Domaine de Manville

Provence, France Book from Book from £211 per night

Provençal paradise, with a Michelin-starred restaurant and a designer golf course, hidden between the pines in the Alpilles Regional Park
Nestled amongst the hills of Les Baux-de-Provence, on a 100-acre estate surrounded by olive and cypress trees, you’ll find a gorgeous reinvented farmhouse. Some call it a spa hotel, others a golf resort, some a foodie’s retreat. All we know is that once we arrived, we didn’t want to leave.

Owners Edith and Patrick worked with heritage architects to design a space that is homely and utterly spoiling. Warmth and style radiate from every corner, and there’s a beautiful mix of modern art and traditional French design pieces. If that wasn’t enough, this super-chic hotel comes complete with the country’s first eco-certified golf course, a sumptuous spa, and a restaurant so spectacular that thinking about it now makes our stomachs rumble. Oh, and did we mention the vast outdoor pool, the best cocktail bar in the region, the private cinema, and miles of private walking trails bordered by wild flowers? Hello happiness!

Highs

  • The location couldn’t be more exceptional: at the heart of the Alpilles (miles of pine and cypress forests, olive groves and vineyards) and next to the spectacular village of Les Baux
  • Paradise for couples in search of romantic respite; cosy up in the library bar or book a private film screening
  • Children will find heaven, too, with a kids' club run from gypsy caravans in the woods, plus games and toys galore
  • Unpretentious luxury, and courteous, friendly staff who are full of excellent recommendations

Lows

  • Breakfast is pricey, and other costs quickly mount up
  • The bistro isn’t open for all meals, meaning you’ll likely venture out for some dinners
  • You’ll want a car to explore the region properly
  • There can be lots of day trippers visiting the golf course, especially on weekends

Best time to go

Spring and summer are the best times for exploring the beautiful local scenery and making the most of the pool, but autumn is great for golf. Winter is a wonderful season to cosy up without the crowds (and the best time of year to discover nearby Les Baux, said to be the most visited village in France).

Our top tips

Stroll to Les Carrières de Lumières, a former quarry-come-immersive art exhibition. It’s one of the most impressive art venues we’ve been to.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 30 rooms, 8 villas (for 2-6)
  • Restaurants and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pools
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Golf
Room:

Rooms

The 30 rooms and suites are luxurious and spacious, with dark wood floors and walk-in wardrobes. Some are in the original farmhouse, with a view over a leafy inner courtyard. Others are in 2 low-storey extensions to the side: one in pale stone, one in dark wood (in sympathy with the barn that once stood here). Each is decorated individually, all are outstanding.

We stayed in a split-level Family Suite, and loved our claw-foot tub with views over the fountain in the courtyard. However, our favourite rooms were the Junior Suites Terrasse, which were brighter and boast private terraces overlooking the pool. Classics are much smaller, but not small, and some lack showers.

The 8 self-catering villas are more modern, and more private. They’re ideal for families or groups, and boast plush ensuite bedrooms, sleek kitchens and living rooms with fireplaces, plus innumerable extras - private golf carts, 24/7 security and a shared plunge pool.

Wherever you are, you'll get an iPod dock, a Nespresso machine, and jasmine-scented products courtesy of the spa.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • CD player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • DVD player
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Dinner in Michelin-starred l'Aupiho was simply stunning. There are 2 menus, a traditional Provençal one and a Japanese tasting menu. We opted for the latter. The chef spent 3 months in Japan perfecting the menu, and his creations are the perfect mix of Japanese umami and local ingredients. Our highlights were whole artichokes topped with mandarin slices covered in a creamy sauce, and sea bass sprinkled with seaweed and mushrooms.

Breakfast is served in the Winter Garden, a spectacularly grand glass atrium that boasts rustic chandeliers and French antique crockery. We could have spent an entire day sampling the array of fresh pastries and breads, but we filled up on fresh eggs, local cheeses, Domaine de Manville’s own honey, and candied fruits. In the summer, you can sit in the courtyard and enjoy your coffee overlooking the fountain.

