Provence boutique hotel

The Relais de Saint Ser is a gem of a Provence boutique hotel nestled beneath the awe inspiring cliffs of Mont Saint Victoire

From time to time in the south of France we come across a Provence boutique hotel that simply takes our breath away. Quite often the prices do the same. I’m thinking particularly of the terrace of the Bastide du Gordes, the beautiful Baumaniere hidden in the shadow of the citadel of Les Baux de Provence, and the new Lodges de Saint Victoire. If you can pay then a slice of paradise is yours.

Smarter and more budget conscious travellers can still revel in an awe inspiring view of Provence. The Relais de Saint Ser is  a recently renovated old farmhouse just outside Puyloubier. Guests can literally walk a hundred or so metres and touch the base of Mont Saint Victoire. In the clear skies above parascenders swirl on thermals before swooping to their landing point adjacent to the hotel. Best of all is the sensational view from the terrace. Fields of vines, and olive trees sweep away towards the Massive de Saint Baume. It’s a view to revel in.The hotel restaurant is innovative and modern, sourcing excellent local ingredients and presenting them in a clean uncluttered fashion. After a long lunch there’s a wonderful pool, with the same breathtaking view across the countryside.

Nearby are some of the best vineyards in Provence, including bio-pioneer Domaine Richeaume. Try their excellent red, aromatic, rich and full bodied it’s an example of the Provence wine making at its best. On the road to Aix en Provence, just before Le Tholonet, Domaine des Masques, is also a must visit. A dirt track leads from Saint Antonin de Bayon up onto a high plateau or belt as the locals call it of Mont Saint Victoire. The views are sensational and the wine memorable.

Alternatively Aix en Provence is a mere 15 minute drive, and the coastal towns of Cassis and Bandol, just 40 minutes away. For the discerning travel Le Relais de Saint Ser is an excellent base for a week in Provence. Room prices are competitive starting from just under €100 a double in low season.

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