Near both Gordes and Ménerbes, in Provence’s Luberon region, La Bastide du Marie is a gorgeous property; a beautifully restored 18th century manor house surrounded by 57 acres of vineyards, gardens, olive trees and lavender groves. It offers very much a luxury experience but rooted in authenticity; the entire space, both the building and the grounds are immaculately kept and display a great deal of historical elegance. There are two swimming pools here, spa facilities, a winery and an excellent Read more [...]
A slice of rural luxury near Aix-en-Provence, Domaine de Fontenille has 17 rooms in a beautifully atmospheric 18th century mansion house surrounded by its own vineyards. It is in the pretty village of Lauris, along the Durance River, which, though very near Aix-en-Provence, happily doesn’t see the same magnitude of tourists as much of the rest of the region.
Domaine de Fontenille has a long reputation as a wine producing estate, with its first harvest being all the way back in 1638 but these days it is most well known for its Michelin star awarded restaurant; Le Champ des Lunes, and in general for being one of the finest boutique luxury hotels in rural Provence.
It has just 17 rooms in total (check the booking page here) and so is a somewhat intimate place. They run from standard doubles, through family rooms to top of the range suites all of which you will find spacious and elegant with high ceilings, wooden floors and tastefully rustic furniture.
Perks include extra large beds, music systems, sound proofing and some particularly nice bathrooms, most of which will have traditional bathtubs along with modern showers. All of the rooms and suites are B&B, or just B as the breakfast is not included in the room rate (though it is worth the extra € 21 charge), but for self caterers they also have a nice two bedroom apartment which has full kitchen facilities, a good sized lounge and its own private garden.
The building itself is quite lovely with plenty of common areas to relax in; lounges, library areas and of course their two restaurants: Fine dining can be enjoyed at the Le Champ des Lunes, which won a Michelin star for its classic French & Provençal cuisine, and more casual dining at the La Cuisine d’Amélie.
The restaurants are open to the public and though hotel guests will have some priority it’s generally wise to make a reservation or reservations a few days in advance especially in the summer and especially at Le Champ.
The grounds of Domaine de Fontenille are equally impressive, with a full 86 acres of mostly landscaped gardens and vineyards. There are nice walking trails around the vines and of course a range of wine tourism activities can be arranged; wine tasting, cellar tours etc. The wines (reds, whites & rosés) are all organic, likewise their small farm which includes some sheep, donkeys and hens.
There is a 20 meter outdoor swimming pool in the grounds plus you also have access to a fitness room and a small spa where various massage treatments can also be arranged. There are regular yoga classes on the property too.
There aren’t many secret corners left in Provence, but here, the southern edge of the Luberon, might just be one despite it being so near the city of Aix-en-Provence. The village of Lauris, where Domaine de Fontenille is located, is a pretty little place that sees less tourists that similar villages in the Luberon thus has a more relaxed, natural feel, even in the height of summer, and the famous lavender season for which the Luberon, and Provence generally, is famous.
There are many other classic Provençal villages around too, with the best example being possibly Lourmerin, around five minutes drive away. Cycling is popular in this area and bikers can be hired from the hotel, and horse riding can be arranged locally too.
Domaine de Fontenille is less than 40km from Aix-en-Provence and and just over 60 km to Avignon, with the nearest airport being Marseille Provence Airport less than an hour away by car.
WHAT OTHER GUESTS SAY:
“I want to keep this place a secret, it’s perfect in every way. Sparkling clean, courteous staff, spacious room, beautifully maintained estate. we dined at both restaurants in residence, both outstanding!..”
“This hotel is a masterclass in transforming an old house into a modern hotel. All the original features are in place, materials and craftsmanship are first class and sympathetic. Stunning room. The gardens are beautiful. So is the pool area. Both restaurants are excellent, especially the gastronomique. Delightful energetic staff that all speak excellent English. Would absolutely recommend it to anyone…”
Address: Route De Roquefraiche
- Spa Facilities
- Laundry Facilities
- Farm With Animals
- Bikes For Hire
- Swimming Pool