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One of the first things you see when you step into the lobby of the Hotel de l’Image in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France, is the huge, old-style movie projector. Nearby, collections of photographs grace the walls. There is even a book collection all about photography and the arts, paying homage to the building’s past incarnation as a cinema. The décor is black, white, and slate gray with pops of bright colors like a film strip. The feeling is modern, sleek, and upscale.
Then you step outside. Behind the hotel is a different world. It is green just about as far as your eyes can see, or at least until the limestone peaks of the Alpilles mountains rise from the Rhone valley. Here, there are sprawling gardens (both decorative and food-growing), fountains, the pool, and plenty of room to relax.
The town of Saint Remy is cute and French in the best of ways. It has lanes filled with cafes and boutiques. Wisteria drips down the old walls, and locals carry their baguettes home walking down cobblestone streets in this town of 10,000 people. It is not a place where you need to escape the hustle and bustle. But, if you did, Hotel de l’Image would be the perfect place for that. Even so, it is the perfect place.
The Restaurant: Les Terrasses de l’Image, the hotel’s restaurant, features French dishes made with local produce and meats. Some of the items are so local, they’re actually grown in the garden behind the hotel. Breakfast is also served in the hotel’s restaurant. There are a number of pastries, cheeses, and cereals along with a selection of juices and hot items.
The Concierge: The staff at the Hotel de l’Image is available 24/7 to assist with everything from taxi reservations to booking tickets for shows in Avignon or Arles. All of the staff speak English fluently.
The Lounge and Bar: There is ample public space at the Hotel de l’Image, . From the library and sitting area off the lobby to the sprawling outdoor terrace, there are plenty of places to relax. The hotel bar is open from June to September and was not yet open for the season during my visit.
The Spa: The hotel has a lovely outdoor pool set in the back garden. A free shuttle bus will take you to the spa, which is located 900 meters away at the property’s sister hotel. The spa offers a full range of massages, facials, and other treatments. An indoor heated pool, hammam, Jacuzzi, and sauna are also available.
The Room: My room at the Hotel de l’Image was one of their spectacular horizon terrace suites. My terrace overlooked the sprawling backyard of the hotel with its gardens and statues and had a view of the Alpilles mountains. At about 50 square meters, the two-level room had a sitting area that could have accommodated two additional guests. Simply spectacular.
The Bed: With a soft duvet and lots of pillows, the bed was divinely cozy.
The WiFi: High-quality, free WiFi is available throughout the hotel.
The Television: Each room is equipped with a flat screen TV. English channels are limited.
The Safe: I had no safety concerns at the hotel, but each room has a safe for valuables, if needed.
The Bathroom: Each level of my suite featured a bathroom with a shower and sink. The luxurious shower on the second floor was considerably larger with multiple showerheads. There was a separate room with a toilet and sink.
The Bathroom amenities: In addition to the standard amenities such as shampoo and lotion, the Hotel de l’Image provided a manicure kit, vanity kit, and a loofah sponge – a godsend for travelers who may have forgotten certain items at home. Robes and slippers were also available.
The cost: The horizon terrace suite was €460 per night, but rates are as low as €210 for a standard room. (Check current prices for the Hotel de l’Image here.)
The location: The hotel is perfectly located on the ring road in Saint-Remy-de-Provence. It is in walking distance to everything in Saint Remy, but the large outdoor area makes it feel like you’re not in the town.
The transportation: Walking is by far the most practical way to get around Saint Remy. Two bus lines (Line 54 and Line 57) connect it with other towns in Provence and beyond. If you plan to explore Provence, renting a car is most practical.
The airport transfer: The Hotel de l’Image is approximately 20 km from the airport in Avignon and 70km from Marseille. The hotel concierge can assist in arranging airport transfers.
The website: http://www.hotel-image.fr
The Hotel de l’Image, part of the Hotels & Preference chain, offers a unique mix of a modern indoor space and an outdoor space that makes you feel like you’re in the middle of the countryside. With top-notch service and high-end amenities, it’s the perfect place to use as a base for visiting Provence.
We were the guests of the Hotel de l’Image. All opinions of the comfortable are our own.