Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Travels with The Style Saloniste: La Réserve Ramatuelle — The Chicest New South of France Escape

My new travel find — it’s owned/directed by the same Swiss hospitality/wine company as the wonderful Jacques Garcia-designed La Réserve Paris. I wrote about La Réserve Paris earlier this year. 

Six miles from St. Tropez, La Réserve Ramatuelle is nestled within a Mediterranean garden overlooking the Côte D’Azur and feels a world away from the crowded coast.

The 28-suite, 14-villa property is designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, known for his work on the Louvre and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Floor-to-ceiling windows slide open to bring the outdoors in. The calm and tranquil interiors reflect the relaxed mood of the South of France – neutral tones, soft terracotta tiles, and contemporary furniture upholstered in linen. Each new villa on the property comes with its own wine cellar and services include a butler, chef, private trainer, and grocery deliveries.

Luxurious La Réserve Ramatuelle offers new modern décor, a program of superb spa treatments, and hiking trails in the lavender-scented hills nearby.

Situated on a sheltered promontory overlooking the Mediterranean, the ultra-private and newly renovated La Réserve Ramatuelle Hotel, Spa and Villas is an elegant luxury escape for guests who want to rest and relax in an escapist natural setting.

Pine forests and wild garrigue flourish on the hills surrounding the property, and the brisk scent pine wafts on the breeze as guests arrive at the private entrance.

This luxurious five-star property includes a hotel with nineteen suites and nine rooms, and a spa and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. New villas offer a heightened sense of service and privacy for families and friends.

Recently renovated by French star architect-designer, Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the hotel is a celebration of contemporary lines, with floor-to-ceiling windows for all rooms and suites, and private terraces with views of the Mediterranean.

Twelve Provencal-style villas were created by French interior architect, Rémi Tessier. Tessier is known for his award-winning sleek designs for ultra-luxe private yachts, as well as international hotels and residences.

New is a second six-room villa dedicated to families and groups of friends, its spaciousness ensuring privacy. Perched at the top of the private estate, the new villa and private pool has dramatic views of the Mediterranean. 

Décor throughout the hotel is calm and elegant, in palest tones of ivory, chalk white, palest grey and natural off-white.

Hotel interiors include natural pale grey stone or dark wood floors, and furniture designed by leading Italian architect-lead companies, including B&B Italia and Flexform. There’s a hint of Scandinavian influence with classic furniture by Hans Wegner, and re-editions of vintage Danish and Swedish furniture. Some pieces are covered in white leather, others linen.

Carpets are by Paola Lenti and Tai Ping. The spacious and luxurious rooms open onto a sheltered terrace or a garden with a spectacular view of the sea and the magnificent Provencal landscape. 

With exclusive spa treatments and specialized health programs, the spa invites guests to stay for a week and seldom leave the property. They enjoy the hotel/spa setting and views of the Mediterranean.

Some guests venture to the nearby Medieval village of Ramatuelle, and others love hiking through the pine woods. And it’s perfect to simply relax around the pools, read on a private terrace, or take a long, leisurely lunch at the restaurant.

The architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte enhanced the untamed environment with natural materials in suites, including light-as-air linen and cotton curtains by Marc Geisen and Dominique Kieffer. Some suites are a superb orchestration of contemporary furniture by Finn Juhl, Moroso, Poltrona Frau, and Roda.

Designer Rémi Tessier took a similar approach in La Réserve’s private villas. They are, in a sense, private residences—with excellent service and cuisine.

Each individually designed villa is like a private residence, with open terraces, and its own unique atmosphere. 

At the hotel, lunches and dinners are served in the La Voile restaurant, with views of the sea, where the chef Eric Canino interprets Mediterranean flavors through light, finely balanced cuisine. 

The low-key style is set upon arrival. There is no reception desk in the lobby, only a salon where the visitor is welcomed as a friend.

The spa’s ‘Better Aging’ program offers a personalized bootcamp. It begins with a full medical assessment and is complemented by a light culinary program.

The seasonal Provencal spa cuisine of chef Canino is created without the addition of any fat or refined sugar. Many ingredients, including fruit and herbs and vegetables, are grown organically on the property. It’s garden to table, and guests are welcome to accompany the chef into the garden or the orchard to harvest fresh, ripe ingredients.

Trainers conduct classes in yoga, Pilates, and aquabike, a favorite French low-impact water exercise.

The state-of-the-art gym is dramatically cut into the limestone cliff face and overlooks the sea. Also on offer are cardio sessions and the great workout of Nordic hiking along hidden coastal trails, across the early morning local terrain and across along hill tracks that trainers insist the Romans walked across in the region’s fascinating history.

La Réserve is the new and privileged way to enjoy the Mediterranean. And it’s easily the healthiest and most luxurious way to experience your own delicious and glamorous Provencal lifestyle, The hotel closes for the season at the end of November and reopens in March (like most hotels in the region). Oh, and be sure to request Cos D’Estournel wine for a special treat. Michel Reybier, the owner of La 
Réserve Ramatuelle, is also the proprietor of this esteemed and very hard to find Bordeaux winery, which was notably a favorite of Maharajahs in India. That’s why there’s an elephant on the label.


Courtesy La Reserve Ramatuelle

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