There’s not just one exciting new addition to the hotel scene in elegant Aix-en-Provence. After the debut of Villa Saint-Ange, a boutique five-star hotel just a five-minute walk from the Cours Mirabeau, we have another scoop. And wine lovers will want to add this to their next itinerary in Provence. After more than three years of renovation work, the Chateau de la Gaude has opened its doors as a small luxury hotel and gastronomic destination in the vineyards just outside Aix.
A typical Provençal bastide, or country house, the chateau had a starring role in Yves Robert’s film based on Marcel Pagnol’s novel Le château de ma mère (My Mother's Castle). It dates from the 17th century and is surrounded by lush green gardens. This is a wine-producing domaine under the AOP Coteaux d’Aix en Provence; the wines are all certified organic. Good to know: Wine workshops and tastings take place in the cellars.
There are just 17 rooms and suites, designed in a contemporary style in an immaculate, white-on-white palette. Some have fireplaces and ornate ceiling moldings. Filled with natural light, the marble bathrooms overlook the countryside. The chateau has an impressive art collection which is showcased in the guest rooms and also throughout the grounds (for example, Philippe Pasqua’s enormous stainless steel shark is suspended in the middle of the park).
The gastronomic restaurant only has 35 covers. Chef Matthieu Dupuis-Baumal was previously at the Domaine de Manville in Les Baux-de-Provence, where he won a Michelin star and was awarded the title of “Grand de Demain” by the Gault&Millau guide in 2018. Local Provençal products take pride of place on the menu: asparagus from Mallemort, eels from the Camargue, snails from Pertuis, olive oil from Xavier Alazard in Baux-de-Provence and fish from the Mediterranean Sea.
The Chateau de la Gaude has meeting rooms inside the Orangeries, extensive landscaped terraces for events and even a chapel for weddings. A spa and swimming pool will open in 2020, along with a casual brasserie.