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“Unique experience”

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La Bastide des Templiers
Ranked #2 of 2 Bras B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed July 7, 2012

Staying here was a unique experience for us. The place is a real antidote to busy city life, and very relaxing. Harald and Joel are perfect hosts; they are there when you need them but are not at all intrusive when you want to relax and be alone. I would definately recommend this place to anybody who wishes to get away from it all.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank sheemchee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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14 - 20 of 143 reviews

Reviewed July 2, 2012

My husband Steve and I had high expectations for our stay in what we have always heard to be the loveliest place in France, in the area of Provence. Imagine our surprise then, when Harald and Joel managed to completely surpass all our hopes by providing the most fantastic stay a couple of Americans on their first visit to France could have asked for. The location of the B&B is perfect, set atop a hill in a setting that is already naturally gorgeous, and made more so by the beautiful gardens, pool, and idyllic breakfast porch. And speaking of breakfast, you will be spoiled for the rest of your life after tasting Harald and Joel's fresh baked croissants. There is nothing at all that even comes close to such a treat in American, and I long for the day when I can return to France and wake up to the heavenly smell of them baking, again! As if that weren't enough, the bread is served with a delicious selections of jams and a heavenly jar of lavender honey that I still find myself craving.
My husband and I had originally planned to see more of the sights during our stay in Provence, but the B&B was so lovely and we felt so much at home, that we rarely left, outside of going down to the village for food and supplies, (a not-too difficult walk down the hill, where the town's people are all very kind helpful!)
This is the perfect place to relax in natural beauty, and Harald and Joel took care of all our needs, from laundry to dinner reservations. They are fluent in French, English, and German, and communicating was a breeze!
In other words, I cannot recommend this place enough, if you want a warm welcome, a gorgeous place to stay, and the feeling of a "real Provencal experience" (we heard a rooster crow every day and found lots of great places to take pictures!) without an inflated price to go along with it! My husband and I cannot say enough nice things about our stay, or return soon enough.

Room Tip: The red room is very romantic!!!
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jessphillips814
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2012

My partner and I stayed here for 7 nights in May 2012 and absolutely loved it. We have been travelling for almost 3 months now on an extended holiday, and this is the best place we have stayed at.

Harald and Joel are extremely friendly and helpful hosts. Harald speaks fluent English which was really helpful for us. We stayed in the Terre d Ocre (yellow) room, which was lovely. The room was cleaned every day and was spacious and comfortable with a good bathroom and nice view over the gardens.

We were lucky enough to get perfect weather during our week staying here, so in addition to driving around to see all of the villages and attractions nearby, we also spent some time relaxing by the pool. Pool is very clean with the most incredibly comfortable cushions on the deck chairs, and even a hammock to relax in.

As the B & B is located up within the hills, there is a beautiful view of the town of Bras from the gardens near the pool. The gardens in the B & B are beautiful with many flowers. There is also a lovely outdoor deck area with tables and chairs to sit and relax in the sun.

Harald asked what our time preference was to eat breakfast every day, and every day our breakfast was served to us in the kitchen precisely on time. The breakfast is delicious crossaints, crusty bread, juice, cereals and fruit. I dont drink coffee so Joel brought hot milk every morning so I could have hot chocolate.

Another part of being at the B & B that we very much enjoyed were Harald and Joels very cute 2 dogs, Foxy and Cannelle. They stay inside with Joel and Harald (in their private residence) most of the time, but occasionally they are outside playing with their treasured bones etc.

There is a shared area for all guests with a kitchenette, TV and computer with free internet. We utilised all of these things during our stay. We did find that many of the restaurants in nearby St Maximin were open for lunch but 75% of them closed for dinner, which caught us off guard. So you need to be prepared and think ahead about what you will do for dinner. There is pizza take aways available in Bras, otherwise you can go to either the mini mart & boucherie in Bras to buy some things to bring back to the B & B and eat here, or there are also bigger supermarkets in St Maximin.

Overall it is a very tranquil place, set up in the countryside but also within easy drive of reaching the popular tourist spots in Provence.

Thank you so much to Harald, Joel, Cannelle and Foxy for making it a truly memorable stay for us. We would love to come back one day.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TimMelbourneOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JJ_BDT, Owner at La Bastide des Templiers, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2012

Hello to Australia. Many thanks for this great 5 star review of our house. Needless to say that your feedback is highly appreciated as it will not only guide other travellers in search of a nice place to stay in Provence, but will also help us in our efforts to maintain or improve the quality of our services.

Please allow just some additional information as to the restaurants. As we are located in Provence's hinterland, the area is off the beaten track, and in low season restaurants limit their opening hours for economic reasons as their guests are mainly locals who would simply not eat out that often... To some extend that is the prize to pay if you are in quest of a silent and relaxing place to spend your holidays. However, in high season, most restaurants are generally open for both, lunch and dinner.

We very much enjoyed meeting you and were glad about welcoming you at La Bastide des Templiers.

Looking forward to meeting you again on another occasion – here in Bras or somewhere else...

Kind regards

Harald & Joel

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2011

We had a very pleasant stay at this B&B. Harald and Joel were very nice hosts and their property definitely had us feeling we were in the French countryside. The rooms were very clean and a good size, the common areas were well appointed (although we weren't around to use them much), and the grounds were nicely maintained. It was too late in the year (mid-October) to enjoy the pool which was still filled but too cold.

Both Harald and Joe spoke good English and were friendly and helpful throughout our stay. Breakfasts were good--croissants, cereal, fresh fruit, yogurt, juice, and coffee and the breakfast room was beautiful with a Provence country decor. The location was very quiet and peaceful and was convenient for day trips around the region. The price of the room was reasonable and a good value.

