If you've ever wanted to pretend like you're retreating to your gorgeous villa in Provence, now's the time. Just last week, Domaine de la Baume, a Maison & Hotels Sibuet property, opened its doors. And if you've ever felt like diving right into the scenes in the film A Good Year (filmed nearby), this is your new favorite hotel.
In what used to be French Expressionist painter Bernard Buffet's maison, there is now a luxury property that—set on 99 acres—includes formal French gardens, an olive grove, waterfalls, ponds, tennis court, heated pool, and fitness center. Pretty blue shutters adorn the estate, the ideal introduction to its rich, colorful interior that includes a stone courtyard and walls painted in warm green, blue, and orange hues. Also within this gorgeous stay in the village of Tourtour is a spa with four treatment rooms, as well as the opportunity during warmer months to receive open-air massages next to waterfalls. Its location smack between the French Riviera and the Verdon Gorges means there are plenty of day trips to be taken nearby. Horses on the property give the impression you're on a private country estate—not bunking in a hotel.
Owner Jocelyne Sibuet chose an 18th Century style design for the interior spaces, folding in warm hues like deep blues, browns, pinks, and a pale green. In each of the 15 rooms, drawings of flowers evoke the Victorian period while Cabriolet and Bergère chairs, plus Kilim rugs on parquet flooring, and crystal chandeliers, create an elegant-meets-cozy feel. No two rooms are alike.
Provençal cuisine is prepared by chef François Martin. Honey is made from bees housed at the property and much of the vegetables are sourced from a chef's garden. Olives grown at Domaine de la Baume are pressed into olive oil at a mill in nearby Tourtour. Also in Tourtour are art galleries and boutiques with upscale souvenirs, including clothing, jewelry, decorative items for the home, and culinary treats.
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new-hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photo credits: Courtesy of Domaine de la Baume