Domaine de Manville

Provence, France Book from

Recommended awaiting i-escape review
Luxurious family-friendly hotel in the heart of the Alpilles Regional Park, with gourmet food and a designer golf course
In the hills of Les Baux-de-Provence, on a golf course with serious views - spot the Med from the 18th tee - is a gorgeous reinvented farmhouse. Flanked by a large pool, and fronted by towering planes and a terrace with a bar, it’s especially romantic at night… tree lights, candles, a Spanish guitar. During the day, olive groves and pine forests roll across the valley, treatments beckon in the spa, and e-bikes await by the door, perfect for exploring the Alpilles. Children will find heaven too, with a kids' club for 4-12 year olds run from gypsy caravans in the woods, games and toys galore, and a pony club and kayaking nearby.

Some call Domaine de Manville a golf resort, others a spa hotel. In the words of a recent guest, it’s “a tranquil, pampered haven”. And whether you’re after a family suite or private love nest, you’ll find serenity in one of the 30 bedrooms. Dark wood, leather bedheads, walk-in wardrobes, sliding windows: the décor is impeccable. Breakfast is in a vaulted ‘winter garden’ or under the trees, while dining in La Table is an experience you won't forget in a hurry. As for the 8 private villas, they're the last word in luxury. You get a high-spec kitchen, 24/7 security, a small shared pool, and golf carts to ferry you around.

Highs

  • The Alpilles (miles of pine and cypress forests, olive groves and vineyards) and pretty Les Baux, the most visited village in France
  • Great for families, with equipment to borrow, a unique kids’ club, a cinema, 2 heated pools and friendly babysitters
  • Which leaves you free for rounds of golf, gourmet meals or to relax in the heavenly spa
  • Courteous, friendly staff
  • The proximity to several airports means getting here is a cinch

Lows

  • Breakfast is pricey, and other costs quickly mount up
  • Although there's a bistro for more casual meals (with a kids' menu), it's closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
  • You’ll want a car to explore the locale, and to reach restaurants if you want to eat out
  • Eco restrictions on the golf course, e.g. artificial trees

Best time to go

The hotel is open all year, bar 2 weeks in early January. 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

Zip off on the hotel’s electric bikes and explore the fabulous Alpilles - maximum reward for minimum effort.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 30 rooms, 8 villas (for 2-6)
  • Restaurants and bar open daily
  • 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 capacious (30-90 sq.m), with dark wood floors, walk-in wardrobes and immaculate fittings. Some are in the original farmhouse, with a view of 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). Wherever you are you'll get an iPod dock, a Nespresso machine, and jasmine-scented products courtesy of the spa. Black and white bathrooms come with fabulous tubs and rain showers.

The 8 self-catering villas are plush with 3 ensuite bedrooms, a sleek kitchen and a living room with a fireplace, plus innumerable extras - private golf carts, 24/7 security and a shared plunge pool.

The Family Suite Duplex and Family Suite Lofts each have 2 ensuite bedrooms and a shared living area.

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

Breakfast is served in the spectacular 'winter garden', a lounge with a high-glass ceiling and rustic chandeliers. You'll find an extensive buffet of yoghurts, eggs, bacon, the Domaine’s own honey, and every type of pastry you can imagine.

For other meals, there are 2 restaurants. The Bistrot offers a selection of fresh, seasonal and Provençal dishes, ranging from tomato-melon soup and carpaccio with hunks of fougasse to Caesar salad, foie-gras burgers and bouillabaisse.

Dinner in La Table, the gourmet restaurant, was described by a recent guest as “faultless” and "exciting". Rabbit with an origami of carrots and Swiss chard; pigeon with pine nuts and peaches; blue lobster with miso fennel and avocado. Be sure to leave room for dessert - the fig-leaf ice cream with crunchy fig muesli sounds divine.

For dining out, there’s masses of choice in famous Les Baux, a 5-minute drive up the hill, and also in the little town of Maussane. Ask staff for their recommendations.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children 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. Note, a few mature trees create something of a challenge in the middle of the fairway
  • 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
  • Just below the village is an olive mill established in 1997, Moulin Jean-Marie Cornille. Taste and buy: they produce some outstanding olive oils
  • Part cave, part Roman amphitheatre, Les Carrières de Lumières (walking distance) is one of Provence’s most unique arts venues. Check out the spectacular son et lumière shows
  • Potter around the Roman-amphitheatre town of Arles; explore private art collections in the grand houses of Avignon; and spend a day in beautiful St Remy de Provence
  • Sail along the Mediterranean among the most beautiful calanques (coves) between Marseille and Cassis

    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.

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 (note, it's closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

Kids Activities on site:

  • Playground
  • Electric bikes
  • 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:

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