Les Carmes – B&B in Provence

I was looking to stay somewhere in Provence in late April 2012. Tried booking.com, tripadvisor… everything either full or expensive. And after several emails I finally got a positive reply. From Les Carmes. Near Thor. No clue where that is, but it looks quite central for some places in Provence. http://www.lescarmes.com/

From Paris its a 6h30 drive. With a car. I trusted my good ol’ garmin, and yes, it found the road. But… there is no B&B there. After driving up and down the road in the middle of fields, we found it. Easy. Just the navigator was wrong. Accessiblity without the car is bad, as it is located quite far from nearest town or even village. But nevertheles (giving that you have a car), location is perfect! Its right in the middle of Provence, and very good for discovering Luberon and Vaucluse regions, Avignon, Mount Ventoux, even Aix and Arles aren’t so far away.

Les Carmes is located in an old farmhouse of the nearby abbey. A decade ago it was beautifully restored and converted into a pleasant B&B. Ann and Mike are excellent hosts. Owners are friendly and helpful, and give good advice on sightseeing and places to eat. They even have maps copied for the region east of the B&B. Lounge area (with english satellite TV and free wifi) is usually shared with a cat. And as owners agree, the renovation is still ongoing. But as a guest, you cannot see this. There are 6 suites and a room available, with tariffs from 80 to 175 EUR per suite/room, of course depending on a season.

We spent then 4 nights in its Top Terrace Suite. And it was an interesting, and at the same time brilliant suite. Lots of space, large bed, separate room with table, couch, enough storage places… There is no TV or wifi available in the room, but that was not a problem – in a way, even better! Windows were a bit on a small side, but again, we were located in an attic, and that was also something special – with large wooden beams on the ceiling. The walls are thick, and probably rooms (at least our Top Terrace due to its small windows) stay quite cold even during hot summer months. Bathroom was large, with big walk-in shower. We also got a bottled water, though i believe tap water was as good as the bottled water. Staircase to the room is filled with history and with photos of the family that used to live in this house. But Estate as such (former farm of nearby abbey) is large, with some great outdoor facilities (they even have a swimming pool). Unfortunately it was quite cold, so we spent most of our time inside B&B or on different trips. Lots of parking is available, albeit drivers need to be aware of huge trees…

Breakfast is complimentary and also tasty (fruits, crossants, pain au chocolat, eggs on demand,…), though, if i had stayed more than a week, it would already be a bit repetitive. But the dinner Ann cooked for us was really good, fresh and tasty. Highly recommend

All in all. Highly recommended. Not cheap, but good value for the price. Property is for people who want to enjoy the Provence in old countryhouse, far away from cities.