Vibrant and elegant, the city of Aix-en-Provence is one of the loveliest destinations in the south of France. Perfect for a weekend or as a base for exploring Provence (see my weekend guide here), the city exudes charm down every lane and in every square. At the end of a day exploring, you can escape to your own hidden retreat by staying at the sublime Le Pigonnet, a historic 5-star hotel set within a secret garden a short walk from the city center. Take a peek beyond its gates below…
Enchanting Location Close to the Centre
Le Pigonnet is comprised of several buildings, parts of which date back to the 18th century. The building was once just outside of Aix and as such, famed local painter Paul Cezanne used to come here to paint, owing to the garden’s lovely view of Montagne Sainte-Victoire, one of his favorite subject matters. The estate was bought in 1924 by the Swellen family who owned it for three generations. This family spirit and attention to detail are still felt throughout the hotel, which is now within the Esprit de France group of unique boutique hotels.
Secret Garden Restaurant & Bar
The hotel is reached via a long driveway, at the end of which you are greeted by elegant lampposts with statues and the hotel’s towers. This sets the tone for what awaits behind the building: the most magical garden. Tranquility reigns in its many nooks, home to a pergola with climbing roses, peaceful benches to contemplate the views, a pétanque pitch and a wonderful pool. However, this enchanting space isn’t always quiet, and for a good reason, as it’s home to the hotel’s terrace restaurant and bar, the latter which holds regular musical evenings, popular with guests and locals alike (don’t worry, these aren’t held too late). As is the hotel’s refined restaurant which serves a menu of creative modern mediterranean cuisine using the finest local ingredients. If you don’t stay at the hotel, you can always come and enjoy the gardens at either of these spaces.
Stylish Design & Luxurious Comforts
The hotel’s rooms have been decorated in a chic contemporary style combining beautiful fabrics, designer lamps and historic touches like vintage prints and artwork. They also have luxuriously fitted bathrooms, some with showers and bathtubs. Many of the rooms have views over the garden and the more spacious deluxe rooms face south and overlook the gardens or the pool and may also have a balcony.
Deluxe Suites, a Private Apartment & Villa
For an extra special stay, you might prefer to opt for one of the hotel’s fabulous suites. The junior suite has a sitting area (with a convertible sofa) and its own terrace whereas the dreamy presidential suite has a separate lounge, a large bedroom which opens directly onto the bathroom’s Jacuzzi tub and has huge private terrace with a sitting area, al fresco dining table and sun beds. For families or groups of friends, the hotel has a two-bedroom family suite and a spacious apartment which used to be reserved for the former owners of the hotel. Adjacent to the main building is the ultimate luxury, the hotel’s private villa. It features its own large pool, has several outdoor terraces and extremely stylish interiors blending mid-century design with 21st century appeal.
Le Pigonnet is a very special hotel and perfect for a romantic getaway in Aix-en-Provence. You can learn more about the hotel and get the best rates on its website here. The Esprit de France group has many other perfectly romantic hotels, see their collection at this link.
I was a guest of Le Pigonnet, however, all of the opinions expressed above are entirely my own.