Arles or St. Remy as a base town?

Sep 11th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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Arles or St. Remy as a base town?

We will be driving around Western Provence for 3-4 days. Which one is better as a base town - Arles or St. Remy?
Also, any suggestions for hotels, restaurants, and sights around there are appreciated.
marchy007 is offline  
Sep 11th, 2005, 02:07 PM
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St-Rémy is more accessible and a prettier place to stay unless you want to be in a major city. The drive from there to Arles isn't far, and you can see most of the major sights in a single day. Then from St-Rémy you can head to Les Baux, over to Avignon, and certainly the Pont du Gard.

What's your hotel budget?
Underhill is online now  
Sep 11th, 2005, 02:23 PM
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I agree with Underhill, St. Remy is much prettier. We stayed in Arles simply because we got an incredible hotel price of 45 euros for a double with shower.

Having seen St. Remy though I think I would try to stay there another time ~o)
jazzyred is offline  
Sep 11th, 2005, 04:43 PM
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jazzyred - Do you mind telling me the name of that hotel, and what you thought of it. I'm probably going to be there in March and am just starting to think about accomodations.
isabel is offline  
Sep 11th, 2005, 04:51 PM
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Isabel, you are smart to try to book now! We have been trying to find a nice place in St. Remy or Les Baux for weeks and every place we have tried is booked up for our visit! Les Mas de Carassins seems to get glowing reviews on about every site I look at (booked up during our visit). We have been looking for hotels around the 120 Euro range. I'm curious to hear what others say for hotel advice.
DandK is offline  
Sep 11th, 2005, 04:53 PM
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Here's a very nice, if somewhat quirky, hotel in St-Rémy:
StCirq is online now  
Sep 11th, 2005, 05:04 PM
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We actually considered Hotel Gounod, but were a bit afraid of the 'quirky' - did you stay there? Maybe it's all the gold and satin sheets on the website...
DandK is offline  
Sep 11th, 2005, 05:08 PM
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No, I haven't stayed there, but I popped in for a look-see a couple of weeks ago and loved it. By quirky, BTW, I was referring to certain elements of the décor, like the mannequins in sequined tops in the lobby, along with a huge funnel-shaped fishtank. The owner couldn't have been nicer.

Anyway, the reason I popped in was that I had recommended it to some of my travel clients (on the recommendation of PBProvence, who lives in Maussane), and they called me when they got back and raved about it. They didn't mention gold and satin sheets, but said it was their favorite hotel of their entire trip.

I have had lunch there - delicious and very good service.
StCirq is online now  
Sep 11th, 2005, 06:45 PM
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Our great find was the Hotel Calendal in Arles. It was very pleasant, clean rooms, decent breakfast, good service and best price ever.
It has awonderful terrace and gardens where you can eat or lounge as well.

Trip Advisor rates it # 1 hotel in Arles.

Good luck it is popular!
jazzyred is offline  
Sep 11th, 2005, 07:39 PM
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OK, I'm getting the message that St. Remy is preferable and I also begin to feel that I must hurry with reservations there - we'll be there October 10th. Any other good hotels, restaurants in St. Remy?
marchy007 is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 06:41 AM
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jazzyred is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 07:42 AM
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Marley....this is a minor thread ofn the subnject. Go to search and try St. Remy and even Provence and not only will alot of questions answered, but so will questions you havent thought of.Too bad they don't separaate the threads here by subject.
Bigal is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 08:32 AM
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Two hotels we've liked near St-Rémy: the Château de Roussan, dating from the 18th century, with beautiful grounds and a nice little restaurant. Under the same ownership (English/French) is the Domaine de Valmouriane, on the road to Les Baux. Very Provençal in feel, good restaurant, lovely pool, gated parking.
Underhill is online now  
Sep 12th, 2005, 11:56 AM
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Here's my shortlist of hotels in St Remy if it helps (I'm the one who lives in Maussane - just over the Alpilles from St Remy)

