Gémenos, in Provence’s Bouches-du-Rhône, is the setting for this imposing 18th-century aristocratic residence, now in business as a hotel and restaurant under the name La Magdeleine - Mathias Dandine. The parklands and the eminently pleasant terrace are great assets, as is the vegetable garden, whose produce finds much use in Mr. Dandine’s Michelin-starred restaurant.
The 28 rooms and suites, of course, are anything but an afterthought; they’re decorated in a classic Provençal style and furnished with substantial modern luxuries. Marble bathrooms are the rule, and some units, including the suites, add bathtubs. There’s a family suite for slightly larger parties, and a rather spectacular freestanding villa that sleeps up to 8 guests in splendid seclusion.
On the grounds you’ll find not just idyllic parkland but a Zen garden and a petanque court, as well as an outdoor swimming pool. La Magdeleine, the Michelin-starred restaurant, is the main culinary attraction, and it’s supplemented by Le Grand Café, a less formal alternative. From here in Gémenos the vibrant city of Marseille and the coastal enclave of Cassis are within easy reach, separated by a lovely stretch of coastline fractured by picturesque calanques (fjords).