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Old May 2, 17, 3:45 am   #1
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A few stars in Provence and other nice things

Hi,

Iīm just back from a small trip to Provence.

When I planned the trip it was mostly between Provence and Paris. I got some "guidelines" by my company, especially I should book as few hotels as possible (big problem) especially no one night stays. OK, in the end I booked:

6 nights at Domain de Manville, Les Baux de Provence
3 nights at Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel
2 nights at Intercontinental Marseille.

She also wished to experience some authentic Frensh food, so no probelm. I booked some "typical" Frensh starred restaurants

Le Pertit Nice, Marseille
Alexandre, Nimes
Le Vivier, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
Fanny Rey, Saint Remy de Provence
Joel Robouchon, Monte Carlo
Mirazur, Menton
Alain Ducasse, Monte Carlo
Alcyone, Marseille
Une table, au sud, Marseille

So overall a few stars, first reader who tells me how many gets an assiduity card.

Flights were booked with Eurowings inbound (direct) and Lufthansa outbound (via FRA) as the Eurowings.flight was early in the morning. No BEST-fare was offered on Germanwings-flight, Lufthansa-J was nearly 4xthe price and 180 € as a paid upgrade per person without extended laguage.
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Old May 2, 17, 4:22 am   #2
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Flight DUS - MRS

When I packed my suitcase it had already 26 kg and half of my belongings were still on the floor. OK, Iīm not the Y-type. I decided to book an additional piece of laguage for 75 € per way. Not cheap, but thatīs life. I tried to book it online (only possible if both flights are on Eurowings), but it wasnīt possible. So I called Lufthansa service-center. They announced my additional piece but told me I had to pay at the ticketing-counter at the airport. Hey, what a great service.....

When I arrived at the airport I got a shock. Is this really the line? Is there no drop-off?


Of course no status at Star Allicance.....

My company joined the line and I went to the ticket-counter. I had to learn there is no drop-off and that I can today only pay for the inbound-flight.... Hey, my mood was reaching new hights! In the end it wasnīt that bad, we only waited around 20 minutes.

Hey look what I spotted!


Would I enter this plane? Surely not! I would prefer to walk all the way! Fortunately it wasnīt my plane, but I doublechecked

Our flight leaves frome the B-gates, security at Fast Lane was fast today and as no one checked as always I choosed it Bad guy

Hugo Junkers Lounge was as always, the do some work on it. Weīll see...


Bording was uncomplicated and it should be a short flight. After the start they started with the catering. To be fair, they do a nice presentation:



"Sandwich" was with an terrible cream, I didnīt eat it.


Sweets


Sky was clear



and we landed in time.

At the airport I had to learn that they do inter-Schengen immigration at the moment. I spotted an automatic pass-control, took out my passport, passed the line and had to learn that I had "to register", with other words it was out of order. So I had to join the line again but could look at other passengers with the same problem. A little funny was the question of the officer if Germany were my orgin destination..... OK, lagauge came fast and we did our way to the rental cars...
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Old May 2, 17, 4:57 am   #3
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My car by SIXT

I donīt do any experiments today and try to book something proper. This time I decided to book at SIXT (Platinum member and best conditions). I opted for an Audi A6/ Mercedes E-Class wagon with full insurance (0 liability) and navigation-system (hate Tom Tom or navigating via i-phone). As I didnīt need it for the last days in Marseille and I intended to return at at Marseille St. Charles after 9 days. Price was all inclusve 876,26 € with 2250 free kilometers. Pick-up time should be 13:30, return also 13:30.

At the counter I was told if I take the car at 13:06 I had to pay one more day if I return at 13:30. OK, so I changed the return-time to 13:00, a little bit petty.

The car was a nearly new (1600 kilometes) A6 3,0 TDI with a relative basic equipping. Beside the fact that all my laguage didnīt fit in the trunk it was a fine car.



One word about traffic: Itīs sometimes chaotic and "special". I had one very special experience at a parking-garage of a supermarket. I was nearly empty, so I didnīt really watch the lines. When I came back some **** had taken the place beside me....




First intention is to wait for the driver and do a little "chat", second at least to demolish the car. I did neither, simply took pictures and left the place....

