Le Mas des Oules

near Uzès, Provence, France Book from Book from £76 per night

Super-chic self-catering houses and apartments nestled amongst fragrant gardens in a converted Provençal mas
Our journey to this grand country hideaway, located in the Gard Provençal, has taken us along roads lined with plane trees, past vineyards and olive groves, through historic towns and over winding rivers. As we sweep past the blue gates of the terracotta-hued mas, through lavender- and jasmine-scented gardens, to our stylish home for the night, we feel a sense of utter contentment descend. It’s not long before we’re lounging on the grapevine-shaded terrace, a glass of locally produced wine in hand, entranced by the early summer sun as it dips behind the rolling Cévennes hills.

Christophe and Christine took over ownership of this former farm and winery in 2018, and are incredibly warm, welcoming and enthusiastic hosts. The 8 elegant self-catering houses and apartments (sleeping up to 11) effortlessly weave contemporary décor in with the rejuvenated farmhouse fixtures. Now it's a place for everyone: we spotted a couple lazing by the communal pool, toddlers exploring the gardens, and friends engrossed in a game of boules. Spend your days sourcing supper at Uzès’ famous market, admiring the Roman Pont du Gard or taking day trips to the coast before cosying up on your private terrace. A real Provençal paradise.

Highs

  • Great-value 2- to 5-bedroom houses and apartments, ideal for families in search of a home from home or couples wanting a romantic retreat
  • The owners are incredibly friendly and helpful. We felt completely at ease and would have been quite happy if our flights home had been cancelled indefinitely
  • Well-equipped kitchens and industrial-inspired décor including bold prints, vintage maps and original artefacts from the farm
  • An authentic French setting - we loved driving between towns and visiting farm shops selling distinctive local produce: cherries, peaches, apricots, olives and truffles
  • We could have stayed amongst the lavender-filled gardens for hours, watching dragonflies, splashing about the pool and perhaps occasionally playing boules

Lows

  • You’ll need a car to make the most of this spectacular area; Saint-Victor-des-Oules has oodles of character but no restaurants (but there is a daily bakery delivery service)
  • Technology is limited: there are no in-room TVs
  • Due to the layout, Jasmin is only suitable for children aged 8+
  • There’s a 7-night minimum stay during July and August (with a Saturday changeover day)
  • Check the payment and cancellation policy carefully, a security deposit and cleaning fee is required

Best time to go

Le Mas des Oules is a great year-round destination, but we think it would be at its best in late spring, when the gardens are full of flowers, or in early autumn when the leaves are golden - crowds would also be thinner. During the summer there are numerous festivals in the area, while winter sees Christmas markets, fireworks and illuminations.

Our top tips

  • Get up early on a Saturday or Wednesday morning, pack a picnic basket and your swimming gear, and head to Uzès. Buy lots of delicious fresh produce from the market - perhaps have a coffee and a pastry - then head to the Pont du Gard. Swim in the river, laze on the stony beach (there are wooden cabanas to use on a first-come, first-served basis), eat your picnic, and marvel at the grand structure.
  • If you suffer from hay fever, bring plenty of medication! The grounds are full of pollen, but they’re so beautiful you’ll want to spend all your time there anyway

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Family
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Boutique Apartments
  • 8 houses / apartments (sleeping 2-11)
  • Self-catering (drive to shops/restaurants)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Boules
  • Board games
Room:

Rooms

The houses and apartments are located within one huge converted outbuilding and are named after plants found in the garden. Ranging from 2 to 5 bedrooms, they have white-washed walls, exposed stonework and soft grey Farrow and Ball floors. Open-plan living-dining-kitchen areas are bright and airy, and bathrooms come with either powerful showers or enticing bathtubs, plus each house has its own terrace for alfresco dining.

Interiors are industrial-inspired and feature mismatched items from international designers. You may find metallic tables by Madam Stoltz, wire storage by House Doctor DK, dark sofas by Bloomingville, or crate-style shelves by Chehoma. These are paired with splashes of colour in the form of vintage French Rossignol school maps, vibrant 1950s Jung-Koch-Quentell botanical charts, printed cushions and fresh flowers. It’s clear that care has been poured into every space.

Jasmin overlooks the gardens, with 2 mezzanine sleeping areas and a shower bathroom; due to the layout it's only suitable for children over 8 years old. Clematite is a split-level house with a double and a single bedroom that looks out over the communal courtyard, and a beautiful wisteria-covered terrace. Agave, a first-floor courtyard-facing apartment, sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms (1 double and 1 twin) and has stunning views across the plains to the Cévennes hills. Genet has a secluded outside space and airy mezzanine lounge, while Dahlia boasts a suntrap terrace.

