In the heart of the postcard-perfect Luberon region, you’ll find Coquillade Provence Resort & Spa.
Flying into Marseille, a short car ride (approximately one hour) will bring you to the lavender- and cypress-flanked drive which inch by inch unveils the resplendent Coquillade.
THE PACKING EDIT
At Coquillade Provence Resort & Spa, the world is made local. An ethos which permeates all areas of the resort, from the kitchen right through to the spa offering, guests can expect a hotel stay with international flare, and a Provençal finish.
In a word: idyllic. A hamlet-style village – think honeyed, old stone buildings and sweet little sun-baked squares – awaits you. Its traditional exterior safeguards the hotel’s creative interior, which is populated with vibrant works of art, many of which are from the owners’ private collection. Then, of course, there’s the spa, which is decorated with delicate screens for privacy, and bubblegum-pink bouquets for fragrance and beauty. The lounge area – complete with stone orbs and potted trees – is yet another elevated space highlighting the hotel’s artistic leanings.
THE BEAUTY KIT
The 21,527 square feet spa is a serene and pretty space, which is well-equipped with a myriad of amenities. There’s a sauna, two outdoor jacuzzis, a hammam, a steam bath, Kneipp basins, a sensory shower, plus a Technogym equipped gym with Kinesis wall, weights, bikes, and treadmills. Not through with spoiling you for choice, there is also a roster of group classes to choose from, starting from 45 minutes in duration and costing upwards of €20. Just FYI, the yoga studio, with views stretching over the lavender fields, is a lovely place to start your morning.
Post-yoga session, enjoy some downtime in the indoor or outdoor relaxation areas and stop by the Tea Lounge for a detox juice before heading to the beauty salon for all manner of primping needs – from manis and pedis to waxing.
Not a guest of the hotel? You can pay for half-day access to the spa and all its facilities – weekdays this is priced at €75 per person, increasing to €85 on weekends and public holidays.
The spa uses Biologique Recherche and Tata Harper for their facials, with the former’s treatments starting from €140 and the latter, €150. We opted for the Tata Harper customised facial treatment, which left our skin feeling totally replenished. Beginning with a double cleanse, using Tata Harper’s Nourishing Oil Cleanse – a multi-vitamin cleansing treatment suitable for all skin types –, skin felt instantly invigorated. Next, a hydrating floral mask – a multi-hyaluronic tonic treatment from the farm-to-face skincare range – was applied using a cleansing kabuki brush. After that we started to nod off – we were so relaxed listening to the ‘Zen Garden’ playlist –, but we did wake up just in time to learn about Tata Harper’s bio barrier serum – which recharges dry skin and delivers thirst-quenching hydration. On leaving, our complexions appeared instantly glowy.
The next treatment we tried was the California massage. Adopting a jet-setting theme, the range of massages here spans Swedish to a traditional Thai rub-down, and so on. The California full-body massage was particularly relaxing and rather gentle – a great option for post-flight. Choose from two oils – grape or lavender – for your treatment, which begins with a simple foot cleansing ritual (and ends in the same manner).
Citizen Enfants readers: if you’re expecting, there is also a mother-to-be massage, as well as a baby/ child massage if travelling with little ones, which lasts for 30 min and costs €80.
Choose from six room types, beginning with the entry-level rooms, Chambres de Charme; we slept in a Junior Suite, located in the courtyard adjacent to the spa (for easy access). Soft and serene, bedrooms are designed as places of calm. Neutral hues of white and taupe abound, with natural woods – from the ceiling beams to the walk-in wardrobes (where you’ll find extra slippers and towelling robes) – adding further texture to the room’s overall makeup. Linens feel luxurious and above the bed, a series of framed pressed flowers fashioned as a headboard align to create an idyllic spot for dozing. Bathrooms are simple with tub and/or shower facilities, and beauty cabinets are stocked with Rose et Marius, made in Aix en Provence.
For a pre-prandial tipple, head out to your own private terrace or balcony, breaking into the assorted minibar as you admire the surrounding vines.
Placing focus on fresh produce – this is Provence after all – fruit and vegetables take top billing here. With a medley of eateries to choose from, you’ve the (literal) world of choice when it comes to dining at Coquillade. Together, Chef Thierry Enderlin, and Chef Aurélien Trousse have conceived multiple toothsome menus for guests. For a first night sampling, head to the plush bar (spot the sophisticated Lalique glass detailing across the lighting and furniture here) and order a round of cocktails by the fire whilst nibbling on some Thai food – you won’t go wrong with the paped tod (spring rolls) and som tam thai (green papaya salad with shrimp). Follow these starter plates with phad thai for mains and finish with a zingy grapefruit meringue tart.
Come morning, set yourself up for a day of exploration with a healthy breakfast from the buffet – whilst the usual (and covetable) carbohydrates are in abundance here, the supremely fresh fruits – from mango to strawberries –, yoghurts, beautifully ripe avocado, and eggs, were what we craved here (caveat: most mornings).
For a relaxing afternoon meal, try the poolside bar, Cipressa, dining on the balmy terrace. With Sicilian leanings, Cipressa’s buffet-style lunches are spoiling – the antipasti, fresh salads, and cured meats and fish, were all scrumptious – the spaghetti (cooked to al dente perfection) and the dolce were nothing to sniff at either.
As evening rolls around, consider the Les Vignes (outdoor seating in the Provencal garden is available from 1 July – 4 September 2022). Avelan – the hotel’s fine-dining offering is temporarily closed.
Visit the Coquillade Village Cycling Centre and sign up for an e-bike tour – we ventured on a trail to the Ochre Road, passing olive tree-lined roads and hillside villages, and made a pitstop at Aureto winery at the final inning. With a comprehensive selection of high-end racing bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, and kids’ bikes, BMCs and Stromers, plus biking gear, kit, and accessories, it’s a one-stop-shop for cycling enthusiasts with rental prices starting at €35.
Alternatively, head to the tennis courts for a game of doubles or book into a yoga class (hosted twice weekly).