La Bastide de Moustiers, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
Tel: 33 4 92 70 47 47
Concierge.com's insider take:
Alain Ducasse is no mere chef with a growing worldwide empire of exceptional restaurants and a constellation of Michelin stars, you know. No, he's also a hotelier. He's been president of Châteaux et Hotels de France for some years, but he only actually owns four places, of which this 17th-century bastide was the first. Set in the Alpes de Haute Provence near the Gorge du Verdon, it's a heavenly, peaceful spot, selected by Ducasse himself originally as a place to lay his head during motorbike forays. Now he's rarely here, needless to say, but the kitchen team, headed by Eric Santalucia, is school-of-Alain through and through. The 12 rooms vary quite widely in situation (few are in the main building) and decor details, but they share a romantic, pastel-shaded country air with Salerne floor tiles; in one, the bathroom is open to the bedroom through an archway; a couple have sleep lofts, others private terraces. The park has a small pool; huge vegetable, fruit, and herb plots for kitchen use; and a small menagerie of child-friendly domestic beasts (not for kitchen use).