Hotel de Tourrel ~ St Remy
Twenty kilometres south of Avignon, set against a picturesque backdrop of tall verdant trees and luscious lavender fields, lies the sun-drenched village of St Remy. The light and colour of the enchanting setting was captured in a series of Van Gogh’s paintings during his time at the St Paul asylum. Stroll down one of the narrow streets and you will chance upon a charming 17th century manor restored to a modern hotel with seven palatial suites. The high ceilings, structured arches, and chalky stucco walls have been restored to their original romantic beauty and complemented with the curves of modern designer furniture and classy parquet floors. There is a top-level rooftop terrace with stunning scenic views and an outdoor swimming pool – where there was never more than one other person – nestled on the mid-level rooftop. But potentially the true selling point of this dreamy luxurious former palace, is a dimly lit ground floor room lined with floor to ceiling wine racks that are littered with some of the most sought after wines from local regions and around Europe. After dinner on our first night, the attentive staff prepared the outdoor space with candles and a splendid bottle of wine, so MD and I could lounge in the evening heat to our heart’s content. The next day, as we sunbathed by the pool, we were encouraged to ring the bell when we desired a chilled glass of rosé (which we did, and my God it was good – MD impresses me with his selection yet again). On our final night, Ralph introduced us to some of his favourite Priorat wines, as we expressed an interest earlier in our stay. And then we had the most phenomenal Banyuls I have ever tasted. Yes, this idyllic hotel has truly set a new standard of sojourning.