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Hotel Le Mas de Peint
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Reviews (167)
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Reviewed April 9, 2012

I was looking for interesting places to bring my teenagers in the south of France. Flipping through a "hip hotels" book, I found Hotel Mas de Peint in La Camargue, Arles -- set in a national park/reserve amongst organic rice fields -- with flocks of flamingos, herds of native bulls, and a stable of white Camargian (is that a word?) horses -- it is a place of stark natural beauty and peacefulness. It is a short drive to the Mediterranean Sea (where giant mounds of harvested sea salt welcome you to a nearly deserted, wide expanse of beach with essentially no services), but the real attraction is the wildlife -- we saw flamingos (of course), but we also saw storks, egrets, and great blue herons. At Hotel Mas de Peint, they have herds of gorgeous bulls as well as the distinctive white horses of Camargue. Some of the bulls are reared to participate in the traditional bull games of Camargue (no killing of the bulls; this is a sport where the "gardians" try to remove ribbons from the bulls' horns), others for eating. We went horseback riding across the fields and took a jeep trip to see other sites including the newborn cattle. It is buggy -- the Camargue is a gigantic wetlands -- so bring a little bug spray and prepare to relax.

The hotel itself is gorgeous -- a 17th century farmhouse that is still a working farm. It is covered with ivy and wisteria, with a thatched roof barn structure and a lovely pool area. My kids stayed in the main house, in an adorable room set under the eaves, with two twin beds and an antique daybed (fainting couch?) in the corner. My husband and I stayed in the new wing; our room had a kitchenette and a comfortable sitting area with a couch and fireplace; there was a small patio with a chair for soaking in the sun. The beds have sheets made of actual linen, which I have never had the privilege to sleep on before. The bathrooms were elegant and sleek, with natural stone and modern fixtures.

Oh, and the food! We ate in the dining room for every breakfast and dinner. The kitchen also prepared us a "pique nique" for our beach day. The dining room is in two parts -- one directly adjacent to the working kitchen and the other that has the feeling of being also the reception area for hors d'oeuvres or cocktails -- both are lovely and comfortable. When seated in the room adjacent to the working kitchen, you are treated to watching the chef prepare your meals. Everyone in my family enjoyed the meals all the more watching the chef prepare each plate with such care and flourish. Over the course of several days, we had monkfish, salmon, and "taureau" -- each meal is several courses, delicately flavored, and absolutely delicious.

The staff was wonderful, friendly, welcoming, and helpful. Madame Bon made us welcome within moments of our arrival, and chatted with us every day of our stay. We had concocted a plan to ride bikes to the sea (about 45 km, roundtrip), which worried her because of the speed of the drivers on the highway. So, she suggested an alternate plan where we drove and the kitchen prepared us a picnic (sandwiches of smoked salmon or ham/cheese, pasta salad, bounteous fresh fruit -- enough for a family of 10, let alone 4!). They also helped us to research local opportunities to see the Camargue bull games and arranged our horseback riding and jeep ride. Just about everyone spoke English (as well as other languages), and they were very patient with my merciless, hacking attempts to practice my dusty high school french (thank you, Saveur!).

I found myself wanting to stay longer, and looking forward to planning a return trip -- this would be a very special place for a visit with extended family. It felt authentically french, not touristy, and deeply attached to tradition and the beauty of nature. It is not a place to go if you are looking for nightlife or lots of shopping (although Arles is only about a 20 minute drive away). But, if you want peace, quiet, beauty, nature, and delicious food -- I highly recommend it!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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8  Thank Zularaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2012

My boyfriend works just down the road in the Camargue, and is always commenting on the bleakness of the place (well it is winter) so I wanted to show him that just half an hour from his port is a beautiful national park area with a great hotel.
I booked the Valentines package at the Mas De Peinte and we stayed in the hotel with and had a set Valentine's meal, plus a half bottle of champagne in the room. I cant tell you what I paid in case my other half reads this review, but when I saw a 9 euro surcharge on the menu for people who wanted the cheese board for desert, I thought it was the height of cheekiness - this place is not cheap and for the price I paid I wasn't prepared to pay extra for cheese!
For example, they charge 60 euros per person for horse riding, whereas 2 miles down the road at the Lac Etang it is half that price.

However, when I booked, I knew they were expensive so all of this has to be taken on the chin.

The service was certainly 5 star level but on the friendly side (rather than the aloofness you get in some Medeterranean 5 stars). Nothing is too much, things that we asked for were delivered quickly by the staff, we had a nice guided tour of the hotel and our room on arrival so that we knew where everything was and how to access it, and when we couldnt decide on a wine at dinner, they opened a couple of different bottles to let us taste and decide.
Heidi who I had been dealing with at booking stage had picked out the most romantic room for us as it was a Valentines break which was a sweet touch, and the room was lovely, a large size with a mezzanine bathroom upstairs, a queen size bed and exposed beams, all contemporarily finished and clean enough to eat your dinner off of.

