05 March 2008

Dream Hotel

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Fields of lavender near the Hotel Crillon de Brave

It was so gorgeous in Houston today - the sun was warm and bright - that I really got spring fever, which can only mean that summer is just around the corner.  We vacation at the beach every summer and sometimes I like to think where we'd go if we ever did go someplace new, someplace exciting, someplace like Provence in the south of France!  And so, if I'm going to play that game, where would I stay?   Obviously, since it's just a game, money is no object.  After some searching around, I finally found a hotel that looks like a place I could spend some time at, relaxing by the pool, reading, and eating some really, really good food (no Wendy's salad in France!)  My pick:   The Hotel Crillon le Brave Provence.  It's a Relais & Chateux hotel, so you know it's going to be fabulous and charming.  Located in Provence on a hilltop in a tiny village, the hotel actually consists of seven centuries-old buildings clustered around a central courtyard. The rooms are housed in a former school building, a stables, a Priest's house, a grocery store, an artist's studio and several houses.  Together they now are all part of the Hotel Crillon le Brave Provence.  Care to join me there this summer?  Care to pick  up the tab, as well?

 

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The hotel sits atop a ridge at the foot of Mont Ventoux .  That's the complex with the tower pointing upwards.

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The seven restored buildings that make up the hotel.

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The Maison Reboul with vistas to the valley.  I love the courtyard with the grass growing between the stones.  So, so charming!

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Check in at the Maison Philibert building.

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Outdoor massage by the pool.

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Reception area.  Everything looks so authentically restored.

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Breakfast in the courtyard under a romantic umbrella.

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Breakfast in the main garden.

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The lower terrace swimming pool.  This terrace looks like it was carved out of the limestone.

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Views of the valley and Mont Ventoux.

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The Maison Roche houses the restaurant and several bedrooms.

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A salon in the Maison Roche.  I love the oval portrait on the back wall.  The colors - terracotta and sage green are so beautiful together.

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You can have dinner in either the garden or the stone vaulted restaurant.  Aren't these chairs wonderful?

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The view of the Mont and the valley at late afternoon.

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Rooms in the Maison Salomon were renovated in 2007.  Black and white photographs are of the property and surrounding countryside.

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A suite in the Maison Salomon.  I love the blue door with the number plaque.  The ceiling is wonderful, as is the old tiled floor. 

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A Maison Salomon dressing room with a french day bed.

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A room in Le Jas, one of the smallest houses on the property.  This room is so lovely with its print and checked fabrics.

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A room in La Maison Reboul.  I adore the bathroom open to the room.  Great for the newlyweds.

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Another room in La Jas, the small house.

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A Maison Philibert room.  The blue walls are a departure from the brighter yellows and oranges found elsewhere.  The windows add architectural charm here.

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La Maison Reboul suite with matching tubs overlooking the valley and Mont Ventoux.

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A charming country French styled room in La Maison Berton de Balbe

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La Maison Philibert - guest room.

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The bedroom of the suite in La Maison Berton de Balbe.

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Another room in La Maison Berton de Balbe.  I love the light colored terracotta floor used in this building.

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What is you favorite "dream" destination and hotel?  I would love to get your suggestions!

39 comments:

  1. Thanks for the virtual vacation. I adore the blue-grey shutters.

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  2. This place is truly amazing, Joni. I love everything about it. What a great place for a honeymoon! I will "tuck it into my mind" for later...

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  3. I want to go too! You know where I want to go for just one night only? That ice hotel in Sweden. Is that crazy or what?

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  4. For a whole lot of eye candy -- grab a martini or a glass of wine and cruise the website of Relais & Chateaux -- very yummy places to stay worldwide AND restaurants too! For just one choice -- how about the George V (Four Seasons) in Paris? Tres chic!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  5. You should go Joni, really!!!!!
    I would join you in a heartbeat.

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  6. I can smell the lavender already. What an amazing place.

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  7. what a great escape you gave me this morning! thanks so much for sharing such a dreamy place.

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  8. Let's go! I'll take the suite in the Maison Salomon please! Actually we almost stayed here for our honeymoon, but opted for a place that was closer to a town (La Maison du Village in St. Remy - very charming and right in town although not quite as fabulous as the Crillon.) Lana

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  9. Thank you for the virtual tour! I feel like I need to visit there now. I am visiting france next year with my best friend so its nice to see options! What a beautiful place....

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. Wonderful virtual visit! I even feel a little relaxed! For those who want to nest a few days in a unique setting in Santa Fe~visit the website of the Five Graces Inn,
    www.fivegraces.com ~ what a place to cocoon. A cross between Native American and Tibetan influences. The textiles and tiles are an explosion of textures and colors!
    Then ~ there are the patio gardens!
    Enjoy!

