Le Couvent des Minimes
What it is
A former Provencal convent that’s now among the most luxurious retreats in France, with a superstar spa.
What it isn't
Spare. It might have been uber-simple when the nuns lived here, but it’s now so deliciously 5-star (in both service and style) that it’s a member of the ultra-exclusive Relais & Chateaux.
What we think
Design aficionados and aesthetes of every stripe will be dazzled by this 1613 former convent. Its original inhabitants would thank heaven for the renovation—rooms are stylishly decorated in Instagram-ready furniture, solid oak furniture, and new floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a blue-ribbon view over the rolling Provence hills. (Amenities nuns might sin for: AC; satellite TV and DVD players; speedy free WiFi and L’Occitane toiletries). Be sure to come hungry: Chef Jérôme Roy trained among the finest chefs in the nation before taking his post, which is reflected in the many on-site restaurants' menus—like the local parsnip gnocchi with little beetroot and sour apple reduction at Le Pesquier Bistro.
You're here because
You’ve been a big L’Occitane fan for decades, and this is the homeland of it: rife with the field-fresh lavender, lemon, verbena and honey they use in their toiletries. So the fact that the spa is L’Occitane sets your pulse racing—even before you learn of their aquabikes and hammam.
Sure, you’re an oenophile. But you’ve never experienced wine like this—deep in the hotel’s cave-like subterranean wine cellar—where the only thing more evocative of this place than the wine tasting spread out before you is the cheese. Who said heaven is in the sky?
Restaurants & Bars
Le Cloitre - The à la carte and set menus are designed for you according to the season
Le Pesquier- Presents lovers of fine food with the chance of a break that enables you to appreciate Chef Roy’s creativity
Le Caveau des Minimes - Offers a relaxed setting with a wide range of fine spirits
A 56 mile drive from Avignon (or 50 minute train ride), in the charming medieval region of Mane. Stop by the Salagon Museum and Gardens to experience abbey life as it was—in a 12th century Benedictine priory.