Just minutes away from the picturesque village of Les Baux de Provence in the Alpilles region of France sits a fabulous new family-friendly hotel just begging to be discovered: Domaine de Manville.
The five-star hotel and golf course has been completely renovated by owners Edith and Patrick Saut, who have turned a former farming estate into a stunning hotel with a relaxed home-from-home feel.
See also: Hotel review: Chateau les Carrasses, Languedoc, France
See also: Hotel review: La Bastide de Marie, Provence, France
An agricultural-estate-turned-country-palace, Domaine de Manville sits in 250 acres of the Alpine Regional Park. Walking up to the impeccable reception with its drystone architecture giving way to fabulous interior design, it's a Provencal farmhouse on steroids. And the super-sized pool follows suit.
What's to love?
Domaine de Manville oozes style while managing not to be remotely ostentatious. Think traditional Provence style with a very luxe twist. Reclaimed timber, sumptuous linens, wrought iron and the drystone architecture give the property an abundance of character, while the owner's fabulous eye for antiques and brocante finds from Isle sur la Sorgue will have you coveting almost every piece of furniture you see.
There are 30 well-appointed rooms and suites with views over the mega-pool and courtyard, some with living rooms and terraces perfect for families. And, over where the sheepfold once stood in ruins, there are also nine beautiful villas that you can rent while still having access to all the hotel facilities.
Eating and drinking
Eating is an experience in itself at the domaine. There is a gastronomic restaurant (not cheap but well worth the extra euros) serving traditional delights including slow-roasted tomatoes from the terroir, artichokes a la barigoule, and apricots with rosemary honey. The team even handpick wild strawberries and flowering thyme from the mountains from the Alpilles to the Mont Ventoux. There's a lovely relaxed bistro in the shade of pine trees for lunch, and breakfast is taken in a cool double height glass and steel atrium. If you fancy venturing out, there's a host of affordable eateries in nearby Maussane.
Keep the kids entertained with...
The 10-seat soundproof cinema room for a luxury movie night. You can also book a babysitter, or take the kids (aged two to 7) to the cool children's club housed in two collector gypsy caravans.
Make the most of the amazing surroundings with a walk through the estate with a picnic. Visit the castle ruins at Les Baux de Provence for fabulous views over Arles, La Camargue and even the Mediterranean in the distance. You can also book a tour through the hotel and visit Saint Rémy de Provence, Camargue, the land of cattlemen, bulls and white horses, the red ochre of the Luberon.
This place is perfect if you...
Want to explore the stunning Alpilles region of Provence (all gnarly olive trees, red earth, vineyards, cypress trees and mountain backdrops), while treating yourself to spa treatments, golf and top-quality food.
I want to go!
Domaine de Manville is part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Prices start from €235 per room per night. Fly in to Nimes for the nearest airport. Visit slh.com to book and for more information.
See more pictures of the domaine in our gallery below: