Room service in an ancient Knights Templar fortress and three Michelin-star dining that will help you lose weight… If that’s how the French like their luxury retreats, count us in.
It is a bit early in the year to think about a holiday break, but then again, who cares. You can always find a great excuse to indulge in some “me time” because after all, overwork is a very, very dangerous thing.
So take care of yourself! Your body and productivity will thank you for it in the long run.
If you need any more convincing, we’ve concocted a list of some of the best hotels in one of our favorite wellness destinations, the French countryside.
Even though it’s Paris that usually creeps up on everyone’s must travel list, there’s a lot to be said about France’s peaceful side, and these hotels have got something different to offer. So cook up a story, type it up, plug in your boss’s address and press send because we’re about to show you some great reasons for an impromptu break.
Les Prés d’Eugénie
It’s hard not to love Les Prés d’Eugenie. Staying here feels like jumping into the arms of someone that means you well and who you don’t want to let go of. When you eventually do, don’t be surprised if this page, becomes your happy place during a stressful day at the office.
The hotel can be found amid the hills of the quiet town of Eugénie-les-Bains. Bar a connection with the last Empress of France who swore by the region’s thermal baths, the hotel is the only thing that puts this typical French town on the map and that’s a good thing. Because if you’re looking for peace and quiet, Les Prés d’Eugénie is the miracle you’ve been waiting for. The grounds of the hotel are composed of pine trees, canopies of wild flowers and the song of hundreds of birds which you’ll have no trouble hearing; Except for the spring breeze and the laughter of hotel guests, they don’t have much to compete with.
This is also a family-run hotel, and just like other hotels of the kind, there’s a cozy atmosphere that guests come to love. Unlike other hotels however, Les Prés d’Eugénie is run by the 80 year old Michelin-star chef Michel Guérard, a master who counts the likes of Alain Ducasse and Daniel Boulud as apprentices and invented cuisine minceur back in the 80’s. A three course meal that counts less than 600 calories? Sign us up now. Our pro relaxation tip: Book yourself for a week here and indulge in the thermal spa and feast on the cuisine minceur. You’ll head back home feeling completely new.
Le Couvent des Minimes
Is there anything more beautiful in France than the Luberon? The jury is out on this one, but it does make a very good case for itself, with valleys filled with lavender fields and olive trees and mountains ranges that stretch across the horizon.
Tucked away on a quiet hillside in the midst of all this beauty is Le Couvent des Minimes, a 17th century Franciscan convent converted into a five star hotel. And if you want a break from the real world, this little gem delivers a flawless high-end hotel experience in a very relaxed yet luxurious setting.
Surprisingly enough, the interior design of the hotel is as sleek and contemporary as something you would find in the French capital. That may be a turnoff for those after a typical French country home, but you shouldn’t let its young looks deceive you. For the authenticity of the building, and its heritage atmosphere, are left intact. Spa aficionados will no doubt head straight for the 750 meter square l’Occitane Spa- all of the hotel’s amenities are supplied by the brand- while nature lovers will love quiet strolls on the hotel’s expansive grounds and discovering the local flora amid statues depicting the 14 stations of the cross.
Château Saint Martin & Spa
The Chateau Saint Martin & Spa is a former Knights Templar
castle perched above acres of forest with a direct view on the Mediterranean sea. And yes it’s every bit as good as it sounds.
Even though there’s an incredible wow factor to this property that other hotels would kill for, the Chateau Saint Martin & Spa is more than a pretty face. It’s the kind of hotel that can easily become part of your life, a place where you want to form memories, renew your vows and host family reunions. Simply put it feels like home… a more grandiose version, of course.
A former strategic stronghold for the Knights Templar, the hotel is a bird’s nest overlooking the medieval town of Vence and the the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean, and since the hotel is only open in the warmer months, you’re pretty much guaranteed postcard-perfect views from sun up to sundown. The views are best enjoyed with some al fresco dining in the hotel’s ancient olive grove restaurant or poolside with a cocktail in hand. Relaxation guaranteed.
Take your stay from exceptional to “I never want to leave!” with a visit to the hotel’s award-winning Sisley Spa where a few sessions will have you feeling like a new person, especially if you’re getting pampered in the garden gazebo after a yoga workout or after long walks in the surrounding hills and forests.
La Réserve Ramatuelle
We love the exclusive vibe of La Réserve properties, and La Réserve Ramatuelle feels like a private club, a luxury hotel and a health and well being center all rolled up in one exceptional establishment.
Though it’s located on the sunny beaches of St-Tropez, La Réserve is a far cry from the party lifestyle associated with the region (but it’s not too far away if you’re so inclined). An intimate setting overlooking the medieval town of Ramatuelle, this La Réserve property is all about relaxation and wellness, and the beauty of the location, the wonderful sea views and the soft Mediterranean breeze are exactly what the doctor ordered to get you rested and back in the game. It’s impossible not to feel revitalized with long morning walks on the beach and the faint scent of lavender in the air while you’re out and about.
Designed by Architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the hotel is a contemporary gem that makes the most of the area’s sunny skies, with massive floor to ceiling windows that’ll flood your room with light first thing in the morning like a metaphor for a new lifestyle. To top it all off, the hotel’s main restaurant, “La Voile” was recently awarded its first Michelin star so there’s never been a better time to visit.