Monday, May 15, 2017

Old Roses and New Life at Amarine


This weekend at Mas de l' Amarine in St. Remy, owners Alice Monnier and Bernard Coloma are hosting a Salon of Ancient Roses, with three full days of rose-themed activities open to the public. More details and a link to the schedule appear below. 

The salon will give you a great chance to see all the changes just unveiled at this unique and very-beautiful boutique hotel in St. Remy. Well...former hotel. Yep, the big news is that Alice and Bernard have closed both the hotel and restaurant, transforming the property into a venue for private rentals, retreats and special events. They're calling it "an authentic experiential hideaway... the ultimate private getaway...a refined, creative refuge celebrating the art of positive luxury." Whether you book Amarine for a family reunion, special celebration, wedding, wellness retreat, corporate getaway or the vacation of your dreams, the property will be entirely yours and completely private...with Alice and Bernard available to organize every aspect of your stay.

Since it opened in 2011, Mas de l' Amarine has been one of my favorite hotels in St. Remy: an 18th-century Provencal farmhouse decorated with quirky colors and fine mosaics by painter Roger Bezombes in the 1950s...purchased by Alice's Uncle in 2005...and then transformed by Alice and Bernard into a small, very-unique art-filled hotel.

"The style suggests the Bohemian life beloved by many artists, hinting at freedom and a touch of talented craziness," Alice says.

With Alice in the the front of the house and Bernard running the kitchen, Amarine received rave reviews for the warmth of the welcome, the lush beauty of the setting, the blending of contemporary and traditional design, the quality of the Bernard's superb cooking and the luxurious but laid-back vibe...elegant and edgy at once.

And none of that will change, they tell me, now that they've taken this new direction.

Located on the Voie Aurélia, the old Roman road that runs along the northern foothills of the Alpilles Mountains, Amarine is just a five-minute drive or a 20 to 25-minute walk to the heart of the village. It's a quiet residential and agricultural area, with horses grazing in large fields, roads that wind through olive groves and vineyards, wonderful hiking and biking just out the door...and some of the most popular sites in Provence less than an hour away. 

The main house, built on several levels, offers:

*Six large en suite bedrooms.

*A large lounge with an imposing fireplace, fronted by a chimney breast that came from the Palais de Papes in Avignon.

* Another large lounge with windows opening onto a terrace, the gardens and the Alpilles. 

*A 36-square-meter open kitchen, loaded with high-end professional equipment.

* A rock-walled dining room with flexible seating and wine storage carved out of the rock. 

* Terraces for outdoor dining and lounging.

* A 5000-square-meter "park" with flower and herb gardens, a fish pond with water lilies and spouting sculptures...shaded by generations of nettle trees, pine and mature oak.

*An indoor/outdoor "well being space" (aka The Dreamcatcher) for beauty, fitness and more.

*A 15-by-7-meter heated pool with pool house and outdoor kitchen.

* A Petanque court.

* A small (66-square-meter) detached house called The Bergerie, with an open kitchen, two bedrooms, bathroom, laundry room and pantry. The Bergerie has heating, A/C, WiFi and direct garden access.

For guests who rent the whole property, there are a wide range of "bespoke services" available on an à la carte basis. These include culinary experiences (shopping and delivery of fresh, high-quality produce, breakfast prep, chef throughout the stay or on occasion, stocking of wine and spirits, cooking classes, etc.); chauffeurs and transfers; additional staff such as housekeeping and major-domo; rental of cars and vintage convertibles; massages, beauty treatments, yoga and pilates; and a wide range of local experiences and tours.

"Our philosophy is simple," Alice says. "We believe in sustainable, organic and local; in wellness and luxury; in the inspirational, experiential and fun. And the overall experience is magical!"

In July and August,  Mas de l'Amarine is available for weekly rental only. In May, June and September, the minimum stay is three nights. The rest of the year, day and evening rentals are welcomed. 

A full description of the property is hereFor rental inquiries, rates and more info:

Now what's happening at the rose salon this weekend? You'll find activities grouped into four separate themes:

Côté Fleurs, every day from 11 am to 7:30 pm: immerse yourself in the beauty and aroma of a wide range of heirloom roses. Buy custom-made bouquets, rose bushes to plant at home, books and more. And meet expert Provencal rose grower Benoit Hochart.

Côté Beauté, every day from 11 am to 7:30: learn about and sample rose-based products for skin and body.

Côté Art de la Table, every day from 11 am to 12:30, by appointment only. Alice will lead a workshop on setting a beautiful table, making napkin rings from roses and creating a beautiful floral centerpiece.

Côté Gourmand, every day from 11 am to 7 pm: enjoy cheese, charcuterie, pastries, ice cream and sorbet, plus wine and other drinks. 

To see the Rose Salon schedule in French, click here.

Mas de l'Amarine
517 Ancienne Voie Aurélia
13210 St Rémy de Provence
Tel: +33 (0)6 37 22 51 08

Photos: Public and private spaces at the "new" Mas de l'Amarine, interspersed with gorgeous spring roses like the many varieties you'll see at the rose salon this weekend. Alice and Bernard (pictured between the curtains and clowning in the garden with drinks) treat the whole property like a work of art. They love jolts of bright color against creamy stone walls and backdrops of lush greenery. They love modern art and sculpture, colorful textiles and fluttery fabrics, the whimsical and the theatrical. They're constantly editing the decor, bringing the outdoors in and vice versa...creating spaces both stimulating and soothing. The bottom shots show the property overview and The Bergerie, the two-bedroom detached house that's offered alongside the main house.


  1. Is the restaurant open to the public or just for guests?
    I had difficulty finding restaurant on web site

    1. Hi, both the hotel and restaurant are now closed. The kitchen and dining rooms will be used by villa-rental guests. We'll all miss it...great restaurant!

  2. Thanks for sharing Julie, will surely want to go...

  3. I'm there is spirit, and have put their address in my French address book. Thank you for the introduction.

  4. Thanks for this, Julie! Duly noted.



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