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At a Glance
If I had to pick just one place to write home about from my entire voyage around Europe last spring, it would be Villa Saint-Ange in Aix-en-Provence. A serene oasis of meticulously landscaped Mediterranean gardens, elegant honey-toned facades with wisteria-draped pergolas, and stylish, art-filled interiors set to transport you straight to the 18th century, this hotel is a love letter to the South of France that we all envision.
Lustrous parquet floors, intricate period-inspired wallpapers, and jewel-toned velvet furnishings – the rooms at Villa Saint-Ange are the epitome of classic French glamour. The decor varies slightly between units, yet all are dressed in sumptuous fabrics, art, and antiques.
We stayed in the romantic Junior Suite, which came with a separate living area and the plushest bedding I have ever sunk into. The TV was concealed behind a mirror, and tall French doors opened onto a sun-dappled terrace ideal for reading or sipping rose amidst old olive trees and perfumed rosemary shrubs.
The bathroom matched the opulent surroundings with traditional Provençal tiles, dual marble-topped vanities, and his and her walk-in showers. Special touches included welcome petit fours and luxurious bath products custom-made for the hotel by Italian manufacturer La Bottega, the rest of which I may or may not have sneaked into my suitcase.
Rates start at 390 euros for a Classic Room without breakfast in low season.
Food & Drink
Housed in an impressive Second Empire–style conservatory, the hotel’s all-day restaurant, Salon Malmaison, is a major draw. Innovative Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and an extensive collection of French wines are served at big round tables topped with white cloths under a lofty, decorative ceiling punctuated by gleaming chandeliers. Even breakfast – a regal spread of buttery croissants, natural juices, organic jams, and fresh fruits priced at 39 euros per person – is a sophisticated affair here. But as beautiful as the inside is, we couldn’t get enough of the sun-kissed, greenery-framed terrace outside, complete with stylish wrought-iron furniture.
There is also an elegant lounge bar serving expertly crafted signature cocktails inspired by artists and minds associated with Aix-en-Provence.
Service & Amenities
Nothing here is left to chance. The staff is welcoming, professional, and well-dressed; fresh flowers bloom in every nook and cranny; art adorns the public spaces, and everything everywhere is spotless.
The pièce de résistance is the heated light-blue pool, fringed by elegant sun loungers and a massive Jacuzzi, where I spent an afternoon lazing in the sun before going into town for dinner and a look around the shops. The hotel is also home to an intimate spa and a small but stylish wood-decked gym, which, sadly, I didn’t get a chance to visit during my stay.
All accommodation units come appointed with Wi-Fi, hairdryer, safe deposit box, minibar, air conditioning, luxury toiletries, and a flat-screen TV with international channels. Room service is also available and includes a selection of salads, cheese plates, and club sandwiches. We ordered one evening and ate on our terrace, which was wonderful. Last but not least, a staff member parked the car for us and helped with the luggage (valet parking is €30 a night).
The service, the aesthetics, the atmosphere – all synchronize seamlessly in a finely choreographed symphony. So I guess the attention to detail is its real winning card. That, and those incredible beds!
The nondescript residential area where the hotel sits doesn’t prepare you for the magical grounds that lie behind its gates. However, Musée Granet, Caumont Centre d’Art, and the storied Cours Mirabeau boulevard, with its elegant cafés and bustling markets, are only a few minutes’ stroll away.
Paris meets luxury country living. The hotel gives guests the best of both worlds – a calming, serene, and sophisticated retreat from the vibrant boutique-lined streets of Aix, only a stone’s throw away. Though everything runs like clockwork, the sumptuous environment feels very relaxed, and so does the clientele, which, at the time of my visit, included mostly discreet, well-mannered couples. Think of it as the kind of place where George and Amal Clooney would vacation.
Who Is It For
Those looking for that perfect slice of Provence. Couples in search of romance and joie de vivre.
- The location: both central and a world away from the vivacity of Cours Mirabeau.
- The exquisitely furnished interiors, beautifully manicured gardens, and intimate vibe make you feel like you’re a guest in a friend’s palatial home.
- Breakfast is a decadent buffet of classic French pastries executed to perfection.
- The stylish pool is the perfect place to unplug and soak in the Provencal sunshine.
- The only downside of staying at Villa Saint-Ange is that no other hotel will be good enough after that.