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Château Les Carrasses, Languedoc, France

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, June 10 07:00 AM

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Provence, we love you, but after a New York Times best seller and a Russell Crowe movie extolling your beauty, it's time to bid you adieu. We've been seduced by the lesser-known Languedoc and its charming new hotel, Château Les Carrasses.

There are 28 new suites and villas (10 with heated private pools) within this 19th-century château complex. The modernized interiors have a country-chic charm, with traditional French furniture and a sand and cream palette, while the private gardens and terraces (complete with barbecues) give the whole place an air of self-contained luxury.

The original winery is up and running once again, with the first bottles ready to uncork this fall. In the meantime, you can sip other local vintages in the Orangerie, rumored to have been designed by Gustave Eiffel himself. Book now before the writers and movie stars get wind of it!

Photo: Courtesy of Chic Retreats

Hotel Crillon le Brave, Provence, France

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, February 14 04:20 PM

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So, let's say--hypothetically, of course--that you forgot to get your special someone a present for Valentine's Day. Well, lucky for you, in Provence they like bad behavior. The Hotel Crillon le Brave will even reward your negligence by taking it off. But because she's a lady, she's taking it only half off ("it" being her rates, of course).

Book now for March or April, and you'll get 50% off your stay at this 32-room storybook hideaway of restored 16th- and 17th-century stone houses. Use these bargain prices for a romantic weekend of truffle hunting or a steamy cooking course. Or just hole up with your lucky Valentine and a bottle of local wine. Now that beats a diamond heart pendant any day.

Discover France: Tour de France Routes

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, February 03 02:48 PM

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The calves, the controversy, the climbsit can only be the Tour de France. And if you've got the legs (and lungs) for it, you can get out in front of the pack this July with a Tour de France itinerary from the experts at Discover France.

These eight-day cycling trips follow the same routes as the pros, over the most fearsome mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees and through fields of lavender in Provenceat times just a few hours ahead of the peloton. VIP access allows you to interact with the event's cyclists, and they'll even lend you a yellow jersey so you can commemorate your personal victories.

But our favorite part? With all that pedal-pushing, you won't have to feel bad about having an extra pain au chocolat--or three.

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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