best hotels in the region are grouped.
So, the first hotel that I would like to recommend to the reader is called Hotel Crillon le Brave. Imagine an old French village on a hillside against the backdrop of Mount Ventu, endless vineyards everywhere.
Haute Provence, 45 minutes drive from Avignon. 30 rooms of this hotel fit in seven stone two and three-story houses, which are interconnected by pavement threads.
Here all the time you feel like at least a noble Frenchman of the 17th century, for example, in a vaulted stone edal, in a cozy quiet cafe, and on shady terraces from which you can admire the cascade of small ponds. There are many interesting villages and antique shops around the hotel. You can book a horseback ride at the hotel and rush to explore the surroundings. Or, for example, go to a local winery.
By the way, in November and December, the Crillon le Brave hotel has a 50 percent discount on accommodation.
Now Avignon itself.
Hotel La mirande is a 20-room hotel located in the former residence of an 18th-century cardinal, opposite the famous Pope’s Palace. Luxurious paintings on the walls, an equally beautiful dining room, terraces full of flowers, a greenhouse in the courtyard, every fold of curtains and bedspreads in the room whispers to my heart about comfort – this is how I remember this place where I once spent two warm summer days.
In winter, it’s probably different. In general, in winter, Provence, of course, does not allow you to fully enjoy its warmth and comfort, but winter Provence undoubtedly has its own charm. Rare snow flutters over the trees and fields so easily and imperceptibly, and then, no longer looking like snow, but rather like some kind of magical pollen, it lies so briefly that you involuntarily fill yourself with philosophical thoughts about the transience of being. A little sad, but easy. “My sadness is light,” a pleasant feeling.
Winter Provence. Photo: Michel@ / Flickr.com
The next hotel I would definitely recommend is La Bastide de Marie. 45 minutes from Avignon if driving southeast. And I have been here many times. In fact, this is a wine farm converted into a hotel with 14 rooms. And again vineyards everywhere, again classically pastoral views of rural France, which the rested traveler will enjoy for hours from here on the hill. A very elegant rustic atmosphere reigns in this hotel, everything is decorated with wood and decorated with antiques, a lovely pond shines in the courtyard.
And finally, we also note the Le Saint-Paul hotel – a building in the style of the 16th century, with 19 rooms.
And again – flowers and greenery all around. This is if in the summer. And if in late autumn – it is possible that you will still find some flowers, but they will already be touched by the colors of withering and, if you’re lucky, powdered with the elusive translucent November snow. A special feeling, for which it is sometimes worth traveling around Europe in winter. However, snow in Provence is very rare even in winter, so this can really be your test of luck.
And now, in the next post, I will talk about two more hotels in Provence, already with a gastronomic bias. And also something about the French Riviera.