Thursday, January 19, 2023

Provence Paradise is for Sale

After creating it and running it for 18 years, my friend William Moore has decided to put his beloved Provence Paradise on the market.

This is a historic hamlet of vacation villas on the outskirts of St. Remy, one of the prettiest, most-popular villages in the region.

Comprised of seven separate homes across five buildings—with 17 bedrooms total--Provence Paradise is being sold fully furnished, complete with an eclectic collection of antiques, art, books objets and tchotchkes, collected across France and beyond.   

All the buildings have new roofs, new electrical and plumbing, and reversible gas heating/AC. The roofs and insulation were redone in 2008 and 2021.
“There’s even a large, open-air terrace,” William says, “that’s just right for further development. Maybe a small bar and restaurant? The possibilities are numerous!”

This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in taking over a thriving, turn-key vacation village…where guests enjoy the amenities and privacy of private homes but the community feel of a resort. Provence Paradise has a 5.0 “Excellent” rating and great reviews on TripAdvisor…and a large loyal following with many guests returning year after year. William is happy to include his commercial assets (the Provence Paradise name, the website and a client list of roughly 2000 names) in the sale agreement, if wanted.

Or, the property could be divided and sold as private homes, individually or in clusters, or be converted to long term rentals. 

Originally from Chicago, Willy had lived in Europe for many years before buying the property in 2004 and setting out to bring its crumbling buildings back to life. For 350 years, the Tourtet family made traditional roof tiles and bricks here…but the business collapsed when the men went off to fight in WWI...and either died or came home disabled. The oldest home on the property is La Tuilerie, which was added to piece by piece over 150 years, beginning in 1621. 

“We’d finish one house at a time and then start renting it,” Willy remembers, “which helped finance the work on the next house.  People would say ‘oh what a beautiful house!’ and I’d say ‘want to see what it looked like before? Look over there!’

“It was a total labor of love,” William adds. “You wouldn’t have done it otherwise.”

My clients who’ve stayed at Provence Paradise over the years love the welcoming spirit that William created—through Tuesday cocktail parties by the pool, for example—and unexpected, gracious touches such as the homemade first-night dinner awaiting all tired travelers and the fresh bakery delivered to every house each morning. 

But they also loved having all the modern comforts (washer/dryers, dishwashers, air conditioning, WiFi, etc.) in homes that hadn’t lost their traditional, Provencal feel…with thick stone walls, ceramic tile roofs, vaulted ceilings, beams, fireplaces, painted furniture and Provencal linens. The property itself boasts Roman relics, an ancient aqueduct and a large wine cellar. 

The seven units have fully equipped kitchens, living and dining rooms, and terraces surrounded by plantings that ensure privacy for all. They range in size from one to four bedrooms each and are modular, meaning certain spaces can be expanded for special occasions. The total “built surface” of almost 1000m² includes 780m² of indoor living space. 

All together there’s roughly 2800m² of land, fully landscaped with mature trees, vines, flowers and an automatic watering system. 

In the middle of the property there’s a large swimming pool (6m x 14m, with salt filtration), plus a hot tub, summer kitchen, loungers and deck chairs. The pool and hot tub are heated by hidden solar panels. 

Provence Paradise has three entrances and parking for seven cars but William says that could be expanded to ten or even 12 spaces.

The neighborhood is residential and quiet…but just a 10-minute walk to the heart of the village. 

St. Remy is a vibrant, historic town of 10,000 year-round residents, in the Bouches-du-Rhone department of the PACA (Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur) region. Spread out across the foothills of the Alpilles Mountains, it’s roughly three hours south of Lyon and one hour north of Marseille. Hugely popular with travelers and second-home owners, St. Remy is known for historic sites (including the excavated Greek/Roman village called Glanum), its appeal to artists of all types (Van Gogh painted 150 canvasses in the year he spent here), its festive summer events calendar and traditional local festivals, the quality of its produce and the natural beauty of the landscape. Paris is roughly three hours away via the high-speed TGV train from Avignon, 20 km north of St. Remy. 

Many of Provence’s best-known places—including Les Baux, Arles, Aix, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the Pont du Gard, the Luberon and Nimes—can be reached in an hour or less. 

Intensely passionate about historic preservation, William says that giving this old property a new life, and sharing it with guests from all over the world, has been more rewarding than he could ever have imagined.  But considering he'd already spent 36 years in international manufacturing before he began building Provence Paradise--and that he had never really planned on a demanding second career as a full-time, hands-on innkeeper in the first place-- he’s definitely ready to turn the page, to focus on family (his four kids and 11 grandkids all live in Europe now) and on travel. 

He's also thinking he may do up a few more more old buildings, like the ones he recently transformed in the nearby village of Noves. "There's magic in old stones," he says, "and they definitely get under your skin!

"This slice of paradise—Provence Paradise--has survived since the reign of Louis XIII!,” Willy continues, “and it’s definitely time to pass the torch. My hope is of course to pass it on to someone who’ll cherish it as much as I have."

For more info:, +33 (0)6 07 82 66 63.