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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 - Why We Can't Resist Returning

On our recent trip to France we went back to Bastide de Capelongue which is one of my favorite places on earth. I reviewed it a few years ago and while I raved, I realized I didn't post nearly enough photos. I thought this time I would give you a much better sense of why we keep coming back.
This is a hotel built around Edouard Loubert's two star Michelin restaurant. Everything here is part of his vision of the perfect Provencal retreat - from the linen sheets to the view over the hilltop town of Bonnieux, which you can see just beyond the swimming pool in the photo above.
This is one of my favorite places on earth. We have visited lots of the towns nearby and so now we just relax, eat and go on walks through the countryside when we're here. Finally I'm beginning to understand why people return to the same places over and over. This time we enjoyed the food (as always) and walked to the nearby village of Lacoste, I'll be blogging about our meals and the walk separately.

The public spaces, photographed above and below, give you a sense of the relaxed yet sophisticated style.

There's a tranquil quiet here I love. This time we had a ground floor room with a small terrace looking out over the lawn. The bathroom had been updated which was overdue, though you may be out of luck if you're looking for a separate shower. I love the bath products too which have the most wonderful lavender scent.
In May the weather can be changable and it was showery, although one morning it was warm enough to have breakfast on the terrace below.

 As you can see the gardens are gorgeous. I'd love to return when the lavender is in bloom, maybe next time - fingers crossed!
Details: As always I booked my stay through Luxury Link. They've been offering a demi-pension deal for Bastide de Capelongue for years although recently they seem to have changed the deal to include two rather than three dinners over a  three night stay.