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Floating on the breeze here is the irresistible sense of being on holiday. Nestled in the folds of the Provençal Alps, Riez extols the flavours of the South as they permeate the alleys and village squares shaded by plane trees that surround this hotel neighbouring the cathedral. Just like a family home, one instantly feels at ease here amongst the objects and mix of furniture with stories to tell. When returning from a trip to the Verdon, the garden will be calling your name for long meals and indulgent siestas under the arbour. One thing is certain, the Hotel des Colonnes enriches the simple joys in life.
For the beauty of the landscapes, the plateau of Valensole, the fields of lavender and wheat, the authenticity of the villages and, of course, the beautiful lake of Sainte-Croix and the Gorges du Verdon. I was enchanted by the atmosphere of this house located in the heart of the village, it allows you to enjoy both the bustling markets, terraces, cafes and shops and the tranquillity of the charming garden and spacious arbour.
The mansion was built in the late 17th century and still has many decorative elements from this time - terracotta tiles, cement tiles, interior shutters, a stunning gypsum staircase leading to the first floor and an impressive carved fireplace in the living room.
It is said to have been built by the Countess of Grimaldi at the time when Riez (an ancient Roman city strategically located between the Alps and the Mediterranean) was at the height of its notoriety. It was then transformed into a hotel for more than a hundred years and sold to Dutch artists who restored it with original materials in the seventies. I was then lucky enough to find it and was inspired by the charm of its history.
Guests often ask me if this is my family home, on the facade I have written "guest and friend house". That's how I like to welcome them, they feel eagerly-awaited and treated like friends. With only three bedrooms, moments of true conviviality are often shared in the house. The breakfasts and aperitifs under the arbour are a time to enjoy good humour and the gentle pleasures of life. The fresh summer lounge and charming garden with deckchairs are perfect for relaxing and daydreaming. I have also created a second hand shop that is full of home decoration and practical ideas.
The Riez market takes place twice a week, it is full of local delicacies - goat cheeses, delicious olive jam, lavender biscuits, honey and organic vegetables. I will show you secret spots for swimming and picnics with breathtaking views. I recommend Sophie Dias' colourful ceramics workshop and Marie-Odile Savigny's slightly more mysterious one in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.
85 € - 210 € per night
On the ground floor, there is a small shop with home decoration, fashion and objects from around the world. The living room opens onto a terrace covered with a generous trellis that overlooks the charming garden. A summer kitchen, where breakfast is prepared, is also available for guests to prepare lunch or dinner and enjoy it in the garden. The gypsum staircase leads to the second floor where the bedrooms are. Each room has its own bathroom and toilet.