From the gardens of Le Mas du Magnolia, the perched village of Ménerbes appears as a large ocean liner floating in a sea of forest green vines, its bow elevated as if in a salute to the far-flung valley below.
Le Mas du Magnolia, an elegant bed and breakfast, has two acres of enclosed lawns and gardens where its guests indulge themselves at a large swimming pool, on shaded lounge chairs in the garden, and at a pool house with a private kitchen where they take meals at their leisure.
Although it is one of the iconic perched villages in the Luberon, Ménerbes surprises you by its tranquil nature. Unlike Gordes or Roussillon, Ménerbes is bereft of activity in the summer months except for a monthly art opening or events at the Maison de la Truffe et du Vin. The café frequented by Peter Mayle when he lived on the outskirts of the village has been closed for several years.
The streets themselves in Ménerbes astonish: they have been repaved in a patchwork of square and rectangular stones of gray and gray-blue tones which are as smooth as the desk of, yes, an ocean liner. The meticulous repaving of the streets came by the boundless generosity of philanthropist Ms. Nancy Negley, of Houston and Ménerbes, who purchased in 1997 and completely renovated the Dora Maar House whose stately edifice addresses the Luberon countryside to the north.
Among the perched villages, Ménerbes distinguishes itself by an air of civility – a place to live rather than be visited. And this feeling of graceful comfort in the privacy of your own home is manifest at Le Mas du Magnolia.
Of the four colorfully-decorated rooms at Le Mas, two can accommodate three people. Three rooms have their own private terraces. All have double beds, bathrobes, pool towels, and hair dryers.
Amenities include a sauna and the only putting green that PVB has ever run across at a bed and breakfast. A top flight golf course is nearby in Saumane.
Minutes from Le Mas in Ménerbes, there is the excellent restaurant Le Cafe Veranda and the leading art gallery in the Luberon, Galérie Pascal Lainé. The Maison de la Truffe et du Vin has a superb wine cellar and a shop with olive oil and Provencal delicacies.
The nearby Domaine de la Citadelle, whose owner in the mayor of the Ménerbes, produces excellent wines.
Le Mas du Magnolia, route 103, Ménerbes, Tél. 04 90 72 48 00, Email: email@example.com, Website
Directions: Going east on D900, exit at Beaumettes to Ménerbes on D29, which becomes D103. Le Mas in on your left as you approach the village, look for signage.
Ménerbes profile: here
Domaine de la Citadelle, AOC Luberon wines. Close to Le Mas du Magnolia. Visit their Corkscrew Museum, Tél. 04 90 72 41 58, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website
Restaurant: Café Veranda, Ménerbes (BCB), Lunch from noon and from 7:00 p.m. for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Avenue Marcellin Poncet (center of the village). Tel: 04 90 72 33 33. Website
Galérie Pascal Lainé : Art gallery for the beau monde in the Luberon. Center of village opposite Café Veranda. Open from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.Tel: 04-90-72-48-30, Website