The Four Seasons Provence is designed
to blend into its natural setting.
The flavors of Provence have long inspired Philippe Jourdin, the
Michelin-starred chef of the 114-suite Four Seasons Provence at
Terre Blanche. And now they’re the focus of the resort’s new $36
million, 34,000-square-foot spa, which opened in April.
The Four Seasons Provence is located 20 minutes from Cannes and
50 minutes from the Nice Cote d’Azur Airport. It was built at a
cost of $144 million and everything about it is stunning: the
sweeping views, the sparkling infinity pool, the striking flowers
and modern art. When it opened in 2004, it was Four Seasons’ first
As it turns out, 2007 was a landmark year for the three-year-old
property. Just a month before the spa opened, the adjacent Four
Seasons Golf Club had its official launch, representing yet another
multi-million-dollar investment. Resort guests may use all club
facilities including the golf academy and two year-round 18-hole
The 657-acre Domaine de Terre Blanche (which includes the Four
Seasons Resort and Spa, the Golf Club and luxe residential villas)
sits on the crest of a hill overlooking terraced vineyards,
medieval villages and the peaks of the southern Alps. This is a
beautiful and secluded corner of Provence, and one that’s still
relatively unknown to many American travelers.
It’s a bit surreal, actually, to find such a lavish resort,
built to international five-star standards, deep in the Provencal
countryside. Every detail was carefully planned to enhance the
beauty of the site and all materials used terra cotta, stone,
natural wood are typical of the region. After a day or two, you
realize that the resort is actually laid out like a French village,
with graceful streets of tile-roofed houses winding down from the
crest of a hill.
The new spa at the Four Seasons Provence
is considered one of the best in Europe.
Within these villas are spacious suites (646 square feet is the
smallest), with separate living rooms and bedrooms and French doors
leading to large private terraces. They’re loaded with
conveniences, such as large, mirrored dressing areas, coffee and
tea service, high-speed Internet access and laptop-sized safes.
Marble bathrooms offer deep-soaking tubs, huge glass-enclosed
showers, double vanities and L’Occitane amenities. Heated floors,
soothing lighting and a tub-side candle lit at turndown combine to
make these some of the most sensual bathrooms around.
Villa Terre Blanche, located high on the hillside (3,229 square
feet) has three bedrooms, a library, indoor and outdoor dining
areas and a private pool. Resort facilities include an infinity
pool, tennis club, four restaurants and bars, a business lounge
with free Internet and 7,850 square feet of event space including a
ballroom. The popular Kids for All Seasons Program and Kid’s Club
The resort’s main restaurant, Faventia, is so gorgeous you’d
want to dine here even if it wasn’t one of the best spots in the
region. Chef Philippe Jourdin came over from Roger Verge’s famous
Moulin de Mougins to open the hotel and he earned a Michelin star
within the year.
Jourdin and his crew of 48 source the region’s best products and
transform them into sophisticated Provencal/Mediterranean dishes.
Pastry chef Nicolas Denis came down from the Four Seasons George V
in Paris and his desserts are predictably divine. Light meals are
also served in the lounge, where a pianist plays each evening.
And if all this weren’t quite pampering and luxurious enough,
there’s the new spa, with its gorgeous temple-like lobby and
irresistible menu of treatments. Beyond an enormous wall of
green-tinted glass wall, the 20-meter (65-foot) indoor pool
stretches out between white columns, lined with shimmering black
tiles. An enormous chandelier hangs over the central staircase,
crafted to look like a bouquet of glowing candles. Everywhere you
look there’s something calling out to be touched.
The spa features a 65-foot indoor pool.
The spa menu offers 30 different ESPA therapies and four “rituals”
from a new health-and-beauty brand called Terrake. “Provence
Signature” treatments use local ingredients such as lavender oil,
verveine, jasmine, heather honey, seaweed and coarse salt from the
There are 14 treatment rooms (including two for couples) and an
outdoor “vitality” pool. Other amenities include a pristine gym,
high-tech machines to assess mobility and battle cellulite, a
yoga/pilates studio, saunas and steam room, a hammam and
A half-hour in the relaxation room where you chill out before
and after treatments is a treatment in itself, with adjustable
beds, music via headphones, snacks and cool drinks.
Infusion, the spa cafe, offers four set menus, each composed of
an amuse, starter, main course and dessert. With dishes such as
eggplant tartare with basil, tarragon chicken and asparagus and,
for dessert, a poached peach in almond milk drizzled with
thyme-scented honey, one hardly feels deprived. Not only are these
dishes impeccably fresh, they’re lovely to look at and fun to eat,
accompanied by slender flutes of creative herbal infusions and
vibrant chilled soups.
Close to the beaches of St. Tropez and the urban elegance of
Nice, Terre Blanche is surrounded by some of the most beautiful
villages in Provence. There’s boating, fishing and swimming on Lake
St. Cassien (over four miles long; 10 minutes away), and, by
arrangement, activities for groups such as gladiator games on Roman
ruins, wine, olive and truffle tastings, vineyard tours and 4x4
journeys. Regular resort activities include circus shows, movies,
live music, arts-and-crafts workshops and trips to local