A beautiful refuge in the center of Arles
We wanted a base to explore Provence. Arles turned out to be the perfect choice, in large part because of this wonderful apartment. Estelle, the owner, is a gracious, kind, considerate and thoughtful host. She is also a well-known decorator in France and her apartment reflects her impeccable taste. The pictures online, although accurate, do not do the apartment justice. It is an old building, with four stories, that was recently rehabbed and decorated to blend the old with the new. Original floor tiles and ceiling beams from the 1600’s are mixed with modern touches such as an elevator (very handy for moving suitcases). Wooden spiral staircases connect the levels. The apartment shares a beautiful courtyard with Estelle’s own apartment next door, but has a separate entrance via a charming little cul de sac. The ground floor includes a washer/dryer and an extra toilette. From there, you go upstairs to a fully equipped kitchen and living room with couch, rocking chair and large flat-screen TV. We spent many hours sitting there, listening to the birds and the fountain splashing water into the pool, while we planned our many trips around the Provençal countryside. Yes, there’s also a swimming pool and patio chairs for your use! The next floor up includes another sitting area and a huge bathroom/dressing area with two separate sinks (and electric hairdryer). The top floor is the bedroom with a wonderfully firm, king-sized bed. The building is in the old quarter of Arles, apart from all the tourists and famous sites. Just around the corner is a lovely bakery, and a couple of blocks away is a small square, triangular really, with many shops and restaurants. There is a Carrefour grocery store across the street from the “triangle” square from which you can walk up to the main shopping street leading to the main square. We spent several evenings just sitting in the square at the end of the day, watching the children play and friends talking. The main tourist attractions of Arles, such as the Roman Arena, are an easy walk from the apartment. We really can’t praise Estelle enough. She has created a beautiful retreat for travelers to Provence. Having this wonderful space to ourselves really made our trip to Provence a memorable experience. It was the perfect place to have coffee in the morning and plan the day. And every evening, when we returned from our excursions, it felt like coming home. It would be difficult to imagine a better place to stay in southern France.
Helpful votes: 10/10
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