The Rebirth of a Classic Provence Hotel
Made famous by Peter Mayles in his 1989 memoir A Year in Provence, and later by Ridley Scott in his 2006 film A Good Year, Gordes is the quintessential Provençal town: a tumble of golden- and ivory-hued medieval walls and buildings and cobblestoned-streets climbing a cypress-spiked headland, looking out over a pristine valley with hills and open sky beyond. And, here, in the heart of the Lubéron mountains, Bastide de Gordes is the quintessential Provençal hotel, built into and around the ramparted and turreted centuries-old fortifications that once guarded this picturesque village from intruders.
Now under new ownership, and newly re-mastered after a year-long, $35-plus million renovation, the hotel, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, reopened on June 24, revealing 22 rooms and 18 suites—as well as a standalone five-bedroom villa, two restaurants, three pools, and a three-level spa. It’s all designed in classically romantic, Gallic country-house style by Frenchman Christophe Tollemer. Inside, you’ll find pastel- and jewel-toned interiors with carved wood paneling, hand-painted beamed ceilings, vibrant florals, and pale toiles. On the walls: more than 4,000 artworks expressly acquired for the redo, including painted portraits and landscapes, colorful botanicals, and black-and-white etchings.
As for the cuisine, star chef Pierre Gagnaire—whose 11 restaurants in eight countries have earned a total of 13 Michelin stars—heads up an eponymous restaurant specializing in his highly contemporary French cuisine. Meanwhile, the 8,600-square-foot spa comes courtesy of Sisley, making it one of only a handful of hotel spas in France to partner with the beloved Paris-based beauty brand.
All of which makes a year in Provence—or, really, just a long weekend—sound pretty darn bon right about now.