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Les Baux: Auberge de la Benvengudo

Phone: 04.90.54.32.54
www.benvengudo.com

Reviewed by: Amarena from US, review #2039

When: August 2007

Charming upscale country hotel in a fantastic and convenient area of Provence.

Terrace by the lobby, photo by Amy Baker

Benvengudo is they type of hotel you would imagine finding in the Provencal countryside: stucco buildings with dusty blue shutters, stone terraces with beautiful urns of flowers, a sparkling pool, gardens filled with lavender, rosemary, fruit trees and roses, clay tennis courts, boules court, and a wonderful restaurant.

I would describe our room, which was called a Luxe Jardin room (but it was more like a suite with a second bedroom with twin beds), as upscale but not luxury. We had a nice big terrace overlooking the gardens, with french doors which also had screens, a bonus since we liked leaving them open at night to hear the cicadas. The hotel does have air-conditioning, but we only really needed it one night out of a week there in mid-August. The second bedroom would be fine for children, but the antique twin beds seemed too short for adults. The decor was simple, but nicely furnished with antiques.

The staff was extremely nice and helpful, and it was a clean hotel. We met the owner, Carole, on our first evening there. She was very gracious and welcoming. One of the receptionists babysat for us several evenings, and she was so sweet with our children.

The location is good, about 1 km from Les Baux on the road to Maussane. We really liked Maussane, and spent time there almost every day... a convenient 5 minute drive to the town square. Les Baux deserves a visit, but with the hordes of tourists and paid parking situation, it doesn't lend itself to daily visits, nor would you probably want to. Maussane is a great village with several quaint shops and restaurants, and a wonderful town square with a beautiful fountain. Several restaurants around the square set up tables around the fountain for outdoor dining.

It was also very close to St. Remy, maybe a 10-15 minute drive. We found several good restaurants there, and a lovely carousel for our boys to enjoy in the late afternoons.

Breakfasts were nice, served on the terrace by the pool. Lunch is not served BUT the chef will provide picnic lunches which you can eat in your room or take it elsewhere... we got one of these on our last day, and it was so good we wished we had ordered them everyday! It was 50 for 4 people, which seemed pricy to me until I saw the spread... chevre, bread, pate, pasta, ham & cheese sandwiches, roasted chicken, roasted vegetables, an elegant terrine of zucchini, cheese & roasted peppers, chocolate cake, a bottle of rose and bottled water. It was certainly a feast.

We ate dinner at the restaurant twice, and loved it. They have a new 3 course prix fixe menu each night, so it would be possible to eat there every night if you wanted to.

We've decided that we prefer renting villas with the children, so I'm not sure if we will return to this hotel, but I will certainly recommend it to friends visiting the St. Remy area.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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