So my brother, his wife and their 5 years old son stayed in Domaine de Fontenille this summer following my recommendation. They kindly provided their views of the hotel and in particular what works well for families.
By the way, make sure to read my quick guide to the best places to eat in Provence. It also gives you ideas for visits and hotel stays in Provence.
A family review of Domaine de Fontenille
The setting and decor
The park is beautiful and provides many areas to relax. the old “bastide” has been tastefully renovated keeping the charm of the old while adding design decor and style.
It was acquired by two partners, one of them a specialist in fashion brands investment and the other one an art gallery owner. This is why you see so many photos and art in the hotel. It adds a subtle sense of personality which I think is deserved.
The room they stayed in was lovely. They recommend room 14 where they spent the first night as it has a long corridor between the bathroom and the bedroom making it feel like a mini flat. The terrace though in their second bedroom (room 13) was nicer as it had a view over the roofs. The first one is more enclosed.
While the rooms facing the park of course provide a great view, he wouldn’t recommend them for families who want their little ones not to be disturbed by noise. As mentioned before, they open right onto the area where breakfast is served in the morning. Also, if you choose a room looking to the back, you can get a little terrace/balcony/outdoor space.
Make sure that you ask whether the room has a bath as not all of them do. As a nice touch the amenities in the bedroom included kids-friendly products too.
One of the key selling points is how welcoming the place is for families. My brother listed in particular
- A child menu that changed every day
- The bistro being very relaxed and accommodating requests for various meal times or food
- The pigeon turret by the pool where kids can go and get games.
- The child-friendly toiletries and toys for the bath
- The fact that there are several families which make the atmosphere relaxed for kids
- The variety of activities on offer (see below)
Breakfast is served in front of the house overlooking the park and it’s the most pleasant meal of the day. My brother particularly appreciated that there was a different hot dish suggested by the chef every morning.
We had lunch wit them in the gastronomic restaurant. I believe the bistro has more of a distinctive quality with tasteful mini dishes. My brother concurred and recommended sticking to the Bistro as the gastronomic restaurant price difference doesn’t match the food quality difference.
You can of course try the wines from the Domaine. My brother lives in the Bordeaux region and is quite a wine amateur so trust his judgement! Me and Mr Big particularly liked the rosé and brought back a few bottles to enjoy in our villa rental.
The long pool (20m) is heated and has a gentle entrance with several stairs where you can easily stay with your toddler without bothering people as the pool is so big.
What really gave a holiday feeling to the Domaine were the events in the evening. They included a jazz band evening, a pizza truck or a wine tasting session. The kids were welcome to run around while the parents enjoyed themselves.
Verdict: is Domaine de Fontenille good for families?
When I asked my brother the pros and cons of the hotel, he said emphatically:
“it’ll be difficult to find some cons! They thought it was the best hotel they stayed in France, which says a lot!”
Domaine de Fontenille, Luberon
- 17 rooms
- From 180 euros
- A duplex room (good for families) is from 340 Euros
- Breakfast: child under 4 years old free of charge, from 4 to 12 years old €11, over 12 years old €19
- Extra bed: from 4 to 12 years old €40, maximum 1 child per room
- Make sure to ask for a room facing the courtyard as they are quieter and include a small outdoor area, though they of course don’t have as nice a view of the park.
- The Bistro had a child’s menu with changing meals every day.
- Games and toys in the Turret next to the pool.
- Two restaurants, one gastronomic and an easier “bistro” good for families
- 20 meter pool, hammam and massages in the spa