How to spend 24 fabulous hours at the Hotel Le Vieux Castillon in the Gard

Behind the dry stone walls of two Renaissance bastides (fortified buildings), Le Vieux Castillon is a refreshing and peaceful haven to fall in love with in the south of France. This recently renovated 4-star hotel in the magnificent medieval village of Castillon-du-Gard, near a Roman bridge, stirs the senses with its refined interior, lush patio and stunning views over the landscape.

9am: Awaken in your chic cocoon

The rooms of Le Vieux Castillon use raw materials such as limestone and blonde wood, a palette of light colours contrasting with white lime and clean lines to create a smooth and silky look and refined decoration. The cosy atmosphere makes you feel as though you’ve discovered a secret hiding place as the sun rises to flood the Gard countryside with its golden rays. Take the time to relax and linger awhile before heading out into the village of Castillon-du-Gard or visit the nearby iconic Pont du Gard. Unless you prefer the pool that is...

11am: Bathed in light

Like a jewel box, grandiose red stone walls enclose the hotel pool, leaving one side open to reveal the panoramic view. As you laze round the pool, the view of the Gard vineyards and in the distance the majestic Mont Ventoux, the giant of Provence, is mesmerising. In the summer, the walls are transformed into a night-time canvas for classic movies in this ephemeral outdoor cinema.

1pm: Lunch – a feast for the senses

Reached by a small bridge from the old village, from which you can observe gargoyles and copper lanterns, La Table du Castillon titillates the senses before you even get to see the menu. Chef Benoit Dahai’s kitchen, carved into the terroir of Provence, features local classics such as slow baked lamb, grilled sea bream and beef of the Camargue. Relax on the terrace with its breath-taking views or inside where the light Scandinavian style is dreamy.

3pm: Take a break on the patio

A sculptured olive tree spreads its lattice of branches in the centre of the inner courtyard. The sunlight is sifted through the leafy arms of this ancient tree providing soft shade as oleanders and cypresses scent the air with their gentle fragrances. The patio has a quintessential Mediterranean spirit, intimate, refreshing and utterly enchanting. Plump cushions, Moroccan bean bags and soft sofas tempt you to relax in “bohemian-chic” bliss: curl up and read or take a nap, lulled by the sound of the purring cicadas.

6pm: Indulge at the spa

The gentle atmosphere of Le Vieux Castillon extends to the spa where natural materials embellish the relaxation area which opens onto the vineyards and the scented garrigue (woodland). This large Provençal herbarium, the garrigue, inspired the L'Occitane brand which originated near Haute-Provence. The accents of the south are the foundation of the beauty products and perfumes. Pamper yourself in the spa which has three cabins: who can resist the pleasure of a scrub with almond paste or a relaxing massage with cherry blossom?

Hotel Le Vieux Castillon in Occitanie