A sprawling countryside escape in Provence
Hidden away in the wooded hills of eastern Provence, approximately 35 minutes from Cannes, Terre Blanche is like a little luxury village all unto itself. Call it the flip side of St Tropez — there may be no trendy nightclub raging until dawn, as the soothing atmosphere of this elegant 750-acre estate may inspire you to get up early instead of stay up late.
There are four restaurants to choose from, plus two 18-hole golf courses, a golf academy, tennis courts, a huge outdoor heated infinity pool with cabanas and a sprawling state-of-the-art spa with an indoor pool.
The ultra-professional staff shuttles you around in golf carts, but don’t miss a stroll down the cypress-lined pathways to discover the impressive collection of museum-quality contemporary sculptures scattered throughout the grounds.
The French Riviera hotel’s location is also ideal for exploring neighboring hillside villages of the Riviera backcountry, which offer authentic Provencal markets and postcard-perfect views.
The comfortable 115 suites and freestanding villas that span the property all have traditional terra cotta roofs, tiled floors and are furnished in a medley of creamy earth tones, with thick pale rugs and exposed brick walls.
The luxury in the Provence hotel rooms is the space. Suites have separate living rooms, private terraces, walk-in closets and spacious marble bathrooms stocked with Fragonard products from nearby Grasse. Each 645-square-foot Premiere Suite is equipped with a sofa bed in the living room, ideal for young children.
For more privacy, the expansive Villas Prestige rooms have Jacuzzis or pools and sweeping vistas of the countryside. The ultimate splurge is the 3,229-square-foot Terre Blanche Villa (where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie once holed up with their family), which has four bedrooms and bathrooms, several private terraces, a library, a private swimming pool and a Jacuzzi with gorgeous views of the area.
The gastronomic restaurant, La Faventia, headed by celebrated chef Philippe Jourdin, is a veritable foodie paradise, with refined Mediterranean dishes ranging from appetizers like duck foie gras simmered in Muscat wine to main dishes like blue lobster roasted with Thai spices.
For a more casual option, the vast Gaudina features a lighter Provencal menu with a creative twists on the local specialties. The seasonal Tousco Grill dishes up a copious buffet of trattoria-style dishes near the pool.
And down at the Clubhouse overlooking the golf course, Les Caroubiers (open year-round) is the place for a leisurely lunch featuring salad, grilled fish, pasta or charcuterie platters served on the sun-dappled terrace.
For many guests, the main draw is the extensive program in golf, which not only includes two champion golf courses but the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, a unique training center that has video-equipped facilities and personalized coaching by pros. Those who’d rather relax than tee off can lounge in a cabana by the heated pool or indulge in a massage at the top-notch spa. During the summer, the Kid’s Club offers activities for children of all ages.