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A Serene Escape into Provence’s Luxurious Heart. In the heart of France’s picturesque Provence, the newly refurbished Le Couvent des Minimes Hotel & L’Occitane Spa emerges as a beacon of luxury, gastronomy, and wellness. This iconic five-star Relais & Châteaux hotel in Mane, Provence, has undergone an extensive refurbishment, promising an exceptional experience for luxury travellers seeking tranquillity and indulgence in an idyllic setting.
A Blend of History and Contemporary Elegance
Nestled amid the serene Provençal villages and lavender fields, Le Couvent des Minimes offers a peaceful retreat both inside and out. The hotel, set in the picturesque village of Mane, is renowned for its superlative gastronomy and art of wellbeing. Styled in calming, neutral shades, the rooms create a tranquil ambience, perfectly complementing the hotel’s contemporary, elegant, refined tone.
The historic property, dating back to 1613, was once a convent home to nuns. Today, it stands as a unique blend of medieval architecture and contemporary design, having undergone a revival since 2008, when it was converted into a five-star hotel. This blend of history and modernity is a significant draw for luxury travellers who appreciate the charm of historic landmarks infused with modern comforts.
Gastronomy and Wellness at Le Couvent des Minimes
Chef Louis Gachet leads the hotel’s gastronomic offerings at Le Feuillée Restaurant, known for its creative cooking. The second restaurant, Pamparigouste, offers bistro-style cuisine in a large, bright dining room overlooking lavender fields, with a terrace for alfresco dining. Head Pastry Chef Laure Desmorieux adds to the culinary excellence with her exquisite creations.
The newly renovated L’Occitane spa is a sanctuary of wellness. As the flagship establishment of L’Occitane spas worldwide, it features ten treatment rooms, an herbal tea room, two swimming pools, an icy post-sauna plunge pool, a steam room, saunas, a salt grotto, and a ‘sensory pool’ with various therapeutic options. This comprehensive wellness offering is a major attraction for travellers seeking a holistic health and relaxation experience.
Luxurious Accommodations Amidst Nature at Le Couvent des Minimes
Le Couvent des Minimes boasts 49 rooms and suites, with an average size of 40m2 for the rooms and 71m2 for the suites. The abundance of light and the wide-open vistas from the rooms enhance the sense of connection with nature. The décor at Le Couvent des Minimes is a masterful blend of elegance and simplicity, seamlessly integrating elements of nature into its design. Each space radiates a sense of freshness and tranquillity, with understated touches that create an environment of soothing serenity and refined comfort. Complementing this serene ambiance, all rooms feature luxurious eco-friendly, generously sized L’Occitane en Provence Verveine amenities, adding a touch of Provencal charm and sustainability to the guest experience.
The brand-new 25m sandstone pool, surrounded by olive and arbutus trees, herb gardens, parasols, sunbeds, lounge spaces, and showers, adds to the outdoor luxury experience. This setting allows guests to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Provence while enjoying contemporary comforts.
Le Couvent des Minimes’ transformation into a contemporary, elegant, and refined luxury hotel makes it a destination for discerning travellers. Its historic charm, modern luxury, exceptional culinary experiences, and comprehensive wellness facilities set it apart as a premier destination in France’s beautiful Provence countryside.
Updated: 25 Jan 2024.◼
© This article was first published online in Jan 2024 – World Travel Magazine.