The famous bridge, the Palais des Papes, the ramparts, the Lambert collection: there are heaps of reasons for discovering or rediscovering this city of culture and Provençal lifestyle. The hotels here achieve a successful blend of gastronomy, heritage and luxury of a kind that is never in-your-face. They make this city the perfect bridgehead for exploring the region.
General Bonaparte himself suggested the name to the hotel’s founder in 1799. It has been hosting celebrities ever since - including Helmut Kohl and Jacques Chirac for the French-German summit of 1998. The Michelin-starred restaurant, La Vieille Fontaine, serves delicious, inspired cuisine in the shade of a 300-year-old oak. Unexpected. This gem of French heritage, one the country’s oldest hotels, holds rooftop parties that are the toast of the town.
39 chambres, 5 suites, un rooftop.
12 place Crillon. Tél. 04 90 14 76 76
AUBERGE DE CASSAGNE
A splendid house in a lush garden on the edge of town. Nothing is overplayed in the renovation; modern luxury blends perfectly with exposed beams and wrought iron banisters. The rooms and suites are independent and open onto the beautifully tended garden.
Unexpected. The incredible spa (more than 600m2), offering unique treatments by Swiss beauty brand Hormeta, is a destination in its own right.
35 chambres, 8 suites, un spa, 2 piscines
450 allée de Cassagne, Le Pontet. Tél. 04 90 31 04 18
LA MIRANDE MIRAGE
To adapt to the new rules, the hotel’s table d’hôte has become Mirage, a tavern in the former garage, decorated with big paintings by Timothy Hennessy. Quirky, offbeat atmosphere.
4 place de l’Amirande, Avignon. Tél. 04 90 14 20 20
LA BASTIDE ROSE
Like an island among the meanders of the Sorgue, this guest house and table d’hôte houses the Pierre and Poppy Salinger Foundation. This summer it plays host to monumental works from Galerie 22.
Chemin des Coudelières, Le Thor. Tél. 04 90 02 14 33