River House

  • Location: Town / Village
    Shops and restaurants: In walking distance
    Beautiful Arles: 25km (30 mins by car)
    The wild and beautiful Camargue: 30km (35 mins by car)
    Unspoiled beaches of the Camargue: 60km (50 mins by car)
  • Avignon Provence Airport (AVN): 28km (30 mins by car)
    Marseille Airport (MRS): 95km (1:10 h by car)
    Car recommended
    Free parking
Contact the owner directly for the best rates
Remaining characters: 382

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An introduction to River House

How would you describe the River House in a nutshell?

River House is a chateau in a very quiet village with an incredible aesthetic.

What was the inspiration/story behind the River House?

I’ve been coming to Provence since I was a child and this year marked my 30th Easter spent in the Camargue. I have good friends here, so I’m inspired by the people, the landscape and the food of the region.

A friend showed me the house in 2010 and I immediately felt there was something special about it. So I went to the town hall and asked who owned it. It has been deserted for three years but the current owner showed me around — I asked the price and three weeks later I bought it.

It needed a lot of work, so I replaced the entire roof and every window in the house, as well as taking up the floors to seal them. There was only one bathroom in the house (which was outside), so all of the bathrooms are new too. I’ve restored a couple of houses in London and another in France, so I drew on that experience and my global travels to inspire the design.

How would you describe the atmosphere of the River House and what do you love about it?

It has a really good feeling to it and a beautiful aesthetic, as well as a sense of security. You’re in the village (so you’re not in the middle of nowhere) but the streets in the village are just wide enough for one car, so there’s never any noise. The high courtyard walls make you feel very protected, with high ceilings throughout the interior creating plenty of space.

While much of the interior is new, I’ve left some of the patina of age, giving it a rugged country house feel. A lot of Provençal furniture is featured in the rooms, together with elements of French Gothic, Victorian English and Medieval styles, as well as carpets from Turkey and Persia.

Is it suitable for families or couples?

Children often come to stay and are just as safe as they would be in any other country house. There is a lock on the swimming pool door and I ask guests before I give them the code to sign a waiver that they will be responsible for safety around the pool.

The River House is really designed for anyone who loves artistic beauty. But I wouldn’t say it’s ideal for those who need air-conditioning or like the sterile feel of a hotel room.

River House
Bedroom Sud
Bedroom Nord
Bedroom Nord
Bedroom SH2
Bedroom SH1
Bedroom Piscine
Bedroom top
Bathroom top
Dormitory room
Attic living area
Salon
Salon
Large dining area
Courtyard
Courtyard
Courtyard
Small dining room
Chapel

River House rooms & rates

There are seven en-suite bedrooms with super-king, pocket sprung mattresses and heavy teak beds, as well as new bathrooms that have been designed in an old-fashioned style. The ground floor features a large kitchen and two spacious reception rooms, together with a dining room that can seat up to 80 people. Our kitchen has all that is needed to cook for one, or for sixty.

Upstairs is an office, a library and another salon, so if you’re with a group of people there’s always somewhere for groups to break out or space to find some privacy.

  • River House for 14-18 people / 2000 m²
    / night
    • 7 Double bedroom
    • 1 Bunk room
    • 7 Shower room (ensuite)
    • 2 Living room
    • 1 Dining room
    • 1 Kitchen
Included in the rates
Rates are on a self-catering basis.
Children & Extra beds
Children are welcome. There are a dormitory/bunk room and a single room for up to 4 children. And there are 2 baby cots available. Please note, that children often come to stay and are just as safe as they would be in any other country house. There is a lock on the swimming pool door and the owner asks guests to sign a waiver that they will be responsible for safety around the pool before giving them the code.
Minimum stay
7 nights
Check in time
after 16:00
Check out time
before 10:00
Closed November to March

Facilities & services

  • Children welcome
  • Swimming pool
  • WiFi
  • Terrace
  • Courtyard

We have a saltwater plunge pool, and courtyards for resting, reading, and eating. Each of the areas has its own character and times of sun and shade during the day. There are tables to enjoy lunch or dinner and to just relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Our garden has roses and herbs that circle the house as they migrate.

As for services, anything is possible but we just need advance notice. As it’s a small village, it can take time to find the right people who are available (and speak English) for what you need. That being said, we can organize nannies, guides and cooks to prepare very good Provençal food, as well as classical or gypsy/flamenco musicians. Florists, hair and makeup artists and masseuses can also be booked, and we can organise particular alcoholic beverages or a completely dry house if you prefer.

Things to do in Provence & Vallabrègues

  • Art / Culture
  • Shopping / Markets
  • Wine tastings
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Horseback riding

I would recommend going to the market in Arles on a Saturday and visiting the museum there, as well as admiring some of the old churches. The Fondation Vincent van Gogh is also very good, as is the LUMA Foundation which hosts a big photography festival every July. Avignon is also worth a visit, particularly during the summer festival and Nimes has a great covered food market.

A drive through the Alpilles Natural Regional Park also shouldn’t be missed or spending a day visiting the beaches of the Camargue, which has a certain wildness and incredible light. We can also organise private dinners at one of the excellent restaurants here. Horse-riding tours, bullfighting events and flamenco performances are among the other highlights and there are numerous antique markets taking place throughout the region.

The location of River House

The River House is in Vallabregues, which is a medieval stone village of around 800 people (mostly French workers) near the Camargue. There are two cafes on the main square, as well as a butcher and bakery that’s open in the mornings. It’s within walking distance of Tarascon and around 20 minutes’ drive to Arles, as well as being just 30 minutes from Avignon. The beaches of the Camargue are 45-60 minutes away and it’s around the same distance from Uzes.

When is the best time to visit Provence?

As there is no central heating, I wouldn’t rent it outside of April to October. I love it in May, as the garden is really green, but by August I find it a bit hot (although lots of people love it). September is a quieter time to visit the region and the sea is really warm after the long summer.