Last thing: Be careful with an automatic boot lid in garages


P.S. I didnīt open it

Thatīs the moments you are happy that you took zero liability. Even if no harm was done in this situation I spotted 2 new scratches over the time on car parks (so naive to expect other people care for other people belongings). Many cars in this region simply show: "I canīt drive" or "I like dents in my car, looks much better"
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Old May 2, 17, 8:12 am   #4
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Domain de Manville

Domaine de Manville

Map| 1 Review | 100% Recommended

Domaine de Manville

DOMAINE DE MANVILLE Les Baux-de-Provence, FR 13520

Domain de Manville (48 Photos)

Domaine de Manville

As I wasn´t "allwed" to change hotels from day to day I had to find a centrally located hotel. In the end I decided to give Domain de Manville in Les Baux a chance as it was rated as an excellent luxury-option for excample by DavidO. When I decided on the dates and was shortly before booking a nice surprise "arrived". They introduced a 6 for 4 promotion which saved me nearly 1000,00 €. No reason to complain. I booked a Junior Suite as I couldn´t find a real difference to the "higher" suites. Also a Junior Suite with Terrace was around 85 € more per night and again I didn´t saw a reason. In the end the 6 nights came around 1.600,00 € with Virtuoso (Breakfast, upgrade if available, 85,00 € credit), I also joined the SLH-program as a Loved-member.

Check In

We arrived at the hotel and entered the lobby. The building is an old domain which was nicely transformed to a hotel. We were greated very friendly, at the desk was also the owners-dog Liberty present (an adoreable but shy Bernese mountain dog).

Outside view:

a1.JPG

Front-desk

a2.JPG

Lobby:

a3.JPGa4.JPGa5.JPG

Nice little touches:

a6.JPGa100.JPG

Courtyard:

Hof 2.JPGHof1.JPG

Room

We were upgraded to a Junior Suite with Terrace. I first was confused about some details in the suite and thought they used some wired layout. Later I found out it was a disabled-room, which was not to my liking. I would have preferred a "normal" Junior Suite, have to update my preferences.

Way to the suite:

4_2.JPG

 

Entrance:

4_3.JPG

 

The Junior Suite was mor like a full suite with separated living- and bedroom. It was nicely furnished and really well done. The minibar was free (2 water, 2 coke, 2 sprite, 1 toblerone, 1 chips).

Living room:

5_4.jpg4_5.JPG4_6.JPG

 

The wardrobe had very few brackets (at least not enough for me), the second toilet no sink. The bathroom was not very practical with the open shower and toilet, you always showered the whole half bathroom. Seems not to be a problem in the "normal" suites. What the bathroom lacked was good lightning, the shaving mirror was not illuminated. There was no good place for make up (not my problem). On the first morning we had also problems with the water-pressure, but they were solved after our complain.

Way to the bedroom with second toilet, wardrobe and bathroom:

3_7.JPG2_8.JPG2_9.JPG3_10.JPG3_11.JPG3_12.JPG2_13.JPG

 

The bedroom:

3_14.JPG1_15.JPG

 

The terrace was quite small and open, so I don´t see much use. It may be a nice feature, but I wouldn´t pay much for it.

4_16.jpg17.JPG

 

View from the terrace:

18.JPG19.JPG

Over all a nice room.

Golf

The hotel has a well known golf-course, but I don´t play golf.....

Pool

The hotel has an outdoor pool and an indoor pool.

The outdoor pool is nicely done, but was very cold during my stay. I didn´t use it.

b1.JPGb2.JPGb3.JPG

 

The SPA is well-done and offers an Whirlpool and pool. I couldn´t do too many pictures as some other people were in the area. The water-temperature was quite warm and pleasant.

c0.JPGc1.JPGc2.JPG

 

The hotel offers also a small fitness-area.

c4.JPG

Breakfast

The hotel offers a breakfast-buffet for 30,00 € per person.

karte.JPG

 

Breakfast is served at the condervatory which is a nice room:d1.JPG

The buffet was the same all 6 days. They didn´t offer freshly squeezed juices, therefor the bakery products were excellent. For 30,00 € per person nevertheless relative weak:

e1.JPGe2.JPGe3.JPGd4.JPG

 

The service was great in greating and say goodbye guests, but otherwise weak. Even after they mentioned that I didn´t speak Frensh they talked always Frensh to me, which isn´t professional. Also they were often slow and didn´t seem too happy if we ordered items from the small menu.

f1.JPG

Over all a breakfast with some great items, but also with some weakness. Especially the service could b improoved.

Dining

The hotels has 2 restaurants, La Table and The Bistrot. The Bistrot is only open for dinner when La Table is closed. The menu of La Table didn´t look too appealing to me and it was more expensive than michelin-starred restaurants around. So I decided against it.

On the first evening we tried The Bistrot. They offered a 2 course menu at 37,00 € and a 3-corse menu at 45,00 €. As we didn´t like one of the appetizers we opted for the 2-course. First course was the fish of the day (cod) with vegetables. While my fish wasn´t perfectly done, my companies one was good. The vegetables were well done. Over all a good dish.

h1.JPG

The desert could be choosen from a vitrine, we opted for 2 "half" portions. the cakes were really good (but not my pictures, sorry).

h2.JPGh3.JPG

Bar

After our Lunch at Le Petit nice we looked for a bite in the evening. We went to the bar and asked for the menu. The guy told us there is no menu, but he could do our favourite cocktail. Never experienced something like that. Only dish they offerd were a cheese plate, a meat-plate or salmon. Due the lack of alternatives we choosed the cheese-plate and salmon (both 22,00 € each and same as they offered at breakfast). While the bar itself is well done, the soft-product is very weak. Significantly we were the only guests.

