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The Baumanière Hotel, A witness in Stone

May 31, 2019
Les Baux de Provence is a very special region in South France. While the areas around Alix-en-Provence, Avignon and of course the Côte d’Azur are well known globally, this is a rather hidden gem!
We like to introduce you to this region by featuring a recent remodel of a famous boutique hotel that was decked out with the finest architectural antique stone elements that money can buy.  Et Voila! – the famous Baumanière Hotel.
Today, ‘Marie Noelie Charial’ and her parents run their ancestral hotel like a well oiled engine.
When Marie’s great grandfather ‘Raymond Thuilier’ founded the hotel in 1945, he had just quit his job working in the insurance business. He was no trained Chef, but he started cooking there and received 3 Michelin stars for his efforts only 9 years later. Today you can still sense a strong hands-on gastronomical presence in this place, even after growing into a complex with 5 different buildings, 3 swimming pools, endless gardens, fountains and patios that feels more like a small village, than a hotel with 54 rooms and suites.
This main building called “Le Manoir” has a funny history – half of it was once bought by a guest who wanted to stay whenever he pleased, without having to book a room. When he passed, the hotel could buy the property back, but decided to leave it in it’s original state. Therefore the house now has two different facades and styles, making the stone remodelling process ever so interesting.
‘L’Oustau’ is the oldest piece of the puzzle at the Baumanière Hotel. This was the first building Monsieur Thuilier had bought and turned into the now famous 3 Michelin star restaurant and hotel. This is where he was one of the first to introduce vegetarian haute cuisine in France – a country with no specific vegetarian tradition. He brought back the inspiration for this form of cooking from his travels to India, where he got overwhelmed by the possibilities of vegetarian dishes. A risky move at the time but like the rest of the hotel it has proven to be a bet worth the gamble.antique-limestone-outdoor-courtyard-pool-fountainHotel-luxe-Baumaniere-Antique-Limestone
Guests often get spoiled with a 8-course dinner beyond any description. Even after years and years of vegetarian cooking and eating many discover that they have never eaten anything as refined and rich in variety as what they get served at the ‘L’Oustau’. The tasting menu included dishes made with the organic vegetables, that are carefully grown in the hotel’s own garden amidst ancient limestone walkways, antique stone fountains, troughs, planters and jars.

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