Bastide Relais de la Magdeleine, Géménos $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
This rambling stone manor in a park full of plane trees is just a few miles from the A8 highway between Cassis and Aix-en-Provence, making it a fine launching point for exploring western and central Provence. The 24-room hotel is furnished in über-classic Provençal style, without a hint of modernity: Antiques are everywhere, and the ground floor is a succession of stately salons that serve as reception, dining, and lounge areas. Gobelins tapestries and vermilion silk wallpaper adorn the walls, occasionally enlivened by oddly amateurish Romantic paintings. Rooms feature four-poster beds with pastoral prints and curtains and tile floors. It's not modern luxury, but the mazelike corridors give the whole place the feeling of a crazy 18th-century country house. Half- and full-board options are well worth it: The in-house restaurant serves up elegant country food, including foie gras with lentils, seared sea scallops, firm sea bass on a bed of forest mushrooms, and meltingly tender baby lamb chops flavored with rosemary. The only danger is in getting lost on your way back to your room through the labyrinthine hallways. Waking up to the views of the park out front or the mountains behind is worth the price in itself.
Open mid-March through September.
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