The Orangerie’s outdoor seating area continues next to a large ornamental pool that’s home to sunbathing frogs, a few fish and a splendid central fountain. You can enjoy lunch and pre-dinner apéros under the shade of a centuries-old cypress tree. I devoured a tasty tapas menu here on my last evening. And in fact, I spent much of my stay under this beautiful tree, journaling and daydreaming. If only trees could talk…
I was delighted to discover that these wonderful beings are also home to hundreds of bats. Don’t worry, you’ll never see them as the lights are purposefully dimmed in the park at night so as not to disturb these beautiful creatures. What you will see, however, are their colourful yellow nesting boxes thoughtfully provided by the Fonscolombe gardeners.
Château de Fonscolombe is blessed to have its own vineyards producing red, white and rosé. The red in particular is better than some St Emilion classics I’ve tasted. The Merlot, Chardonnay and Cab Sav plots are cultivated without the use of pesticides, thereby giving the Fonscolombe label ‘Organic Wine’ status. I also recommend taking a tour of the estate’s wine cellar located in the main house.
If you feel the need to work off the fabulous food and wine, dive into the pool for a few laps or borrow the Château’s bike for a spin around the local vineyards. You can also visit neighbouring Château de Paradis and enjoy, as I did, a tour of the cellars and a superb wine tasting.
Perhaps your beloved will be inspired by the romance of the setting at Château de Fonscolombe and pop the question. If so, there’s a chapel here in the park, a truly incredible setting for a marriage just off the path to the swimming pool which is set well away from the main house.
Sun loungers are plentiful and there’s a snack bar to keep you fed and watered the whole day, manned by very helpful staff. Indeed, the wonderful people who work at Château de Fonscolombe are one of the main reasons for the hotel’s success: I have rarely met such a welcoming and friendly team. Nothing is too much trouble and they all ensured I had a wonderful stay. The Château is also a great place for children, who are well catered for – there’s even a kids menu.
Château de Fonscolombe – Nearby Attractions
Although many guests choose to stay at Château de Fonscolombe for the duration of their stay, such is the magical allure of this tranquil luxury hotel and park, a short drive south and you’re in beautiful Aix en Provence. And just north of Fonscolombe you can take a slow drive around the Luberon, visiting the hilltop villages of Bonnieux, Gordes and Roussillon. Then head west to Avignon and Isle Sur La Sorgue and to the enigmatic Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. The Côte d’Azur is also within easy reach from Château de Fonscolombe – just take the A58 south and then head east on the A8 all the way to Cannes and beyond.
Thanks to its luxuriously appointed rooms and suites, an incomparable setting and world-class service, Château de Fonscolombe has become a media darling and popular with international guests, as well as weekenders from across Provence and farther. The Château is also a popular wedding and seminar location.
“We have 60% occupancy, which is unusual for a new opening,” Cedric reveals. “Most of our guest are from France, the United States, the UK, the rest of Europe, South America and many Asian countries.”
Originally intending to stay for just two nights, I extended my sojourn at Château de Fonscolombe by a further two days, willingly held captive by the hotel’s beauty and tranquillity and its superb cuisine. I left recharged, happy and vowing to return. And I’m sure you will too.
Château de Fonscolombe – Where and How?
Château de Fonscolombe is located at Route de Saint-Canadet, 13610 Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France. For more information, or to make a reservation, call +33 (0) 442 211 313, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.fonscolombe.fr.