Perfect retreat: The cypress- lined swim-lane pool at Airelles Gordes, La Bastide. Inside, rooms have terracotta floors, dark cherry furniture, and old oil portraits.
Gordes , France The joy of Provence The chiming bell of the 11th-century honeycomb- colored church reminds you every hour that there’s nowhere more Provençal than this. Not only are you sitting on a warm terrace with the dark hillsides of the Luberon valley stretching before you, the aperitif before you is a light rosé, and the breeze is scented with the vestiges of the lavender season. It helps, too, if your viewpoint is from the five-star Airelles Gordes, La Bastide . The word bastide means a fortified hilltop village in this ancient part of France and Gordes is a particularly pretty one, just an hour’s meandering drive east of Avignon and the same north of Marseille. A €30 million ($33.2m) project by the Airelles Collection (of Courchevel fame), La Bastide has sympathetically rendered a collection of 16th-century properties into one modern hotel with 34 bedrooms, six suites, and an adjoining maison with its own pool. Inside, picture-lit corridors and stone stairs lead you to your spacious room, while verdant grounds house outdoor lounges, cool vaulted loggia, and two inviting swimming pools. If further relaxation is needed, then the spa—modeled on a nearby Cistercian abbey—offers a hammam and sauna, plus four Sisley treatment rooms. gordes.airelles.com
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