First the positives, of which there are many:
1. The staff are uniformally excellent. They really couldn't do enough for us, and always did it with good humour. They really did go to huge efforts to make our stay enjoyable;
2. The Auberge is surrounded by vineyards and forests - you can hardly see a house. You can walk through the extensive grounds, play tennis, swim in the beautiful outdoor pool (though the water was cold in early April), go on a wine tasting course etc. etc.. This is a fantastic place to unwind;
3. It's a relatively easy one hour drive from Toulon, so it is very accessible.
Then the negatives - of which there are some:
1. The food, though good (and at times, though not always, very good), can become a bit repetive over a long stay (the menu changed once in the week we were there, but we barely noticed, as the changes were so minor), and the only wine which is served comes from the Chateaux. So you'll have to go elsewhere in the evening to get any sense of variety. This is a real shame, as you hardly want to leave the place it's so relaxing. Also, there's pipped music in the dining room during every meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner), though you eat outside in hot weather, so this would be less of a problem in summer;
2. The local town (Lorgues) felt a bit threatening at night - I wouldn't really want to take an evening stroll there - there were a lot of bored youths on mopeds or just hanging around the place, and the locals also said they didn't like the atmosphere there. Which means a very windy road up to Tourtour (about 15 mins. away by car), or a drive to other local towns becomes necessary if you want to go for a walk in a local town before dinner.
All in all, I felt that the hotel was maybe a bit too far from the coast (about an hour's drive to St. Maxime, maybe two hours to St. Tropez with the traffic along the coast, though you can park in St. Maxime and get a boat to St. Tropez, which is quicker), and that the area, whilst charming and beautiful, didn't quite have the interest of places which are inland but which are further West, near Nimes, Arles, Avignon etc. Having said that, it makes for a very relaxing stay, where you can re-charge your batteries, and there are a huge number of activities to keep you occupied.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Château de Berne is a 1,500-acre private estate, situated in the Var region, in unspoiled Provencal countryside between Lorgues and Flayosc. Dating back to the 18th century, it is a truly exceptional site, promoting relaxation and wellbeing around two main themes: Provence and Wine. It is the ideal choice for today's Wine Tourism travellers. Discover the estate in a different way: mountain bike rental available and professioanl tracks! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chateau De Berne Hotel Lorgues
- Chateau De Berne Lorgues