“Family-friendly retreat with 5 self-catering suites (sleeping 2-4), tucked away in an olive grove in hills close to the Gorge du Verdon”
The 5 Suites are scattered about, all with private garden entrances. None have TVs (there’s one in the dining room), but they do have iPod docks and free WiFi. Each has its own signature colour on a feature wall and its soft furnishings. All come with walk-in showers, plus bathrobes and Italian oils; the Prestige Suite also has a free-standing bath. Some have terracotta-tiled floors, Cindy’s art hangs in all Suites. Comfy beds and lovely linen come as standard, so expect to sleep well wherever you end up.
All bedrooms are big, however, the romantic Prestige Suite is definitely the best room in the house. It’s also the most private with a fabulous roof terrace, where you can sunbathe on pink-cushioned loungers. A wall of glass floods the room with light, while the room itself is open to the eaves, giving a lovely sense of space. This room sleeps 2 adults.
The Junior Suite (sleeps up to 5) has a bedroom, a big bathroom and a smaller one, and a small separate sitting room with a sofabed, so it would work well for a family; there's space for a rollaway bed too. On the plus side, this room is a little more private, being on the first floor. It also has its own patch of garden.
The 3 Deluxe Suites are all big with a nice open-plan feel, and can also sleep up to 4. One comes in deep yellow, another in red, the last in turquoise. All have comfy sofa beds for children, painted beams and good lighting. All have fairly private terraces with deck chairs and hammocks, where you can sit in the shade of an olive tree.
Each Suite has a custom-made kitchen island, where guests can prepare their own breakfast and light snacks. The kitchen island includes a fridge, a dishwasher, a toaster, a Nespresso machine and a kettle. There's also a guest salon which has a hot plate and microwave for heating up food if required. Typical French breakfasts are served in the local bakeries located just 250 metres away. Shops are just a minute away for groceries, you can shop ahead online. Basics supplied include dish soap, sponges, tea towels, bin bags, salt, pepper, sugar and Alegria's own olive oil. Weekly rentals also receive tea and Nespresso coffee capsules.
No other meals are served at Alegria, but you’ll find an honesty bar in the pool house. There’s Belgian beer, French rosé by the glass, tea and coffee, then chocolate and ice creams.
Dinner in Aups or the surrounding villages is no hardship. We had a good steak at L’Aiguière, just above the square, where you eat on the terrace in summer. Le Caillou offers French food with a Moroccan twist; the service is friendly, the food well priced. Le Provençal does exactly what it says on the can, serves earthy Provençal fare at excellent prices. If you find yourself up at the lake and want a good lunch, go to Café du Midi at Bauduen for its great views and tasty food.
Children are very welcome and there are baby cots, sofabeds and extra beds available, but the family friendly rooms only have a shower, which won't suit all. Under 2s stay for free, 2-14 year olds are charged a small supplement, 15+ year olds a larger supplement.
Deluxe Suites have sofas that can be made up for a child, plus space for a rollaway bed or baby cot. The Junior Suite has a separate sitting room with a double sofabed, plus space for a rollaway bed, and two bathrooms. Each Suite has a private terrace with hammocks, and kids can securely play there.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The swimming pool is fenced and there is a swimming pool alarm; of course toddlers always need supervision around pools. The property is gated