"Mas" refers to a Provencal farmhouse which is self contained. It usually faces south with minimal windows to the north. They are of stone with the typical Provencal shutters (shades of blue or green or purple supposedly to keep insects away). Mas Valentine is a beautiful example of a Mas. Three sets of double doors open out to a courtyard filled with plane trees, geraniums, and roses. The doors were guarded by two larger dogs and a French bulldog, all of which provided some entertainment. There are tables for eating outdoors as well as a beautiful dining room with an old fireplace. There is a lovely living room area with a chess table and easy chairs. A quite large swimming pool is separated by some tall cypresses and is surrounded by chaise lounges. The temperature in early June was 72 degrees F- too cold for me but not for my husband who swam everyday.
The owners, Marie and Guy, are outgoing and charming. There are pictures of Guy with Paul Bocuse on the dining room walls so it appears that Guy is a serious chef. The food in the restaurant reflects this. They are often fully reserved but will be happy to reserve a table for you when you book. The problems that a few people have had probably reflect the not perfect English of anyone here and the staffing of the desk with young people during dining hours. We had absolutely no problems communicating when we took our time.
Breakfast was included and was yogurt, granola, a huge basket of croissants and baguettes and juice and coffee served in the dining room.
The two rooms on the second floor that we had were lovely- not overdone but charming with windows opening to the south. The bathrooms were up-to-date.
It is a five minute drive into St. Remy- you definitely need a car. There are many other restaurants in St. Remy but they seemed to be filled with Americans whereas we were the only non-Europeans at Mas Valentine during most of our visit. Very nearby sites include Les Baux, the Roman ruins at Glanum and St. Paul Hospital where Van Gogh lived for a year. This location is also close to the Camargue, Arles, Avignon, and the Cote du Rhone villages.
Although the prices may seem high to Americans we found France to generally be expensive and feel that a stay at Mas Valentine will be long remembered- not just another boxy hotel but a real Provencal home.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mas Valentine... A story of heart " A day of November 2010, we were on visit in Provence, an intense downpour falls in Saint Remy de provence... This building of character wich we guessed behind high trees, a great simplicity but a real charmer... It was it, what we had dreamed, authentic without make-up, love at first sight! This is the way: ONCE UPON A TIME, in Provence, was born the Mas Valentine..." Marie Gabrielle et Guy Soulerot A Mas at the heart of the massif of Alpilles, Saint Remy de Provence, in a stretch of wilderness of more than one hectare, raises itself this authentic Mas of the end of the 18th century, where we cultivated the flower for the perfumers of Grasse. After a complete renovation of several months, the Mas valentine, Provencal house of charm and character, open its doors the summer, 2012. Since we cultivate there: the authenticity, the welcome, the conviviality, the gastronomy... ... more less
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