One might call it a B&B-extra special, more than a bed and more than a breakfast. The uniqueness of Les Olivettes, a luxuriously renovated Bastide on the fringe of Lourmarin, is that its six spacious apartments all have fully-equipped kitchens, freeing guests from the daily captivity of restaurants, although in Lourmarin, a culinary hotspot, the temptations for fine dining abound. A Provencal breakfast and other repasts are taken in your room or on your terrace on your leisurely schedule.
At Les Olivettes, one revels in the decor: walls painted with Provencal ochre washes, floors of hand-made terracotta parefeuilles, and the melange of antique and bright contemporary furnishings. Each apartment offers bucolic views from a shaded terrace. There is a high-ceiling 600 sq. ft. common room, private gardens and a pool.
The roomy apartments, each with a queen-size bed, accommodate 2 adults, most with one child, and one holds 4 guests. Amenities include a stereo CD, internet access and satellite TV.
The website (below) provides great descriptions of each room; it is a mini-guide to local restaurants, wineries, sights and tours. Your hosts are longtime residents of Lourmarin, Joseph and Elizabeth DeLiso, a perfectly bilingual couple, an American and a Brit respectively.
There is no village center in the Luberon more pedestrian friendly than the one in Lourmarin where three cafes – of which the Gaby was a favorite of Peter Mayle when he was living withing walking distance – huddle around a small y-shaped square bordered by shops and galleries. Strolling though the narrow streets, one soaks up the atmospherics of pleasure and leisure.
As an entry point to the eastern Luberon, Lourmarin is accessed via a winding road through a ravine from Bonnieux, or a 35-minute trip from Aix-en-Provence. Its scenic countryside and many fine restaurants make Lourmarin a favorite getaway for the BOBO’s of Aix.
There is a dreamlike quality to Les Olivettes; it’s the kind of place that you would summon up in your imagination as the ideal tranquil Provencal holiday, and then the moment you arrive to its door, everything is in its place just as you imagined it.
Les Olivettes, avenue Henri Bosco, 84160 Lourmarin, Email: email@example.com, Website
The property is south of the village; the road is also marked D27.
A neighbor is the Château Constantin-Chevalier, producer of fine Côtes du Luberon wines of which Peter Mayle (The Marseille Caper) is a huge fan.
Finding A Gite in the Vaucluse: Here