Villa La Coste in Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade is the most talked about new hotel in France. And it’s absolutely spectacular. Built on a hillside overlooking a 600-acre Provençal estate owned by Irish businessman Patrick McKillen, the hotel’s 28 suites are housed within individual stone-faced villas, set along a shady jasmine-planted lane. On arrival, you’ll spot a huge bronze-and-steel spider by the late French artist Louise Bourgeois, the first evidence of McKillen’s passion for contemporary art. Since he purchased the property in 2002, he and his wife have acquired one of the most impressive collections of modern art and sculpture in France.
The main hotel building, which houses lounges, a bar, a library, a spa and the Louison restaurant — where three-star chef Gérald Passédat of Marseille is the consulting chef — has a Fernand Léger tapestry on the wall. The young staff members are efficient and cordial. All the accommodations have private gardens and large balconies; some also have private plunge pools. Their interiors are furnished with streamlined contemporary furniture, including plush sofas and armchairs. Every suite comes with a large teak table and chairs, plus book-filled walnut étagères. Four-poster beds are hung with gauzy curtains and made up with the highest-quality linens. Baths feature soaking tubs carved from blocks of Vietnamese marble, walk-in rainfall showers and double vanities. Supremely private and comfortable, these accommodations are a tour de force of low-key, chic, contemporary design.
The property offers two other restaurants: a grill by famed Argentine barbecue master Francis Mallmann and a café serving contemporary Provençal dishes. In addition to an “art walk” to view the McKillens’ sculpture collection, wine tastings and tours of the estate’s cellars are available. Although located only a 30-minute drive from Aix-en-Provence, Villa La Coste is a self-contained property and one that merits an extended stay.