Best for larger families are delightful 3-bedroom Belle de Nuit (where we stayed during our 2018 visit), 3-bedroom Amaryllis or 5-bedroom Magnolia. Amaryllis is set entirely on the ground floor, overlooking the hills; palatial Belle de Nuit feels like a genuine home from home, complete with a courtyard-facing wisteria-covered terrace; Magnolia is enormous and comes with its own garden and private pool.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Books and board games
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge
  • Hob or stove
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • WiFi

Eating

Sleek kitchens flow into bright living rooms and come stocked with all you need to cook. You get smart dining tables inside and out, so you can eat on your shaded terrace overlooking the courtyard or garden, or inside the cool mas if the temperature is too high.

All the essentials such as tea, coffee, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper are provided, and the local baker comes by daily around 9/10am, sometimes with croissants, so you can buy freshly baked goodies that morning (excluding Sundays). Other than that, the nearest supermarket is just a 5-minute drive away in the neighbouring village of Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie. All the nearby villages have market days where stalls groan under the weight of local produce; Saint-Quentin’s is on Tuesdays and Fridays, while Uzès has a small market on Wednesdays and a huge Saturday market that is widely considered the best in all of Provence. Stock up on olives, pâtés, succulent fruit and veg, cheese and fresh fish - including some juicy-looking oysters - as well as crusty bread and meat calling out for the barbecue (available to borrow at the mas).
In summer tapas and wine may be available some evenings. Please ask when booking for further details.

There are numerous local restaurants: just let Christophe know what you feel like and he’ll book you a table (and even a taxi if you’d prefer not to drive). Otherwise head into Uzès and explore its many restaurants and bars - we ate at Terroirs A Uzès in La Place aux Herbes (the main square) and found the atmosphere to be really relaxed. Our meal was bursting with fresh, local produce: an open sandwich topped with olive tapenade, pélardon cheese and ham, along with a trio of homemade dips and a fresh salad, followed by a huge slice of tiramisu (so impressive it prompted the lady on the next table to order "Whatever they’re having!").

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge
  • Hob or stove
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Pop into Uzès on Wednesday or Saturday for market day - we'd recommend the latter, but go early! We arrived at 9am and within the hour the streets were fit to burst. The stalls sell everything from linens and pottery to food and flowers. While in town, stop by the impressive home of the first duchy of France
  • The extraordinary UNESCO-listed Pont du Gard is just a 15-minute drive away. Built in the 1st century, this 360m-long, 50m-high aqueduct helped provide Nîmes' citizens with fresh water for 5 centuries. Walk over it, kayak under it, or sit on the riverbank and marvel at it
  • Visit the nearby town of Tavel to sample the famous Tavel rosé, a former favourite of the royalty in court at Avignon. It's strewn with wineries, each selling the sweet pink tipple straight from the source. The wine fields of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are close by, too
  • Browse the dozens of pottery workshops and ateliers that line the quaint, hilly streets of Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie (a 5-minute drive away). The village has had an international reputation for ceramics since the 14th century, and you'll find everything from decorative sculptures to functional garden pots
  • Take part in a pottery or jewellery making workshop, which run weekly at the hotel during the summer
  • Day-trip to the Maison Carrée in Nîmes, one of the best-preserved Roman temples in the world. Or head to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to see the asylum where Van Gogh painted his famous 'Saint-Paul Asylum, Saint-Rémy' series. Avignon, Montpellier and Arles are also within 1 hours' drive
  • There are numerous Mediterranean beaches within an hour and a half’s drive - just head south!
  • Back at Le Mas des Oules you can read on your terrace, sprawl on a lounger by the pool, play boules and table tennis on the lawn, or catch the sunset from the communal terrace

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Christophe and Christine have 4 sons of their own, so they understand just what families are looking for. Houses and apartments are well equipped, the pool is fenced, the lawn is perfect for games and running around, and there are plenty of things in the region for kids of all ages. Boules, the sandpit and the swimming pool were highlights for our kids.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

All of the apartments and houses are well suited to families. Clematite sleeps 2-3 in a double bedroom and a second single bedroom; Agave, Genet and Dahlia each sleep 4 in 1 double and 1 twin room; Jasmin also sleeps 4, but its mezzanine rooms mean it is only suitable for children aged 8+. Amaryllis and Belle de Nuit each sleep 6 (1 double and 2 twin rooms). Magnolia sleeps 11 in 5 bedrooms (3 doubles, 1 single, 1 twin and 2 drawer beds) and has a private pool. Bear in mind that Genet, Dahlia and Jasmin have bathrooms with showers only.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available on request

