Why would you stay at a hotel… when you can stay at hotel at castle? Villa Baulieu is a boutique luxury hotel inside a castle in Southern France, and it beyond incredible and I am excited to share the experience with you.
Discovering Villa Baulieu was an accident. The problem was that I got lost in the logistics of planning my trip to France and England, and I forgot to book a hotel for one day. And it happened to be the day that Charles and I would be celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary. As soon as I realized, I went online to book the nicest hotel that I could find with a convenient location, and I hoped for the best.
Villa Baulieu was the best. We found ourselves giggling with excitement and delight at our good fortune when we checked into the 11 guest room boutique luxury hotel that was even more stunning than the photos online suggested. Villa Baulieu is one of the most remarkable places that I have even been, and considering the level of hospitality and the beauty of the hotel and grounds, the price was a steal.
The castle that dates back to 1635, and it is situated within a 300 hecta-acre vineyard outside the tiny village of Rognes. You can’t see the castle from the road. Most people drive by the humble roast that leads to the hotel unaware that they just passed the most charming place to stay. Even the hotel staff refers to the property as their secret. The fact that the hotel has just 11 guest rooms helps to keep it a secret – not that many people have gotten to stay there.
The property is maintained both as a hotel and a part-time residence. The fact that the property is owned by a family and not a hotel group adds to its charm. Family photos and an impressive modern art collection add realness and reliability to rooms otherwise filled with lavish antiques and oil paintings in gilded frames.
Most hotel guests seemed to participate in a variety of daytime activities. The hotel offers wine safaris and other hotel guests went to see the lavender or explored nearby villages. This meant that we had the pool to ourselves.
On our first day at Villa Baulieu, we arrived around 1pm and were happy to see that our room was ready early. After a tour of the property and a quick change of clothes we headed to the pool, which is lined with trees and kept at a perfect 86 degrees.
The staff chilled a bottle of Chateau Beaulieu rosé (which is excellent) and had it ready of us beside the pool along with a snack of slices of cured wagu beef.
The Chateau Beaulieu rosé is produced from the grapes grown in the Beaulieu vineyards, which are situated on the crater of what is Provence’s only volcano. This volcanic soil gives the wine a distinct terroir. (Note: The hotel is spelled Baulieu and the wine is Beaulieu, I don’t know why).
Just as Charles and I were snacking on wagu and sipping rosé beside the pool beside the castle – a space we had totally to ourselves, and we said that life couldn’t possibly get any better, one of the staff members came over and handed us freshly cut roses as an anniversary gift.
The rooms at Villa Baulieu are large and gorgeously decorated. They feel formal and luxurious, but are still welcoming.
Our second floor room had a view of the hotel grounds and the vineyards.
The bathroom was magnificent. It had a rain shower, double sinks, and a lot of marble. It was totally modern but still fit in with the rest of the decor.
Hotel guests also have access to several common areas inside the castle, plus the tennis and bocce court. And there is a hot tub on the roof!
Unlike the other hotels that we stayed at during our time in France, Villa Baulieu isn’t in the center of town. Since there is no hotel restaurant, you do need to drive to town to eat; it’s an easy 6 minute drive to Piano Gourmand at the edge of Rognes. It is a casual little place where locals dine outside. The food was better than expected and I would certainly return.
We didn’t mind driving into town for dinner, since the hotel is outside of town, the area is very quiet making the hotel experience even more relaxing. The only sound that we heard as we lounged at the pool was the water flowing through the fountains and the rhythmic chirping of cicadas.
Breakfast is served at the hotel each morning and guests can choose between dining outside in the courtyard or inside in the sunlit dining room overlooking the pool and gardens. After breakfast we soaked in the sun and swam in the pool for a few hours, before we had to leave for England. We were so sad to leave, but we are already talking about going back.
Villa Baulieu’s rooms, the grounds, and hospitality is unmatched. We had such a memorable experience.
My mistake turned out to be a blessing and Charles and I got to discover one of our favorite places on earth. Villa Baulieu is filled with charm and romance and I honestly can’t say enough good things about it. After a series of annual anniversary trips that have taken us to Boston, Charleston, Kohler, London, and New Orleans, I think we want to celebrate all future anniversaries at Villa Baulieu.
Getting to Villa Baulieu is easy, it is just a 35 minute drive from the Marseilles airport. You will need to rent a car.
This wasn’t sponsored. I just really want to spread the word about this magical place. If you happen to visit, let them know that I sent you.