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  12. My dream destination is right in my own yard, amidst my own gardens. Watching the birds flit from tree to tree, among the cobalt blue birdfeeders brimming with birdseed. Sitting in my chair relaxing. Sorry...

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  13. Girl you had me at the lavender fields!!!! :)

    I love the bedroom with the tile floor, blue door and beamed ceiling, that will be my room!!

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  14. Oh, that's really gorgeous. As for my suggestion of a dream hotel I'll nominate the Royal Hideaway in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

    Each building has only 16 rooms and there's a concierge for each building. The rooms are beautifully decorated and there's a staff to guest ratio that's phenomenal. The restaurant provides the most incredible service.

    - Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

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  15. Beautiful post about a beautiful place!

    Pat

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  16. I've had dreams about this place for a while; it's nice to see I'm not the only one. Doesn't it look fantastic?

    The Villa San Michele, in Fiesole, above Florence, has always looked amazing to me (and for the prices, it had better be). And in a completely different vein, the Drakesbad Guest Ranch in Lassen Volcanic National Park is a place I would love to stay.

    Often, though, my trip fantasies tend to be staying in a house or apartment somewhere. Although, well, the Crillon in Paris looks like it could be... tolerable.

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  17. Thanks for the beautiful little vaykay! It looks so much like a place ai stayed near St. Remy called Tour du Cardinal. This is just so beautiful!

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  18. I'm with you Joni, that hotel in Provence would be a dream come true for me. I would choose that place over everywhere else in the world, with perhaps a quick side trip weekend in Paris hehe.

    Absolutely Beautiful!

    Anna :)

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  19. Joni -

    What a beautiful virtual vaca! Thank you for sharing - last fall my husband and I went to Provence and stayed in Arles at Le Hotel Particular - it was a dream! Look it up and you will not regret it -

    http://www.hotel-particulier.com/sommaire_us.htm

    Par excellence! N'est-ce pas?

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  20. Meg, Katie and Anon: thanks for the links - looking at hotels online is better than looking at houses with bad decor. At least the good hotels usually have good decor! I can't wait to read all about your hotels - I don't travel enough.

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  21. These rooms are wonderful, the colors and fabrics set a great mood...time to think about getting away... Fay

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  22. What a gorgeous destination! I'm all about Palm Beach right now having just barely surviving the weather here in Michigan this year. My dream destination is to go back there for a week at The Breakers.........

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  23. Dreaming of visiting " Positano " Italy
    Habitually Chic posted a lovely spot there.
    or
    I would love to go to "Mauritius"

    On our honeymoon, we stayed in Estoril, Portugal at
    Hotel Palacio and it was old world- loved it. Massages,
    Great Pool, Dining al fresco.
    Perhaps it is not even there anymore? So long ago!

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  24. Damn, I live very close to it and I've never heard about it ...And that is YOU , my friend from across the ocean that makes me know this fabulous place...
    Blogging world is a wonderful world

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  25. I went to Crillon le Brave a few years ago, when I was living and working in Paris. What I liked best about it is that it is owned by Canadians, so the service is much better than that which one receives at the hands of the French. My room was fine but the pool: magnificent.

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  26. Wonderful detailed post!
    Can't come up with something better.
    Good places were mentioned before, like Positano or Hotel Particulier in Arles.

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  27. To: Anonymous -
    The Canadians sold it apparently. And the new owners have been remodeling all the rooms building by building, putting in a.c. I heard it's even better now!

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  28. I've stayed at Crillon le Brave too. It's a wonderful place. I really hope the new owners don't destroy the character of the place -- I've stayed at other country hotels in France and Italy that have been smartened up with American tourists in mind, but in the process have lost all their charm.

    The location of the hotel at the foot of Mont Ventoux makes this a special place. It's also close to Chateauneuf du Pape and Gigondas, for lots of fantastic wine.

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  29. Mmm...its lovely! Am getting ready to pack my bags ;-)

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  30. Ah, didn't know that the Canucks had sold it! Let's hope that the new buyers don't ruin the Canadian charm ; )

    Another beautiful hotel not too far away is L'Hotel Particulier, in Arles. Gorgeous, gorgeous gorgeous but the woman running it is a bit curt.

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  31. I'm from provence and I love to see others fall in love with the place... Was so surprised to see my Mont Ventoux in your blog!

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  32. Anon- welcome!!!! Please come again and
    to Anon I = I know that hotel too! gorgeous!

    Joni

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  33. What a dreamy hotel and view. This is such a great post! I'm having great fun going through many of your posts. There are so many places in the world - I love to travel and I'm putting this on my list!

    Karen

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