A haven of tranquility and relaxation near the quaint French village of Mane, Le Couvent des Minimes Hôtel & Spa L’Occitane ticks all boxes for the sun-soaked, carefully-crated, spa-loving stay you’ve been dreaming of in the heart of Provence. Founded in 1613, turned into a hospice in 1862 and recently reinvented as a spa hotel in 2008, this superb, award-winning Relais & Châteaux property combines its welcoming spirit and state-of-the-art wellness facilities with irresistibly lush country surrounds.
From its guest rooms and suites through to its three drinking and dining areas, homeliness mingles with eclecticism in the form of up-to-date design touches, splashes of greenery, flourishes of floral bouquets and quirky statement furnishings (think Asian-inspired lampshades in the main restaurant, lime and bubblegum-pink chairs in the communal lounge, boldly patterned wallpapers and curtains, and life-size sheep statues in reception). From room to room, individual styles and bursts of colour perfectly complement the hotel’s soft yet eccentric vibe. It is only in La Cornue, a stony cellar where wine-tasters and cheese connoisseurs can tickle their taste buds, that the traditional Provençal aesthetic appears wholly untouched.
The definite highlight, a shimmering spa, encapsulates the tranquil atmosphere for which the hotel prides itself. Using the brilliance of beauty and skincare brand L’Occitane, as well as environmentally-friendly practices and Fairtrade ingredients, treatments here range from essential oil massages to nourishing and illuminating facials – each aiming to deliver a journey of the senses whilst remaining authentic and respectful. Facilities throughout the spa include an indoor swimming pool with massage jets and colour-changing water, a relaxation area, a sauna and a steam room, all designed in rich, warming and calming tones. As the cherry on the gâteau, a sublime outdoor pool lined with loungers offers up quite the space for al fresco unwinding – could there be anywhere more heavenly?
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