St. Remy de Provence :

**** Château des Alpilles (2 kms from town on the D31)
19th Century mansion set in spacious grounds. Pool, tennis courts, handicapped access.
15 rooms - from 180 - 230 euro (They also have 4 apartments)
Closed 16 November to 23 December and 5 January to 19 February
Tel: (33) 490 92 03 33 Fax: (33) 490 92 45 17
[email protected]

*** Domaine de Valmouriane (4.5 kms from town on the D27, route des Baux)
Restored Provençal Mas set in elegant gardens. Pool, tennis courts, AC.
11 rooms - from 160 - 305 euro
Closed 14 November to 26 November and 16 to 28 January
Tel: (33) 490 92 44 62 Fax: (33) 490 92 37 32
[email protected]

Hôtel Les Ateliers de l'Image (in town)
Modern hotel, on the site of the old village movie house. AC, handicapped access.
24 rooms - 140 - 360 euro
Tel: (33) 490 92 51 50 Fax: (33) 490 92 43 52
[email protected]

Hotel Gounod Ville Verte

Originally a "relais", already well frequented in 1660, this charming hotel is across from the church in St Remy. In 1863 the composer Charles Gounod, a friend of Frederic Mistral, stayed there while he wrote the opera "Mireille".
The entire hotel has been renovated and restored. The rooms are comfortable and well appointed and the bathrooms are very well done. Rooms start at 115 euro for a double room in season and include breakfast. A/C
There is also a charming tea room on the ground floor.
Tel: (33) 490 92 06 14 Fax: (33) 490 92 56 54

Domaine de Bournissac (11 kms from town in Paluds de Noves)
Restored Mas, with a view of the Alpilles, Luberon and Mont Ventoux. Nicely furnished rooms. Small shop selling local products
Restaurant with an excellent reputation... with a terrace under a large old fig tree.
13 Rooms 175 - 230 euro
[email protected]

Villa Glanum (outside town, direction Les Baux - next to Glanum)
Comfortable, country style hotel. Pool, handicap access.
28 rooms from 65 - 80 euro
Closed from 1 November to 23 March.
Tel: (33) 490 92 03 59 Fax: (33) 490 92 00 08
[email protected]

Mas des Carassins (outside town, direction les Baux)
Restored 19th C Mas (farmhouse) with lovely gardens. Pool
12 rooms from 95 - 125 euro
Closed 4 January to 28 March
Tel: (33) 490 92 15 48 Fax: (33) 490 92 63 47
[email protected]

l'Amandiere (outside of town, direction Noves - about 2 kms.)
Calm setting with nice garden. Rooms have a balcony or terrace. Pool
26 Rooms from 52 - 62 euro
Closed End October to Mid-March
Tel: (33) 490 92 41 00 Fax: (33) 490 92 48 38

If you'd care to go over the Alpilles (it takes about ten minutes) here are some in my area:

Les Baux de Provence

*** La Riboto de Taven (in the valley)
Restored mas and sheepfold, lovely gardens. They just reopened two years ago after major restoration and renovation. Several rooms are in the main building, and 2 rooms are carved into the cliffs, with beautiful views upward to Les Baux from their private terraces.
The Riboto was a one Michelin star restaurant for 35 years.... and they are still offering dinner to their guests, as well as light lunches by the pool.
Pool, A/C, handicap access
7 Rooms from 190-250 euro
Closed 5 January to mid March
Tel: (33) 490 54 34 23 Fax: (33) 490 54 38 88
email: [email protected]

** Auberge de la Bevengudo (2 kms from les Baux)
Mas set in flower gardens. Discreetly arranged rooms opening onto the gardens. Restaurant (closed Sunday evenings). Pool, tennis courts,AC
21 rooms from - 135 - 185 euro (three apartments)
Tel: (33) 490 54 32 54 Fax: (33) 490 54 42 58
[email protected]
** Mas d'Aigret (just outside the entrance to the village of Les Baux)
Backing into the cliffs, the views are spectacular. Charming hotel that reopened last year. Pool, A/C Restaurant built into the mountain...with fireplace.
16 rooms 95 - 170 euro
Tel: (33) 490 54 20 00 Fax: (33) 490 54 44 00
[email protected]

