Crillon Le Brave, Provence
With 37 beautiful rooms overlooking olive groves and vineyards, beautifully restored Crillon le Brave occupies 8 buildings at the foot of Mont Ventoux, just 25 miles from Avignon
A highlight of the small hilltop village from which it takes its name, Crillon le Brave can be found around 25 miles north-east of Avignon, in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. With many of its expertly designed bedrooms looking out across the Rhône Valley and nearby Mont Ventoux, abundant beauty can be found inside and out.
High-end touches including Italian Frette linens, Bose sound system and Vi-Spring beds indicate the quality you can expect, but for all its luxury, Crillon le Brave remains a friendly and informal place to chill out, with a dedicated team of long-serving staff. You can be soothed with a massage in the mini-spa, or lie back by the 11m heated swimming pool. For a bit of extra local colour, there’s even a boules court, while the hotel’s enviable location serves as a fine base for exploration by bike or on foot.
On 1st May 2015, Hôtel Crillon le Brave opened the newly-renovated Maison Decor to make it the eighth house in their village hotel. Maison Decor includes three large 80m2 Suites and the new “Spa des Ecuries”. Maison Decor is an 18th century village house situated in the heart of the village next to the church. When they acquired the house from the Decor family who owned the property for almost 200 years, they discovered the ground-floor stables had been virtually untouched for generations and, now sensitively renovated, this area has become the new “stable” spa.
In a fertile area full of vineyards, olive groves and farmland, lovers of convivial dining will be spoilt for choice at Crillon le Brave, with the high-quality restaurant of chef Jérôme Blanchet providing the finest fare, either in the vaulted dining room or on the hotel’s expansive outdoor terrace. A relaxed breakfast and lunch can be taken outside or in La Grange, while diners at the Bistro 40K can enjoy a set menu showcasing the best of the region’s produce, accompanied by wine chosen personally during a visit to the Reboul Wine Cellar.
The boon of Crillon le Brave’s location is that, while remote, it’s still within an easy enough drive of some of southern France’s most intriguing cities. You can be in Avignon in 35 minutes, with the Popes’ Palace and Avignon Bridge among the must-see sights of this former European City of Culture. Around 75 minutes’ drive away, Aix-en-Provence, former home of notables such as Émile Zola and Paul Cézanne, retains its air of highbrow sophistication, and continues to impress with stately architecture and beautifully kept gardens.
Then again, the allure of doing nothing in particular may prove too strong, and Crillon le Brave and the nearby villages are fine places to do just that. Local markets and artisan shops will tempt you with cheeses, nougat, honey and more, or drive down to l’Isle sur la Sorgue to browse the antiques and take lunch in the pretty Jardin du Quai. Hotel Crillon le Brave is the perfect choice to experience rural French life in the most beautiful of surroundings.
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