Pretty Provence is famed for its sweet lavender fields, gourmet farmers markets, mild Mediterranean climate and stunning collection of hilltop villages. One such village is Le Castellet, home of the fast and furious French Grand Prix. The Paul Ricard circuit will buzz to life after a ten year hiatus from the 22-24th June, with the French elite, F1 stars and speed lovers ascending the old fashioned cobbled streets.
Even outside of the Grand Prix buzz, Le Castellet captures the imagination of well-heeled travelers seeking out that famous Françoise charm. Brimming with traditional workshops, a well-placed boutique hotel or two, and boasting stonework walls groaning beneath the weight of bougainvillea and ivy – there is certainly a romantic air to Le Castellet. To make the most of this whimsical Provencal town during the Grand Prix here are our tips…
The Paul Ricard Circuit sits 40km east of Marseille, so those already cruising the waters around the French Riviera can leave your yacht in port and take the train or the daily shuttle buses. If you are planning to hop on the train, the track will only get you as far as Aubagne and then you will need to switch to a private taxi for the final 20km.
Private jet guests will find themselves in a super enviable position as Le Castellet boasts its own private airport for the smaller charter jets. For commercial airlines you will need a bigger runway and again, Marseille or Nice are your closest hubs.
Where to Stay
The Hotel & Spa du Castellet is proud to fly the Relais & Chateaux banner. As to be expected with this brand, every detail will scream five-star finesse. Surrounded by parkland and fragrant pine woods, you can dine in style at the three Michelin star awarded restaurant and indulge in epic spa therapies at the 700 sqm Espa and Valmont space. Suites are soaked in French fancies – with floral touches and tasteful designs.
Close to Le Castellet you will also find the neighboring hilltop village of La Cadiere D’Azur where boutique hotel The Hostellerie Berard is open for business. A charming cluster of buildings boasting bright shutters and even a suite in the 11th century ancient monastery makes for a fascinating place to stay. The aromaspa calls on ancient healing from local French plants and cooking classes beneath the vines and olive trees invite you on a sojourn of the senses.
Finally, the Grand Prix Hotel and Restaurant could be an easy solution for those who are visiting simply for the speed. While the rooms may be simple, everything is geared around showcasing the best of Le Castellet in-keeping with the theme of F1 dreams.
Where to Dine
The Christophe Bacquie Restaurant at the Hotel & Spa du Castellet has lovingly curated their own special celebratory Grand Prix menu. Calling on the produce of Provence and more than a pinch of Mediterranean flavor – guests are invited to dine either a la carte or choosing to indulge in the five-course tasting menu.
Le Castellet for the Grand Prix makes for an enviable short break away – especially when worked into deeper exploration of the South of France – tis the season for Mediterranean magic after all.