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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Bastide de Capelongue, Bonnieux - Hotel Review

Who wouldn't love Provence?
Bastide de Capelongue may be my favorite place in Provence. Fabulous food, beautiful views and lovely accommodations. I like it partly because it's not too perfect, a glamorous restaurant with rooms run by chef Edouard Loubet and his wife. The atmosphere is elegant without being stuffy, which can be hard to find in French haute cuisine restaurants.
The view from our room,  September 2010
The first time we stayed in August I loved the older Parisian lady parading her Hermes Birkin at the pool and last September the people next to us in the restaurant brought their large dog to dinner with them!

The salon with random melons
The sheets are linen.
Loubet was the youngest chef to garner two Michelin stars and this is his signature kitchen. His food is redolent of the region, fragrant with the smell of the local pines, wild rosemary and thyme. His aesthetic is seen in every detail. The blueberries at breakfast are served without a spoon because apparently the chef believes we should enjoy the childlike feeling of picking up the fruit with our hands.

Our nightly three hour, three course menu du jour was transformed by the trail of gifts from the kitchen; crudite, hor d'oeuvres, a palate cleansing sorbet or consomme, multiple pre-desserts and as if we had any more room, a multitude of varied petit fours.
The sense of the region, the season and the moment
Cedar souffle.

This hockey puck sized dish is a truffle en croute. Yes a whole truffle in pastry!
Yes, the bathrooms could be updated and you're more likely to find a bath than a shower but this is a magical place. Don't even think about going a la carte. If you want to leave with your shirt on, opt for local wines and rose as an aperitif. We've visited twice, on a three night half-board packages from Luxury Link.  This is the only way to make it affordable. The food is very expensive. Without the package,  just the langoustine appetizer we enjoyed one evening would have been $80 - each!

You have to be a flexible adventurous eater, ready to eat whatever they serve, although they will ask if there are things you don't eat  before presenting the daily fixed menu and they do cater for vegetarians.

Highly recommended.
I find their website rather fussy, and the music is downright cheesy, but there are lots of good pictures. Here it is along with the details on Luxury Link: