Capelongue, Provence: full of French charm in one of country’s most loved regions

A

h Provence. Land of olive groves and vineyards, where hazy days fade away in a blissful, lavender-scented mix of markets and medieval hilltop villages. This is the setting for Capelongue, a hotel overlooking Bonnieux in the ‘triangle d’or’ of the oh so peaceful Luberon.

The hotel is owned by Beaumier, formerly known as Les Hotels d’en Haut, a brand whose eight hotels across France aim to create a safe haven of relaxed luxury blended with heritage, nature and soul. Full of French charm, Capelongue perfectly reflects the allure of one of the country’s most popular regions.

Where is it?

Capelongue is a five minute walk from the village of Bonnieux, deep in the rural and seasonal Luberon where the exceptional scenery is punctuated with honey colored stone buildings. It is an hour by car from Avignon, forty minutes from the TGV train station in Aix-en-Provence and an hour from Marseille Airport, with the Luberon hotspots of Gordes, Lourmarin, Ménerbes and Roussillon all in close proximity.

From the hotel you have a fantastic view over Bonnieux and over the wooded valley in the direction of Lacoste. You may be sixty minutes from Marseille, but you are a million miles from full city life.

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Capelongue, Provence

style

Capelongue is a hamlet of low stone buildings clustered around a village square that screams Provence (but quietly, of course) following its 2022 renovation. Outside there are terracotta roof tiles, densely planted gardens and gentle fountains with chairs and tables hidden throughout the grounds, the perfect place to enjoy a morning cafe au lait or an evening glass of chilled rosé. The interiors are an artfully casual take on “French bastide chic”. Wicker chairs and banquettes and stoneware jugs mingle with crisp linen linens, generously sized toiletries, and a no-frills palette: elegant simplicity with a deft touch.

facilities

There are two outdoor pools, one of which is heated and has a separate shallow kids’ pool, a small, well-equipped gym, also with great views, and a small spa with treatment rooms, hammam, and outdoor hot tub. Outdoor yoga classes are held year-round and there is an open-air cinema in high season. A library offers a fabulous selection of art books, mostly in French but fascinating in their variety and quality.

extra curriculum

Capelongue is an ideal starting point for exploring the Luberon. This is traditional France at its most rural. Spend your days roaming the hilltop villages, the ruined castle of the Marquis de Sade in Lacoste, the Insta-perfect beauty of Lourmarin and the lesser-known delight of Goult, stocking up on local produce, delicately scented soaps, honey, wine and herbs .

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Capelongue, Provence

Travel a little further to visit Avignon, its famous half-ruined bridge and gothic Palais des Papes, visit the antiques and brocante markets of Isle-sur-Sorgue or visit the fountains and restaurants of Aix-en-Provence . This entire region is dotted with the names of famous painters who came here for its legendary light: Cezanne, Matisse and in the Alpilles Vincent van Gogh.

Cyclists come to scale Mont Ventoux, hikers pedal off the beaten track and there are excellent opportunities for kayaking and canoeing.

Eat Drink

Capelongue has two restaurants. La Bergerie, with its large windows onto Bonnieux, serves a wonderful breakfast of yoghurt, fresh fruit, eggs and overflowing bowls of pastries, served at the table. La Bastide, in one of the oldest buildings on site, wears its one Michelin star lightly. Here, chef Noel Bérard serves up a delicious – and wonderfully affordable – menu, using mostly local produce. Three bars, one by the heated pool, offer bar snacks, a wide range of spirits and that fabulous local wine.

Capelongue, Provence

Which room?

Choose from 39 individual rooms and suites for 2 to 6 guests, some with bath and all with shower. Favorites include the Pigeonnier, a romantic hideaway for two, rooms 606, a wonderfully private junior suite, and 212 with balconies and uninterrupted views of Bonnieux gently plunging down the tree-lined slopes.

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Capelongue, Provence

Best for…

Outside the main holiday season, Capelongue is the base for couples, international tourists, most staying three or four nights. While the lack of bright lights and on-site action may not suit all teens, in August the hotel fills up with families, both French and overseas, staying for up to two weeks.

The easy accessibility from Marseille Airport also makes this an easy choice for a weekend break. Arrive on Friday night, dine in house one night and head to the delightful Le César restaurant in Bonnieux the next night (expect wonderful but long service as the couple who work here do everything themselves ) or head to Lourmarin for dinner, 15 minutes by car, to Beaumier’s second Luberon property, Le Moulin, and fly back to London refreshed for the week ahead.

Price

Rooms start at €350 per night including breakfast. This winter Capelongue is closed from November to March. Capelongue, 550 Chemin des Cabanes, 84480 Bonnieux; baumier.com

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