A French Riviera Hotel On An Island In La Provence

by : Peter R Stewart

Mention a French Riviera Hotel, La Provence, and one immediately thinks of places like Cannes, St Tropez, Antibes, where the beautiful people go to see and be seen. Not many people outside France know anything much about a place called Porquerolles Island in the Mediterranean off the French Coast near Hyeres.

They know even less about a gem of a place called Le Mas du Langoustier the most isolated and sublimely situated luxury hotel in the whole of the south of France. On an island free of cars, if you arrive by car you will need to leave it at the ferry port of La Tour Fondue before the short journey to Porquerolles Island, where you will be met by the hotel's shuttle bus.

Le Mas du Langoustier is situated on the western part of the island, and has a huge reputation for its food. It is a real romantic hideaway, hidden between pines and eucalyptus with panoramic views of the turquoise Mediterranean and the beach below.

The hotel has fifty luxurious rooms which are beautifully appointed, and in fact the whole place is like a private residence furnished with antiques and Objet d'Art.

There are 45 standard or superior rooms, with some of the larger superior rooms having a balcony but none of the rooms has a sea view. There also four apartments each with two bedrooms which are ideal for families. Every bedroom has an ensuite marble bathroom, minibar, satellite television, air conditioning and a safe deposit box, and because of the way the hotel is furnished it does have a nineteen thirties feel to it.

Le Mas du Langoustier has the reputation as one of the very top French Riviera Hotels for the food served in its one Michelin Star Gourmet restaurant.

The hotel has great terraces, a good swimming pool, and two wonderful beaches on either side called La Plage Blanche and La Plage Noire to lie around on. You can be as active during the day as you like either walking, canoing, or biking because Porquerolles Island is just lovely, not busy if you avoid August.

Because of the isolation of this particular French Riviera Hotel, this governs your activities which will allow you to unwind very quickly.

There are miles of tracks to explore, returning to the hotel hungry and ready to enjoy the fabulous cuisine already mentioned. There are two tennis courts, table tennis, petanque and you can explore the islands by taxi boat, or enjoy water sports.

One piece of advice is to stick to the daily menu, which is remarkable enough in itself, without needing to punish your wallet by hitting the a la carte. You will be booked in on a half board basis anyway.

Sitting on the restaurant terrace enjoying the Catch of the Day it is hard to believe that you are only just off the coast of France, because you could be miles from anywhere.

This is a hotel for the escapee, a real romantic hideaway, and although technically a Provence Hotel, it has so little in common with the classical French Riviera Hotel, because it all seems so very far away because of the delightful car free island of Porquerolles.

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