Maison Felisa

St Laurent des Arbres, Provence, France Book from Book from £117 per night

An easy-going spirit infuses this old stone house, with restful contemporary interiors and a pretty pool in its walled garden (book as a B&B or rental for 10-12)
Everything here is a treat. The 12th century village has narrow lanes, mellow stone soaks up the sun, the odd dog barks. There’s a bar and boules in the tiny square, a sleepy bistro you can shuffle off to, and you’re close to all the things you’d want to be close to: Uzès, Avignon, the Cèze valley and the vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape.

All of which you risk missing if you check into the ever-so-pretty Felisa. This is an easy-going, young-at-heart, super-comfy place that encourages you to chill, with a 12-metre pool in the shady walled garden, a wood-burner in the airy open-plan sitting/dining room and essential oils burning on the staircase. The five contemporary-style rooms are great value for money; splash out on the big rooms for huge balconies that overlook the garden, and help yourself to drinks from the fridge (very reasonably priced). Or indeed rent the whole for a sociable gathering of family and friends. It's an exceptional little place that gives more than most for less than most.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • The walled garden and shimmering pool
  • Excellent massages and facials in the wellness corner
  • An unspoilt corner of Provence yet a great base for exploring its highlights
  • Avignon TGV station is close by; from London in summer it’s quicker to take the train than to fly
  • Good value all round, whether you book by the room or the whole house

Lows

  • The cool interiors and Zen-like ambiance may not be sufficiently Provencal for some
  • Few mod cons in the bedrooms (no TV, A/C or phone) - a bonus for some
  • For B&B guests on-site dining is limited to breakfast and occasional Saturday night suppers
  • There's only one restaurant in the village, so you'll have to drive further afield if you want variety

Best time to go

July and August can get extremely hot and there is no A/C. November can be extremely wet.

Our top tips

Book one of the larger garden-facing bedrooms with a Jacuzzi and underwater lights that can be set to different colours depending on your mood. You'll find a concoction of aromatic essential oils to relax or revive you - we loved the mix of lavender, bergamot and ylang ylang.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Eco
  • Boutique B&B
  • 5
  • Breakfast only (+ restaurant nearby)
  • All ages accepted
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

Three rooms overlook the garden and pool, two have views of fields and village buildings, all are on the first floor. The same contemporary feel runs throughout: colour-mixed concrete floors, off-white walls, Swiss Flex beds (very comfortable and can be made up as doubles or twins), crisp white sheets, mohair blankets and colourful raw silk eiderdowns. Also: terracotta pots, black-and-white pictures, simple coir mats and 19th-century radiators.

On our first visit we slept in the Fleur d'Oranger room at the back of the house and were delighted with it (Buddha in the fireplace, scented candles, beige curtains, orange silk eiderdown and original tiles in the excellent bathroom), though on our second visit we jumped at the chance of a garden-facing room. These are well worth chasing. They are bigger, lighter and come with Jacuzzi baths in the corner of the room (and elegant white drapes to protect the modest). Two of the three garden rooms, Parfum de Jasmin and Eau de Rose, have French windows opening onto large balustraded balconies, where you find deckchairs and parasols; you get a lot for your money. You can laze by the pool, pick up a drink, read on the balcony, retire for a snooze. There are newly-painted old armoires, exposed stone alcoves and the odd silk wall-hanging.

Located between these two rooms is Bois de Santal, which shares the same pretty view of the walled garden and also has a Jacuzzi bath. It's decked out in calming shades of green, white and beige but it doesn't have a balcony.

Those with a child should opt for Lait d'amande at the side of the house which has a built in sofa that can be used as an extra bed.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • WiFi

Eating

In summer you eat outside on a sail-shaded terrace. In winter move inside and eat in front of a flaming wood-burner. A buffet breakfast from 9-11am for B&B guests offers home-made jams by the dozen, baguette and croissants, muesli, fruit and orange juice; there’s coffee and tea, too.

On Saturday nights great communal dinners are eaten in the lantern-lit garden as long as at least six guests participate: perhaps a risotto or gazpacho, then red snapper or fillet of beef, a chocolate fondant with fresh fruit and ice cream, and cheese. The kitchen and living area are open plan so you can watch the cooking and help yourself to drinks from the honesty fridge, including bottles of wine.