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs
  • Baby bathtub

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

Children's meals:

The apartments and houses have full kitchens suitable for preparing anything from baby food to full family meals - plastic plates and cups are also provided.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool (fenced)
  • Table tennis
  • Boules
  • Sandpit
  • Large gardens
  • Pottery classes
  • Jewellery making classes

Families Should Know:

Note that most of the houses and apartments feature steep stone staircases (and there are no stair gates), so may not be ideal for pre-schoolers. The owners do not recommend Amaryllis for younger children due to its ground-floor location at the front of the mas

Distances:

  • Airport: 45 minutes (Nîmes)
  • Hospital / pharmacy: 10 minutes (Uzès)
  • Village shop: 5 minutes (Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie)
Kid Friendly:

Location

Le Mas des Oules is located in the village of Saint-Victor-des-Oules, 8km north of Uzès and within an hour’s drive of Nîmes and Avignon, in Provence, southern France.

By Air:
Fly into Nimes (40km), Montpellier (80km), Marseille (137km) or Beziers (141km).

From the Airport
We’d recommend hiring a car to make the most of the area (see below). Alternatively, bus services are available from the above airports to Uzès, and from there you could take a taxi.

By Train:
Avignon is served by high-speed TGV trains from Paris, Lille and other French cities, as well as some seasonal Eurostar services from London (the journey time is around 6 hours). You’ll then need to take a taxi to the mas, or a bus as far as Uzès. See Seat 61 for more information.

By Car:
Ideally, you'll need a car while staying at Les Mas des Oules as it's on the edge of a small village with no restaurants or supermarkets within walking distance. You can pick up a hire car at the airport or TGV station; see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

Airports:

  • Nîmes 40.0 km FNI
  • Montpellier 80.0 km MPL

Other:

  • Beach 80.0 km
  • Shops 4.0 km
  • Restaurant 4.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 17 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Beautiful place which is really babyfriendly. The privacy of the accomodation and attentive owners make it an excellent choice for perfect summer family holidays with (rather small) children.
The only weak point - wifi is incredibely slow and even the mobile phone signal was weak in the house.

9/10,

We visited with our 9 year old son in August and had a wonderful time. The hosts are so lovely and really good fun. What really made our stay special was having dinner at the apartments restaurant. Really good simple food cooked SO well! Its some of the best food we had eaten in a long time. The view of the sun setting and Christophe's wine recommendations were superb. The town of Uzes is about 5 mins drive, with fairly easy parking and loads of restaurants to choose from including French and some good pizza places. The nearby Pont Du Gard is also well worth a visit. The surrounding countryside is lovely. Loads to see and do. The accommodation is lovely and the swimming pool was nice and big, so good fun at the end of very hot days sightseeing!

10/10,

We enjoyed a most relaxing week at Le Mas. Such a delightful setting and wonderful welcome from Christophe and his team. This place really lived up to our expectations. The grounds are beautifully maintained and the accommodation clean and considerately decorated. In the surrounding area there is so much to do from river swimming, local markets, restaurants and caves systems to explore. If you do visit you must take Christophe's recommendations, you won't be disappointed. We are already looking forward to going back for summer 2020!

10/10,

A truly super holiday! Christophe and Christine could not have been more hospitable and they have a place where you can really relax.

10/10,

Great holiday venue. Very well put together accommodation and very friendly and informative hosts. Great for young children and a very social spot. Lovely towns and villages nearby. Excellent overall.

10/10,

Second visit and won’t be the last. Christophe and Christine are so charming and kind and quietly run this French delight with calm efficiency. The apartments and grounds are stylish, clean and well cared for and we felt our kids were super safe and at home. Just a shame their summer restaurant opens 10 days after our stay. It’s sure to be a hit.

10/10,

We spent a long weekend at le Mas in early spring with our 2 children. We fell in love with the area and the mas, It is a beautiful and secluded place just outside a small village. The location is at the heart of the so many lovely places to discover and explore: Avignon, Uzses, Nimes, Camargues, hiking near le pont du gard, kayaking etc. Kids enjoyed the pool and feeding the chickens, you have a lot of space to kick a ball and play pétanque. The cottages are finely decorated. We were touched by the warmth and knowledge of the owners, all the things they recommended were great. Thank you!

10/10,

Christophe and his wife were very friendly and ready to make us feel good. A lovely place! Great time.

10/10,

We had such an amazing week - the place is both idyllic, stylish and practical at the same time, given we were with our 5 month baby girl. Christophe and Christine are amazing hosts and it's a very special place.

10/10,

This place is so utterly amazing that I want to tell everyone it’s dreadful to keep it to ourselves...

10/10,

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