Need Your Expertise on Provence...

Old Jul 25th, 2006, 07:53 PM
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Need Your Expertise on Provence...

So, we finally decided on 8 days in Provence at the end of August. Now, we need your recommendations and advice for hotels and restaurants in the region.

#1 - We hear that Aix is a good place to have as a base to explore the rest of Provence. Do you agree based on your experience? Also, does one need to rent a car to explore?

#2 - We've looked at Small Luxury Hotels and Relais & Chateaux for hotels. Found a few but haven't booked anything yet. We're trying to figure out which one to stay at (if at all). Can you recommend a nice place?

#3 - We love to eat and really want to experience some fantastic food. Please recommend any great restaurants in the area!

We need your expertise! Thank you in advance...
da_kwons is offline  
Old Jul 25th, 2006, 09:10 PM
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ttt
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Old Jul 26th, 2006, 05:42 AM
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What does "ttt" mean? i see it everywhere....
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Old Jul 26th, 2006, 06:00 AM
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A location which put you in commuting distance of Aix, Avignon and Bonnieux would be quite nice.. I can recommend Kevin and Elizabeth Widrow's place called Mas Perreal www.masperreal.com It is lovely indeed. The owners are very nice people, you would enjoy yourself, I am sure. They will help you with making sure you fully enjoy that corner of Provence.

I personally love Aix, its tree shaded cafe's, wonderful weekly market.

You need a car.

bellacqui is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2006, 06:17 AM
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I am so jealous of your 8 days in Provence. I was there from 6/22 to 6/30 and could have stayed another 2 months at least! We stayed at a gorgeous guesthouse/B&B in Pernes les Fontaines (www.lelavandinprovence.com). It is about 20 minutes east of Avignon and we found it was a good area from which to take daytrips. A car is a necessity. Georgia Perrin Ball is the consummate hostess and the entre place is drop-dead gorgeous! We took day trips from Pernes up to Vaison la Romaine one day; L'Ille sur la Sorgue to the market on Sunday (don't miss!); St. Remy one day; Cassis one day; Bonnieux one day; Roussillon, Menerbes & Lumiere one day; Gordes and Abbaye de Senanque one day; and to Pont du Gard one day. As you can imagine, we did alot of driving, but the scenery is so beautiful and as long as we had AC, we didn't mind at all. Just enjoy your trip and see and do what you want. But I can't say enough about Le Lavandin and Georgia! I would stay again in a heartbeat! Her breakfasts are fabulous and you dine outside under a huge shady tree in a most wonderful garden setting. Have a great trip and post a trip report on your return. I posted a trip report on this site and you can just click on my name and find it that way.

Joy/Luvparee
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Old Jul 26th, 2006, 07:39 AM
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We've spent 16 weeks exploring Provence since we retired (early) in '99. I don't think Aix would be a good base. If you get out a map and circle all the "sites" you want to visit, most will be quite a ways away from Aix.

A better location would be in the Luberon (Kevin's place would be perfect), near St Remy, or Pernes like luvparee suggested - but I don't think the area is as scenic as the Luberon.

You will need a car.

Settle on a location, and I'll make some suggestions for restaurants in the area.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jul 26th, 2006, 08:05 AM
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My own suggestion would be to stay at St-Rémy, a lovely little town that is very central for sightseeing. The château des Alpilles is an upscale hotel that gets strong recommendations, and both the Vallon de Valrouges and the Domaine de Valmouriane are excellent. For something very special, take a look at the Oustau de Beaumanière, up near the fascinating ruined town of Les Baux.
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