The Family Story
The story behind this home is the exciting adventure of the Bon family, who purchased this gentleman’s residence in 1979 with the idea of converting it into a gracious hotel, a «home from home» where guests could be made to feel like friends. Their daughter Catherine, a dispensing chemist, joined them in 1984.
The mother and daughter team set to decorating, renovationg and transforming the manor house, making sure to retain all aspects that contributed to its original charm and atmosphere. A lot of hard work and great fun that is very likely to continue for some time, with two delightful grand-daughters already training to carry on the family tradition.
The Family Story
A history of three generations of women
The history of this property spans several centuries back as far as memory goes,
legend has it that this rural land belonged to a 13th century knight.
The History of Le Chateau des Alpilles
Initially a farm («Mas de Gaillard») then later became a castle («Château des Alpilles»). The history of this property spans several centuries back as far as memory goes, legend has it that this rural land belonged to a 13th century knight. Although nothing certain can be found to confirm this myth, a cypress tree several hundred of years old attests to the fact that this particular domain dates, back to medieval times. Various families in succession inhabited the land.
Charles Gaillard inherited the domain in the seventeenth century, hence, no doubts, the ancient name «Mas de Gaillard». A hundred years later, it was the Blain Family’s turn to take possession of the land, with them, the phrase «la vie de château». (meaning castle life in all its splendour) took on full meaning. Indeed, towards 1825, Pierre-Paul Blain had an imposing manor house constructed close to the old Farmhouse, the «Mas», and surrounded by numerous species of trees, both regional and exotic, fountains ad later still, a chapel. The family resided there often and with the help of one of its members, Amédée Pichot, all of the top political and literary figures of figures of Paris – Guizot, Lamartine, Thiers … – were frequent, delighted visitors to the place.
However, over time, their fortunes dwindled and the castle fell somewhat into disrepair. Thus, by the time the Bon family took over in 1979, it was a dilapidated, Rip Van Winkle property slumbering in its verdant setting.
Utterly charmed by the house and park, with its rich and varied history, Francoise Bon and her daughter Catherine set about restoring and embellishing it … to become the magnificient «Château des Alpilles» offered up for your pleasure and enjoyment, today.
Saint Remy and Around
Arles, Avignon, St-Remy, Marseille, Nimes, Camargue, Les Baux, ….
an exceptional region full of beauty and history
About Saint Remy
In the heart of Provence, the foothills of the Alps, “Les Alpilles”, offer a natural scenery of exceptional beauty. A succession of long-established villages called the Eygaliéres span from Saint Remy de Provence to the magnificent village of Les Baux. The region is a treasure trove of wonderful cultural monuments set in this idyllic countryside.
A visit of Saint Remy de Provence is a must for everyone passing through the area. Among the many attractions found here are “Glanum” one of the biggest archeological sites in the South of France, the Arc de Triomphe dating back to 20 b.C. and the Mausolee de Jules. Saint Remy also offers numerous religious edifices. The monastery Saint Paul de Mausole, for instance, is truly a haven of peace and serenity. It is no wonder that Vincent van Gogh spent a year there and painted some of his major works during his stay. Don’t miss the Centre d’Art Présence Van Gogh, the museum dedicated to the artist, located in the Hotel Estrine.
A region of artists and the birth place of Nostradamus Saint Remy is a maze of galleries, artists, workshops and exhibition spaces, a delight for connoisseurs and neophytes alike.
Let’s not forget Arles, the gateway to the Camargue, for its exceptional historical and archeological assets, or perhaps Avignon, the city of the popes … the list goes on and on in this region full of wonders.