Writers, artists, and Hollywood directors have celebrated the French Provence as a haven of harmony and happiness. Remember in Ridley Scott’s film «A Good Year» how the simple pleasures of Provencal life transformed a London City shark, played by Russell Crowe. That same narrative comes to mind when you become a guest at the five-star Coquillade Provence Resort & Spa. This hotel-village, made up of several cottages, is immersed in natural surroundings. Here, you can be alone with the swaying grass in rhythm with the wind, the singing of birds, the endless vineyards, and the hills that stretch right to the horizon.
Coquillade Provence Resort & Spa is located in the heart of the Luberon National Nature Park, just an hour’s drive from the Avignon train station. It was no easy feat to build a hotel on a hilltop, amidst wild nature and vineyards. But that did not deter the Swiss businessman, who was in love with nature and passionate about cycling. He began to realize his vision for a hotel complex in 2006. At that time, there were several old buildings that had been forgotten, as well as the ruins of 11th-century stone walls built by Cistercian monks.
These architectural relics were carefully restored and became the starting point for the creation of the hotel-village. In 2011, Coquillade was awarded five stars, but the development of the hotel’s infrastructure continued. The project outlived its founder, and years later, new cottages were built. Construction continues to this day. You can stay in the cottages with your family or friends, as if in your own country house.
There are no neighbors across from you, only the supple branches of trees pressing against the windows, the sound of a fountain gurgling in the courtyard, and cicadas singing in the summer. According to hotel standards, Coquillade has 21 rooms and 35 suites, as well as 3 restaurants, 2 pools, a 2000m² spa, vineyards on 35 hectares of land, and its own wine production called «Aureto.»
Here, people really strive to live autonomously, using the abundant natural resources to their fullest potential. Honey is harvested from the local bee hives (there are only 6 here), vegetables and herbs for the table are gathered from the hotel’s garden, fruits are picked from the orchard, and bread and pastries are baked fresh every morning for the table. The pure Provençal way of life is only diversified by Chef Thierry Enderlen’s dishes. In the restaurant «Avelan,» he offers a gastronomic journey around the world, while in the Italian «Cipressa,» he invites you to delve into the taste of Mediterranean cuisine.
Unlike most hotels in Provence, Coquillade is even open in the fall and winter. They love to throw lavish New Year’s celebrations for their guests: preparing surprises, decorating the Christmas tree, and designing a special holiday menu. A tamed tailless forest cat, found by hotel employees in a hunting trap, becomes an indispensable part of the festivities, bringing joy to the little guests of Coquillade. Despite losing its tail, the animal remains grateful for its rescue. The credo of Coquillade Provence Resort & Spa in both small and large endeavors is a life imbued with respect for nature.
by Helena Couffin