** Mas de l'Oulivié ( 2.5 kms from les Baux)
Newer hotel ( motel style) with gardens, set near olive groves. Pool, tennis courts, AC, handicap access
25 rooms from - 170 - 230 euro
Closed 7 November to mid March
Tel: (33) 490 54 35 78 Fax: (33) 490 54 44 31
[email protected]


Val Bausssenc
Small comfortable hotel decorated in Provencal style - views of the countryside. Rooms on the ground floor have terraces. Pool, handicap access, restaurant.
21 rooms from 108 euro
Closed 1 November to 1st March
Tel: (33) 490 54 38 90 Fax: (33) 490 54 33 36
[email protected]

Du Côté des Olivades (between Maussane and Le Paradou)
New hotel, in the style of an old Mas, in the countryside. Pool, A/C, Handicap Access Restaurant
10 Rooms from 121 - 184 euro
Tel: (33) 490 54 56 78 Fax: (33) 490 54 56 79

Hotel Aurelia
New hotel, small rooms, but very neat and clean. It became a "Best Western" hotel last year. Nice bathrooms. A/C, Pool, handicap access (I recommend the rooms over looking the pool - the other side is near a main road)
11 Rooms from 119 - 130 euro
Tel: (33) 490 54 22 54 Fax: (33) 490 54 20 75
[email protected]
PBProvence is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 11:59 AM
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And here's my restaurant list:

St. Remy

Jardin de Frédéric
Small, cozy restaurant with a small outdoor terrace. Good seafood dishes. Friendly owner and service is good.
Closed Sunday and Monday lunch
Dress - Casual
8, boulevard Gambetta Tel: 04 90 92 27 76
Menus offered at 25 and 28 euro (dinner) 16 euro (lunch)

La Serre
Charming restaurant in an old greenhouse in the village - chef is the grandson of Gaston Lenotre. Very good, inventive food, reasonably priced.
Dress - casual
8, rue Commune Tel: 04 90 92 37 21

La Source
Charming, small restaurant fairly off the tourist path. Very good food, beautiful shaded terrace overlooking a garden for summer dining. Closed Wednesday
Totally non-smoking
13, avenue Liberation Tel: 04 90 92 44 71
Lunch menu around 21 euro Dinner menus 30/40 euro

Newer brasserie . Fusion cuisine - French, Thai, Antilles Islands, Chinese, Moroccan. The food is very good - although some portions are a bit large.
It has a two tiered terrace with a view of the church. And the chairs are very comfortable. Prices are reasonable - entrees are in the 7 euro range and main courses around 14 euro.
17, place de la Republique Tel: 04 90 92 02 13

Outside of St.Remy, on the D5 just outside of Graveson:

Moulin d'Aure

Also a B&B, the restaurant is wonderful. The owners are Italian, so many of the dishes are Italian inspired. Reasonably priced, with a decent wine list that includes some good Italian choices.

Outside of St. Remy in the direction of Noves:
La Maison (Domaine de Bournissac)
New restaurant and country inn (about two years old) - in a lovely old mas. Excellent cuisine. Terrace shaded by a fig tree. A bit on the expensive side.
Closed Monday and Tuesday noon
tel: 04 90 90 25 25
Menu at around 40 euro

Les Baux de Provence

* Riboto de Taven
In the Val d'Enfer, just below the village of Les Baux. An excellent Michelin one star restaurant for thirty-five years, they've turned in their star and are no longer serving a varied menu. They've become a country inn and serve a dinner with a set menu . Call in advance to see what they're serving - and if they have room. The menu changes with the seasons, but always includes regional dishes. Beautiful garden and terrace with a view of the village of Les Baux. Dining on the terrace in the summer months, otherwise indoors in what was once the bergerie (sheepfold).
Dress - Dressy casual, although no ties required for men.
Tel: 04 90 54 34 23
Menu is usually around 45 euro


