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Bonnieux: B&B Le Clos du Buis

Rue Victor Hugo, Phone: 04.90.75.88.48
www.leclosdubuis.fr

Reviewed by: Kaydee from TN, review #1776

When: September 2006

Charming eight-room B&B/hotel located right in the village of Bonnieux. Lots of local character and beautiful views. A truly special place.

Le Clos du Buis, photo by Kathy Wood

Le Clos du Buis is an eight-room B&B/guest house located in the lower village of Bonnieux, near the "new" church. The building incorporates a couple of old buidlings, now unified as one structure, including an old boulangerie. The owner Pierre and his wife live in a private area of the building. We spent eight days here in September 2006 and plan to stay here again a couple of times each year. We highly recommend this place.

Although the website may show fewer rooms, there are now eight guest rooms. Six rooms off of a hallway on the second floor and two on the lower level off the guest parlor. One of the downstairs rooms is accessible from the street level and has a small kitchenette. Of the upstairs rooms, three face away from the village with beautiful views of the valley, the neighboring village of Lacoste, the Vaucluse Plateau and Mont Ventoux in the distance. The other rooms face toward the village. All the rooms are pleasant and colorful with en-suite baths. One room is actually a triple and several can be either structured as a queen/king bed or two twin beds. Everything is very clean.

Le Clos du Buis has an attractive and very comfortable environment, characteristic of the local area. It's not a fancy or modern place - but very agreeable and friendly. There's a dining room with a large family-style table with an adjoining enclosed sunporch where most guests eat breakfast and enjoy that beautiful view. Guests can also use the large parlor furnished with antiques and a television for guest use - there's a beautiful old fireplace.

On the lowest level there's a guest kitchen with a shared refrigerator, stove and preparation area for organizing your own meals or picnics, including a variety of dishes, etc. for guest use. An unexpected surprise is the beautiful enclosed garden and swimming pool, including an area for outdoor lounging and eating. Although the B&B is right in the village, the garden is extremely private. Another surprise is the old baker's oven.

There is wireless internet that can be accessed in the parlor and dining room and some of the guest rooms. There is a small guest parking lot right next door, but we found it a bit tricky when there were several cars, and often found it easier to park in one of the free village lots just down the hill. And for visitors in the hot summer months - there is air conditioning, not typically something you find in these old buildings.

Breakfast is fairly simple but substantial, typical of this area, and served with a smile by Pierre. Breakfast is included in the room rate and normally includes a selection of cereal; baguette and small croissants with jam, butter and honey; goat cheese; a bit of fruit; juice; and coffee and tea. Pierre speaks just a little English, but is very helpful and welcoming. He grew up in the village, lived away for several years, and returned several years ago to open this B&B. His wife has an outside job, but he is ably assisted by Sophie, who speaks excellent English and has a lot of energy. They can offer many suggestions for restaurants and activities in the area.

We know the village of Bonnieux very well, having spent almost a year in this area in the last four years. I'm biased, but I personally think it's one of the best places in the Luberon to base. I love the old perched village with its steep ancient streets, but most of all I love the views. From Bonnieux you can easily reach the other villages on either side of the Luberon as well as day-trip destinations elsewhere in Provence.

Le Clos du Buis is very well located in the village and is a great place to get a taste of village life. Just out the front door, turn left to the Tabac and the possibility of a newspaper in English. Farther down the street on the corner is a new boulangerie/cafe, and the ATM and the post office are just beyond the church. Turn right for the pharmacy, another boulangerie, our friend Rachel's antique shop, and the butcher shop. Take the steps up to the next level of the village and find the market square and the friendly cafe Le Terrail with its outdoor terrace.

Bonnieux has several restaurants, most of of which I've reviewed here on Slow Travel. It's well worth the walk to the top of the village; be sure to stop in at Henri Tomas' patisserie/boulangerie - the best in all of Provence we think.

We recommend planning your schedule to be in Bonnieux for the Friday morning market. It's not a large market... but it's intimate and friendly and normally has live entertainment at Le Terrail.

See my photo album to learn more about this very special village.

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

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