Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

La Bastide de Marie


The most charming 18th Century bastide hotel, situated in the heart of the Luberon National Park.

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La Bastide de Marie
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La Bastide de Marie


Ménerbes, set in its own vineyards in the Luberon National Park

Travel Information

Marseille Airport - 1 hour
Avignon Airport - 40 mins

Top Tips

Discover the Domaine de Marie wine cellars and take time to explore Ménerbes

5-Star X-Factors

A quintessentially Provençal luxury experience when you feel the need to relax and reboot

Provençal picture parfait

La Bastide de Marie is the quintessence of a delightful Provençal bastide, or manor house, turned boutique 5-star luxury hotel. The picturesque grounds are truly something to behold; it really does inspire you here. Just sitting in the garden on the terrace or lawn, under the dappled shade of the ancient lime tree – looking across the vines to the chalky Luberon Mountains and nature reserve in the distance – is really worth checking-in for.

It offers a privileged environment; 24 Provençal hectares under faultless azure skies, with an elegant and homely ambiance. Cocooned in a golden bubble of fabulously hearty food, fine wine, delectable olive oil, beautiful country antiques, flagstone floors and heaps of lavender and rosemary, it's certainly alluring. Then the cicadas provide that familiar chorus of 'you're on holiday now' and your senses are all ignited.

It's a short drive (45 minutes) from Marseille and a little longer from Nice. Once you know how in this part of the world, the highways, byways and tolls become surprisingly simple. This is a straightforward drive to a country haven. La Bastide de Marie is tucked away on the outskirts of a charming village called Ménerbes, which, like the Bastide, possesses all the appealing characteristics of the region though within a village.

Built from local chalky stone in the Renaissance period, with a cemetery dating back to the Roman era, Ménerbes sits in captivating provenance beneath a mountain on a rocky spur. It has been described as floating above the Luberon due to its vessel-shaped appearance. This proud village has a richly decorated church, the Saint Blaise Chapel, and brags the footprints of many famous historical characters.

This is also vine country. The combination of chalky mountains rising above rows of vines and olive groves beneath a vast canvas of cobalt sky makes this part of Provence so beautiful. The village of Ménerbes has three wine producing domains, while La Bastide has its very own, Le Domaine de Marie, tucked behind a row of cypress trees. It's wines - red, white and rosé - are really very good.

Orange et miel

If a region has a spirit or an essence then it is here, at La Bastide, that you will capture the ingredients in just a couple of nights. La Bastide has 14 rooms and suites, each oozing charm and all surprisingly individual. The 5-star suites are the optimum, especially the ones with their own private terraces. But, with little Bibi in tow, it seemed right to house us in the main building, almost tucked in the eaves, in a room called Orange et Miel. It exuded oranges and honey in both its fragrance and warm palette. With flagstone floors, exposed walls and a vaulted A-frame roof with painted white beams, it felt very cosy and 'cottagey'.

The bathroom utilised a small space with stylish aplomb; a honey-toned ball and claw bath on similarly coloured tiles, with a country classic vanity unit and a tiny lead window. All very cutesy. The bedroom had a covetable hand-painted armoire, writing desk, a cushion-lined muted orange and soft rouge day bed, while the exposed boulder and clay walls were daringly clad with original Picasso and Matisse lithographs.

Our bed was crowned in minimal glory with a golden coronet above taupe linen while our little window, rising directly from the floor, faced the old terracotta tiles across the way followed by the cobalt blue of the endless sky. Our roses, picked from the 'Edenesque' grounds, were pale green and pink, and sat beside a pewter bowl of grapes from the estate, bursting with sweet nectar. It was a kind of Hansel and Gretel hide-out in Provence and little Bibi was loved too.

Local pickings

Apart from obvious excursions that can be enjoyed from La Bastide, staying put is also a great option. Meals, including some astonishingly good wine from the estate's vineyard, are all included (no carte), so eating out is only an option if you wish to clock up the Michelin stars (we have a few favourites in this region). In the style of old-school country retreats, mealtimes are set, in timing and menu, and though you do not sit at the same tables as the other guests, you all savour the same rich local pickings from the talented chef's kitchen.

The chef, Laurent Houdard, relishes in an open relationship with his guests, enjoying a kitchen-en-view as well as oodles of bonhomie. The lamb from the Luberon was as good as it gets while his puddings, decorated with fragrant lavender stems, were all too tempting to dismiss. Apparently you can take a picnic, packed with local delights, to the top of the Luberon mountain and dine to the most outstanding view. 

There are two outdoor swimming pools here. I suspect that one is for those sans enfants, while the other encourages little paddlers. The former is set within a theatre of cypress and olive trees and feels totally exclusive, while the latter is built around the manor house and is closely observed. I have my eye on the owner's villa Le Grenache: great for a family holiday, set back in vineyard privacy, with a lovely pool, exquisite interiors and use of all La Bastide's amenities.

It is most definitely special here; a rural retreat with spectacular attention to regional detail and a vibe that could only exist because it is where it is. We love returning and usually include La Bastide de Marie in all our Provençal tours.

Sophie Marchant
Sophie Marchant

Luxury Explorer