Metafort

Vaucluse, Provence, France Book from Eur145

Zen-like B&B retreat in the Vaucluse area of Provence with stunning views, infinity pool and small spa
We've found what feels like the holy grail for France-loving holidaymakers: a beautiful, airy and design-focused 17th-century house at the top of a pretty, quiet and untouristy village in Provence. With just 5 simple contemporary-chic rooms, warm service, a stunning infinity pool with views of Mont Ventoux and a small spa, it's the ideal retreat for de-stressing, discovering off-the-beaten-track villages and romantic escapes.

Metafort is Isa and Philippe Lichtenthurn's second Provence hotel. Their intent with this one was to let the exceptional speak for itself. Spaces are luxuriously spare, with splashes of bold colour from Isa's contemporary paintings (all for sale). The most decadent amenity? Jacuzzi bathtubs with multi-coloured lights and music piped in at the push of a button! You could easily spend 10 days exploring the pretty Vaucluse region by foot or car, from rugged Nesque canyon to tourist magnets like Avignon and Gordes.

Highs

    • The fabulous pool with views of the Nesque Valley and Mont Ventoux; perfect for lazy days on a lounger
    • The romance of showstopping room Sous les étoiles, with its private roof terrace. The bed is on a track so you can wheel it out to sleep under a blanket of brilliant stars
    • Isa and Philippe are always smiling, eager to help you plan your days and meals out, or make you feel at home relaxing at the hotel
    • The serene surroundings and sweeping views from every room, fit for a Provençal painter
    • Saturday-night dinners using local produce, and you can use the kitchen to whip up light meals on other days

Lows

    • No twin rooms, and in 3 of the rooms the bathtubs and sinks are integrated into the bedroom, separated by a shower curtain or small wall. If you'd like more privacy, book Diamantina or Sous les étoiles
    • No restaurant, but there are fantastic restaurants a 10-minute drive away
    • No children under 15 (a high for some)
    • It's very intimate, with only 5 rooms, and books up fast
    • Well preserved but the building's central stairwell amplifies footsteps and voices

Best time to go

The Vaucluse area of Provence is beautiful at all times of year: spring flowers bring the meadows alive, summer is hot and scented with lavender, while autumn is balmy. Winter is still interesting, with a variety of seasonal festivals and markets. The high season is most definitely August, when the French enjoy summer holidays and it can be overly busy. Metafort closes annually in March.

Our top tips

Bring an empty suitcase if you plan to visit L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue: the town's regular antique market and beautiful boutiques are irresistible.

Great for...

Eco
Foodie
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique B&B
  • 5
  • Breakfast (+ Saturday dinners on request)
  • No children under 15
  • 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
  • Jacuzzi
  • Bicycles Available
  • DVD library
Room:

Rooms

There are 5 double rooms, each decorated very simply in whites and greys with a large emphasis on Zen pared-back calm. All have a small seating area, bar Lilly, and all have a large flat-screen TV and DVD player. We suspect you're unlikely to spend much time in your room though: the views from the windows are ridiculously enticing.

The jury is out on the bathrooms. The good news is that each has a corner jacuzzi bathtub for 2 - with coloured lights and music piped in at the touch of a button - plus a handheld shower. The bad news is that 3 of the 5 bedrooms have their bathrooms integrated into the main bedroom area, sometimes shielded by just a shower curtain. It's not for everyone and privacy might be a factor.

Lilly is the smallest room, but still has plenty of space - 25 sq.m and a kingsize bed; Opaline and Cocoon have a little more room and are both on the second floor with sweeping vistas. Even on the ground floor, Diamantina has good views from 7 windows in its cosy bedroom (the only one with a queensize bed), plus a separate bathroom and small lounge with space for an extra bed.

Sous les étoiles is the standout room though. Tucked into the eaves of the third-floor attic, it has a spacious terrace with soaring views. Its bed can be rolled outside so you can sleep under the stars - pure romance! The Jacuzzi tub is in a separate room, under a skylight.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • DVD library in lobby
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Honesty bar
  • Internet access
  • Jacuzzi
  • Terrace
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

A lovely French breakfast is served from 9-11am. Slice some baguette and sample homemade jams, cheeses, fruit and fresh-from-the-oven muffins. Isa or Philippe can whip up eggs or French toast at your request.

There's no restaurant at Metafort but Saturday evening meals are available if Isa can guarantee a minimum of 8 people; plans are typically confirmed at the beginning of the week. Served in the garden, weather permitting, they sound wonderful - traditional Provençal dishes using local and organic vegetables and a dash of inspiration taken from Isa's travels. You can watch her cook and learn a few secrets.

There is space in the fridge reserved for each room, so you can store your market purchases and you're welcome to use the kitchen to cook your own meals. There is a small grocery in Méthamis. For lunches you'll easily find something to eat in Villes-sur-Auzon, though you might choose to go out for the day instead.

Isa and Philippe can recommend a number of restaurants - and in this area, you can almost guarantee sensational food. La Farigoule in Mormoiron, a 10-minute drive, or Les Remparts in Venasque or Au Fil du Temps in Pernes-les-Fontaines, both a 15-minute drive. Akot and Le Vivier in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue are 25 minutes by car.

Guests help themselves to bottled water, wine, beer and soft drinks from the kitchen fridge/honesty bar. You can also make yourselves tea and coffee at any time.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cooking classes
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Organic produce
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Make the most of the serenity. Read a book by the infinity pool that looks like it flows right into the canyon
  • Pamper yourself. Metafort has a small room on the second floor dedicated to spa and beauty treatments, including offers Californian, Ayurvedic and Balinese massages
  • Learn how to cook with new ingredients by watching Isa prepare the Saturday dinner. On request she holds cookery classes, too
  • Take a tour of local vineyards. Metafort is in the heart of the Ventoux wine region and there are 2 mountain bikes to borrow
  • Visit pretty neighbouring villages, including Bédoin, Mormoiron, Venasque, Gordes, Crillon le Brave and Le Barroux, which are all under an hour away by car
  • Get some culture in Avignon. The Pont d'Avignon and the impressive Palais des Papes are the 2 must-sees
  • Visit L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue on a Sunday. This town has a wonderful brocante market snaking through it, as well as pretty shops and lovely riverfront restaurants. You can go kayaking here, too
  • Enjoy Provence away from the crowds: go for a drink at the authentic Provençal bar in Méthamis, discover the spectacular Nesque canyon or the stunning Gorges du Verdon; walk the established trails in the area; visit hidden villages, Isa can advise

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting

Kids

This is really an adult retreat, though children aged 15+ are allowed and Diamantina has space for an extra bed.

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
10/
Overall

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