Waking up in the middle of nature
On the heights of a 130-hectare (321-acre) vineyard, the Villa La Coste hotel offers nature both wild and domestic: hills combed with vines, groves of large trees and golden meadows that hug the mountainous area. Here and there, dry stone walls; further away, a stream, oak trees and a pine forest rustling with the sound of cicadas in summer. Either on foot or with one of the bikes provided by the hotel, enveloped in a scent of scrubland, follow the paths that run along the vineyards or snake into the pine forest.
Strolling among the works of art
Frank O. Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Tadao Ando, Sophie Calle--the greatest names in architecture and contemporary art have created works in situ between the vineyards and wooded hills of Château La Coste. From a wine cellar with corrugated sheets of steel, an artsy version of an agricultural shed designed by Jean Nouvel, you can roam the area in search of around 30 works. Get lost on the trails, just like the artists did to get inspired by the place and create. Among the treasures found is a monumental bronze chalice by Guggi and an old chapel enclosed in a glass case imagined by Tadao Ando. At the end of the day, you can marvel at Jean-Michel Othoniel's creation, La Grande Croix Rouge, a giant scarlet crucifix made of glass that blazes with the light of the setting sun.
Pamper yourself at the spa
Clean lines, natural stones and light wood characterize the spa at Villa La Coste, convyeing contemporary elegance in keeping with the spirit of the estate. You'll appreciate the sunlight that invades the cabins (some even have private gardens) and the 100% natural treatments featuring regional ingredients: oils from Provençal plants and flowers, mineral salts, clays and more. The decor inspires a holistic approach. Yoga sessions are held in a studio that seems to immerse visitors in a work of art, practicing while being bathed in colorful lights filtered in through a stained glass window. The hotel offers "yoga and brunch" sessions on certain Sundays.
Discover the wines of the estate
Patrick McKillen, the founder of Château La Coste, often notes that the winemakers are just as much artists as those who deal in paint and clay. Their palette? Grape varieties grown biodynamically, according to the rules of the "Organic Agriculture" label: Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Vermentino, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet-Sauvignon. The wines of Château La Coste, with a predominance of rosé, can be explored in the cellars or in the shop.
For wine enthusiasts who want to know more, there are wine workshops that introduce you to wine-making methods, aromas and tasting. There you will learn that, under his steel greenhouse sparkling in the sun, Jean Nouvel designed a gravity cellar that prevents oxygen from entering the wine and ensures a more natural expression of the nectar.
Daydreaming on your private terrace or by the pool
Zen comfort, graphic lines, predominance of white accents: the rooms (28 villa suites) invite you to relax and be calm. Their private patios and terraces immerse visitors in dreamy contemplation of the expanses of the vineyard and the Luberon Massif. Unless you prefer relaxing by the hotel pool or a private one from any of the 10 Villa Suites, privacy is provided by a hedge of trees, where you will be rocked to sleep by the singing of nature.
Succumb to an inventive gastronomy
A master of fire presides at Château La Coste. Argentinian Chef Francis Mallmann uses seven cooking techniques with a wood-fired oven and a fire dome to craft his art. Provençal rack of pork, rib steak from Galicia, roasted oranges and beets take on new flavors in a rustic-chic, black-enhanced setting. For locavore cuisine honoring seasonal products from the estate’s organic vegetable garden, choose Tadao Ando's eatery or the hotel restaurant for a more intimate setting. Dining in the library, the gallery or the nicely shaded garden is a privilege.
Getting to Villa La Coste in Provence