Le Mas de la Rose

Orgon, Provence, France Book from

Reviewed by Tom Bell
An old Provencal farmhouse beautifully restored in extensive grounds, with chic pool and super rooms, 10km from St Remy
This 17th-century farmhouse stands serenely in 28 hectares of trim lawns and thick woodland. Lavender scents the air in summer, there are loungers for sun worshipers, a tennis court for exercise freaks and a very attractive pool which sparkles in front of the house. As you sweep down the drive, you’ll think you’re approaching a small, exclusive hotel, but, incredibly, this is only a B&B. In short, it is grand and gracious, but without the staff.

Outside, stone walls drip with colour while separate terraces for breakfast and dinner ensure maximum sun whenever you eat. Inside, an uncluttered elegance runs throughout. There are stone arches, a vaulted sitting room, open fires, huge sofas, painted beams and an honesty bar. Rooms are scattered about (some with terraces), the more expensive quite spectacular, though the smaller rooms are lovely, too. Pull yourself away and discover St Remy, Avignon, Arles, Nimes; all are close. There’s a Michelin star at the village bistro, so don’t come to diet.

Highs

  • This lovely old house, which sits elegantly in its 28 acres of lawns and woodland
  • Gorgeous bedrooms that spoil you all the way
  • The pool, with comfy loungers scattered all over the garden
  • The Alpilles Hills which encircle you, where Van Gogh painted his olive trees
  • The unmissable Cathedrale d’Images at Les Baux - don’t miss this

Lows

  • The house appears to be a small, luxurious hotel, and in many ways (not least price) it is; but it’s only a B&B and you don’t get the sort of service you might expect from a hotel
  • Breakfast will set you back a small fortune
  • It's a little pricey
  • You need to book a table in advance for dinner as the restaurant is often full

Best time to go

Like most places in Provence, the weather is best from April-October, the crowds are worst in July and August.

Great for...

Honeymoon
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique B&B
  • 8 rooms, 1 apartment
  • Restaurant + honesty bar
  • Over 7s only
  • Closed: 8 Dec 2016 - 31 Mar 2017
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Tennis Court
  • Bicycles Available
  • Boules
Room:

Rooms

Airy rooms come with a chic, rustic feel: painted beams, light colours, a piece or two of good furniture. Some have original 17th-century terracotta-tiled floors, others have smart coir matting. Don’t expect a drop of clutter, do expect super-comfortable beds dressed in crisp white linen that act as the centrepiece of each room.

Price corresponds to room size and to whether or not you have a bath, a shower or both. The standard rooms aren’t big, but they’re not particularly small either and if you’re here for a couple of nights, you’ll be happy. They come with shower and have views over garden and pool. The superior rooms have baths and are noticeably bigger; one has washed walls and a beamed ceiling, another has an interior terrace. Luxury rooms are huge with the same uncluttered rustic elegance. One opens directly onto the garden, another has a window in its sloping ceiling for a little star gazing. Marble bathrooms give a classical feel.

Ours was magnificent with claw-foot bath, his-and-her-sinks and a walk-in power shower – and while most are smaller, all come with baskets of oils, big white towels and fluffy bathrobes. There are flat-screen TVs in all the rooms and there’s a DVD player in reception which you can borrow and a small library of films. You also get air-con, a 'courtesy tray' and internet connection.

There is also an apartment for 4 with a living room (2 sofas, flat-screen TV) and kitchenette downstairs; upstairs are 2 bedrooms (1 queensize, 1 twin) each with an ensuite bathroom (1 with bath+shower, 1 with shower only). Like all the rooms, it's non-smoking.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Nespresso coffee machine
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

The buffet breakfast (excluded from the room rate) is a help-yourself affair. In good weather you eat on a terrace that catches the morning sun. You’ll find fresh baguette, croissants, brioche and pains au chocolat, fresh fruit and yoghurts, cereals and muesli, fruit salad and a plate of cheese. If you want an egg, you can have one, but you’ll have to ask. Tea and coffee are brewed to order.

The restaurant La Potager du Mas is open daily (except Sunday evenings - excluding July and August, Tuesday lunch time and all day Monday) for lunch and dinner. Expect Provencal dishes such as green asparagus with parmesan shavings, roast lamb with organic vegetables, a plate of cheese, then melon soup with Muscat of Beaumes-de-Venise. What isn’t grown in the hotel’s garden is sourced from local producers.

If you're booking the whole place for a wedding or special occasion, the owners have plenty of experience with local caterers, and can lay a beautiful spread of flower-decked tables in the open-sided barn (up to 80 settings); with the scent of lavender wafting up through the evening air, there could hardly be a more idyllic setting for a Provencal feast.

Features include:

  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The Alpilles Hills which rise behind you and run across to Saint Remy. Van Gogh painted his olive tree here. You can walk, cycle or ride a horse through them

  • There’s a smart tennis court with a lovely view; lessons with a pro can be arranged

  • St Remy for its famous market, where Nostradamus is buried, where Van Gogh was incarcerated in the asylum

  • Magnificent Arles, for all things Van Gogh (he lived here); for its excellent summer photography exhibition (which is scattered around all over town in some fantastic locations); for the Roman amphitheatre; and for its Saturday market


Also - a bit further afield (but within an hour's drive):



  • The Carmargue to the south (lagoons, black bulls, white horses); Nimes, for the best-preserved Roman amphitheatre in Europe; Uzes, one of the finest Medieval town’s in France (and a brilliant Saturday market); and the Pont du Gard, the famous Roman aqueduct.

  • Avignon: you can drop in for a day of culture, visit the Papal Palace, walk to the end of its famous bridge or enjoy its annual festival (mid-July-early August) for theatre, opera, music and exhibitions set against the backdrop of its spectacular architecture

  • The Luberon villages 10km east, all impossibly pretty atop their respective hills. A rich programme of cultural events runs in summer, not least Pierre Cardin’s opera in a quarry in Lacoste. The chateau is his country retreat; precious owners include the Marquis de Sade, who lived here before being carted off to the Bastille.

  • L’Isle-sur-La-Sorgue to the north, home to one of Europe’s biggest antiques markets. It takes place every Sunday, about 350 stalls that wind through the narrow streets of the old town and spill out across the water. It’s even bigger at Easter.

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Tennis coaching

Kids

Children over 7 are welcome, and extra beds and babysitters can be provided. Meals are half-price for kids under 10. Given the somewhat hushed atmosphere, you might prefer to wait until they're old enough to enjoy the games (tennis, boules, even a small golf range) as well as bike and horse rides.

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

Babysitting available by arrangement

Kid Friendly:

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