Butch

Provence - Can't Get Enough - May 2 - May 8, 2022

Traveler: Butch P. - Local specialist: Valentine Julien

Our experience and expectations started with outstanding support during the planning phase. We outlined our objectives and with Valentine and Team we worked through many options to create a memorable and most enjoyable trip.

They were especially helpful in recommending a location outside Avignon, in St. Rémy de Provence for our lodging. This allowed us to spend time in St Rémy and see and enjoy the small town of Provence.

The hotel selected was overall a very good recommendation. They... read more

Our experience and expectations started with outstanding support during the planning phase. We outlined our objectives and with Valentine and Team we worked through many options to create a memorable and most enjoyable trip.

They were especially helpful in recommending a location outside Avignon, in St. Rémy de Provence for our lodging. This allowed us to spend time in St Rémy and see and enjoy the small town of Provence.

The hotel selected was overall a very good recommendation. They provided transportation to/from town and it was very responsive. This was especially important to us since we did not have a rental car. The Spa and facilities were also very nice. Overall the staff was helpful and pleasant. On the negative side, when we arrived it was at the end of lunch and initially we were told that we would not be able to get any food. They did arrange for a platter and wine. Dinner was set menu - it would be helpful when arranging lodging for Americans not familiar with France to identify if a la carte menu is available.
Valentine also attempted to assist after the hotel scheduled a conference which had the break period immediately below our rooms resulting in lots of noise and smoke from cigarettes. It was too late to effect any changes but it was appreciated.

The Tours met our expectations - we wanted to visit small vineyards and were able to have a great experience with tasting and finding new wines that we liked. Sophie (forgot last name), Provence RÉverie was an excellent guide. She was passionate and knowledgeable about Provence and its history, food and wines. She went above and beyond to ensure we had a great time and adjusted the schedule so that we would have time to visit St Rémy. One of the highlights was our cooking class, presented by Gilles Conchy, Provence-Gourmet. He was superb and humorous. His tour of the market was instructive in the local produce, cheeses, and meats. The location for the class was fantastic. His patience with those of us who needed a bit more assistance was appreciated. Finally, the meal and wine we had topped off the experience. He should be highly recommended for English speakers who are looking for a cooking class.

We also need to identify our driver to the train station in Avignon, Christophe Lano, Alpilleges Luberon Provence Transport. He delivered a present of wine from Valentine fromthe local vineyard we had just visited. Total surprise and was a wine we had tasted and enjoyed. Although we did not experience his ability as a guide, he was very informative on the way to the train station and I believe he would also make a great guide/driver for English speaking tourists.

Overall transportation was excellent. On time and provided safe and timely travel. One note - as tourists not used to traveling on French rail we experienced difficulty in ascertaining the actual itinerary on the train to CDG as the tickets do not show where the train will actually stop. We were on an older train that did not have the digital readout showing the actual station and do not speak French. We heard a reference to Charles de Gualle and could not see any name of the station; and we made the mistake of getting off one station
early. In hindsight we should have know that it was too early to be a CDG.

Again, thanks for helping use create and enjoy a memorable trip.

Hotel Review

Le Vallon de Valrugues & SPA

St.-Remy-de-Provence

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

See my previous notes

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

availability to St Rémy
Activity Review

Cooking Class, Provencal Lunch and Local Market Tour in the Alpilles

France

Overall Rating
Food

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience