At a Glance
Located in the heart of Côte du Rhone country, this rustic-but-stylish 32-room hideaway with a pool is extremely romantic.
- The collection of 16th and 17th century homes transformed into a serene countryside oasis
- The spectacular view of Mont Ventoux from the pool and dining terrace.
- The seasonal cuisine, which epitomizes the slow-food concept cherished by foodies
Up the fragrant winding roads of lavender country, perched atop a hill 25 miles northeast of Avignon, stands Crillon le Brave. Once home to a long line of dukes and to Brave Crillon, the favorite general of Henri IV, it is a sleepy hamlet today. Next to the tiny village’s church sits the hotel that bears its name, a rambling property of nine, small 16th- and 17th-century country houses connected by a maze of “secret” paths.
The 34 rooms and suites, each a different shape and size, are all done in pretty florals and soft beiges—the floors paved with terra-cotta tiles—and furnished with comfy armchairs and sofas. A favorite accommodation is a vast, split-level suite located in a 12th-century tower, which boasts a pair of claw-foot tubs facing a bay window and superb views from the private terrace.
Have breakfast on the restaurant terrace, then lounge by the stunning heated pool, both with incredible views of Mont Ventoux and the countryside below. If you wish to indulge in a massage or facial, there’s a small Tata Harper spa located in the former stables of the village. Come sunset, after a game of pétanque, head for the leafy terrace to sip a glass of Côtes-du-Rhône while looking over the vine-covered plains and white-gray limestone peaks of Mont Ventoux.
You can enjoy the same view, under a starry sky, at the outdoor restaurant, which serves refined regional cuisine by Chef Adrien Brunet. The impressive wine list features a wide choice of excellent affordable bottles from the Rhône valley that guests select before dinner. The more casual bistro, La Table du Ventoux, serves an ever-changing menu, featuring the freshest ingredients sourced from towns within a 25-mile radius—everything from asparagus and pork to olive oil and farmer's goat cheese.
The atmosphere is friendly, laid-back and unpretentious, and the hotel draws an international clientele of young couples with children (who are most welcome), cyclists, hikers and the inevitable honeymooners. It’s the kind of place that will make you want to return off-season.
Who Should Stay
Families with children who want to explore the wild, authentic side of Provence (though guests should note that the property is hilly and has many stairs); wine lovers; sports-minded couples.
Written by Lanie Goodman