Located in the stunning countryside of the Haute Provence region, le Couvent des Minimes is a beautifully renovated monastery which opened in 2008 and was originally founded in the early 17th Century. The hotel is set in magnificent gardens in the heart of rolling Provencal countryside.
This Relais & Chateaux boutique hotel consists of 46 luxury rooms and suites. The hotel has kept many of its original architectural features which blends the historic charm of the building with a contemporary interior. The rooms are dominated by white stone with a touch of pastel colours on the walls. The soft furnishings inject a bit of colour and the parquet heated flooring extends from the bedroom into the natural stone bathroom.
There are two restaurants and two bars as well as a wine tasting cellar enabling guests to discover local wines in an authentic cavernous setting. The main 'Le Cloitre' (meaning 'the cloister' in french) restaurant is over seen by head chef Philippe Guerin who enjoys infusing his menus with true Provencal scents and flavours. In the summer the restaurant is extended outside onto the patio. Also in the summer lunch can be taken next to the pool at the 'Bancaou' bar-restaurant.
There is also a fantastic spa, which houses the Provencal L’Occitane products, with six treatment rooms, an outdoor heated swimming pool, fitness room and floodlit tennis court. Why not lend a hand to the authentic Provencal game of petanque on the hotel’s own court. For those wanting to enjoy some time practicing golf, the 18-hole Golf de Luberon course is nearby.
Guests can explore nearby ancient rustic villages with buildings and churches dating back to the 16th Century. As well as the delights of Aix-en-Provence with its fascinating architectural and cultural heritage, designer chic boutiques and pretty squares lined with cafes.
Combining historical charm with the modern day comfort of an exclusive venue, the 40 rooms and six suites in Couvent des Minimes are simply decorated with pastel shades and solid oak furniture. Each room offers the same high standard of luxury and comfort and opens out onto the interior courtyard of the Cloister, the gardens or the swimming pool. Each of the spacious six suites contains a bedroom and separate lounge, suites range from 35sq meters to 62sq meters.
Children are welcome to come and stay at Couvent des Minimes. The hotel offers a babysitting service if required. There are also children's TV channels and a DVD selection on request to keep them entertained in the room.
Couvent des Minimes has two restaurants, one serving delicious meals reflecting the flavours of Provence and the Mediterranean, the other serves light dishes by the poolside. There are also two stylish bars and a wine cellar allowing you to taste the harmony between Provencal wines and cheeses. The L’Occitane Spa has six natural treatment rooms, there is an outdoor and indoor swimming pool, tennis court, Petanque court and a helipad.
At Le Couvent des Minimes there is a beautiful aromatic garden to explore at your own leisure. The library is packed with books, CDs and DVDs to enjoy during your stay, and there is also a pool table. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, a floodlit tennis court, touring bicycles and a boules court. The 'Golf du Luberon' 18 hole course is in the proximity of Le Couvent.
When to travel
Provence enjoys a pleasant, Mediterranean climate. On average, Provence gets 300 days of sunshine each year, with warm but mild temperatures. Summer is high season here, with August bringing the hottest weather and the biggest crowds. Spring is a great time of year, the weather is warm, with temperatures swaying between 16 and 20°C, and the crowds are small. If you want to see lavender fields then it would be best to visit the region in June. In October the weather starts to cool. Autumn is also the start of the wettest weeks of the year. October sees an average of 3.7 inches of rain, with an average of three inches following in November. Still, it never gets all that chilly and snow is rare. In January, the mercury rarely dips beneath the -1°C.
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Location and directions
Located in the stunning countryside of the Haute Provence region in the village of Mane, South of France.
How to get there
The nearest airport is Marseille Provence Airport (MRS), an hour’s drive from the hotel. British Airways fly to Marseille in a time of 1-hour 50-minutes. Alternatively, the TGV station at Aix en Provence is 50-minutes from the hotel.