L'Escale du Ciel

Le Bar-sur-Loup, Cote d'Azur, France Book from Book from £106 per night

Dreamily serene, upmarket B&B with a personal touch, mountainous Provençal panoramas and a wonderful location near charming villages
Perched like an eagle in a thrillingly beautiful location around 30 minutes' drive from Nice, the ‘Staircase to the Sky’ has views up to the hills and down over the chasm of the valley below. There are only 4 guest rooms, and it’s peaceful and romantic, ideal for couples in search of serenity. The house itself is centuries old, surrounded by a gloriously mature terraced garden that’s full of olive, lemon, orange, cypress and palm trees, with lots of seating areas, a petanque court-with-a-view, and an infinity pool on one of the terraces. The German owner, Judith, is charming, friendly and multi-lingual. She’s an interior designer by trade, which shows in the soothing harmony of her interiors.

Best of all, the location is fantastic, a short hop from Le Bar-sur-Loup and other local villages, as well as the Gorges du Loup, a dramatic gorge that’s great for riverside walks and swimming in crystalline pools. A little further are Grasse, famous for perfume, St Paul du Vence, the lovely walled hilltop town so beloved of Matisse, and countless other pretty Provençal villages with Mediterranean markets. You’re also near the coast, a short drive from Cannes or Nice.

Highs

  • Extraordinarily peaceful, yet easy to reach (half an hour from Nice airport)
  • Gorgeously understated design that lets the views sing
  • Great value and just 4 romantic rooms, with sumptuously comfortable beds and pillows
  • A warm welcome and friendly, sociable feel
  • Lovely breakfasts on the terrace and a clutch of great restaurants in the local village (0.5km away)

Lows

  • You'll need a car to get here and explore
  • Payment is by Bank Transfer in advance of stay
  • A 3-night minimum stay
  • If you’re looking for full hotel service, this isn't for you
  • No kids under 12

Best time to go

Early summer - May-June - is ideal, as the weather's warm but there won't be so many holidaymakers around. However, high summer is lovely here, too. Autumn (September-October) is also great as there are fewer crowds in the region but the weather is usually balmy. The B&B is closed annually from mid October-mid April.

Our top tips

A 5-minute drive away, you can visit the factory of Confiserie Florian. They offer slightly dull tours in French, but much more exciting tastings of their incredible wares in the shop afterwards, including preserved mandarins, crystalised violet and rose-petal jam.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
Spa
  • Boutique B&B
  • 4
  • Breakfast only; restaurants nearby
  • Over 12s only
  • Closed: 1 Nov 2018 - 14 Apr 2019...
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The 4 rooms practically purr with relaxed elegance, in soft mink, palest greens, blues and powder greys. They're all named after iconic French women. Beds are some of the most comfortable we've graced, the pillows memorably soft. Floor are lovely, too - mellow local stone.

We stayed in the first-floor Marguerite Duras Suite, which has valley views out of a small window in the soothing little sitting room, plus a large bathroom with free-standing bath.

Downstairs, the large Simone de Beauvoir room has stunning valley views through its window; its the only room with a bathtub and overhead shower. Slightly smaller, on the first floor, the Coco Chanel room also has wonderful views from the queensize bed.

Camille Claudel is the smallest and only twin room, but we loved its style, with a wall of vintage mirrors and a free-standing copper sink atop a wooden desk. The shower bathroom is set behind an industrial window, with a gorgeous mosaic floor. Be aware it has no views and an external toilet; the price reflects this.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Communal tea- and coffee-making facilities
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Mosquito net
  • Satellite TV
  • Toiletries

Eating

Breakfast is laid out on a table on the terrace or in the large sitting and dining room if it's chilly. Both have beautiful views, and it's a gorgeous feast, with muesli and fresh fruit and yoghurt, local cured meats and cheeses, coffee or tea, orange juice, and eggs and bacon on request.

Judith is very knowledgable about local restaurants and can make reservations. There are 3 or 4 good places in the village, or you can drive to many others. If you'd prefer to stay in, there's a kitchen where you can prepare your own food - you can buy a sumptuous spread at local markets and gastronomic shops. Judith sometimes throws dinner get-togethers by the pool, with French wines, cheeses and salads - it's all very relaxed and friendly.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Petanque on the terrace, lazing by the pool and playing with the adorable border collies
  • Pamper yourself: Judith can organise everything from aromatherapy massages to Mayan treatments, Sophrology and Kundalini-Meditation yoga, along with guided mountain walks and Indian dance
  • The stunning Gorges du Loup has natural pools and waterfalls for wild swimming, its waterside paths wandering through tangled greenery. Whitewater rafting and canyoning are also on offer (10-minute drive)
  • There are countless pretty villages within reach, including Matisse's favourite, St Paul de Vence, a walled medieval town that's filled with art and galleries. Others include Valbonne, Gourdon, the perfume centre of Grasse, and Tourettes du Loup
  • The closest beach is only 25 minutes away; beaches around Nice and Cannes are just over half an hour
  • Judith can arrange a private yoga class

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Birdwatching
    • Canyoning
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Rafting
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming

Kids

Over 12s only. This is a small, sociable but tranquil place, aimed at couples.

Family friendly accommodation:

Suite Marguerite Duras has a sofabed in its living room, suitable for 1 teenager.

Kid Friendly:

Location

L'Escale du Ciel sits in the Provençal Maritime Alps, in rolling beautiful countryside and near fascinating and picturesque villages. It’s 30 minutes' drive from Nice airport or the beaches of the Côte d’Azur.

By Air:
Fly into Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (23km); click on the links below for a list of airlines. The B&B has off-street parking.

From the Airport
You'll need your own car here as there’s a lot to explore in the area. See our car rental recommendations.

By Train:
From London you can take the Eurostar to Lille, then change onto a direct TGV train down to Nice, then hire a car from the station.

Detailed directions will be sent when you confirm a booking through i-escape.com.

More on getting to France and getting around

Airports:

  • Nice Côte d’Azur Airport 23.0 km NCE

Other:

  • Beach 20.0 km
  • Shops 0.5 km
  • Restaurant 0.5 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 5 independent reviews from i-escape guests

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

We spent 2 days driving to the South of France, and spent 9 days in what can only be described as heaven. Judith's home is perfection but oh so comfortable and she makes you feel so welcome. Breakfast was a delight in the sunshine overlooking the mountains. It's just a small village in the mountains, but has a couple of amazing restaurants. Lovely walks and picturesque villages close by. Wonderful holiday.

10/10,

We had a wonderful stay. The house was exquisite in its style and feeling. The view from our room was amazing. The pool was a dream, and the host and owner Judith was the kindest and warmest ever. We could not have wished for more, and we really hope to come back.

10/10,

We absolutely loved our short stay here in the mountains. Judith was a delightful host and made the most exquisite breakfast feasts ever morning. So lovely to have the good natured and playful doggies there whilst we missed our own. The room was spectacular with great attention to detail, the comfiest bed and most luxurious bathroom. The pool area is beautiful with breathtaking views and with only 4 guest rooms in total it never feels crowded. We would definitely come to stay again!

10/10,

Fantastic place to stay. Judith is a great host. We'll definitely be back.

10/10,

We loved the beautiful spacious garden, the possibility to use the lovely kitchen and living area and the dogs. Judith, the host was really helpful and very nice, trying to accommodate all our wishes.

10/10,

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