Hotels in Provence
Historically, provincial maisons d’hôtes are a lot of things—deliciously louche, impossibly cute, poignantly decrepit—but rarely are they scene-y. L’Ange et L’Éléphant is the almost freakish, salutary exception, an all-in-one inn, restaurant, café, tea salon, and boutique.
The Location: A mile from Avignon in southeastern France, the medieval town of Villeneuve sits high on a rocky escarpment above the Rhône. Ivy twists up the walls of Hotel de l’Atelier, a pretty 16th-century maison that was a silk workshop in its last incarnation.
A single story of smooth whitewashed stucco erected around a courtyard paved with loose stones, La Quinta hews freely (very freely) to a traditional Chinese plan, with each wing serving a precise, dedicated function such as eating, receiving, and sleeping.
Three former residences in Provençal style (tile floors; arched stone ceilings), 2 swimming pools, an organic kitchen garden, and a stellar French restaurant with a 60,000-bottle cellar.
Traditional 18th-century residence surrounded by fragrant Florentine gardens and a pool, a five-minute walk from downtown Aix-en-Provence. The 22 rooms are refined yet relaxed, with canopy beds and chinoiserie-style wallpaper.