If you’re dreaming of spending the summer in the South of France with kids there are two very important things to know before planning your trip:
Traffic on the main coastal highway that stretches from Monaco to St. Tropez can be an absolute and utter nightmare. I would avoid any plan that involves a daily coastal commute in and around the main tourist zones to get to the beach.
Aix-en-Provence, one of the main urban attractions in the Provence region, is 2 hours via car from Nice on a good day. This is too far of a drive for a day trip. If you want to explore Provence and the Côte d’Azur, selecting the right accommodation location is essential.
An excellent solution for a bit of the beach paired with inland adventures is the Four Seasons Provence, as it’s in the optimal location set mid-way between classic French Riviera attractions and Provence. Moreover, if you tire of summer holiday traffic, the property offers an extraordinary list of resort amenities. Beware! You may get there and decide note to leave …
Stunning infinity pool overlooking countryside
Review of Four Seasons Provence for Families
Kids for All Seasons
Four Seasons is the leading luxury hotel brand in delivering resort experiences that pamper every guest, irrespective of age. A key amenity in achieving this is their Kids for All Seasons program.
In Provence, Kids for All Seasons offers complimentary, supervised care for children age 2 through 12. They recently opened a gorgeous new facility to house their program with crafts, Lego, games, electronics, and a dedicated (and fully fenced) kids’ pool.
One thing I love about this program is the flexibility. You can drop and pick up your kids whenever you need to when they are open, which means families can mix up last-minute sightseeing and resort time with ease.
Property is larger than the entire Principality of Monaco with loads of places for kids to safely roam
Guest Suites and Villas
The Four Seasons Provence is an all-suite resort offering some of the largest guest rooms I’ve seen. They are nicely decorated, but not fussy, and perfect for relaxing with kids who are having an indoor-outdoor countryside vacation.
Their suite category sleeps families of four using a pull out sofa bed in a living room while parents get their own bedroom. Families of five or more can opt for connecting suites.
We visited this resort with six kids ages 5-11. They gave the property quite the test drive. One thing all the parents appreciated is how safe it feels. The resort is massive (bigger than the entire Principality of Monaco), but is wholly enclosed so kids have room to move without disturbing other guests.
New kids’ club facility is spacious and well-equipped
Dining options are plentiful and include a lounge with a kids’ menu and summer season open-air grill. They offer a full kids’ buffet on weekend and holiday nights that is pint-size bliss with an array of all the foods kids love in one place (and veggies to satisfy Mom and Dad).
There’s a Kid Zone game room right off the main restaurants providing an effortless way for parents to get some meal downtime without hiring a babysitter for the night.
The main swimming pool is outrageous with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. It’s massive, with plenty of areas for couples and families to spread out, including a kiddy pool area.
Guest suites are some of the largest I’ve seen at any resort property
Spa and Fitness Center
The spa is a resort highlight with a glorious indoor pool, plus indoor and outdoor relaxation areas. During cooler months, there are kids’ hours at this pool, but otherwise, it’s a divine space for adult-only bliss.
The treatment list offers a laundry list of options for full body pampering. It’s one of those spas where you can pop in for an hour or a full day — the beauty is that the kids’ club set up makes even a daily visit possible if a trip goal is thorough rejuvenation.
The fitness center has all the essentials and is staffed with a trainer available for tips and advice. They also offer yoga, but sadly, I didn’t manage to give a class a go so I can’t comment on this amenity.
Golf and Tennis
I’m not a golfer, but there were a few serious golfers in our group who gave both of their 18-hole courses a test run and they came back with rave reviews. There’s also a tennis club with pros available for kids’ workshops. Our 9-year-old did this and loved it.
Wonderful local views are ever-present
There are few resorts that offer extensive resort amenities on this scale in the South of France. I’ll do a separate post on things to do in the area, but within an hour’s drive in any direction you can see and do all kinds of interesting things with kids.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the service at Four Seasons Provence. True to the brand, it’s out of this world. Forgot the reputation that service can be rude in France. Not here. Luxury resorts around the world can learn a thing or two on heartfelt warmth from the staff at the Four Seasons Provence.
Four Seasons Resorts will not be managing this property in Provence after October 1, 2012. If you want to experience Four Seasons pampering in the French countryside, the time is now!
Editorial Note: Four Seasons offered Ciao Bambino discounted lodging to review the resort. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.
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