Vineyard hotels are popping up left and right in Europe, with many choosing to become contemporary chic design statements in their own right. This trend is primarily started by Marques de Riscal when they approached Frank Gehry for their hotel after he completed the Guggenheim in Bilbao. (I’ll be visiting that vineyard estate soon, so check back here for updates)
It does offer an enchanting proposition; you get ultra-quiet surroundings, rolling hills planted with vines, and (usually) excellent wine. In the case of Ultimate Provence, the domain takes set in the backcountry of the St-Tropez peninsula. This trip will take you about 45 mins and, most likely, a few Tums after going through all the extremely windy roads. Once settled, you’ll discover a very smartly designed hotel, which proves to be a crowd-pleaser.
Ultimate Provence hired Monaco based interior design firm Humbert & Poyet to design a sophisticated working winery, combined with a hotel with a distinctly urban and contemporary chic atmosphere. There is indeed a lively and upbeat atmosphere present, although I do question if that is the appropriate ambiance for a vineyard hotel. The estate spaces are very inviting, and I truly enjoyed the mix of a working winery (with a tasting room) and the public areas of the hotel, such as the reception desk and restaurant/lounge area. I appreciated how the designers Humbert & Poyet drew inspiration from the colors of Provence by the use of aged oak and shades of sage and sepia.