Vous pensiez connaître ? Provence et touristes… à quelques pas de chez vous ou de votre hôtel se cache l’inattendu. Entre mer et sommets préalpins, littoral ponctué de baies, presqu’îles et terres ensoleillées, les palaces, les plages, les golfs et les balades vous réservent de belles surprises. Partez à la découverte de ces lieux remarquables.

October 2015

Places for atypical guests

Par Claude Ponsolle

 adresses atypiques

In this unusual accommodation you’re not sure where the walls end and the countryside begins. These eco-friendly places offer an original alternative for an inspiring, totally luxurious away break at ground level, up in the air or on the water.


Into the wild
Choose a corner of unspoilt paradise that isn't at the other end of the earth, unplug everything and set off with your beloved. Set down your beautiful high-tech, eco-compliant cabin and blend in with nature, contemplating its sights and listening to its sounds for the duration of a detox break that's green in more ways than one but thoroughly comfortable. A quiet moment of zenitude that can be repeated elsewhere.


Moveable idyll
These innovative, eco-friendly cabins, built on piles of up to 15m or floating directly on water, are designed by Jean-Jacques Lavoine. They're called Zenzeyos, they are built in rot-proof red cedar and stainless steel and they can be used as mobile second home or writer's refuge, for paying guests or whatever the free play of your imagination suggests. The walls evacuate condensation, the insulation is made from feathers, a wind power kit and solar panels provide electricity, and the dry toilets are another


Gypsies for a weekend
Cécile's caravan is utterly charming, a magi­cal cocoon of comfort and refinement to pamper two nature lovers in search of a poetic moment, summer or winter. Neither house nor cabin, but a place for dreaming amid the vines and olive groves of Provence. Watch the sunrise on Mont Ventoux, enjoy breakfast and grills in the shade of an oak tree, laze beside the stone-lined pool, switch off and feel free to just be.


Cave dwellings at Clos Saint Saourde
This 18th-century building below Mont Ventoux, looking out to the Dentelles de Montmirail, amid the vines that produce the famous Beaumes de Venise Muscat, is partly built into the rock. It has updated its troglodyte lifestyle with suites, guestrooms and holiday lets, each decorated in harmony with the unusual and impressive setting. The dry stone walls, paved courtyard, cool spring (the Saourde) and heated saltwater pool all blend in perfectly.


Up among the squirrels
Here's a dream holding out its arms to you. Arms? Sorry, branches. Sleep in the trees with just the birds and squirrels for neighbours. Focus your gaze on the foliage, pan across to the Luberon or zoom to a hilltop village while the cicadas provide the soundtrack. But there's no need to rough it: 5m up in the trees you may be, but you have water, electricity, flush toilet, reversible air conditioning/heating and private jacuzzi.


Tucked up in a UFO
It landed from a helicopter near Apt, just below the Luberon. It's a wooden cocoon, a bubble, a doorway to timelessness. From the terrace 5m up among the birds you enter a comfy nest for a night or more with your head among the stars. In the morning breakfast comes up by pulley. Then the lure of showers, toilets and pool brings our adventurers back down to earth.


+ de balades