This is one of the most recent additions to French luxury hospitality, opened barely two years ago! I have to say that a prestigious establishment like Villa La Coste gives us French a good name. A trendy, designer hotel, Villa La Coste is one-of-a-kind in the country. And that’s what I look for in the places I visit – something unique and exclusive that makes for an unforgettable experience! My bet paid off at this glorious estate that combines vineyards, contemporary art, high-flying gastronomy, and exceptional hotel facilities!
Vineyards and Contemporary Art: A Dynamic Duo!
As soon as we arrived at the La Coste chateau, I immediately understood just how unusual our experience would be. We were treated to an unbelievable spectacle as we drove through a splendid gate onto a long tree-lined driveway leading up to the chateau. We were immediately immersed in the art world with Louise Bourgeois’ spider sculpture, one of the most legendary works of art of the last few decades, towering over a pond to greet us. This sculpture is one of 30 contemporary art pieces displayed on the grounds, creating a path for a pleasant walk through nature.
Leading Figures in Contemporary Art
The owner of the premises, Patrick McKillen, called on the crème de la crème in art to create various pieces and buildings; one example is the famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando, a star on the world stage, who designed the Art Centre entirely in concrete. If you have been following me for a few years, you probably remember my stay in Naoshima, a small island in Japan where I discovered the work of Tadao Ando and literally fell under its spell! In addition, there is a gallery signed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, to whom we also owe the famous luxury hotel La Réserve Ramatuelle, and a photography pavilion designed by Renzo Piano, all in the midst of 130 hectares of organically farmed vineyards.
A Treat for the Taste Buds
Within this unique establishment, several dining areas have been designed to complete the artistic experience. The Mallmann restaurant offers new Argentinean cuisine with no fewer than seven different cooking techniques. The famous Argentinean chef Francis Mallmann, trained alongside the greatest French chefs, delights the taste buds of his meat-loving guests. In a more summer-like atmosphere, La Terrasse offers simple recipes à la carte, while the Tadao Ando restaurant welcomes gourmet aficionados throughout the day.
An All-Encompassing Artistic Experience in the 28 Villa Suites
To reach Villa La Coste, you have to leave the chateau behind and walk along a small road reserved for guests only. It leads to the hotel area, which blends perfectly into nature with its refined contours and green roof. A select few people, including us for a day, can come here to relax and enjoy the good life in one of the 28 villa suites, ten of which even have a private swimming pool.
Inside is a combination of light wood, marble, and unpolished stone, but also nature as far as the eye can see with a terrace offering a breathtaking view of the Lubéron. The suites are spacious and contemporary, bathed in natural light and featuring an incredible luminosity. Just like the rest of the villa suite, the bathroom seems to have come straight out of a famous designer magazine, with a bathtub carved out of a block of marble. The hotel’s total intimacy and immersive artistic experience continues into the guests’ rooms, a feature that swept me off my feet!
My Star-Studded Favorite for the End of the Year: “Louison”
This intimate establishment, highly appreciated by aesthetes, is also a haven for lovers of high-flying gastronomy. The restaurant “Louison,” named after Louise Bourgeois (whose sculpture “The Couple” attracts every eye in the room), was awarded a Michelin star only one year after opening. Chef Gérald Passédat, triple-starred at his restaurant “Le Petit Nice” in Marseille, pays tribute to Provençal flavors and perfectly complements the omnipresent art at Villa La Coste with modern, surprising dishes. This gorgeous location has been a true source of inspiration for the chef, who creates using a palette of flavors between land and sea.
As for the dining room, once again it’s an architectural marvel: this glass cube surrounded by a water mirror is arranged in a pure designer style with an overflowing creativity that will delight art lovers. We enjoyed a high-quality and original set menu, with tasty flavors and combinations accompanied by the estate’s best wines. We left with the feeling that we’d had an absolutely unique experience and wanted nothing more than to go to Marseille to learn more about the chef!
A Feeling of Exclusivity
The next morning, we headed to the lobby for breakfast! In terms of atmosphere, the lobby is a veritable art gallery where you can appreciate the dynamism of this energetic place first thing in the morning, without forgetting the most beautiful work of art in the room: the fabulous view of the Provençal countryside as far as the eye can see! To top it all off, the schedule at the establishment is rather flexible (breakfast is served until noon… or at any time of the day!), something that represents for me the ultimate luxury – that of being able to choose your schedule! This is another facet of Villa La Coste’s prestige: an all-round exclusivity provided to only a handful of guests. From the VIP greeting which combines relaxation and personalization, to the friendly, attentive service, this establishment is top-of-the-line!
The Spa: A Custom-Made Concept
The spa has the same creative pedigree as the hotel, with an impeccable aesthetic that we owe to the famous Hong Kong architect André Fu. The natural materials featured in the décor are ideal for reconciling body and mind, as is the range of organic products used in the spa’s natural treatments. This extraordinary place is perfect for reconnecting with your inner self, for example during “Slow Life” retreats, a series of four to seven-day-long withdrawals from everyday life. As for the therapists, they are top-notch in their fields of expertise and veritable masters of well-being.
Villa La Coste is a well-kept secret that has become an insider favorite since its opening. It’s a top destination for art and architecture lovers who want to enjoy a hedonistic experience in a unique location in France. I can’t think of enough superlatives to describe this exceptional place where beauty is celebrated everywhere you look. The fabulous architecture and design is perfectly complemented by the best in gourmet dining, particularly at the “Louison” restaurant, which is a source of endless delight. It’s a hotel where the word “luxury” takes on new meaning, even for a guest as demanding as I am!
- A unique establishment: an art center, luxury hotel, vineyard, and more, all in the same place!
- The smallest villas are already incredibly luxurious, and the largest are just magical!
- Restaurant “Louison”: a fantastic restaurant offering a unique experience!
- Not much – it’s pretty much flawless!
- More information on their website
- Villa Suite starting at 950€ in early October 2018
Thank you to la Villa La Coste for the invitation to explore their establishment. Of course, the content of this blogpost was left entirely up to me!