Le Fournil
Traditional Provençal cuisine and great individual pizzas (not American style). A wonderful family restaurant.
Dress - casual Reservations recommended in season
Behind the village church Tel: 04 90 54 40 33

La Place

The Oustau de la Baumaniere's new little bistro. Mix and match menu prices...
some have said it was good, others have said they wouldn't return. I haven't summoned up the courage to try it yet.
on the main square in Maussane.

La Vallée ( Chez Karine )
This restaurant was begun a couple of years ago by Jean-Louis' daughter Karine (Jean Louis of Bistrot du Paradou) and her sister. Her sister has gone on to other things, but Karine, along with the former chef at Cuisine au Planet in Fontvieille are doing good things here. One of their most successful menus has been based on the artichoke.... extremely popular.

15, avenue de la Vallée des Baux Tel: (33) 490 54 54 00
[email protected] website:

* Bistrot de La Petite France
Former Michelin one star restaurant, just outside Maussane near Le Paradou in a renovated farmhouse. They "turned in" their star and changed the style of the restaurant to a less formal bistro. Excellent food, good service. One of the best wine lists in France (the chef's father is the owner of the largest wine distributor in the south of France)
Personal favorites are the raviolis with green olives, sage and ricotta and the breast of duck.
Casual. Reservations recommended Closed Wednesday and Thursday
55, avenue de la Vallee des Baux Tel: 04 90 54 41 91
Menu - 25 euro

Bistrot du Paradou
Popular (written about endlessly) with tourists. Lunch and Dinner (dinner served only from June through the end of September). One Menu, based on market shopping - basically you eat what Jean-Louis' wife cooks.
The past couple of years I've found that the menus are changing less and less, and the price has gone up and up.. In the early spring, Jean Louis put up signs everywhere on the property "Chez Jean Louis"....just in case people couldn't find the place, I guess.
Friday is always Aïoli day... way overpriced. Check the menu of the day before reserving
Dress is casual Tel: 04 90 54 32 70
Lunch menu - 36 euro Dinner menu - 43 euro

The Camargue - Le Sambuc

* La Chassagnette
Owned by the same woman who owns the hotel Nord Pinus in Arles, this is a restored Carmaguais mas, beautifully opened up and decorated. One wall is "caged " with chickenwire and filled with sage leaves. The only registered "organic" restaurant in France, almost everything is grown in their gardens. The menus are based around Camarguais tapas. One evening we counted thirty different dishes....
Many of the items are available in jars and containers to take home.
An amazing memorable restaurant that I highly recommend.
Lunch menu at 37 euro Dinner menu at 52 euro
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday lunch
Tel: (33) 490 97 26 96 [email protected]

PBProvence is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 08:42 PM
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Thanks to everybody, PBProvence in particular. I am full of knowledge now. Can not wait...
marchy007 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2005, 01:51 PM
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PBProvence-Thank you so much. So glad I stumbled upon this thread. It was just what I was looking for!!!
Merry Christmas!
dina4 is offline  
Dec 26th, 2005, 01:40 AM
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Just a quick note to say that I'm temporarily removing La Chassagnette from my restaurant listings...

The chef, Jean Luc Rabanel, has left the restaurant - apparently over the investors decision to turn it into some type of bistro.... This happened recently while I was away for a month, so I'm still trying to check it out. In any event apparently La Chassagnette is closed until spring of 2006

Happy Holidays to everyone !
PBProvence is offline  
Jun 25th, 2006, 11:58 AM
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bookmarking for my future vacation plans...
dorkforcemom is offline  
Jun 30th, 2006, 04:57 PM
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JeffreyJ is offline  

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