Opened in July, 2013, this new "five star holiday park" in the Drôme Provençale (Upper Vaucluse) is called Les Lodges en Provence. Sitting in an old 3.5-hectare (8.6 acre) grove of truffle oak trees, surrounded by vineyards and fields of lavender, it offers a unique, eco-friendly lodging option combining the comfort and services of a hotel, the privacy of a holiday rental and the back-to-nature vibe of camping. People have been known to call this idea ''glamping''--meaning glamorous camping. love it! The property is open year round.
The 50 lodges (19 wood and 31 wood and tent) were built entirely from natural materials and range from 20 to 30 square meters. Each is integrated thoughtfully into the site, on a private plot. Lodges are fully equipped (bathrooms, open kitchens with fridge, cooker, microwave and coffee machine) and simply decorated. Four have private Jacuzzis; others have tv, phone, wifi, heating and air conditioning. The wood lodges are accessible for people with reduced mobility; others are designed for families, with two bedrooms, a big bed, bunk beds and a foldout sofa. Bed and bath linens are provided for all.
Owner Richard Cavalezy spent 25 years as a manager in the food industry (Groupe Agro Alimentaire) before transitioning to the restaurant business and now into vacation lodging. Born and raised in Nimes, he spent 15 years in Lyon ("City of Gastronomy!" he proclaims) and chose this part of Provence for its agricultural bounty: truffles in winter, grapes in the autumn, fruits and veg in spring and summer. "I really wanted to develop a food/restaurant concept based upon authenticity and nature," he told me, "and the lodging came after that, but in the same natural and authentic spirit."
The bar/restaurant at Les Lodges is also open year round, with menus created to celebrate seasonal ingredients and local wines. In summer, La Paillotte Grill specializes in barbecued, grilled and rotisserie items and pizza. Room service and takeaway are available.
Other amenities include small and large pools, a sports field and a spa with sauna, hammam, Jacuzzi, massothermy table, toning shower and massage services. Outdoor activities such as quad-biking with a guide and guided Nordic hikes can easily be arranged.
Les Lodges is also available for business meetings, seminars and team-building for groups of up to 60; your group can take multiple lodges or the whole property can be privatized.
Les Lodges is located 2.5 km from the town of Richerenches, 34 km from Montelimar and 70 km from Avignon. Rates for 2014 range from €700 to €1330 per week.
Les Lodges en Provence
Chemin de Bel Air
84600 Richerenches, France
T. +33 (0)4 75 00 72 33
*Looking for other non-traditional places to stay in the South of France? Here's info on staying in bubbles...a wide range of tree houses...a gypsy caravan...a Danish-style wooden chalet...a Mongolian yurt...a double yurt...a teepee in the Var...a teepee near the Gorges du Verdon...a log cabin...an old olive mill...a restored VW camper van...a safari style tent...a safari tent perched atop a watchtower...a restored Airstream...an old peniche/canal boat near Arles...an old peniche/canal boat facing Avignon...and an eco-pod. You're very welcome!