guide for quality wines from the Rhône valley

Accommadation

Northern Rhône

CliousclatLa Treille Muscate is a charming small hotel in the center of the village just 5 minutes away from the A7 – the highway between Valence and Montélimar. It has 12 nicely decorated rooms, a tiny restaurant on the roadside and a lovely terrache on the village side where one can enjoy a meal when the weather is good. Chef Eric Richard has a passion for products of the season and uses high quality products only. A very nice place to stay and eat. Because of their mentioning in many guides is it wise to make a reservation in advance. www.hotelrestaurant-latreillemuscate.com

MirmandeL’Hotel de Mirmande is part of the ‘hotel de charme’ in the middle aged, car-free village Mirmande (just 2 kilometer from Cliousclat). This hotel has a similar ambiance and appearance as La Treille Muscate and is managed by a young couple. Although Mirmande does not has its own restaurant. one can have a nice dinner in the local Bistrot Margot, only a few steps away. In general I prefer this hotel as it it convenient to walk my dog on the top of the village where there is a little forest on the highs of the Drôme. At clear days one has a magnificent view (to the West) on the river and on the top of the top one can picture the bold surface of the Mont Ventoux in the South. This is a perfect base camp  for visiting both the Northern and Southern appellations of the Rhône valley, located less than 10 minutes from the A7. www.hoteldemirmande.com

ThorrencAuberge de Thorrenc is  a small family business in a the hills at just 15 minutes away from the A7 (between Lyon and Valence). Spacy rooms, decorated in a simple country style with all new sanitary. The small menu offers different regional dishes and changes per season. The wine list covers many local producers and is selected with care. The service is outstanding and the prices extremely friendly. A lovely place for those that seek for a combination of calm, charm and gastronomic pleasure. There are some walking opportunities directly from the auberge. The village has no other facilities. For me this is base camp when  explore the Rhône, often the start or finish of a weeks travelling. It now feels like coming home due to the friendship which has devloped over the years with the lovely owner-couple Eric and Isabelle. www.auberge-thorrenc.com

Southern Rhône

AvignonCube Hotel based right bank of the Rhône river in the village Villeneuve les Avignon, on walking distance of the Palais des Papes – the hart of Avignon -. This little hotel has different type of rooms (up to three persons), all modernly decorated. On the top floor there is a terrace that offers a great view on Avignon.  Cube only serves breakfast, and for diner one can go to the main road (across the street 15 minutes walk) where there are several restaurant to choose from. The quietest rooms are at the back of the hotel (none-river side). Parking facilities are limited, frindly staff and not overpriced. www.cubehotel.fr

BedoinHotel des Pins is a small hotel just outside Bedoin. This friendly place has 25 rooms. The  ‘chambres prestige’ have a small private terrace with seats. The garden offers chill places, a small pool and a large terrace where they serve lunch and diner whenever the weather allows for it. The restaurant l’Esprit Jardin has a small and carefully selected menu with regional products. The wine list offers sufficient choice, among which a handful of local wines that can be ordered by the glass and half a bottle. A fine place to explore the Mont Ventoux area (distance ± 20 km).  www.hotel-des-pins.fr

La Roque-AlricAuberge l’Acacia en Provence, since 2010 run by the Dutch Joanna Sluijter. The auberge is a Provencal resident with limestone stars and ‘brocante’ interior.  Joanne offers chambres d’hôtes and table d’hotes (if one is lucky cooked by her as well). The village is picturesque and the environment beautiful; ideal for those enjoying walking and wining. A nice place to settle while exploring the Southern Rhône, with the Ventoux and Dentelles in the back garden and villages like Gigondas, Vacqueyras and many Côtes du Rhône Villages accessible by car within 30 minutes. www.acacia-en-provence.com

ModèneLa Villa Noria is a 18th century mansion close to the Mont Ventoux which is nicely transformed into a B&B. The five rooms are air-conditioned; the breakfast contains home-made marmalade and fruit  is from their own garden. There is a small pool in the garden with chair to relax and the garden offers plenty of space for children to play  Ideal place and nice environment.  Provencal prices in high season. www.villa-noria.com

Provence

BonnieuxUne Sieste en Luberon is a newly built ‘chambre d’hôtes de charme’ on the north side of the Montagne du Luberon and since 2010 managed by the Belgian couple  Barbara en Nicolas Guillaume. The rooms are luxurious, and can facilitate a family with 2 children (two extra beds on the mezzanine), all lined up in front of a large sunny terrace teak wood furniture. Thy have a outside kitchen (including refrigerator, dishwasher and washing machine) which can by used at all time by the guests to prepare a private meal. During season they offer table d’hôtes three times per week. There is a little pool surrounded by sunbeds. The beautiful village of Bonnieux is on walking distance and offers plenty of restaurants (from Pizza tot 1-star Michelin). Within short distance (20 minutes by car), on the other side of the Montagne du Luberon, one can find several gorgeous villages to visit and Avignon as well as the Provence are within one hour drive. A great address to stay in the Luberon.www.unesiesteenluberon.com

GordesBastide de la Savert is a small ‘maison d’hôtel’ owned by the Dutch couple Yvonne Savert en Carl Schuurs. Located on the slopes of Les Beaumettes, in the Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon, close to Bonnieux, Gordes and Ménerbes. These villages are among the most beautiful within France and within 10 minutes distance by car. The Bastide has three very tasty decorated double rooms. In the morning they serve a lovely Provencal breakfast with home-made jam and seasonal fruits. Private parking; dogs are not welcome unfortunately. A well managed address that come with a price. www.bastide-de-la-savert.com

SarriansLa Ferme des Sablons is a small ‘chambres d’hôtel’ near the Dentelles de Montmirail. According to our definition Southern Rhône, but for them based in the Provence! This charming address is run by Frédérique Calamel. The three rooms all have their own entrance and are fashionably and colorfully decorated. The garden has a small pool surrounded by sunbeds. Breakfast is good and served on the terrace, and when the weather is too cold in the dining room. This comfortable place to stay is ideal to explore the Southern Rhône as well as the Provence. Dogs are not welcome unfortunately. www.la-ferme-des-sablons.com

Savoie

VoglansHomtel Cervolan at first site a trendy hotel close to the highway Chambéry – Aix-les-Bains, next to the road to the local airport of Chambéry. The rooms are quite and spacious and most of them have a view on the garden on the backside of the hotel. The garden offers lounge facility, a pool with sunbeds and a terrace where one can eat when the weather is good. Surprisingly good ‘cuisine’  with plenty of choices (French and Italian themes). The wine list offers regional (Savoie) wines, which can be ordered by the glass as well. For those travelling to Switzerland or want to explore the Savoie vineyard this is a fine place to stay. www.homtel-cervolan.com