Provence is a wonderful place to visit and next year will be a particularly good time to head there as Marseille-Provence will be “Capitale de la Culture 2013”. Provence is already packed with fantastic festivals in normal times : Avignon (theatre), Arles (photography), Montpellier (dance), Aix-en Provence (opera). 2013 will transform Marseille and its region into a wonder cultural platform for exhibits, performances, and events of all kinds.
Here’s a list of places to keep in mind for your family trip!
Where to stay in Arles
Arles is a great city; small and very authentic, it hosts every year “Les Rencontres Photographiques de Arles”, a photo festival that has been on for decades. Arles is the darling of French Fashion people such as Christian Lacroix and Ines De La Fressange.
Hotel Le Cloitre – 16, Rue du Cloître, 13200 Arles. This Hotel has no website yet. It’s just been redecorated by India Madhavi. We stayed there and loved the décor, and the service was absolutely great. BELOVED!
Hotel Le Nord Pinus – www.nord-pinus.com – Place du Forum. A must in Arles. We stayed at sister Hotel in Tangier which was a delight. Full of charm and history.
Hotel Amphitheatre - www.hotelamphitheatre.fr - 5 Rue Diderot 13200 Arles
Hotel Particulier - www.hotel-particulier.com - 4 Rue de la Monnaie (with a swimming pool)
La Maison d’Arles (B&B) – www.lamaisondarles.fr
La Pousada (B&B) – www.lapousada.net
Arles Suites (B&B) – www.arlessuitehome.fr
Hotel Calendal - www.lecalendal.com, well located in the centre, simple and affordable
Mas St Florent - www.le-mas-saint-florent.com
Mas de la Chapelle www.masdelachapelle.fr
Le Mas de Peint – www.masdepeint.com - Le Sambuc. In the heart of the parc naturel de Camargue, great for the horse riding with Sandy, in the 550 hectars property of the hotel owner.
Where to eat in Arles
La Chassagnette www.chassagnette.fr Organic Food by chef Armand Arnal, delicious – same owner as Hotel du Cloitre and L’Ouvre Boite. Go there for the food, for the garden, for the buzz. It will stay with you. BELOVED!
Comptoir du Sud 2 rue Jean Jaures – 2, rue Jean-Jaurès. Delicious and creative sandwiches with all kind of breads and yumme ingredients (Try the goat cheese, pear, figues confites, pine nuts…).
L’ouvre boite. To eat tapas in a charming square, under a big fat tree. A dangerous place where you can forget time and drink all night (it’s better to leave the kids in the room of the Hotel du Cloitre next door!). BELOVED!
Restaurant du Nord Pinus (by the former chef at L’Autruche)
La Gueule de Loup
Chez Caro – 12, place du Forum-0490979438. (Thanks Loica for this new tip!).
Where to stay in Avignon
Hotel Cloitre st Louis. Great with kids : well located with a parking and a swimming pool. Rare in Avignon! The courtyard is beautiful, the hotel rooms in the modern part are not of interest visually, so don’t go there expecting old stones and charm. www.cloitre-saint-louis.com
La Mirande. One of the best hotels in South of France. If you can’t stay there, at least go for the Sunday brunch. So chic… www.la-mirande.fr. BELOVED!
Where to eat in Avignon
83 Vernet, 83 rue Vernet – A new restaurant in a beautiful courtyard. The inside decor is a bit 90′s (so is the music) but it is definitely the place to be in Avignon, with a buzz and good vibes. The food is good and creative.
Where to stay in Marseille
The famous Paris Mama Shelter just opened a sister Hotel in Marseille. A rock’n’roll attitude compatible with family life. www.mamashelter.com/en/marseille. We didn’t stay there but many of our friends did and they were all happy with their experience.
Where to eat in Marseille
Mama Shelter – Yes! The food is good, creative, and it’s a fun place to be for lunch or dinner…
Grain de sel – 39 Rue de la Paix
Where to sleep in St Remy de provence
Le mas de l’Amarine – www.mas-amarine.com. A small hotel with a swimming pool, run by a couple passionate about food. Modernist decor (not everything to my taste), but a very nice ambiance. Good selection of books and magazines in the pleasant living area. Like being at home…
Hotel Image – www.hotel-image.fr
Le Chateau des Alpilles - www.chateaudesalpilles.com
La Maison du Village www.lamaisonduvillage.com
Where to eat in St Remy de Provence
La Cantina - 18 Boulevard St Hugo
L’Estagnol - 16 bd Victor Hugo
And a bit further…
I loved this place near Aix-en-Provence. Very good value for money, authentic “Bastide”, great views, delicious breakfasts and the visit of the last home of Picasso near by.