If your wanderlust spirit is calling out to you then I suggest you add Provence, France to your bucket list! I just ventured there & enjoyed countless memorable experiences. With so many awesome travel options these days and heaps on all of our bucket lists it can be hard to hone in on where to go next. For me, there are always a few things I consider first: food, adventure, and luxury. I hit the jackpot on all of these with my Provence to the French Riviera Backroads tour.
This epic travel company nailed it on every detail possible. We stayed at 3 properties on the weeklong trip and I couldn’t resist sharing the Château de Berne first! It was nice to have this renowned brand do all the planning. All I had to do was pedal from each remarkable town to the next. If you love wine tasting and wish to experience five stars at it’s finest then this property is for you!
I am a huge fan of Relais & Chateaux properties. They offer unique boutique hotel experiences in unforgettable locations. Each location & hotel style is authentic to its surroundings. The service and food are always exceptional. No two properties are alike in their portfolio, it’s the attention to details at each one that swoons.
For an example of how diverse the properties are, check out my post on The Home Ranch in Clark, Colorado. In that article, you’ll see the amazing contrast in styles.
The 18th-century Château de Berne is located on a 1235 acre forest & vineyard estate in the Var hinterlands. It’s located between the villages of Lorgues and Flays in Provence, France. You enter the property via a small country lane & when you get inside you are surrounded by vineyards and beautiful views. You can smell the grapes, flowers, and trees as you walk around. The Château is both secluded and full of life, this is a place to slow down and unwind. Provence is a very fertile, sun-drenched part of France, that’s why the grapes and so much produce is grown there.
With a property this huge, it means that there are plenty of places when you can wander off and contemplate life with no other distractions. That for me is the ultimate travel experience. There are beautiful gardens to wander and plenty of ways to stay fit. They offer yoga classes, trails for mountain bikes & electric bikes, hiking and tennis. You can even test your skills at the French game of Pétanque. We played this outdoor bowling game as a group & had a blast!
There are 27 spacious rooms at the Château. I felt like a princess in my large 2nd-floor room that had a beautiful view of the gardens and patio. I enjoyed time soaking in the Provençal sun on my balcony. The room design is clean, comfortable french country style. My king bed was completely luxurious & I didn’t want to leave to get up early to pedal my bike. I did enjoy some extra time relaxing my muscles in the soaking tub.
Hotels earn the prestige of five-star and Relais & Châteaux properties for a reason: the service is attentive, mindful and thinks of all your needs before you do. Bringing a pet? Don’t worry, your dog or cat will be pampered just like you are. I wish I could have brought my hounds there! Pets would love the access to plenty of room to run around. If you are out on a hike, bike trip or shopping excursion in Aix en Provence (a post on that coming soon) they have daily pet sitting services so your sweets will be kept company.
Food & Wine
The domain has been practicing the art of producing wine for over 3 centuries. They are true artisans producing over a million signature square bottles per year, red, white and rosé. There is something for everyone! They grow many grape varietals and with expert crop growers and blenders, very tasty wines are produced. The hotel offers wine tastings and guided tours of their cellars. You can even order a bottle or two online if you just can’t resist tasting right now.
For dining there are a few options, each taking advantage of seasonal, local produce. Options include Le Jardin de Benjamin (a Michelin star restaurant), the Bistrot in the cellar (a bit more casual), the Table de Chef (you in the kitchen watching the Chefs) or test your skills with hands-on learning at the cooking school. Chef Benjamin Collomba and his team create all kinds of magic in their kitchen and we savored quite the gamut, paired with the domain’s wines of course!
Pool & Spa
When at a property like this, it’s essential to relax by the pool and visit the spa. As soon as I checked in I went exploring and stumbled on the pool. A place I will never forget! The weather was warm and the pool very inviting after riding 35 miles.
The outdoor infinity pool is gorgeous with lots of comfy loungers that beckon you to unwind. The views of the olive trees and the vineyards add so much to the overall experience. The spa indoors is exactly what anyone would want for the ultimate in relaxation. The design is modern meets traditional and very well appointed with an indoor pool, two jacuzzis, sauna, steam room, sun lounge, and relaxation space with a herbal tea room and fitness gym. There is a complete list spa services, each inspired by techniques found around the world. I wished I could try them all!
The hotel is in the countryside of beautiful Provence, France. They offer standard night rates and wonderful packages too. I would love to try all of them! Try to book at least 3 days so you have time to chill, unwind and enjoy as much as possible.