Provence (352).JPGProvence (353).JPGProvence (354).JPG

Service

I didn´t get much aware of service at this property. While check-in ans check-out were friendly and efficient, service at breakfast was mostly weak. On the forth day they blocked many parking spaces for an event. But if this is the price:

Provence (731).JPG

no thanks!

It lasted 2 days since the spaces were occupied, therefor if you used the wrong way you had to climb the barrier.....

Overall

Domain de Manville is a well-done property with a good hard-product. Soft-product is unfortunately not complete on 5-star level. Nevertheless I can recommend the hotel, it´s a solid option.

Domain de Manville

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Old May 2, 17, 10:04 am   #5
  
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Besides the fact that all my luggage didnīt fit in the trunk it was a fine car.
Welcome to my world, offerendum...
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Old May 2, 17, 10:07 am   #6
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Welcome to my world, offerendum...
Had the same problem in the past with a S-Class. Problem was, that my father didnīt agree to put laguage on his backseats of his S-Class
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Old May 2, 17, 10:11 am   #7
  
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Had the same problem in the past with a S-Class. Problem was, that my father didnīt agree to put laguage on his backseats of his S-Class
That's why I've gotten used to booking Vianos...
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Old May 2, 17, 10:13 am   #8
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That's why I've gotten used to booking Vianos...
Good idea
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Old May 2, 17, 12:53 pm   #9
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Les Baux de Provence

Les Baux de Provence is one of this places in Provence which are overfloated with tourists. Itīs even hard to find a parking space during the day and if you found one you pay 5 € per day or so.

The city is located on a plateau and can be seen from the surrounding.


Itīs in main parts a ruin city, which gives it a morbide charme.



From the city you have good views over the landscape.


The city is small with many narrow streets.


Hotel de Manville:



Ruins:
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Old May 2, 17, 1:16 pm   #10
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Les Baux - chateau

Main attraction of Les Baux is the chateau which can be visited for 8,50 € per person. It mainly is a ruin. We had the "problem", that on the day of our visit the Mistral was very strong and it was very hard from time to time to stand on our feets. Also it was cold.

After entering the chateau you first visit the small cemetery of Les Baux.


The plateau is dominated by a model of a big catapult.


Old watchtower:


View from the plateau:



Memorial de Charloun Rieu:


Old room of the chateau:


View to the upper castle:


The best preserved part of the castle:


Some more catapults:


On the wall:


Effective.....


Even as a ruin impressive:


View on the town


and the plateau


Old chapel:


Base-level:


The chateau would have been much more enjoyful without the Mistral. Nevertheless itīs a great spot.
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Old May 2, 17, 1:23 pm   #11
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Les Baux - churches

Les Baux has of course also some churches.

Most important is Saint-Vincent:



Centograph of Manville-family:


Pénitents Blancs

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Old May 2, 17, 4:53 pm   #12
  
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At the airport I had to learn that they do inter-Schengen immigration at the moment. I spotted an automatic pass-control, took out my passport, passed the line and had to learn that I had "to register", with other words it was out of order. So I had to join the line again but could look at other passengers with the same problem. A little funny was the question of the officer if Germany were my orgin destination..... OK, lagauge came fast and we did our way to the rental cars...
In October 2016 when I landed at MRS from MAD on Iberia they also did intra-Schengen immigration. On a normal day, no problem.
However, my flight arrived directly behind Air Algerie and Tunisair so it was a mess. After waiting 30 minutes in the Non-EU line (US passport), I finally got through. Made a short hop from Madrid a real ordeal for sure.
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Old May 2, 17, 5:10 pm   #13
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Originally Posted by HALA330 View Post
In October 2016 when I landed at MRS from MAD on Iberia they also did intra-Schengen immigration. On a normal day, no problem.
However, my flight arrived directly behind Air Algerie and Tunisair so it was a mess. After waiting 30 minutes in the Non-EU line (US passport), I finally got through. Made a short hop from Madrid a real ordeal for sure.
What a mess! I were at least lucky and it was fast.
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Old May 2, 17, 11:04 pm   #14
  
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I can't blame the driver of the silver Opel for parking the way they did. They parked correctly within the lines, and probably did that to send a message.
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Old May 3, 17, 2:35 am   #15
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and probably did that to send a message.
Thatīs for sure and it says a lot
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