It was love at first sight when I arrived at this new townhouse hotel in central St-Remy. What a relief to see rich, vibrant

LE JAS DE L AXGE This page, from top: the Moroccan-style dining area where lunch is served; the kitchen; the double room in the Yellow suite


Opposite, clockwise from top left the mix of original, old and new in the sitting and dining rooms; the courtyard; the bathroom and bedroom of the Pink room

colours in Provence: bright-raspberry, violet, scarlet and aubergine combined with pale-pistachio, rose and cream.

The owners, Esther and Stephane Corcos, bought the house four years ago when it was derelict and inhabited by local cats. Now, thanks to their hard work and Esther’s flair for interior decoration, La Maison du Village is the talk of this chic market town. Many of the original features remain (wooden beams, tomette tiled flooring), and antique mirrors, chandeliers and iron day beds have been mixed with contemporary sofas and chairs and quirky finishing touches. The result is a stylish and highly individual boutique hotel.

There are five suites: Beige (a duplex off the courtyard garden with its own patio) and, in the main house, Violet, Pink, Raspberry and Ecru. All have a bedroom, sitting room and bathroom with roll-top bath (except Violet and Ecru, which have a wood surround), but each has a different ambience, layout and outlook. I stayed in Ecru, an attic room with a sloping ceiling and views across the tawny rooftops of St-Remy to the bell tower of St-Martin. The room takes its name from the colour of its chaise longue but is accented with mulberry curtains and a strawberry-pink bedcover.

The hotel has handwritten, ribbon-tied menus, Cote Bastide bath products, background lounge music and glorious scented candles (the Corcos are the local suppliers for Diptyque), but no minibars, televisions or swimming pool (guests have access to the pool at the Hotel L’Atelier up the road). Breakfast is served in the pretty, gravelled courtyard garden by the charming Celine, the new manager, and the salon de the serves fresh, Italian lunches (carpaccio and salad, bruschette) to guests and non-residents from noon until 3pm. Dinner is available (for guests only) by special arrangement.

10 rue du 8 Mai 1945, St-Remy-de-Provence (00 33 4 32 60 68 20; fax: 32 60 68 21; Suites ‚190. Breakfast ‚12.50, lunch about ‚40 for two without wine, dinner about ‚100


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