Domaine de Manville

Provence, France
Book from GBP Book from £248 per night

Domaine de Manville

Provence, France

Chic country estate with Michelin-starred restaurant, spa and designer golf course, in the beautiful Alpilles Regional Park

Chic country estate with Michelin-starred restaurant, spa and designer golf course, in the beautiful Alpilles Regional Park

Nestled between the hills of the Alpilles, on a 100-acre estate surrounded by olive and cypress trees, you’ll find a gorgeous reinvented farmhouse. Some call it a tranquil spa hotel, a place for romantic respite, others a golf resort, some an atmospheric 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 an authentic space that makes you instantly feel at home, imbued with a family spirit, yet is utterly spoiling. Warmth and style radiate from every corner, and there’s a beautiful mix of modern sculpture and traditional French design pieces. The 30 immaculate rooms and suites exemplify unpretentious luxury with crisp bedding, twin sinks, power showers and walk-in wardrobes. There's an additional clutch of contemporary villas which share a lap pool and have long views over the countryside. If that wasn’t enough, this super-chic hotel comes complete with the country’s first eco-certified golf course, a pampering spa, and a restaurant so spectacular that thinking about it makes our stomachs rumble. Oh, and did we mention the vast outdoor pool shaded by cypress trees, the elegant courtyard with fountain, the best cocktail bar in the region, the bistro, the private cinema for cosy winter evenings, and miles of private walking trails bordered by wild flowers? Hello happiness!

Highs

  • An exceptional location in the heart of the Alpilles (pine and cypress forests, mountains, olive groves and vineyards) and near the spectacular historic village of Les Baux-de-Provence
  • Provençal paradise for couples; dine a deux in the Michelin-starred restaurant or book a couples massage
  • Children will find heaven, too, with a kids club run from gypsy caravans in the woods, a large pool, and kids menus
  • Courteous, friendly staff who are full of excellent recommendations
  • Sustainability and social responsibility are taken seriously, including the 3-month hospitality training programme for locals and N.African migrants

Lows

  • Upscale places mean upscale prices, and breakfast isn't included. Minibars are complimentary however, a nice touch
  • The restaurant is closed Tuesdays and Wednesday but the bistro is open every day
  • You’ll want a car to explore the region properly
  • There can be day trippers visiting the golf course, especially on weekends
World Favourite Family Hideaway

    Best rooms for families

    All rooms can take a baby cot; Junior Suites and Suites have space for a rollaway bed; the Family Suite Loft has 2 bedrooms; the Villas sleep up to 9 guests.

    Parents should know...

    The outdoor pool is fenced but parents must supervise their kids
  • Cots and bedding
  • High chairs
  • Stair gates
  • Baby baths
  • Baby monitors
  • Bottle warming

Some equipment may need to be requested in advance

Friendly, English-speaking babysitters

Kids menus in both restaurants

  • Playground
  • Heated outdoor pool
  • Heated indoor pool
  • 10-seat cinema – double feature movie sessions every Wednesday afternoon
  • Games room
  • Golf
  • Kids' DVDs
  • Kids' books/toys in the library
  • Pony club
  • Castles
  • Kayaking

Great for...

Foodie
Family
Spa
Eco
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 30 rooms, 9 villas (for 2-9)
  • Restaurants and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pools
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Babysitting
  • Creche / Kids Club
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
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 the leafy inner fountain courtyard. Others are in two 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 in the very ample bathroom with its large walk-in shower. However, our favourite rooms were the Suites Terrace, which were brighter and have private terraces overlooking the pool. Classics are much smaller, but not small, and come with shower bathrooms.

The 9 self-catering villas – named for the owners' grandchildren in keeping with the family vibe of the estate – 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 such as private golf carts, 24/7 security and a shared lap pool.

Wherever you are, you'll get a complimentary minibar, Bluetooth speakers, a Nespresso machine, and refillable signature jasmine, citrus and verveine-scented products courtesy of the spa.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Bluetooth sound system
  • Central heating
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

Michelin-starred restaurant l'Aupiho headed up by Belgian chef Lieven van Aken serves Flemish-inspired menus, full of Alpilles- and Provençal-seasonal treasures. 70% of the fruit and vegetables come from their own orchards and gardens including traditional artichokes a la barigoule, slow-roasted tomatoes and apricots paired with rosemary honey. Other ingredients are sourced nearby or from the delightful market in Cavaillon; all meat is locally-raised. The chef forages in the hills and mountains – from the Alpilles to Mont Ventoux – for mint, citronella, flowering thyme and wild sun-gorged strawberries.

Breakfast is served in the Winter Garden, a spectacularly grand glass atrium that boasts rustic chandeliers and French antique crockery. What an array of fresh pastries and breads, cereals and yoghurts; we filled up on fresh eggs, local cheeses, Domaine de Manville’s own honey, smoked salmon and fresh fruits. In warmer months, sit in the courtyard and enjoy your coffee overlooking the fountain. A set menu brunch is served here every Sunday.

The Bistrot serves seasonal French classics daily for lunch and dinner. We enjoyed our heirloom tomatoes with pine nuts, basil and buckwheat, followed by squid with fennel and gnocchi in bouillabaisse sauce. For light lunches and snacks year round, The Cabin at the golf course has sandwiches and wraps, burgers and fries; in the summer it's open for dinner too.

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.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Kids' meals
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The big green attraction is the eco-responsible 18-hole golf course, its angular bunkers and straight lines designed to resemble Provençal fields. Ask about the golf academy if you're keen to improve your game
  • Rent e-bikes to discover the historic village of Les Baux-de-Provence (just up the road), and the delights of the Alpilles Regional Park itself
  • 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
  • Order a deluxe picnic lunch and head for the olive-studded hillsides
  • Spend a day in beautiful St Remy de Provence (check out its authentic market), and explore Saint-Paul de Mausole, the asylum Van Gogh admitted himself to, and where he painted some of his most famous pieces
  • Hike along some of Domaine de Manville’s private walking trails
  • Potter around the Roman-amphitheatre town of Arles (30 mins); explore private art collections in the grand houses of Avignon (35 mins); or visit the impressive Pont du Gard

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 up to Les Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux-de-Provence: a former limestone quarry turned immersive art exhibition where waves of sound wash over you while you're surrounded by vast projections of celebrated paintings. It’s one of the most impressive art venues we’ve been to.

Tour their 2-ha agro-forestry farm next door to learn about their permaculture practices; the farm supplies the fruit and veg for the restaurant and they also keep bees.
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

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