When visiting Provence, you should stay in a centrally located area so you can experience all the flavors of the region. With the Vaucluse to the north, the Luberon to the east, and Bouches-du-Rhône to the south, there’s a lot of ground to cover, which is why I recommend the well-situated, sweet little town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Just north of the Alpilles hills, Saint-Rémy is under an hour’s drive from all of the A’s – Avignon, Arles, Aix-en-Provence, Apt, and Alès.
On the outskirts of town, you will find a very special boutique hotel – Le Mas de l’Amarine. Tucked behind ancient oaks and a stone privacy wall, the property is beautifully maintained with gardens, various terraces, a pool with cababana, and a pond. The house belonged to ’50s and ’60s French artist Roger Bezombes. Several of his works are prominently featured throughout the home, perhaps the most striking of which is the vibrant multi-colored mosaic floor in the main living room.
All of the rooms and suites at Le Mas de l’Amarine are modern, spacious, and quite colorful. My partner and I stayed in a Superior room with aubergine walls and south-facing windows with lovely views of the Alpilles hills. The enormous en-suite bathroom featured a walk-in shower, separate soaking tub, and Hermès d`Orange Verte bath and body products.
Each morning, owners Alice and Bernard would prepare for us a homemade, five star breakfast while we basked in the herbaceous provençal air and made our plans for the day. In the evening, we were treated to gourmet snacks and tall glasses of local rosé, while we unwound from the day’s activities and prepared for our nighttime adventures.
We dined at the Mas de l’Amarine restaurant on our last night, which was a truly memorable evening – from the eclectic décor to the food and wine, and most importantly, the impeccable service. After starting our meal with succulent foie gras, I enjoyed le pigeon while my partner devoured his veal, which was smoked table-side in a glass dome filled with local herbs. It was without a doubt one of the top gastronomical experiences from our trip.
(Last visited in September, 2013)