The grounds and lounges are all beautiful too, the property has a real rural feel, you are in the middle of nowhere and the quietness of the Camargue country side and the sound of your feet on the gravel pathways brought me a sense of peace I dont think you would get in many other places.
The photos that I had looked at on the internet before going don't really give away the size of rooms, but the whole building has a large, open feel to it, including the lobby, kitchen and our room itself.
We ate our meal not in the kitchen (although we could've eaten in there) but just outside through the double open doors in the lounge, in front of the inglenook fireplace which had a large open fire roaring away in it. Trés romantique!
The meal was a good standard, not michelin level by any means, but still a treat. A nice amuse bouche to get us going and then a scallops starter and fish main, all covered in black truffles as if they had come across a lorry load of them going cheap.

We ate breakfast in the kitchen, a lovely med-spread of cheeses, yoghurts, jams, breads and pastries.

The only downsides on the practical front were very poor WiFi strength (free of charge) and an iron with it's bare wires revealed - oh, and a meanly stocked mini bar, although this was more a blessing than a curse as it removed temptation!

Overall, I would love to go back for a few days of complete relaxation, everyone there is so chilled out, none of the staff seemed at all stressed and they all appeared happy to work there. I dont think I would pay what I paid for Valentines again though, they need to bring their prices down a little bit.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank BrightonBecki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

We went for 4 days over Christmas. 2 of our children [in their 20s] came for Xmas lunch and liked the whole thing so much they stayed on.

There was only us 4 and a nice bird-photographer staying with his daughter.

It was all terrific: lovely place, lovely people, lovely quiet, lovely food, lovely atmosphere, lovely comfort and lovely and warm at Christmas - a rarity in French hotels. We rode and we walked and we felt happy - and VERY much look forward to going back again.

Could anything have been any better? Not that we can think of ...

Room Tip: The 'ordinary' rooms seemed even nicer and brighter than our beamed one.
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank FussyUs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2011

This is a hotel that reads well in the "1000 things to do etc" - ride with the bulls and camargue horses, see the flamingoes,eat with the chef in a country homestead - intellectually appealing but it doesn't quite work.
It is not quite a working farm - you still need to drive some distance to see the horses and bulls; it is a half a farm, half a resort.
Yes, i enjoyed the pool and yes, my wife enjoyed the ride with the horses.
As i've said in other reviews,Lynn trains wild brumbies so the beautiful camargue horses were more like a "walk in the park"
The problem with the meal though was there was no connection.
In theory, it reads like you have an emotional connection with the chef in his environment; sit and eat in the kitchen, watch the chef at work,but there is absolutely no communication.
Many of the world's top restaurants are practicing this concept of involving the diner with the chef but it can also be a high risk strategy.
If the chef does not talk and involve you, then it becomes a pretensious exercise,
The owner made a perfunctory 15 second stop for a hello but it seemed more like a chore than an a genuine attemptto engage.
The dinner itself was quite ordinary so we skipped the second night and visited Arles - only 20 minutes away and a lovely balance of history and charm.
The region itself is quite magical but you need to have done your homework - the hotel does not make suggestions as to activities in the region and where to go.
We went looking for flamingos and within a short distance found 8 or 9 - absolutely beautiful birds.
Fortunately we had patience and waited in the car a bit longer - some 20 minutes later, some hundreds of pink flamingos flew in - an absolutely magnificent sight.
On the whole, a lovely area and hotel to visit - I just wouldn't stay too many nights.

Room Tip: The larger rooms with a terrace are far nicer
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled on business
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3  Thank RonWamberal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2011

We enjoyed our stay at the Mas de Peint very much. We stayed for only one night and enjoyed the building, the room, the pool area and the general relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the place. When you travel the Camargue you should beware of mosquitos and of course Mas de Peint is no exception in this respect: after an afternoon at the pool my knees and elbows were perforated.
The room was large and very atmospheric with a large mezzanine where the bathroom was located. Why lots of French hotels consider it perfectly adequate to make no arrangement whatsoever to keep the water inside the bath or showerarea while showering is completely beyond me, but Mas the Peint is no worse than other hotels and at least the bathroom is beautifully appointed and comfortable to use.
The restaurant offers no choice but excellent quality, albeit at a rather stiff price. Service was nice and personal, both before and during the meal. Prices of drinks confirm that this is not a place for people with a lesser filled wallet and should be somewhat lower to be considered reasonable.
A last remark: flies were a pest in the hotel, especially during (the much too expensive)breakfast where a flock of them gathered on the cheeses which were presented on the table without any protection.
But to end on a high: this is a very nice place with an especially lovely pool area.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Rodnet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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