THE BEAUTIFUL HOTEL BENVENGUDO- LES BAUX-DE-PROVENCE, FRANCE
A seven hour drive from Paris, (or alternatively, you could just fly into Marseille), is Hotel Benvengudo- a tranquil, upscale and family-friendly resort in the Provençal countryside. After nearly a week in France’s capitol city, we chose to change up the pace of our trip and head south.
Located in Les-Baux-de-Provence, minutes from the medieval mountain-top village, Benvengudo is the place to go for a relaxing retreat with 19 rooms, 6 suites, 2 small cottages and one large house to choose from for your stay. Our suite had two bedrooms as well as two bathrooms, and a nice living/sitting area with great big windows and glass doors overlooking the long stretch of greens, outside.
From the moment you set foot on Benvengudo’s property, you’ll be mesmerized by the abundance of gardens everywhere you look. We certainly were. With a large variety of flowers and herbs, and a wide variety of shrubbery, our daughter likened the property to something magical out of “The Secret Garden,” as she and our son danced their way through the trees, exploring. We were there just a bit too early in the season to see all of the lavender in full-bloom but there was so much of it, I can only imagine what a sensory treat it must be when it’s all vividly purple and fragrant.
The hotel has a top-rated, gourmet restaurant which is only steps from the rooms and has an intimate feel to it, as if you’re a guest in someone’s (rather lovely and interesting) home. We were the only family with young children seated for dinner at the time, though that didn’t stop the waitstaff from treating the kids like adults. While many childrens’ menus, especially in the states, tend to include a “chicken tenders and french fries” option, this was the first time the chicken tenders were actually Chicken Cordon Bleu… and our son, just three years old, definitely preferred it this way!
The meals were very carefully crafted, as you could tell by the intricate details on every plate and were as beautiful as they were delicious. My husband and I were excited to see our newly-found favorite Rosé, Billecart Salmon, on the menu, as it was the perfect accompaniment to our food… Ryan is still raving about the Roasted Lamb dish he had that night, and our daughter and I loved our medley of vegetarian delicacies. Everything had so much flavor!! The desserts were individual pieces of abstract art on a plate and were the perfect ending to an extraordinary meal.
It was no surprise that breakfast the next morning was also memorable, with fantastically warm, buttery croissants (it’s possible I would go all the way back for these, alone!) and other delectable fresh-baked pastries, cheeses, yogurt, grains and eggs. Oh, and excellent, strong and hot Cafe au lait… Have I mentioned how much I enjoy breakfast in Europe? Because I really, really do. Not to mention, the morning hours are perhaps some of the most gorgeous to walk around the area at Benvengudo, with the sun shining brightly and adding extra shimmer to the already glowing grounds.
We want to go back to Hotel Benvengudo and we will. It is the kind of place one could easily spend a week or more and leave relaxed and rejuvenated (and maybe only one or two pounds heavier since the food is just so good). It is unpretentious yet spectacular in every way and can be enjoyed and appreciated from those at every age.
The Provençal Countryside
A traveler since childhood, Juliana Fraioli Wilson has always had a love for exploring. She is a published writer and an accomplished business owner with a background in music and art. Join Juliana, her husband Ryan, and their two kids in Wanderland! Follow along as they share tips, tricks, recipes and reviews from some of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world.