From Andrew Harper

Despite the romance of Provence, celebrated in dozens of best-selling travel books and memoirs, some parts of the region have lost much of their authentic character, owing to the influx of affluent Parisians and the hordes of summer tourists. Fortunately, there are still pockets in the Luberon and Alpilles areas where a timeless atmosphere remains intact. Exquisite hilltop villages such as Ménerbes and Bonnieux still embody the essence of the region, even with their starring roles in Peter Mayle’s "A Year in Provence." And the town of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue retains an inimitable charm, despite the popularity of its Sunday market with magazine editors around the world.


All recommended hotels in Provence

Provence, France
Domaine de la Baume

Charming new 15-room hotel surrounded by the former 100-acre estate of painter Bernard Buffet, just outside the hilltop village of Tourtour.

Grand Hôtel Nord-Pinus
Grand Hotel Nord Pinus

Atmospheric 26-room hotel, once the haunt of luminaries such as Picasso, Hemingway and Henry James, on a bustling, tree-lined square in central Arles near the old Roman amphitheater.

Hostellerie de l'Abbaye de la Celle

Relaxed but stylish 10-room auberge created by star chef Alain Ducasse from a former 12th-century Benedictine abbey in the village of La Celle, just outside of Draguignan.

Hotel Crillon le Brave
Hotel Crillon le Brave

Evocative country house hotel crowning an ancient hamlet backdropped by Mont Ventoux, in an idyllic region of Haute Provence 45 minutes from Avignon and Gordes.

InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu

Conveniently located new 194-room hotel occupying a restored 18th-century former hospital building.

La Bastide de Gordes
La Bastide de Gordes

Dramatically sited hotel with panoramas of the Vaucluse from a series of ancient buildings perched on the former ramparts of the medieval hill town of Gordes.

La Coquillade | 2012 Grand Award Winner
La Coquillade

Eco-friendly hotel of 28 contemporary accommodations contained within six stone farmhouses on 70 hillside acres planted with vineyards five miles east of Roussillon.

La Mirande
La Mirande

This refurbished period hotel (a National Historic Monument) fits within a former 14th-century cardinal’s residence in the heart of Avignon across from the Palace of the Popes.

Le Mas de Peint
Le Mas de Peint

Country inn on a 1,200-acre working ranch in the Camargue region, an hour southwest of Avignon.

Oustau de Baumaniere
Oustau de Baumaniere - Le Manoir

Legendary gourmet sanctuary surrounded by the ragged cliffs and rock pinnacles of the Alpilles, 30 minutes south of Avignon.