Set in a 14th century cloister, the Hotel Le Manoir is tucked away in a corner of the picturesque old town section of Aix-en-Provence. A quirky blend of charm and character, peace and prettiness, the hotel’s 40 rooms are all shapes and sizes, as befits an ancient building remade into an inn.
I admit I love these kinds of hotels: hotels where the room key is a real key and not a plastic card and where serendipity often plays a part in what kind of room one might be spending the night. While I’ve had my share of the wrong kind of serendipity, my room at Hotel Le Manoir proved quite lovely—once I found it.
Narrow hallways in this building are a bit confusing, turning and twisting, occasionally going up two steps or down one, but eventually I found the fabric-paneled door to room 103. On the way, I also realized that the doors to the numerous rooms open outwardly—so one needs to be especially attentive (and walking slowly) for obvious reasons.
While my room was small, it was sunlit, spotlessly clean and uncluttered. An antique armoire was the closet, a lace curtain let in sunshine and a view of the front courtyard, and a small t.v. was set near a writing table. The double bed was comfortable—and although the space felt fine for me, it might be a bit cramped for a couple. The bathroom had a deep tub which I liked, with a handheld shower that made washing my hair abit awkward, however. If you prefer a shower stall, you should make a note to ask for one. There are rooms that do have them.
There is no air conditioning, which wasn’t a problem as I was traveling the end of September when it was cool. I’m not so sure how I might feel here in a small room in the heat of summer though. Wi-fi is only available (an hour free, after that there is a charge) in the lobby/reception area and not in the rooms.
Most of the staff spoke only French, and ranged from being adequately helpful to quietly ambivalent. Rates start around $110 for a smaller room with a double bed, to just under $200 for a king-sized bed in larger digs. Breakfast could be taken in the beautiful breakfast room for approximately $11, but with the hotel’s great location (one of its best benefits) being within walking distance of the heart of Aix-en-Provence, it was also easy enough to wander out to the market or find a patisserie for a fresh croissant.
Review and photos by Donna Tabbert Long who was hosted by the hotel while researching a story about Provence.