A boutique hotel within an ancient Provençal French village is Crillon Le Brave. Perched on the highest point of a hill, LLM travel writer Georgie Bentley-Buckle checked in to review a stay of the family-owned property with far reaching views of the Ventoux mountains.
Crillon Le Brave is a romantic hideaway in the prettiest part of Provence that blends its exceptional setting with five-star service and family values. Part of the Maisons Pariente group – a portfolio of family-owned properties, the hotel embodies a luxurious taster of Provençal life among a network sandstone buildings.
Soak up the summer months around the understated pool, lined with soft cream sun loungers, parasols and wisteria which blooms early on in the season. Sandwiched within the main building and surrounding village, wander past the humble kitchen herb garden, candy pink roses and trickling fountain to discover the intimate pool, tucked discreetly within the myriad of scenic stone pathways. Exclusively reserved for the hotel’s residents, stretch out in the sunshine with glasses of the region’s famous pale rosé wine.
Beyond the village and all it has to offer, Crillon Le Brave’s newly appointed concierge encourages guests to peel back the pages of Provence. From tours of local vineyards (notably the famous winery of Châteauneuf-du-Pape nearby), and family friendly visits to local villages; choose also from hiking, cycling and kayaking, to hot air balloon rides and vintage car outings, for those who want to roam the rural roads in style.
Each of the unique 16 rooms and 18 suites remain in their original layout according to the architecture of the building and feature antique furniture, soft linens and old red floor tiles that frame the exceptional mountain views. Charles Zana who also worked on the hotel’s sister property Lou Pinet in Saint-Tropez has maintained the delicate character and identity of the village, whilst adding a stylish touch to the communal spaces.
Each room maintains the original character of the 12th century village, framed with wooden beams, ancient furniture and wrought iron details. This includes the 40 square metre Prestige Ventoux Room finished with natural materials with a charming view of the Mont Ventoux Valley, the romantic 50 square metre Junior Suite of Provençal tones, and the 80 square metre Prestige Suite and its twin rolltop bath setting, regularly captured on Instagram.
Food and drink
At the hotel’s two restaurants, Crillon Le Brave’s head chef Adrien Burnet recreates the flavours of Provence with some curious twists. Each menu pays tribute to the region with an ingredient-led concept of recipes that enhance the quality of the produce sourced. He does this working with farmers and fishermen nearby for sustainable farm to table dining.
Whilst swallows dance above is Crillon Le Brave’s fine-dining restaurant La Madeleine. With a small collection of round, white clothed tables that look out over the far-reaching view, Adrien Burnet’s emotive tasting menu comes with optional wine pairings from the hotel’s sommelier. Rewarded last year with a Plate in the Michelin Guide, interesting texture and flavour combinations are geared towards adventurous diners with dishes blending oyster broth or pigeon paired with lavender and Ventoux cherries.
For slow-paced breakfasts and lazy lunches is La Table du Ventoux, a bistro-style restaurant of Mediterranean and Provençal foods. With handpicked herbs from the garden and daily specials, regular dishes include artichoke salad with soft-boiled egg and an almond condiment; catch of the day with a fresh cheese ravioli and basil broth, or tender grilled octopus with baba ghanoush and local olives. Our favourite was the ‘boeuf fumé confit’ (tender smoked beef with pickles, coriander and a wonderfully rich but light potato mousse).
Spa and wellness
Under the scenic arches of the 18th century stone-vaulted stables is the Spa des Écuries. This impressive setting includes three treatment cabins with products from American brand Tata Harper who champion natural remedies to reflect the rural setting. A subdued, intimate spa for both solo and couple treatments, Crillon Le Brave’s spa invites its guests to disconnect entirely from everyday life, with each treatment combing the powers of the natural products they use with the experience of their therapists for a full rejuvenation.
The treatment menu includes a variety of body massages, signature treatments, facials, ‘exceptional’ treatments, specialist rituals for men and beauty essentials. For ‘over-solicited souls’ is the custom-made bespoke massage, whilst inspired by the mountains nearby for cyclists and hikers who challenge the Mont Ventoux is the après Ventoux massage to aid with muscle recovery. Choose also from the Crillon spa signature facial – an oxygenic face massage and warm honey mask to nourish the skin.
In a nutshell
Crillon Le Brave is set to the songbird of swallows in a labyrinth of 18th century buildings. A property where you check-in to avoid being ‘checked out’ by others, it is an architectural ensemble made of the village’s blond Crillon stone. Everywhere you turn hypnotic views of the mountains and rural landscape guarantees a captivating first impression.
Address: Place de l’Eglise, 84410, Crillon Le Brave, Provence, France
Phone: +33 (0) 4 90 65 61 61
All imagery used in this article credit: Mister Tripper