If booking the whole house, you'll receive a bottle of wine on arrival as well as cake during your stay. The basics - coffee, tea, jam, sugar and oil - will await you on arrival. There's a supermarket (open daily) just a 5 minute stroll away. The village has one local restaurant, Le Papet, where we ate hearty French cooking and were treated extremely kindly by Madame. For other options, drive to Tavel and its ubiquitous auberge, Avignon (10-15 minutes) for more cosmopolitan fare, or to Uzes (30 minutes) for countless eateries.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner on Fri/Sat
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The small historic village of St Laurent des Arbres takes about 5 minutes to walk to
  • A list of local markets is on hand downstairs. Most days you’ll have a choice of more than 5 in the area. Friday is market day in the village. Cooking lessons are on offer by arrangement
  • There are a couple of bikes at the property for guests to use. Off-road mountain biking can also be arranged. Horse riding in the village will take you through the local vineyards
  • Visit the impressive 15th-century Papal Palace in Avignon, a 15-minute drive away. You can walk down to see the bridge too, still unfinished after all these years. On Saturdays the market is held on the ramparts of the old town
  • Don’t miss Uzès (30-minute drive), one of the best-preserved medieval towns in France. Drop south from Uzès into the Gorges du Gardon (for hiking, swimming, mountain biking and horse riding), then spin back north and take in the spectacular Pont du Gard, a 1st-century Roman aqueduct built over three levels, 40 metres high
  • Take the wine road, visit the vineyards of the Côtes du Rhône, Châteauneuf du Pape, Tavel, and Lirac cellars. A sensory tour of the wine cellars in Cairanne, near Orange, is highly recommended
  • Follow the Rhône down to Arles, a really cute provincial town, Roman to its core, with an exceptional amphitheatre and some incredible 12th-century stone carvings at St Trophine in Place de la République. Don’t stop at the front door; the cloisters are worth the time and money
  • You're close to the motorway and can be down in Nimes in half an hour door to door, or less. You’ll find an even bigger amphitheatre and the only fully-preserved Roman temple in the world
  • Head north away from the crowds and check out the fabulous Cèze valley. Stop off at La Roque-sur-Cèze, where you can swim in water holes at the foot of an impressive hill-top village, or Goudargues (known jokingly, but not without cause, as the Venice of Provence), where you can kayak down the river
  • Active pursuits like fishing, tennis, kayaking, golf, climbing are all within 30 minutes drive of the guest house

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Kids

Children are accepted but the house and rooms aren't really suited to kids, unless you are taking the whole property for a family get together for a party of 10-12 people.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

All the rooms can convert to twin beds, Lait d'Amande has a built-in sofa which can be used as an extra bed

Kid Friendly:

Location

Maison Felisa is in the village of St-Laurent-des-Arbres, about 15km north of Avignon in southern France.

By Air:
Nimes Garons (35km) and Marseille Provence (65km) are both close. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving this airport.

From the Airport
Grab a cab or hire a car (see below).

By Rail:
TGV to Avignon. From London take the Eurostar to Lille, then change for direct TGV connections. London to Avignon takes about 6 hours.

By Car:
Car hire is available at Avignon station and both airports - see our car rental recommendations.

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

More on getting to France and getting around

Airports:

  • Nimes Garons 35.0 km FNI
  • Marseille Provence 65.0 km MRS

Other:

  • Beach 45.0 km
  • Shops 10.0 km
  • Restaurant 0.2 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 6 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
9/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Very friendly welcome from Bruno and Pascale, lovely garden and pool and great location to visit Avignon. The breakfast was particularly good and the Table d'hote meal on Saturday night is not to be missed, very good food served in the garden. Highly recommended.

10/10,

Excellent stay at maison Felisa, Bruno and Pascale were lovely hosts and enjoyed the massages too.

9/10,

We’d rate Maison Felisa 5 stars on all categories below.

10/10,

Beautiful place! Excellent hosts!

10/10,

We had a fabulous stay at Maison Felisa. We stayed in the Jasmine room with a terrace which was great, loved breakfast in the morning and the Table d'hote on Saturday night was delicious. Nothing was too much trouble for Bruno and Pascal including serving breakfast for us at 7am as we had to check out early. You definitely need a car to explore the surrounding area. Thanks so much Bruno and Pascal. We loved our stay.

10/10,

We were made to feel most welcome in a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Our room with an external terrace was well appointed and comfortable. Breakfast served in the garden was delicious, setting us up very nicely for the day.

10/10,

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Rates for Maison Felisa

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