Provençal paradise, with a Michelin-starred restaurant and a designer golf course, hidden between the pines in the Alpilles Regional Park”
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!
- 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
- 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
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 30 rooms, 9 villas (for 2-9)
- Restaurants and bar
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
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 9 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.
- Air conditioning
- CD player
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- DVD player
- Ipod dock
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
Michelin-starred restaurant l'Aupiho serves Alpilles- and Provençal-inspired menus, full of seasonal treasures. Ingredients used from the orchards and vegetable gardens include traditional artichokes a la barigoule, slow-roasted tomatoes, apricots paired with rosemary honey, sun-gorged strawberries from Carpentras, and locally-raised lamb. Other ingredients are sourced from the delightful market in Cavaillon, and from the chef foraging in the hills and mountains - from the Alpilles to Mont Ventoux. There he finds mint, citronella, flowering thyme and wild strawberries.
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 its 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.
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Room service
- 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:
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
- Wine tasting
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.
Family friendly accommodation:
All rooms can take a baby cot, Junior Suites and Suites Prestige alternatively add a rollaway bed; the Family Suite Loft has 2 bedrooms; the Villas sleep up to 9 guests.
Friendly, English-speaking babysitters
- 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
A kids' menu in The Bistrot (open limited hours)
Kids Activities on site:
- Electric bikes
- Heated outdoor pool
- Heated indoor pool
- 10-seat cinema
- Games room
- Kids' DVDs
- Kids' books/toys
Kids Activities nearby:
- Pony club
Families Should Know:
The outdoor pool is fenced but parents must supervise their kids
- Airport: 45 minutes' drive
- Shop: 10 minutes' drive
- Hospital: 30 minutes' drive
Domaine de Manville is in Les Baux de Provence, in southern France.
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.
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.
- Avignon 29.0 km AVN
- Marseille-Marignane 61.0 km FNI
- Beach 40.0 km
- Shops 3.0 km
- Restaurant 3.0 km