At a Glance
This refurbished country farmhouse, in a postcard-perfect setting, is conveniently located for touring the Lubéron.
- The two freestanding villas, a perfect hideaway for families or friends traveling together
- The delicious fruity rosé, grown on the premises in the neighboring vineyard
- The proximity of the Sorgue River for canoe trips and hiking
Peter Mayle readers might think twice about living like locals in Ménerbes, with all the daunting responsibilities that entails, especially when they can stay in a stylish hotel that feels like a private home minus the hassles of ownership. La Bastide de Marie is an 18th-century stone farmhouse, located on a quiet country road and surrounded by vineyards. Its views extend past a century-old cypress grove and towards the lush Lubéron National Park.
Embodying a laidback country lifestyle, this chic Provençal farmhouse is exquisitely decorated with objects sourced from the nearby antique markets of L’Isle Sur La Sorgue (think exposed cobblestone bathrooms, wrought iron beds and clawfoot bath tubs). Stylishly restored by the celebrated hotelier Jocelyne Sibuet — who also owns Les Fermes de Marie, in the resort town of Megève, and Villa Marie in St.-Tropez — the farmhouse has 14 rooms and suites, each of which is unique. (Contact your Indagare Trip Designer for assistance picking the best layout for you.)
Another attraction is the ultra-fresh, simple and flavorful regional cuisine, prepared in an open kitchen in a tiny stone house that doubles as a cozy dining room. Guests may also take their meals on the vast linden-shaded terrace, which offers a sweeping view of the countryside. The chef excels in country fare. Try the chilled tomato soup sprinkled with pistachios and drizzled with local olive oil, the delicious rack of lamb with garden vegetables and, for dessert, a lavender crème brûlée. Sample one of the bastide's own wines, or choose from the wide selection of top vintages from the Lubéron. Before dinner, aperitifs are served in the main house, where guests mingle as if they were attending a cocktail reception at a stylish friend's home.
When you’ve had your fill of lazing by one of two small heated stone pools (there’s also an indoor pool), you can enjoy a range of activities, from mountain biking, horseback riding, golf and hot-air ballooning to shopping for antiques or the perfect goat cheese and vine-ripened peaches. You’ll also want to take advantage of the bastide’s small spa, which has two treatment rooms and is stocked with the Sibuet hotels’ trademark Pure Altitude beauty line, made with edelweiss that grows wild in the French Alps. Treatments include a range of massages with pungent essential mountain oils, honey and brown sugar scrubs, pink clay and mineral wraps, plus anti-aging facials with an Alpine mix of arctic raspberries, cloudberries, bilberries, musk rose and fern extracts.
For the ultimate gentleman-farmer experience, rent one of the neighboring villas: the five-bedroom, five-bath Grenache or the two-bedroom Syrah. Both boast private heated outdoor lap pools and country-style kitchens and dining rooms and are furnished in a sober but easy elegant style with antiques from the local markets, organdy-curtained wrought-iron beds with hand stitched quilts and embroidered linens in a harmonious mix of dove-gray, sunflower-yellow, olive-green, plum and pale lavender. The hotel will arrange private meals, gourmet picnics or massages. If too much serenity makes you restless, visit the neighboring village of Gordes, only a short drive away (pretty St. Rémy de Provence is about a 45-minute drive away).
Who Should Stay
Families; wine-lovers; sports-minded couples
Written by Lanie Goodman