One minor drawback I will point out is the road to the B&B is extremely rough and not well maintained, so be ready to endure a few minutes of very bumpy driving to get there. The mattress was also a bit more firm than our preference but we still slept well.

Harald volunteered a recommendation for the (only) local restaurant in the town, La Petite Maison de Bras. Our inexpensive meal there was nothing short of fantastic--don't miss this place when you are there!

All-in-all this was a good accommodation and we enjoyed our stay.

Room Tip: The rooms all seem very similar so don't worry about which one you book.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rick S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2011

We would warmly recommend this B&B to couples looking for a hideaway to spend a few tranquil summer days in the Provence (dpt 83 Var to be specific). The hosts, Harald and Joël, clearly made a lot of efforts (and still do) to run a charming B&B and to run it efficiently. We appreciated their friendliness, the cleanliness of the rooms and the overall decoration in and around the house. Staying a bit longer, you may find yourself wishing for a larger bathroom with daylight, a better mattress and softer towels. Nothing dramatic though.
Driving up to the B&B from the village of Bras could cause some frustration however. You may get used to the dirt road after a while (feasible when driving at a footpace), but to visit the region or simply drive to a nearby village for lunch or dinner, you may have to drive up/down that track like 4 times a day. In our opinion, it falls short of being acceptable as it could easily be improved. We were told improvements were not possible due to a dispute with one of the neighbors, but that would better be resolved soon.
Finally, you should consider a 20 min drive to St-Maximin-la-Ste-Baume if you want a decent choice of restaurants for lunch or dinner. But that's a little price to pay for a marvelous location on top of a hill, tucked away in the countryside.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Kastaar2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2011

My partner and I stayed with Harald and Joel for a total of 5 night from July 2 - 7, 2011. We arrived rather late on a Friday night, due to difficulty in securing a rent car in Marseilles, but were greeted warmly by Joel. He introduced us to his partner Harald who spoke "better English" then he did (which was not bad). Harald showed us around the house and then to our room and gave us the run down on the "house rules". Both of us fell in love with Bastide des Templiers almost immediately. The quiet atmosphere and sound of the breeze thru the pine trees reminded us of our cabin in Colorado. We had the "blue" room, which was in a nice quiet corner overlooking the valley and the pool area. Good clean room with plenty of space for us to spread out. There is no air conditioner, but then who needs it. The nights are refreshingly cool. It would have been a shame to mask the atmosphere with a noisy air conditioner.

The breakfast spread was great. Crusty bread, flaky croissant , homemade jams and Lavender Honey, fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, coffee and tea. All you really needed.

The pool area was nice and quiet and enjoyable after a long day of driving and sightseeing Provence. We used the Bastide des Templiers as a base for our journeys throughout Provence. One day in Avignon, then next in Nimes, the next, a hot air balloon ride over Lavender and Wheat fields north of Aix-en-Provence.

All in all, very peaceful and enjoyable. We would love to come back.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank PaulMike1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2011

a very good hide away in the rugged hill tops of the aix. A great location for exploring the province so long as you have a good map at hand. Very immaculate but still able to feel at home. The views are fantastic and the photos do not do the place as much justice as it deserves because it really is very pretty. Even so time is best spent outdoors and there is plenty to explore...
However a car is definitely very necessary! And could perhaps be too small for a large family.
Harald and Joel are very welcoming and helpful, Harald went out of his way for us many times and never showed the stresses of managing everyday tranquility

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank jsnhyns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Bastide des Templiers

Address: 980 les Rails sur le chemin, 83149 Bras, France (Formerly Bastide Fleur du Cap)
Location: France > Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur > Var > Bras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Bras
Price Range: $89 - $121 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — La Bastide des Templiers 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
5 charming B&B rooms + 2 self-catering studios amid natural splendour. Set in spectacular scenery of *Green Provence*, halfway between the Verdon Gorge and the French Riviera, our family-run countryside guesthouse invites you to a haven of tranquillity and relaxation amidst natural splendour. Enjoy home from home comfort at a sumptuous Provencal manor providing stylish, comfortable self-contained studio apartments (sleep up to 4) and charming bed and breakfast accommodation. In the shade of century-old pine and oak trees at the gates of a picturesque village, you will be lulled by the cicadas and enchanted by the scents of the Garrigue. A perfect romantic get away from life's hustle and bustle... All lodgings are carefully decorated and feature rustic teak wood furniture. Exposed wooden ceiling beams, terracotta tiled floors and pastel-coloured walls create a cosy Mediterranean atmosphere, which will instantly make you feel comfortable. Situated on the upper floor, the studio apartments and guest bedrooms have a lovely view of the garden and sylvan environs. Guest comforts include a 4 x 8 m outdoor pool amidst colourful Mediterranean gardens, a wellness oasis with hot tub and massage services, a sun terrace with outdoor furniture for taking your meals or unwind, and a guest lounge with sat-TV, DVD player, computer, library, minibar and kitchen niche. Free WIFI Internet access is available throughout the residence. Bras is a quaint medieval village, ancient commandry of the Knights Templar, nestling amidst lovely natural landscapes and sylvan surroundings of lushly wooded hills, purling brooks and hidden valleys. A little paradise for all lovers of nature and authenticity. The surroundings offer many picturesque spots for extensive hikes and walking as well as a variety of other activities like biking, climbing, horse riding, canoeing, boating, paragliding, tennis, golf, fishing and many more... And thanks to the central situation of our property in the heart of Provence - the Verdon Gorge and the Mediterranean Sea are only an hour away - we make the perfect base for exploring the South of France. Comfort, quality and hospitality of our guesthouse are certified by the Green Provence Tourist Council and recommended by numerous accommodation guides. TripAdvisor top-rated. Not suitable for families with children under the age of 13. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Bastide Des Templiers Provence-Alpes-Cote D'Azur/Bras, France

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