My partner and I are planning on spending 6 nights/7 days in Provence in early October. We've decided to make Arles our homebase. We're trying to decide whether we should rent an apartment or stay in a hotel. We like the idea of being able to ask hotel staff for recommendations but we also like the idea of an apartment. Any suggestions or recommendations?
You need to ask yourself a few questions. Is having more than one room important, so one can read late or the other get up early? Will you make some of your own meals, a real cost saver while traveling, or will you end up going out to eat all the time anyway, because after all, it is Provence! Do you want someone who can help you if you need to find a doctor, a dry cleaner, or the bus stop? Those are the trade-offs, six of one, half dozen of the other. Both options have advantages.
Great questions thanks! I think that a hotel is probably a better bet. We'd likely only make ourselves breakfast since well, it is Provence and we love to eat out. Any suggestions for hotels?
Staying in a farmhouse can give you that feeling of being off the beaten path with some privacy but you also have the help of the owners to give you suggestions for restaurants or what to see and do. I just stayed at a place near Arles called Mas du Petit Grava. It's a vintage Provençal farmhouse 15 minutes east of Arles. The owners, Jim and Ike, are so sweet. They will help you with what to see and do and lay out an amazing breakfast every morning. Jim is also an expert on Van Gogh’s life and art--ask him anything. They have a lovely garden and a pool. Here is their contact: www.masdupetitgrava.net, email@example.com.
While you could certainly spend the whole week here, if you want to split your time between this region and maybe the Luberon, you could easily stay in two places over the course of the week. Rick's Provence & the French Riviera book has a lot of great recommendations for B&B or farm-house type accommodation.
I'll be buying Rick's book this weekend. The Luberon looks so lovely. I think we may give a rethink to 6 nights in Arles.
I like apartments. You have more space, the ability to prepare some meals if you want, and most have a washer (and dryer if you're lucky). I am renting a one bedroom apartment in St. Remy in October. I don't know what your dates are, but if they don't overlap with ours you might want to look into this place. The price is fantastic!
We're thinking the first week of October. Hoping that the weather will be good. Lots of things to think about.
We will be arriving at the apartment on October 7. It's on Airbnb and the heading is "Apartment centers St Remy TV Wifi"
I just connected on this travel forum with someone who recently stayed there. She said they enjoyed their stay and gave me some great tips. If you do book it, let me know. I can forward that information to you.
I noticed that you mentioned that a hotel might be better for you, as you like to eat out. There is no obligation to cook if you are in an apartment. What I do like is the ability to have coffee or tea before heading out for the day. If you've been to Europe you already know there is no such thing as free refills. In France the breakfasts that you can have at hotels are fairly expensive for what you get. I find that I can eat out for less.