I was planning to post something on the retro-chic destination that is the Isle of Wight. But, as I sat, chilled to the bone, staring outside at the sodden sky, I thought blow that. What I need now, what I really need now is a hairdryer hot, sun-soaked holiday and as there is no chance of that happening in the next few weeks, realistically months, I’ll settle for some gorgeous, sun-soaked pictures instead. I could look at them and dream of lying around on a sun-lounger, sipping rose and gently turning my lily-white limbs that perfect shade of soft golden brown (yes, I’m afraid I am one of those increasingly dated -and soon to be wrinkled – beasts who likes to lie in the sun – I’m positively reptilian, my cold blood NEEDS it). I could reminisce about one of my quite-possibly-best-jobs-ever, a week spent reviewing boutique hotels in Provence for Tatler (tough gig). And then I thought, why not tell you about three of those stunning boutique hotels in Provence? So here goes, these hotels are knock-your-socks-off gorgeous. Great for long child-free weekends, they’re too small for children or week-long sojourns. Book now for summer. Book now for next year. Or if like us, you’re holidaying at home this year, just stare at the pictures and dream of a time when a sun-soaked holiday is on the agenda. (Family-friendly boltholes coming soon).
Chateau de Massillan, Uchaux
It may be in the middle of nowhere, miles from any attraction worth it’s postcard picture, but Chateau de Massillan’s shabby-chic style (antique chaise longues, huge chandeliers and contemporary wallpaper) is ridiculously romantic. Factor in a candlelit courtyard, 24-acres of exquisite parkland and a suntrap pool, and you have the perfect weekend break. From 195€ per night.
L’Hotel Particulier, Arles
Once home to Vincent Van Gogh, now home to an annual photography festival, Arles has Roman ruins, the River Rhône and the gorgeous L’Hotel Particulier. Offering an intoxicating blend of design including Moroccan, antique chic and space-age, it is ridiculously pretty. Choose one of the original rooms with free-standing baths and billowy drapes, enjoy breakfast served with mismatched crockery and chill out in the courtyard, dotted with rugs and lanterns and scented with Moroccan rose. From 289€ per night.
Jardins Secret, Nimes
Could it be any prettier? It may be in the heart of Nimes, but with its walled garden, spa, pool and deliciously opulent design, this 18th-century townhouse-turned boutique hotel feels like its own little world. The Orangery is the best room, but all of them have a wonderfully, romantic feel. Just heaven. From 195€ per night.
IMAGES: Chateau de Massillan, L’Hotel Particulier, Jardins Secrets