Not many hotels made as strong an impression on us as Crillon le Brave, but not many manage to blend a quintessential provencal look with the luxury of five-star standards — in a stunning location.
A picturesque settlement with a history spanning centuries, defensively perched on a steep hill, with narrow alleyways winding through stone dwellings and secluded courtyards opening to mesmerizing views: that’s Crillon le Brave. It’s a tiny village, a traditional hamlet, in Provence’s Vaucluse, south of France. And at least half of that village is now a five-star hotel.
Taking its name from the location, Crillon le Brave is integrated into the village in a cluster of rustic buildings that date from the 17th and 18th centuries. The structures climb alongside narrow pathways up to an old church that appears to be part of the hotel. A classic townhouse with green shutters is the point of entry.
Cutting through the building, guests come out to a sprawling courtyard terrace — where La Madeleine opens for alfresco dining in the evenings — and get the first glimpse of the beautiful views. It’s one of many such spaces at the Crillon le Brave.
The hotel’s beautifully restored and upgraded buildings retain the original character and peculiarities of the village houses. The structures rise from cascading terraces, platforms, or balconies, and weathered staircases and pathways flanked by stone walls link up the nine buildings of the property.
On the way to our suite, we walked through the hotel’s herb garden and checked out a stone fountain and grand cypress trees. We stepped into the iconic pool area and climbed to the La Table du Ventoux restaurant’s shaded pergolas. The restaurant and the pool are placed to make the best of the breathtaking views of the valley.
Speaking of the views, our suite was on the top floor of Maison Roche, the oldest house of the hotel, and we were simply astonished by the panorama our windows afforded. From the east, we saw a seemingly endless vista of the valley, and to the south, the room overlooked the entire hotel, with the iconic sight of the swimming pool and cypress trees in the center.
Designed for comfort
The interiors demonstrate that Hôtel Crillon le Brave, while it embraces the heritage of the stone houses, is also a private refuge with luxe credentials.
The honey-colored stone of the buildings provided the architect Charles Zana with a backdrop to create supremely elegant spaces, specifically adapted to each unique guest room. The high-quality furniture harmonizes with the spirit of the place, while old prints and art provide a new dimension to the timeless Provence style. For example, our room was decorated with original floral specimens collected and framed in the 19th century.
Some of our favorite spaces include the bar, beautifully furnished and centered around a magnificent fireplace, and the Spa des Écuries, located in stables with vaulted ceilings. The stone troughs used to feed horses are now filled with lavender.
A TechnoGym fitness center housed in the former chapel offers free weights and yoga. And one of the terraces houses an outdoor pétanque space, providing a venue for this quintessentially French pastime. All of this reflects the sense that the hotel is designed with one principle: to ensure a comfortable and deeply relaxing stay.
Boutique hotels, Countryside hotels, Culture & heritage, Local flavor, Luxury hotels, Quiet location, Rustic chic, Secluded location,
Number of rooms & suites: 34, including 18 suites
Rate per night: From €1033
*The rate is only approximate and is based on our own independent research, at the time of writing. We cannot guarantee the rate in any way.
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