The hills of Provence are scattered with vineyards, lavender fields and quaint, sleepy villages. In the summer months the sun beats down, the scent of fresh flowers fills the air from dawn until dusk, and the only sounds really heard are the chirping of cedillas and the clinking of wine glasses.

It is one of the most beautiful and most tranquil areas in Europe to spend a summer holiday.

A vast swathe – as in ‘bigger than the state of Monaco’ vast – of the countryside is taken up by the incredible Terre Blanche, a luxury resort which really does feel like your own private acreage in this exquisite natural setting.

Why Stay Here?

For a rural retreat, Terre Blanche is actually very accessible. Flights from London to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport are frequent, and from there it’s only an hour’s transfer to the gates of the property.

When the car clears the gate the scale of the place really becomes apparent – the journey to the main hotel building, through pine trees and past golf tees, is surprisingly long.

The central structure is the heart of the operation: there you will find lead restaurant Le Faventia – recently awarded a Michelin star, and serving classic local cuisine – and relaxed lounge bar-cum-dining room Le Gaudina – home to an incredible breakfast buffet every morning (there’s an entire station dedicated to chocolate) – as well as the all-important wine cellar. Tastings of the incredible selection can be arranged by chatting with the concierge team at the desk opposite.

One thing not found in that main edifice is your room. A series of little “streets” cover the hillside behind, stretching all the way down to the golf clubhouse and academy, and it is in these you will find the small terracotta villa which will be your home during your stay. Each comes with a patio and view of the countryside; some boast private pools and large outdoor spaces.

Should the walk from your doorstep to any of the facilities ever seem like too much effort – a little too much fun in the wine cellar before a detox in the spa the next morning, perhaps? – a quick call from the in-room phone will see a golf buggy arrive outside to whisk you off to your next destination.

There are a great many facilities to discover and activities to keep you busy during your time here, but the huge area over which they are spread does mean those buggies come in useful The spa building is up near the main entrance and is the same size as many hotels in their entirety; the clubhouse for golfers lies down the hill into the valley.

Golf is a huge part of the attraction of Terre Blanche – the courses are both used for the European Tour, the academy uses state-of-the-art swing mapping technology to help the resident pro tailor your lesson, and the design of the courses themselves is actively part of the comprehensive sustainability programme the hotel has in place.

If golf isn’t your thing there is still plenty to keep you occupied – excursions to the mediaeval towns which surround the estate; visits to, and tours of, the neighbouring vineyards; horse riding, forest hiking… Terre Blanche have cultivated strong relationships with all their neighbours and local suppliers, so certain experiences can be arranged which are only available to their guests. Ask about the chance to visit the flower farm used exclusively for Dior perfumes.

How’s the Food?

Terre Blanche Hotel cellar tasting room

The options are many, and all are high quality. Le Faventia is a modern and slightly relaxed take on French gastronomy, with a firm focus on Provençal classics and the bounty the estate can provide itself.

Across the hall, Le Gaudina is a fine alternative, with a little live lounge music and a fresh menu more focused on seafood, including lobster available to select from the tank.

Elsewhere on the estate, Le Tousco is a wonderful poolside grill, serving simple classics – including the best burger I’ve ever eaten – under the sunshine next to the infinity pool.

In keeping with the overarching Family-Friendly ethos, Le Tousco also has a separate kids’ menu designed by a dietitian. Before or after a day on the courses, Les Caroubiers overlooks the 18th hole of Le Riou course, and serves traditional French bistro lunches.

What are the rooms like?

Space is everything at Terre Blanche, and this includes in the rooms. Living and dressing areas are almost comical in their size, and the modernity of the whole complex means they are extremely comfortable.

Underfloor heating in the huge bathrooms saves your feet from the chilly tiles in the mornings; the patios and dining spaces are ample for those evenings and mornings when you just can’t face other guests so room service is required.

The real winner, though, was the patio at night: the experience of lying on the lounger, cigar and glass of wine in hand, looking up at a night sky so star-studded it makes you catch your breath is one which will live long in the memory.

Rooms from €500.