Alps & Provence
Starting in the city of Geneva, my first night was at the sublime hotel La Reserve overlooking Lake Geneva. A 5* property situated in the heart of a 10 acre park with private access to the lake.
Colonial-inspired hotel designed by Jacques Garcia with wonderful light fittings in the sitting areas and restaurant of different coloured birds. The hotel has 102 elegant rooms and suites.
The hotel has a spa including 17 treatment rooms and offering the unique “Nescens better-aging programs”.
The hotel also has 5 restaurants and bars including the Tse Fung, a 1* Michelin restaurant, quite unique as it is an Asian restaurant.
Next day we drove back into France and to the region of the French Alps, stopping for lunch in Mègeve, then overnighting at La Bouite, a 5 star Relais & Chateaux property, near the Val Thorens resort. This family run hotel is a 3* Michelin restaurant with nothing formal or stiff about it. The father and son duo run an impeccable restaurant and hotel, quite unique in ever way, certainly for special occasions.
From here we drove to Chamonix, one of the most famous and oldest ski resorts in France, where we stayed at the Hotel Mont Blanc. Situated in the centre of the village, Chamonix and hotel are open all year round. The highlight was taking the gondola to the top of Mont Blanc, over 3,800m high with spectacular views of the snowy mountains.
The following day we changed scenery and drove to the region of Provence. From the snow capped mountains to fields of olive trees and vineyards, what a contrast. We drove to the medieval hilltop village of Les Baux de Provence where we stayed overnight at the beautiful Baumaniere Les Baux de Provence, in the heart of Les Alpilles. What an incredible property. Spread out over 20 acres, the rooms are located in 5 different houses. The hotel has 3 pools, a spa and 2 restaurants, the Oustau de Baumanière being the 2* Michelin restaurant and La Cabro d’Or the more casual of the 2. I had the priledge of eating at the Oustau de Baumanière, from the amuse bouche to the final petits fours, it was one of the best meals i have had.
The next morning we visited the Carrier de Lumiere, an exhibition of Picasso and other Spanish Masters. Words can’t fully describe the visual and emotional effect it had on me upon opening the door and walking into the cave. The paintings are projected onto the walls and floor of the cave along with music. This sound and light show was amazing, beautiful and the highlight of this trip.
From here we drove to the village of Uzès where we had lunch at the 1* Michelin restaurant at La Maison d’Uzès. Arriving on a Saturday we had time enough to visit the markets with a wonderful variety of foods and spices and hand make and organic products from the region.
Our last night was at the gorgeous 4* property of Le Vieux Castillon. Should really be a 5* property. Our dinner was wonderful with all the trimmings, the hotel has a spa with Occitanie products and a beautiful outdoor pool with views over the region.
The region of Provence is by far my favourite region of France.