one of the best hotels in provence
Ever imagined sleeping over in an art gallery? And no we don’t mean with a sleeping bag, using the public toilets, and no shower. We’re talking Villa La Coste style, which is not only one of the best new hotels in Provence, it’s also home to some serious works of art, both inside the hotel and around the expansive grounds. For starters, there’s the Art Centre designed by Tadao Ando, Japan’s most famous architect, then there’s Renzo Piano’s piece – yep the guy who did The Shard – and the sculpture trail dotted with works by Ai Wei Wei, Andy Goldsworthy, Tracey Emin, and Louise Bourgeois to name just a few. Someone has a serious love of art AND an unrivalled black book of contacts… just walking the grounds exploring the sculpture park can take up a whole morning.
Located on a hilltop above the Chateau La Coste winery (yep they own the vineyard too meaning Provence rose on tap!), the setting is beautiful, with gently sloping hillsides, stone farm buildings, endless rows of neatly planted vines and bushy olive groves as far as the eye can see. Although Chateau La Coste dates back to 1682, Villa La Coste opened in May 2017 after ten years in the making. The whole estate is owned by the Irish developer Patrick McKillen, also behind London’s Maybourne hotel group who owns The Connaught, The Berkeley and Claridge’s. In contrast to those London classics, Villa La Coste is all modern cutting-edge cool; there’s white marble and glass everywhere, minimalist straight lines and swish modern furniture.
In each of the hotel’s suites you’ll find thick marble bath tubs, high-tech Japanese toilets, bespoke furniture sketches by the likes of Tracey Emin, huge four poster beds, and – in the top room categories – outdoor private plunge pools, but watch out, they’re freezing! There’s lots of tech throughout, with iPads in the room not only to control the essentials but also to book the spa, room service, request housekeeping and book a table in the restaurant.
To top it all off, there’s the first European restaurant from Argentinian chef Francis Mallmann (yep, the bonkers one from Chef’s Table) who cooks simple but incredible dishes such as whole roast chicken with potatoes, cabbage and shallots in a huge outdoor fire pit. There’s also a cute wine bar with outdoor terrace serving the vineyard’s own harvests and some serious cheese and charcuterie boards; a beautiful pool with plush day beds; and a brilliant breakfast spread with local produce including farm eggs, cheese, meats and fresh yoghurt. Yes Villa La Coste might be one of the best new openings in Provence, but we’d even go as far to say the world.
2750 Route de la Cride, 13610 Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France