The 300-year-old mas, Domaine le Mistral, in Provence (Photo © VINGT Paris)
Surrounded by fragrant lavender bushes, a vast olive grove and a lush forest, Domaine le Mistral is a traditional Provençal mas (farmhouse) that is more than 300 years old. Now, from spring 2021, everyone who is able to travel safely will be able to share in its wonder as it begins a new chapter as a beautifully renovated holiday home. Marrying rustic charm with the best in design-led luxury living, it all adds up to the perfect escape to the French countryside.
Located within the stunning surroundings of the Alpilles national park, this 25-acre estate provides an opportunity to truly get away from it all and reconnect with nature – at a time when both those things have never been more important. Among the many natural highlights, there is a fresh-water lake, a special fauna and flora that is unique to the region and a forest infused with Mediterranean essences – including truffles. Then there’s the olive grove, with its 600 trees, where guests can even join in the harvest.
Featuring impressive volumes, the farmhouse itself includes seven en-suite bedrooms, two stunning salons, a library, a large dining room with a fireplace and seating for 14, as well as a made-to-measure kitchen, a staff kitchen, a wine cellar and a tasting room. There is also a heated swimming pool, a tennis court, a fully equipped gym, a spa, a sauna and an open-air cinema – as well as a log cabin for fun stays in the forest. And that’s not to mention the on-site concierge services (in English) and daily housekeeping.
“We are delighted to have added this beautiful holiday home to our portfolio of rental properties,” says Susie Hollands, founder and CEO of VINGT Paris, which has been appointed to manage the estate. “We handled the purchase of Domaine le Mistral on behalf of a client with a close connection to the area. Despite the challenges of 2020, we were thrilled to be able to find him the property of his dreams. Now we can’t wait to start welcoming guests.
“Initially, of course, it is likely to be mainly French visitors that will join us. But as lockdowns start to loosen, and it becomes safe to travel again, we are very much looking forward to welcoming holidaymakers from the UK, the USA and beyond. There is a real emphasis on nature and well-being here, and we are sure that guests will find the place as rejuvenating and restorative as we have.”
Recently restored to the highest standards by one of the region’s leading designers, Gérard Faivre, Domaine le Mistral certainly seems to have it all. While the historic integrity of the place has been entirely respected throughout, the design and décor are pure designer luxury. From the Boffi bathrooms and Bluetooth sound-system to the carpets by Christian Lacroix (another famed designer from the area), no detail has been overlooked – even down to the floors tiled in local stone.
Outside, in addition to the lovely al-fresco dining area, there is so much to do that you will barely need to leave the property. As well as all the features already mentioned, other activities including ping-pong, table football and pétanque – and there are bicycles ready and waiting. The lake also includes boating, fishing and stand-up paddle-boards – and the open-air cinema can seat up to 30. Or, for something a little bit different, there is the log cabin in the forest where you can spend a night overlooking the Lubéron national park.
Of course, if you do decide to venture out, you couldn’t be in a better spot. Famed for its fragrant lavender, rolling vineyards and great markets, Provence captures the finest elements of the French lifestyle – and the nearby village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, made famous by Van Gogh who painted Starry Night here, is one of the best. Elsewhere, in the beautiful surroundings of the Alpilles (little Alps), you can enjoy hiking, cycling and gliding, and the Camargue is nearby too. Plus, the beaches of the south coast are an easy drive, as are the cities of Arles, Avignon and Nimes.
“Whatever your interests, private excursions can easily be arranged – and we have access to a fleet of vintage vehicles for your stay,” adds Susie. “We can also arrange a whole host of other special touches – including a private chef if desired – and every guest will receive a complimentary bottle of Domaine le Mistral’s own olive oil as a souvenir of their stay.”
So, whether holidaying with family or friends, looking for an idyllic wedding venue or searching for a special location for a corporate event, this is sure to be the perfect private retreat.