Luxury Hotels

Inland, and another luxury Provence hotel

Reflections in Not Vital’s Moon

This, Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort, is, despite its name, probably the luxury resort in the French Riviera that is most suitable for kids of all ages. The gal saw one gorgeous size-zero yummy mummy, exquisitely dressed, with an absolutely good-as-gold tiny baby in a pram who just about offset five-year olds whose parents did nothing to instil good manners in them. But the resort, with a total of 750 acres, is actually so large you can escape from anything here, and there is always so much to see. New sculptures include the Nicky de Saint-Phalle piece, above (oh so recognisable, and, as at the Dolder Grand, her multi-colour shape sits on a metallic base by Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely).

Kids’ breakfast array

Another new piece is this eight-foot mirrored ball, to the left: apparently kids of all ages adore seeing their reflections, both right way up and also inverted, in the ball’s concave segments.There is a Kids Club, for up to 12 year olds, and kid-attractive foods on the breakfast buffet, which also, for all ages, does a very impressive job on gluten-free. The 115-room, all-suite, resort does, by the way, have a new MD, Alain Mourgues, who has three sons under 18 so he understands not only their food likes and dislikes but also which activities they go for. All July and August this year a Monday to Friday activities club caters for the up-to-18s. VITeens offers, every Monday, adventure park and nets in trees; Tuesday – water park; Wednesday – golf and tennis; Thursday – climbing wall with ziplining and slacklining; Friday – laser games.

Teens’ climbing wall

Another innovation teens, and all ages, will like is a pasta corner, on Sunday and Monday evenings when the gastronomic restaurant is closed.All evenings, in addition, there is alfresco casual dining outside on Guardina Terrace. I was with Alain Mourgues, and we had a whole organic chicken from the Molteni rotisserie, and a tasting of local Provençal rosés, including his favourite Tibouren Clos Cibonne, one of the 18 Crus Classés from Côtes de Provence, made by Claude and Bridget Deforge. Not surprisingly, they are very keen on local products here: at breakfast I had a superb fromage blanc pot, made for the hotel.

I had earlier been for a half-hour hike up the steep slopes one way to the spa, the other way to the far end of one of the two Dave Thomas championship courses, to work up a good exercise – breakfast, which starts at seven, same time as the LifeFitness gym, has a boil-your-own egg machine, which I always love at The Pig hotels in England.

Farewell from Rachel David, left, and Sarah Monier

By the time I left there were already many getting ready to spend the day in one of the 19 curtain-sided cabanas around the 80-foot pool, which is only accessed by four-feet doors with knobs that, to confuse little fingers, have to be both pushed and turned. There is another gorgeous pool, the same size, indoors at the spa – last visit I so enjoyed swimming there, looking up at the impressive, two-floor-high side columns as I did my lengths (this visit, a quick outdoor dip had to suffice). Next time I look forward to seeing the now-mature shrubs and flowering trees looking even more established, and who knows, I might even see inside one of the three pool villas, which have working fires. Honestly, though, my villa, 1501, was incredibly convenient, merely five minutes from the main block of this luxury hotel. SEE THE VIDEO BELOW