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We are parents, too. We think traveling well and traveling with children shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. We have limited vacation time, and we’re not spending our few days of freedom in lousy hotels eating bad food. We know the world is full of wonderful resorts, cool urban escapes and far-flung lodges that can make our time with our kids count. We want it all, and we don’t think it should be so hard to find. So we’re going to share it with you.

 

Provence With Kids: 6 Hotels to Know

Travel Journal

Travel Journal

Dispatches from around the world

Provence With Kids: 6 Hotels to Know

Henley Vazquez

The first of two series on exploring the South of France with kids. This week: six of our favorite lodges in the western part of the region. From a tiny but teen-friendly hideaway in St.-Remy to sprawling vineyard retreats, a resort with a kids' club, a dude ranch and a Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms, we've uncovered the ultimate way to cruise Provence with progeny. 


Hotel de Tourrel

Basics

  • The Hotel de Tourrel is a true labor of love, the result of a multi-year architectural miracle where the owners reconstructed an aristocratic mansion then joined a neighboring town home to create St. Remy’s most stylish bolthole.
  • The seven suites are a design dream, with the bones of a 17th-century palais and decor worthy of a magazine spread; vintage lovers take note of the phenomenal collection of 1920s furnishings.
  • Despite its petite size, the Tourrel has amenities, including a wonderful restaurant (eat here even if not staying here), a beautiful roof terrace and a small swimming pool.

Bests

  • Families who want a central location in St. Remy can’t beat this setting in the heart of the old town; a best bet for families traveling with teens who want independence from parents and can explore the old town safely on foot.
  • The owner also runs a fantastic wine shop next to the restaurant, perfect to pick up a bottle to enjoy on the super stylish roof deck or by the pool.
  • Get your Instagram ready: you’ll want to document every design detail to copy at home.

Hotel de Tourrel
5 Rue Carnot, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
(33) 4-8435-0720


Domaine de Manville

Basics

  • This family-owned resort woos parents with amenities worthy of a Four Seasons: indoor and outdoor pools, great food, an 18-hole golf course and a kids’ club.
  • Set just outside the charming town of Les-Baux-de-Provence, the location is perfect for exploring vineyards, castles and small towns of the region.
  • The 39 rooms and 9 villas are spread through multiple buildings that belonged to the historic farm but were renovated down to the studs.

Bests

  • A kids’ club—and a great one—in Provence; this is the Holy Grail.
  • Multi-bedroom homes in addition to the hotel rooms mean families can get privacy and space without sacrificing resort services.
  • A screening room next to the restaurant; put on a flick for the kids while the parents enjoy a long dinner.

Domaine de Manville
Les Baux de Provence
(33) 4-9054-4020


Les Lodges Sainte-Victoire

Basics

  • Les Lodges Saint-Victoire sits in Le Tholonet, the countryside just outside the borders of Aix-en-Provence.
  • The 39 rooms appeal to lovers of a more urban style, with contemporary art on the walls, clean-lined furnishings in the rooms and modern spa-style bathrooms.
  • Amenities include two restaurants, extensive gardens, a spa and indoor and outdoor pools.

Bests

  • The views of Mont Sainte Victoire are striking; let the kids see Cezanne’s real life inspiration for over 80 of his works.
  • Accessibility to Aix with the country setting of a Provencal resort gives families the best of both worlds.
  • Book a sitter and have a date night at the Saint Esteve restaurant, where the chef is one of the youngest ever to receive a Michelin star.

Les Lodges Saint-Victoire
Route de Cézanne, Le Tholonet/Aix-En-Provence
(33) 4-4227-1014


Château de Berne

Basics

  • Spread across 1,500 acres, the Château de Berne is equal parts destination winery and Relais & Chateaux resort, with an award-winning vineyard that dates back to 1750.
  • The 27 rooms are spread through multiple buildings that dot the property, and all feature the traditional French Country look with tiled floors, crisp linens and antique accents.
  • Once you arrive, there’s no need to leave thanks to multiple pools, a cooking school, a huge spa, excellent restaurants (both of the gastronomic and casual vibe), a top wine making operation and miles of walking and biking trails that criss-cross the hills.

Bests

  • The cooking school has classes for families, not just sophisticated lessons for grown-ups; learn to make a dish you can recreate at home.
  • The outdoor pool with vineyard views and palm trees feels like a lush tropical escape, equal parts fun for kids and relaxing for mom and dad.
  • The estate produces award winning wines, so parents can do a tour and tasting without worrying about a designated driver. (Windy roads leading in are definitely to be navigated sober.)

Chateau de Berne
Route de Salernes, Lorgues
(33) 4-9460-4888


Hostellerie de l’Abbaye de la Celle

Basics

  • Hostellerie de l’Abbaye de la Celle is one of two Provence hotels owned by star chef Alain Ducasse, this one in the tiny hamlet of La Celle.
  • Five of the ten rooms sit in the main house, originally the 18th-century home of a wealthy priest, and the other five are in a separate building that likely functioned as stables.
  • Despite the in-town location, the hotel has space to spare, with huge organic gardens for tots to explore and a swimming pool.

Bests

  • Alain Ducasse dining in a relaxed setting: it’s not often that you’ll eat like this and your kids are still welcome and can romp in the garden while you finish your meal.
  • The overall vibe is country guest home not formal hotel, and the hotel is small enough that the staff can customize just about anything.
  • The hotel’s history is fascinating; check out the 12th-century abbey and ask about the powerful nuns who ran it.

Mas de Peint

Bests

  • The dude ranch done French style: this is Provence’s version of cowboy country and serious riders can learn bull-wrangling skills from the real gardians.
  • Family owned and family run, there’s nothing corporate about the Mas de Peint, and the proprietor raised her own son on these grounds; it’s kid-friendly to the core.
  • The coast is nearby so day trips to a beach are easy, or drive into Arles to see a bull show.

Basics

  • The Camargue is home to France’s “gardians,” the horse-riding, bull-roping cowboys who have raised cattle on these salty plains by the sea for centuries.
  • The sprawling Mas de Peint ranch, clocking in at 1,300 acres, includes a hotel as well as a bull breeding estate.
  • Although most guests come for the riding, the Mas also has a great restaurant, a lovely swimming pool and lots of space for kids to run.