the Reads: Spa

Domaine de la Baume

the Antidote to... soulless hotels

This place is la bomb, never mind la baume (though same thing said with faux French accent). Achingly beautiful, this hillside bastide with pocket spa was originally built by a Moroccan Count in the 1800’s and was, more recently, home to influential French painter Bernard Buffet. You’ll want to take pictures of every detail to add to your lottery-winning dream interior on Pinterest. Yup, I even took pictures of the light switches.

Thankfully, it has made its way into the loving hands and hearts of Sibuet family and hotels and Jocelyne Sibuet has designed it with usual breathtaking aplomb.

Sumptuous old-money style textures, layered fabrics, period furniture, traditional aged tiled floors and TVs hidden behind gold gilt mirrors. You’ll love it.

Don’t tell everyone that it stretches gracefully across the hills, or has its own verdant olive grove, mature hedgerows, classic pool house and natural waterfall YES, I said WATERFALL. I really want to keep the peace.

And there are so little choices to make, no menus – too hotel-y. Instead, under mature trees on a raked gravel terrace, a curated choice of beautiful breakfasts, lunch and dinners are recounted verbally then prepared while you contemplate the horizon and how wonderful your life really is (the place has this affect).

And the spa, oh the spa. Not your average spa, obviously. Simply four exquisite little charming cabins, two in the decadent old pool house and two hidden away in the trees by the waterfall *holds hand to chest in memory of the marvelousness*. Here you will have a pampering-meets-super-effective facial or massage using their house beauty products, Pure Altitude, which fuses good modern science with good, old-fashioned mountain herbs.

Afterwards, meander to the world’s most awesome relaxation room, the estate’s nearby flower-strewn meadow behind the herb garden to meet your lover for a picnic lunch laid on thick, crisp white linen and get slowly tipsy among the butterflies.

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