This is one of our favourite hotels and a visit not long ago – plus complimentary reports from readers – reconfirm our earlier impressions. The hosts here are the charming M. Marignane and his family – his sister-in-law owns the Relais de la Magdeleine at Gemenos. Low, red-roofed buildings are clustered around a courtyard – modern constructions, but using old materials. Within are wooden beams and pillars, rustic furniture, tiled floors and open fireplaces. Bedrooms are also rustic in style and comfortable.
Many of the rooms are spread around the grounds in bungalows. The setting is peaceful and the gardens a delight – with a big swimming pool shielded by cypresses, plenty of secluded corners, and a pond with a fountain, lilies and a number of lazy carp. Overlooking this is a beautiful summer dining room, with windows that slide away, effectively creating a roofed terrace – to which underfloor heating has now been added, allowing you to eat out even on a chilly day. The food is excellent, with the emphasis on fish, fresh vegetables and a strong Provencal influence (although the chef is from Strasbourg).