5-Star Hotel Guide


Provence continues to inspire with its beauty, serenity and seasonal delicacies


5-star hotel guide to Provence

For centuries, Provence has mesmerised the likes of Van Gogh, Cézanne, Matisse, Gauguin, Dante, Joyce, Beckett, Hemmingway, Cocteau and many other immortal creatives. It's easy to see why.

Provence is truly intoxicating. The light has a sharper quality, cleaned of dust by the mistral wind while the air is laced with a bouquet of wild herbs – thyme, rosemary, fennel and lavender – a mysterious intermingling of scents that is reflected in both the food and the region's ever improving wine. As well as its exciting, seasonal cuisine, the region is famed for its evocative rustic beauty – a landscape peppered with olive groves, vineyards, mountains and picturesque towns. In our opinion, exploring Provence is one of life's greatest pleasures.

The weather is almost perfect all year round, with locals considering rain a personal affront.

Then there is culture and history, both in abundance, from the beautiful cities of Avignon and Aix-en-Provence to the exquisite hilltop villages of the Luberon, like Ménerbes, Gordes and further West to the Alpilles where you will find stylish St Remy and the extraordinary rocky landscape around Les Baux-de-Provence.

Food and wine are as integrated into life in Provence as the shady plain trees that line the straight Roman roads. Outstanding restaurants are almost the norm, and armed with Guide Michelin on your smartphone, you can hardly ever go wrong. The cuisine reflects the region, with the freshest ingredients and a lightness engendered by the warm climate, while wines range from the humble but increasingly wonderful Cotes de Ventoux in the north, through the classic red and white wines of Chateauneuf du Pape to Les-Baux-de-Provence and Bandol further south. Of course Cotes-de-Provence rosé is made throughout the region - and always tastes best in-situ.

Luxury Explorer has carefully chosen a selection of authentic 5-star luxury hotel gems to provide a true taste of Provence, from Chateau de Massillan, a fairytale castellated château between Avignon and Montelimar to Le Prieuré in Villeneuve-les-Avignon to the sensual, stylish 'maisons de gastronomie' that is Oustau de Baumaniere. In Aix-en-Provence there is no-where better to stay than our favourite Villa Gallici and in Ménerbes we recommend a relaxing escape to La Bastide de Marie - all perfect for luxury explorers wishing to discover the spirit of Provence or combine several in an easy grand-luxe tour.

The finest luxury villas in Provence

If you are looking for a private luxury villa in Provence, our Provence Confidential concierge service will find you the perfect bastide, mas or manoir in the golden triangle of the Lubéron Valley and around the Alpilles, within easy reach of Aix-en-Provence, Apt, Avignon, Bonnieux, Gordes, Les Baux, Lourmarin, Menerbes and lovely Saint Rémy de Provence.

The finest luxury villas in Provence cannot be searched for online, because their discerning owners value discretion above all else. So, if you are looking for the very best luxury villas in Provence, we have created a Provence Confidential service to help you find the perfect Provençal gem, with a password protected portal, available only through our concierge.

Marseille's 3-Michelin star experience

Our most recent trip to Provence was to experience the best 5-star hotel in Marseille, as well as the only 3 star restaurant in this most southern of French cities. Perched on rocks overlooking the Mediterranean in the old part of town, Le Petit Nice Passandat is a revelation and a perfect gourmet escape, either for a long gastronomic weekend or book-ends to a luxury tour of Provence.