Forget clinical-looking boot camps: after a challenging 2020, this year’s approach to wellness is all about joie de vivre. And when it comes to healing the soul, you can hardly do better than heading to Airelle’s South of France retreat. Situated in the hilltop village of Gordes in the heart of Provence, La Bastide is set in the 16th-century former stately home of painter Marc Chagall, just a 40-minute scenic ride from Avignon.
Designer Christophe Tollemer led the €33 million (£30m) renovation project, which earned it the coveted Palace status in 2016. The interiors forego modern lines and neutral palettes in favour of a quirky, well-studied French maximalism consisting of period furniture, antique floor tiles, rich tapestries, ornate wallpapers, vintage books and more than 2,000 paintings.
For the look of its Sisley spa, Tollemer took inspiration from the nearby Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque, the 12th-century Cistercian abbey built in Romanesque style and set in the middle of picturesque lavender fields. The spa reception is styled to resemble an old apothecary, and the indoor swimming pool, hammam and treatment rooms can be reached by way of vaulted stone corridors and through heavy walnut doors, each opening to reveal stunning views on the surrounding Luberon mountains.
Days are not spent fasting, but feasting on Mediterranean fare, lounging by the pool and venturing out for e-biking tours. Nights are for honey-coloured sunsets, open-air film screenings and stargazing. Welcome to le sud.BOOK NOW