Provence seduces visitors with its picturesque villages, natural beauty and fabulous gastronomy, all of which makes it one of the most popular regions to visit in France. You can savor the best of Provence at wonderful Baumanière, a 5-star hotel and spa nestled within a stunning valley at the base of the gorgeous village of Les-Baux-de-Provence and with two gastronomic restaurants, one with three Michelin stars. Discover this unique destination where gastronomy and tranquility reign supreme.
An Exquisite One-Of-A-Kind Location
The Baumanière estate spreads over 20 hectares in a valley in the heart of Les Alpilles, a range of spectacular craggy mountains found south of Avignon. These otherworldly mountains inspire awe and evoke another side of the beauty of Provence, away from the crowds searching for lavender fields. You can enjoy the gorgeous nature right on the domaine or do some hiking or biking in the surroundings. Crowning a summit above the valley is Les-Baux-de-Provence, one of France’s most enchanting hamlets. You can enjoy a stroll around its cobbled streets lined with houses made of the area’s creamy stone and featuring soaring views over the whole area. At the edge of the village is Carrières de Lumières, the area’s former stone quarry which now hosts immersive video art exhibits and is the sister site to the Atelier des Lumières in Paris.
A Vast Private and Verdant Domaine
Baumanière is owned by Geneviève and Jean-André Charial, the latter whose grandfather first opened a gastronomic restaurant on the estate back in the 1940s (more on this below). The hotel and restaurant expanded very naturally and thus throughout are mature olive, mulberry, cypress, pine and plane trees. In addition to these, there are organic kitchen gardens which supply the restaurants, lovely flowerbeds, elegant fountains and meandering pathways for you to explore. Guests can choose from three gorgeous pools to a refreshing swim to the soundtrack of chirpy crickets. If this sublime setting wasn’t relaxing enough, guests can also enjoy a variety of treatments and amenities in the hotel’s 500 m² spa.
Luxurious & Spacious Rooms
Guest accommodation is divided amongst the domaine’s five pretty country houses. The rooms have separate access, however, if you’re traveling with extended family or friends, you can book out an entire house. The renovation and decoration were overseen by Geneviève Charial who carefully paired classic modern furniture with antiques she collected in Isle sur la Sorgue, Provence’s antique mecca. The 54 rooms, ranging from Classic Rooms to Luxe Suites, have nice details including mosaics, marble fittings, solid wood furniture and typical Provencal bathrooms with large washbasins. As a wonderful personal touch, the rooms also feature paintings from the private collection of Jean-André Charial’s grandfather. To add to the homey ambiance, many rooms have a private little garden, balcony or terrace and the second level rooms boast lovely views. All of this gives you the feeling of staying at a friend’s beautiful French country home.
Two Renowned Gastronomic Restaurants
The estate is home to two gastronomic restaurants, both open to outside guests (advance reservations recommended). Created in 1945 by Jean-André’s grandfather, Raymond Thuilier, L’Oustau de Baumanière is one of the most prestigious gastronomic restaurants in Provence, if not in all of France. Chef Thuilier quickly rose in the gastronomic echelons and obtained his third star in 1954. Today this legacy has been passed from Jean-André to Head Chef Glenn Viel, who also secured his own third star in early 2020.
The exceptional menu offers innovative takes on Provencal cuisine with a serious focus on ingredients, many coming from the domaine’s aforementioned organic gardens. As such, Baumanière puts an emphasis on vegetables and has a specific vegetarian menu always on offer in addition to its regular menu. The excellent cuisine is paired with French wines from an impressive wine cellar containing over 50,000 bottles of rare wines. You can enjoy this stupendous gastronomic experience on the large terrace to the view of the sun setting over the rocky mountains or within the restaurant’s chic dining room.
For a more casual yet stylish meal that doesn’t comprise quality, the domaine’s second restaurant, La Cabro d’Or, is the right match. Chef Michel Hulin and his team prepare refined French cuisine using the same exceptional ingredients at the Oustau and overlooking picturesque gardens and a pond with ducks.
The fact of having these exceptional restaurants right on site truly makes Baumanière a destination in itself. It’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway in Provence focused on treating yourself, your palate and your well-being. You can learn more about the hotel and restaurant on their website at this link.
I was a guest of Baumanière, however, all of the opinions expressed above are entirely my own.