Provence hotel site inspections

Deluxe Room at Villa Gallici, Aix-en-Provence

Following our week in Paris, we took the TGV from Gare du Lyon down to the village of Avignon in the south of France. We picked up our Renault rental car from the train station and began our five day drive through the beautiful countryside of Provence. I especially loved driving the long country roads lined with trees on both sides.

We stayed at four hotels and visited one other during that period. I don't normally recommend so many short stays, but one purpose of the trip was to inspect hotels — so I took one for the team! I've posted my full site inspection report on FlyerTalk... but here's a quick summary.

You've got a basic choice when staying in the provinces. Do you want the kind of five-star luxury you can experience at city hotels in cities such as Paris? Or do you prefer something less formal and more authentic to the countryside, knowing that you'll likely have smaller rooms with less polished interiors ... and no Four Seasons bathrooms!

La Mirande was built in the 14th century as the palace of the Cardinal (who lived right next door to the Papal Palace). Privately owned, this is a quaint, charming and authentic Proven├žal hotel. We enjoyed our Grand Deluxe room whose window overlooked the gardens with a view of the Papal Palace.

La Coquillade is a true five star resort developed from a mid-19th century village. Some existing buildings were renovated with new construction that created additional guestrooms, spa, and restaurants. The resort has two large pools and rents bicycles for touring the countryside. Guestroom interiors are comfortable but minimalist.

La Bastide de Marie is an utterly delightful country house in the middle of 19 acres of vineyards. Rooms are quaint and authentic, and the food here is absolutely wonderful. We enjoyed their tasting meal so much!

Domaine de Manville began with an agricultural couples and adjacent 9 hole golf course. After the seven years it took to obtain the permissions and complete construction, a stunning resort has emerged with pool and 18 holes of golf. We really enjoyed our one-night stay in a spacious and beautiful Junior Suite.

Villa Gallici is located in the small city of Aix-en-Provence. A small and elegant hotel, it is walking distance from the center of town. Our Deluxe room was absolutely gorgeous if a bit small; I highly recommend booking a Junior Suite or higher category. If you're visiting a son or daughter who is studying French in Aix, this is the place to stay.

copyright (c) 2016 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell Travel. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

No comments: