LE COUVENT DES MIMIMES
Thanks to Peter Mayle’s “A Year in Provence” bestseller, this region of France is immortalized in our minds as the place to go. And we did.
Provence is the place to go for old world charm, rosé wine and lavender fields as far as the eye can see. And while Provence is all that, it’s much more than a few iconic images. Provence today is a vibrant region filled with culture, luxury and experiential activities that are the stuff of lifelong memories.Our ICONIC LIFE Travel Concierge, Kathryn Raimer of Concierge Extraordinaire just returned from a luxurious and well-curated trip, and returned with these ICONIC LIFE five-star faves
Chateau de Berne
CHATEAU DE BERNE
The five-star Relais & Chateaux property brings you quintessential Provencal living. Located between Lorgues and Flayosc, the 18th-Century chateau is set on more than 1,200 acres, with 350 acres dedicated to wine growing. Given so much land to explore guests enjoy hiking and mountain biking in the Var Hills, or simply strolling the stunning grounds. With only 27 rooms on this massive estate, you’ll feel like you have your own private slice of Provence paradise. Junior suites and suites all offer a terrace or balcony to drink in the view. With a full-blown wine operation on site, guests have the opportunity to take cellar tours and experience guided tastings of the red, white, rosé and bubbles produced by the Chateau.
Chateau de Berne
With such a focus on wine, it’s no surprise the Chateau also has a robust gastronomy program. The restaurants are under the helm of Michelin-Star Chef Benjamin Collombat. For a refined evening, enjoy the starred Le Jardin de Benjamin, and for a more casual atmosphere try the Bistrot, adjoining the wine cellar and featuring an open-air terrace in summer. True foodies shouldn’t miss the chef’s table, giving diners a chance to see backstage at the garden restaurant. The Chateau recently launched a cooking school offering classes focused on patisseries, bread and Provencal cooking.
Paul Cézanne used to wander the grounds with his easel to paint the Sainte Victoire Mountain seen in the distance from the boutique Le Pigonnet hotel. Today you can walk in the master’s footstep at this elegant Provencal manor. Originally built in the 18th Century, the home was turned into a hotel in 1924. Today the 45-room property is an ideal home base for exploring Aix en Provence. Book the presidential suite, and you’ll have an expansive terrace to gaze out on the mountain that so inspired Cezanne. Don’t miss dinner at La Table du Pigonnet. Its garden tables are perfect for a romantic tete a tete.
Le Courvent des Mimimes
LE COUVENT DES MINIMES
Le Couvent des Minimes was built in the 1600s, but while the outside retains all the charm of a Provence estate, its rooms and suites have a warm, modern aesthetic and 21st-Century amenities. Located in Mane at the base of the base of the Alpes de Haute Provence Mountains, it’s the perfect Provence property for travelers who appreciate tradition, but with modern day comforts. The 46-room Relais & Chateaux property, which used to be a convent, is family run by Fabien Piacentino and his wife. The flagship restaurant, Le Cloitre was awarded a Michelin Star in 2016. While this is haute cuisine at its finest, it manages to avoid being pretentious. The dishes on the a la carte and set menus feature Provencal cuisine.
Le Courvent des Mimimes
The property also features Le Pesuier Bistro. Enjoying an après or after dinner drink the musical bar is not to be missed. If you’re with a group, arrange a private wine and cheese tasting in La Cornue wine cellar. The L’Occitane Spa is an extension of the popular skincare brand and features its products and special treatments.
Hotel Ile Rousse
HOTEL ILE ROUSSE BANDOL
While most hotels in the area ooze old world charm, Hotel Ile Rousse in Bandol is a contemporary five-star property with a stunning seaside location. The Thalasso therapy-based spa offers a la carte spa services and special multi-day packages. Spa divas will want to book the Exceptional Suite that has direct, private access to the spa from the room. In addition to the spa there is both an indoor and outdoor pool and Hammam. The property features the Michelin-Starred Les Oliviers and two beachside restaurants.
ICONIC LIFE is excited to announce a joint collaboration with Concierge Extraordinaire, our exclusive luxury, global travel concierge to provide extraordinary service to our valued readers. If you’re ready to make this your year of Provence, Concierge Extraordinaire can create a custom itinerary from first class or private air travel, to special Provence experiences like private wine tours, truffle hunts, yacht excursions and more. The firm’s global travel resources put the world of opportunity at your fingertips. Click here to connect directly to our global travel expert or visit Concierge Extraordinaire.