La Maison du Village

Provence, France Book from

Reviewed by Tom Bell
A timeless townhouse with warm contemporary interiors and a walled courtyard garden, nestled in the old town of St Remy
St Remy is a bit of a Mecca in Provence. The Wednesday market sprawls all over town, Van Gogh had his stay in hospital here (you can visit his cell) and Nostradamus was born here. It is also bang in the middle: head north for Avignon, south for Arles, west for Uzès and east for the Luberon. This 1750s townhouse sits in the heart of the old town, close to the church (in one suite you can lie in a claw-foot bath and look out on its tower). Step through the courtyard gate into a peaceful walled garden, where cast-iron tables and chairs are scattered about, candles flicker at night, and water falls from a fountain.

Inside you find a clipped Provençal elegance: bright colours, tiled floors, gilt mirrors and the odd chandelier. It's perfectly chic, the only clutter being the glossy magazines weighing down the coffee table, most of which hold glowing reviews about La Maison. There are 5 spoiling suites, 4 of which have sitting rooms. A traditional French breakfast is served in the garden, with sunlight filtering down through the branches. It's a true romantic haven.

Highs

  • The lovely garden is the ideal spot in which to escape the crowds
  • The suites: stylish, uncluttered, charming
  • Breakfast is delicious; as is lunch and afternoon tea
  • You’re in the heart of Provence: everywhere that matters is within a half-an-hour drive
  • You can easily take to the paths of the Alpilles hills in order to follow in Van Gogh's footsteps

Lows

  • The town can get extremely busy in the summer
  • There's no off-street parking, and the local car parks can fill up quickly
  • No pool, though one is available locally for guests to use
  • The 2-bedroom suite Violette only has one bathroom
  • As there are only 5 suites, you'll need to book ahead to avoid disappointment

Best time to go

St Remy and Provence are pretty at all times of the year, but if you can avoid July and August, you’ll miss the worst of the crowds.

Our top tips

Market day is Wednesday; it starts outside the front door. Make sure you leave you car in the correct car park. One is taken over for the market and lingering cars are towed away. We speak from experience!

Great for...

Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 5
  • Breakfast only (walk to restaurants)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

As you wind up a typically French spiral staircase, you come across the 5 individual suites. On the first floor, Violette has a huge main bedroom. Purple crushed velvet covers the bed, lilac cushions are scattered on it and a gilt-framed mirror hangs above it. Raw pine double doors open onto a second double-bedded room. The bathroom, accessed through the second bedroom only, has a tear-drop chandelier and marble lapping around the bath.

Across the landing, Rose has a big claw-foot bath in which you can soak while gazing upon the church. To get to it you must first cross the sitting room (cast-iron daybed and a purple) and the luxurious bedroom.

Up on the second floor is Framboise, which overlooks the street. It has an enormous sofa, old beams, a wooden floor, smartly upholstered armchairs, and a claw-foot bath plus shower.

Beige looks onto the garden and comes in reds, clarets and pinks. There’s a meridian armchair, another daybed piled with cushions, a huge tilted dressing mirror, purple linen curtains and another claw-foot bath and shower. As in most suites, the floor is covered in terracotta tiles.

Finally, Ecru, which is the only one entered through the garden, is a little bit smaller but has a private terrace that abuts the old-town wall (you can see an old archway that’s been filled in). It’s cute, private and the least expensive suite of all. A galleried bedroom with beams in the eaves looks down on the sitting room below; small, but sweet.

Features include:

  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

Provence gets 300 days of sun each year; expect to eat breakfast (extra charge) in the garden. You get baskets of baguette, pains au chocolat, pains aux raisins and croissants, freshly-squeezed orange juice and fruit salad, yoghurts, jams and linen napkins. Pots of fresh coffee come with hot milk.

Lunch and afternoon tea are also available on request; lunch is a plate of charcuterie and cheese with salad and bread.

There are loads of restaurants in St Remy, all swimming with hungry guests in the summer, so if you want to eat at a particular time at a particular table, make sure you book. Try La Cantina for great pizzas and Chez Xa for good Provencal cuisine. If you want the full gastronomic experience head to Chez Bru in Eygalieres (3 kilometres east) for 2 Michelin stars.

Features include:

  • Afternoon tea
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • There are tours for both Van Gogh and Nostradamus in the town. You can visit Le Cloitre de St Paul and see Van Gogh’s room; it remains a psychiatric hospital to this day
  • The Alpilles Hills are on your doorstep, east, west and south. Drive through them, pass the vineyards, stop at the villages, eat at the restaurants. Les Baux de Provence, an old village clinging to the rocks, is worth a trip, as is the Abbey of Montmajour at Fontvieille
  • Don’t miss Uzès or Arles, both are stunning. Uzès is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in France and Arles is simply magical with its shabby old streets and its staggering Roman amphitheatre. If you drive on the back roads from one to the other you can detour off to Pont du Gard, a 1st-century Roman aqueduct built over three levels, just magnificent
  • Avignon is a must for the bridge that doesn’t quite make it across the Rhone and for the 15th-century Papal palace
  • Provence is packed with gems. For more information on some of our favourites, see our destination guide

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures

Kids

La Maison is probably better suited to older children as the grounds and stairs are unsuitable for toddlers.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Families should opt for Violette which has a double and a twin room. Beige and Rose have a daybed in their sitting rooms which can be used as an extra bed for a child. All suites can fit a baby cot.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

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

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

{{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},

Rates for La Maison du Village