Reviews of Provence vacation, with morning yoga
Reviewed on 24 Sep 2016 by Ali James
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
For me, staying at the hotel has re-written the rule book on the group activity vacation - something I have avoided up until now, as I have never wanted to spend 24/7 with a random group of people or be tied to a strict, laminated schedule.
Everything about the week I spent in Saint-Jeannet surpassed my expectations. The accommodation was cosy and comfortable (and if you book a balcony room, I challenge anyone to find a better view!), the excursions were flexible, interesting and varied (although I booked them all in advance, others decided the night before or just chose to dip into one or two during their stay),
the food was incredible (all home cooked, home-made, organic, locally sourced etc), and Benoît and Corinne who run the accommodation are some of the nicest, warmest and most genuine people I have ever met. Nothing was too much trouble, they were hugely enthusiastic and knowledgeable on every aspect of the region and had thought of everything that you may need to
make your vacation easy and relaxing, without even a hint of over-scheduling, enforced group activity or coach-trip mentality (everything that has put me off doing anything 'grouped' in the past). The whole structure allows you to spend time with like minded-people, but also lots of time to chill out on your own or with your traveling partner. On top of the excursions, I could dip into Benoît's lovely early morning yoga classes during weekdays, before the best breakfasts I have ever eaten. In addition, they willingly imparted lots of their local knowledge for my second week further up the coast. You could say it was the vacation that
kept on giving!
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
It's a difficult vacation to define, as it sits between just booking a bed & breakfast and doing one's own thing and the traditional all-in group vacation. So my tip would be: if you are looking for a home-from-home vacation in this stunning area of France, that doesn't feel like a group vacation, but has all the bits you want from a group vacation taken care of i.e. an interesting and varied programme full of culture, scenery, activities, nature etc; transportation; equipment; delicious, healthy food; and a wonderful guide etc. then I cannot recommend the accommodation enough! It also gives you an incredible introduction to the area and its rich and varied heritage,if you are unfamiliar with it, and this was invaluable to my second week's exploration.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Absolutely and very obviously. From the locally sourced, organic, home-cooked food, to all the wonderful producers, suppliers and restauranteurs we visited, all with the same green or local ethos. Even the organic toiletries in the rooms were provided in non-plastic, refillable dispensers and there was a recycling bin in each room. They were understandly very proud of their La Clef Verte status and genuinely care and believe in having green credentials, which is another reason I was so attracted to this vacation.
I went on to stay at a hotel, which was promoting its eco/ethical principles, but I wasn't wholly convinced that it was fully adopting them or had thought them through fully. For instance, the pillows were apparently full of eco-friendly feathers and the food was locally sourced, yet they provided endless plastic bottles of water to their guests...! This was not the case here!
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
By the end of the week (helped by the glorious weather) I had laughed a lot, had some hugely interesting conversations, seen some beautiful places, learnt a lot of interesting facts, made some new friends, eaten some delicious food, tried lots of new things and completely relaxed. I practically cried when I had to leave, I'd loved it so much! Two weeks on and my friends keep telling me how well and glowing I look...thus demonstrating that spending time at the accommodation was the perfect choice!