“Lovely rooms and suites in a graceful house with a stunning garden in the middle of Arles, the cultural and historic heart of Provence”
Bedrooms are split between the main house and the old stables and outbuildings. The former boast high ceilings, airy white interiors and understated 18th-century grandeur.
Suites are large (some are utterly enormous) with magnificent white drapes tumbling from the ceiling past French windows. One opens onto a private terrace that rolls out to the swimming pool. Inside you might find enormous four-poster draped in raw white linen, a marble fireplace, golden French armchairs and perhaps a matching sofa. Prestige Rooms are slightly smaller, but also charming. You might get top-to-toe murals and ivory and gilt tub armchairs, or polished wood floors alongside ancient radiators; big windows give garden views.
The old stable rooms are slightly less formal and decorated in a slightly more rustic style. The one on the ground floor gets less light, but compensation comes in the form of a draped four-poster, a fireplace that works and a private terrace outside the front door. The 2 others are up a flight of lantern-lit stone steps. A big terrace, divided by huge Provençale drapes, gives both parties privacy. There are sofas and shade, then doors into serene rooms: wood ceilings open to the eaves, smartly varnished timber floors, exposed lintels.
Smooth-sliding bathroom doors open to reveal huge mirrors, cool porcelain sinks, plaster-moulded walk-in showers and fluffy white bathrobes. Whitewashed walls draw colour from rose bedspreads, blue shutters and French grey candles. The sound of bubbling water floats up from the garden - very peaceful.
Breakfast is served between 8am and 10.30am (additional charge). In summer you eat on the terrace, in winter you take to the dining room. Expect freshly-made tea or coffee, freshly-squeezed orange juice and freshly-baked baguette, croissants and pains au chocolat. Boiled eggs or omelettes are also available.
There's no on-site restaurant, but the bar can provide light meals and snacks throughout the day.
Arles is full of great restaurants and staff will happily advise and book tables. Cilantro on the far side of the amphitheatre was excellent, very interesting flavours with a contemporary slant. Le Charcuterie, offers great French food in a simple room; Monsieur handles his guests with an easy smile and always has time for a chat. L’Autruche, is very imaginative and has no fixed menu; whatever is good at market in the morning is bought and cooked for your plate in the evening. If you want simple bistro food you will find it all over town.