The Bistrot serves seasonal French classics daily for lunch, as well as some evenings for dinner (season dependent). We enjoyed our bread-gnocchi topped with ratatouille, and carpaccio with slices of fougasse.

The bar, with it’s grand fireplace and expansive terrace, serves some of the region’s best cocktails, as well as other drinks and light snacks throughout the day. For dining out, there are numerous choices in Les Baux.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The big green attraction is the ‘eco-responsible’ golf course, its angular bunkers and straight lines designed to resemble Provençal fields.
  • Rent e-bikes and zip off to discover the Alpilles
  • Enjoy age-defying treatments in the large light-filled spa (it’s child-free in the afternoon) or bask in the indoor pool. The heated outdoor pool is gorgeous, too
  • There are regular yoga and detox packages; enquire for details
  • Order a deluxe picnic lunch and head for the olive-studded hillsides below magnificent Les Baux
  • Spend a day in beautiful St Remy de Provence, and explore Saint-Paul de Mausole, the asylum Van Gogh admitted himself to, and where he painted some of his most famous pieces
  • Go for a hike along some of Domaine de Manville’s private walking trails
  • Potter around the Roman-amphitheatre town of Arles; explore private art collections in the grand houses of Avignon; or visit the impressive Pont du Gard

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Child-friendly luxury comes at a price, but Domaine de Manville’s facilities are flawless. For 4-12 year-olds there’s a unique kids' club that operates from 2 gypsy caravans in sun-dappled woods. It's open every day from June until September, and during school holidays. Note, however, that children (and their parents) are expected to be mindful of other guests, and keep noise to a minimum.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms bar Standard Rooms can take a baby cot, Junior Suites and Suites Prestige alternatively add a rollaway bed; the Family Suite Duplex and Family Suite Lofts both have 2 bedrooms; the Luxury Villas sleep up to 6 guests in 3 bedrooms

Babysitting:

Friendly, English-speaking babysitters

Baby equipment:

  • Cots and bedding
  • High chairs
  • Stair gates
  • Baby baths
  • Baby monitors
  • Bottle warming

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

A kids' menu in The Bistrot (open limited hours)

Kids Activities on site:

  • Playground
  • Electric bikes
  • Heated outdoor pool
  • Heated indoor pool
  • 10-seat cinema
  • Games room
  • Golf
  • Kids' DVDs
  • Kids' books/toys

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Pony club
  • Castles
  • Kayaking

Families Should Know:

The outdoor pool is fenced but parents must supervise their kids

Distances:

  • Airport: 45 minutes' drive
  • Shop: 10 minutes' drive
  • Hospital: 30 minutes' drive
Kid Friendly:

Location

Domaine de Manville is in Les Baux de Provence, in southern France.

By Air:
Avignon, Nimes and Marseille airports are all within a 60-minute drive. The hotel can arrange a transfer or you can jump in a taxi, but the rural location means you'll probably want to hire a car.

By Train:
Avignon is served by TGV and seasonal Eurostar services. The journey time from London is about 6 hours, which makes it barely any longer than flying. Car hire is available at Avignon station.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

Airports:

  • Avignon 29.0 km AVN
  • Marseille-Marignane 61.0 km FNI

Other:

  • Beach 40.0 km
  • Shops 3.0 km
  • Restaurant 3.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
9/10
Food
10/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

Despite the fact that this is a golf resort and we don't play golf, this was a great experience. The hotel is modern but very stylish and the food and service are excellent (the staff are all well-trained). It's a 30 minute drive from Arles, which is an interesting historical town (famous for its Roman amphitheatre and being Van Gogh's home), but there's little to see anywhere nearer than that. The gourmet restaurant was fabulous but the chef is about to move on. For a short break, with or without golf, this place scores 5/5.

9/10,

The hotel is fantastic, but we would not recommend it for families. Children are tolerated, which fine if you have quiet children who will just sit and read, but if you have noisy running-around children (as our group did), the place isn't for you. Breakfast was excellent and dinner was okay. The food shops in the local village were excellent and so we ate more than we had planned in our villa, and barbecued on a couple of nights.

9/10,

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