Features Mann Overboard

Hôtel Crillon le Brave: Where History and Luxury Meet in the Heart of Provence

Photo courtesy of Hôtel Crillon le Brave

Nestled in the foothills of enchanting Mont Ventoux sits the picturesque hilltop village of Crillon le Brave. Dating back centuries from the Romans to the French Revolution, this village prospered and endured. However, like many small European villages, Crillon le Brave declined in the early 20th century. Townspeople departed, shops closed and it was almost entirely abandoned by mid-century. But in the 1980s, the area saw new life with its transformation into a “village hotel” and today, the current Hôtel Crillon le Brave occupies nearly all of the remaining 17th and 18th-century buildings.

Hôtel Crillon le Brave is a captivating demonstration of Provence’s timeless allure. This elegant 5-star property, surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and hypnotic views, offers an unforgettable stay that seamlessly blends its rich history with classic sophistication. When you arrive, take a moment to wander through its maze of blonde stone buildings, explore the intimate courtyards and visit the panoramic terraces for breathtaking views over the town’s tiled roofs. Only then is it clear that Hôtel Crillon le Brave is not just a hotel, it is an engaging venture into Provençal life.

In 2017, Hôtel Crillon le Brave became part of the bespoke Maisons Pariente `luxury hotel collection and thereafter saw an exceptional redesign while staying committed to the hotel’s historical roots. Their 34 rooms, including 17 suites, are each uniquely designed; there are no “cookie-cutter” rooms here. Whether you prefer to gaze out at the Mont Ventoux Valley and surrounding vineyards or the charming village, there are options to suit all preferences. The interior decor is an exquisite blend of modern comfort and Provençal elegance, complete with cozy furnishings, rich textiles and all the amenities you would expect from a 5-star hotel.

The hotel offers an incredible selection of wine experiences for wine enthusiasts, from private tastings of the hotel’s collection to group and private vineyard tours. With vineyards nearby in Châteauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, Ventoux and Côtes-du-Rhône, guests can easily visit these world-renowned producers. Be sure to book your tasting in advance, as space is limited.

With its central location, exploring endearing Provençal villages is a breeze. Avignon is a short forty-minute drive. Here, you can tour the historic Palais des Papes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s largest and most important Gothic structures. Other Provençal gems include the hilltop village of Gordes, an ancient village overlooking the beautiful Luberon landscape, Arles and its impressive Roman amphitheater, charming Roussillon, a town cast aglow in red hues and enchanting Aix en Provence, the birthplace of impressionist painter, Paul Cezanne. The hotel’s friendly concierge staff are always ready to assist and plan your countryside adventure.

France’s weekly outdoor markets are second to none and not to be missed. This area of Provence offers an excellent selection to choose from. Stop by the market in the small town of Bedoin, a short drive from the hotel. Open every Monday, it is referred to as one of the most beautiful markets in Provence. Explore the bi-weekly market in the town of Isles-sur-la-Sorgue. Known as the “Venice of Provence.” Isles-sur-la-Sorgue is situated on the banks of the Sorgue River, and with its winding canals, finding your way through the market is an enjoyable endeavor. Every Friday, the village of Capentras takes over the city center, transforming it into a shopper’s delight, showcasing local products such as crafts, spices, ceramics and housewares.

There is no shortage of year-round outdoor activities in the area. Guests can embark on guided biking excursions using the complimentary bikes available on the property or one can reserve e-bikes. Hiking the “Giant of Provence,” Mont Ventoux, is a feat for the adventurous and can be accomplished just seven hours roundtrip from Crillon le Brave, and the panoramic views are worth every step. If seven hours is a bit too long, there are plenty of other hiking options nearby to get some steps in and enjoy the outdoors. Tennis, golf and even a vintage car outing are on offer at Crillon le Brave. Of course, finish with a refreshing dip in the hotel’s pleasantly heated pool, making it accessible even in the cooler climate of spring and fall.

Restored stone mangers hold the hotel’s wellness facilities. Enter the Spa des Écuires and take a moment to relax and rejuvenate. Featuring organic Tata Harper products and a vast range of treatment and massage options, let your body and mind refocus in this tranquil sanctuary.

With superb attention to detail, Hôtel Crillon le Brave has achieved what many strive to do—flawlessly blending the historical and contemporary, refined simplicity and luxury. It is a destination where the soul of Provence meets the demands of the discerning traveler.

With an abundance of available activities and excursions throughout the seasons, it is a fantastic choice for year-round travel. For further information on Crillon le Brave and journeys to Provence, France, please contact The Destination Designer to start planning your trip.

Visit thedestinationdesigner.com for more information.