Welcome to the LL Community Board. This question would have been probably better placed on the France Board, but since you asked it here on Q&A, I will try to respond to it.
Provence in southeastern France is divided into six departments and stretches from Orange to Nice. Many consider the Luberon in Vaucluse to be the "real Provence." Gently sloping vineyards and lavender fields are the backdrops that enthralled Cezanne, Van Gogh and Chagall. An excellent train network makes travel between cities easy. To explore villages, drive or catch a bus. Particular highlights include Palace of the Popes at Avignon, the Roman amphitheatre at Arles and the craft center of Les Baux.
You and your girlfriend made a wonderful choice. French super-chef Alain Ducasse owns a number of hotels in Provence, but his latest venture is his hippest, hottest and downright best yet. The Domaine des Andols, http://www.domainedesandeols.com, is located 2 km from Saint-Saturnin-ls-Apt, in the heart of the Luberon, set on a hill, amidst olive groves and lavender fields.
The hotel is a cluster of 9 separate houses converted into individual stylish appartments in a hamlet on a hill beneath St Saturnin-les-Apts set amongst lavender fields and rolling countryside. It is ultra-modern and minimalist in decor combining originality, charm and comfort, and walls adorned with classy original modern art.
The grounds are idyllic and the infinity pool is perfectly set with the lavender fields beyond as a backdrop.
The restaurant is elegant and the service impeccable (as were all the staff in general). You could say, the restaurant at Domaine des Andols is a voyage to the heart of Provencal cuisine. Echoing the beauty of the surroundings, it expresses the region's generosity, scents and warmth. It is a sensual and epicurean promenade, where flavours and fragrances intermingle. And,ah, the food, glorious food asparagus with juicy pear vinaigrette and black truffles, perfectly pink buttery roast lamb, chocolate pudding with caramelised brioche croutons. Really scrumptious.
Locally there are interesting villages and markets including Apt, Gordes, Avignon and Arles all within an hour's drive. Les Bories, www.hotellesbories.com is in a wonderful location in the Luberon and the views from the hotel are stunning. We were also very impressed with the restaurant at the hotel. Food and service were excellent. Don't bother eating at L'Estallan. I would recommend eating at La Ferme de la Huppe,http://www.lafermedelahuppe.com. All they have is a set menu every evening, but it was delicious and the service top notch. This is a small hotel and it is incredibly charming with a lovely dining room. You must visit the area of Chateauneuf de Papes - it is magnificent. Visit the vineyard Chateau Mont Redon and perhaps have lunch at Le Verges des Papes - stunning views. We had a great lunch at La Bastide de Marie, http://www.labastidedemarie.com, which is only about 20 minutes from Gordes. If you get as far as Les Beaux-de-Provence do have lunch at the lovely Hotel and Relais Gourmande L'Oustau de Baumaniere ,http://www.oustaudebaumaniere.com a luxury hotel in the village Les Baux de Provence, which is set in the mystical landscape where Dante once walked, and was the creation of the 3-star Michelin chef Raymond Thuilier who restored a sixteenth century house in 1945. Food there was excuisit.
Here are some pictures of of the individual rooms and houses of the Domaine des Andeols.This format doesn't do the hotel-villa complex justice. Feast your eyes and imagination by checking out the website.
i wasnt expectating such a great deal of info and in only 1 day! better than buying a "frommers"! i have fwd this to my g/f she will be very excited im sure, seems as tho we hit a good spot,found it on ll.com. this will be the 8th or 9th trip ive taken using LL.we will try some of your suggestions to be sure!
i see your located in ny,fla and paris! well ms brown after cathy and i lv apt we will be in paris for 4 days staying at the hotel des acadamies des arts, sounded nice for 260 euros? your thoughts! and maybe a few of your fav wine and dine spots.
and just this morning cathy gave me a very fancy b'day card that said we were flying to new york next weekend (ill be 62 on the 20th) and she was taking me to petrossian for lunch(is there ever too much caviar?) and to le bernardin for dinner! wow, but i need to get the 5:45 res changed to 8pm, waaay too early, barely martini time. and then on sat to adour in the st regis, alain ducasse newest venture, am i a lucky guy or what? and brunch anywhere i want on sunday before flying home. what about the russian tea room since we're staying on 55th?or??? you have been a huge help and we both appreciate your comments. best regards larry jaffe e/ml [email protected] , and [url="http://www.jaffejewelry.com"]www.jaffejewelry.com[/email]
I am sorry for the delay of my response to you. We are currently at our summer camp with little or just sporadic access to the internet. Please check your "Private Messages". If you are not familiar with these, please click under "Messages" in the upper right hand corner when you are signed in. My messages to you should appear.
Message Edited by LL_Travelfan on 08-23-2008 08:22 AM