"Glorious valley with stunning views...beautiful design and renovations...exquisite taste and attention to detail."
We just returned from a delightful week at Montjalade. The farmhouse is in a beautiful setting: a glorious valley with stunning views of the Luberon Mountains. Highlights of our week included day-trips to the local villages in the surrounding area with their colorful markets where local artisans and farmers displayed their fresh produce and wares. We also enjoyed excellent food and wines at a variety of excellent restaurants in the area.
Owner Joan Duck was delightful and could always be relied upon to give us great recommendations of places to see on our day-trips. Her beautiful design and renovations displayed her exquisite taste and attention to detail. The farmhouse was relaxing, comfortable, and worthy of our highest recommendation.
-B.P., Tallahassee, Florida
"Absolutely first class! The silence is broken only by the twittering of birds, the buzzing of bees and the sighing of the wind."
As we bumped along the track to the house we wondered what we were going to find. We need not have been alarmed. Everything about this property is absolutely first class. The house is decorated in traditional style, but plumbing and appliances are modern and of the highest quality. The beds and linens are simply superb. The kitchen is very well equipped and there are many books and movies on hand for spare time. On the outside, the grounds are beautifully landscaped and maintained. The pool is fabulous. Staying at Montjalade is like being in a private park. Sitting in the garden, gazing at the surrounding fields and the backdrop of the wooded hills of the Luberon, the silence is broken only by the twittering of birds, the buzzing of bees and the sighing of the wind. Topping all this off is Joan, the owner: there to greet you and offer assistance on request, but always remaining discreetly out of sight and giving guests their privacy otherwise. She is a gem. We had a wonderful two weeks and hope to return.
-G.A., London, UK
"Simply the Best! A little oasis. Joan went above and beyond. A credit to Joan's eye for detail and great taste."
Having only just returned from our fabulous holiday with 2 weeks at Montjalade we have already booked a return visit. The reason? First and foremost the delightful Joan. Nothing was ever too much trouble and Joan went above and beyond during our visit as we set challenge after challenge for her. Her knowledge of surrounding areas is terrific. Joan's excellent suggestions for food & wine could have been a problem had it not been for the beautiful pool! Then there is the splendid Montjalade where you wake to birds singing and the gentle breeze bringing scents from the most exquisite garden setting.
The renovation is a credit to Joan's eye for detail and great taste. This is the place if you are looking for a little oasis whilst you explore the scenic Luberon Valley and beyond.
-L.M., Sydney, Australia
"Breathtakingly beautiful area. The home is so comfortable and attractive that it is hard to leave."
We spent a week at Montjalade and enjoyed it immensely. The home is so comfortable and attractive that it is hard to leave. We spent one day just relaxing and hanging out at the house enjoying the pleasant atmosphere and natural beauty. The kitchen is wonderful for cooking and very well appointed. There are many wonderful villages nearby and lots of adventures to be had in the area. The owner is charming and very helpful as noted in other reviews. Our friends who accompanied us have stayed here several years in a row and have grown to love it.
“A Slice of Heaven on Earth. Truly harmonious synchrony"
I too had never experienced this famous part of the world and more particularly the Luberon where you will discover Montjalade. Joan who owns the property has spared no expense in appointing it with great style and taste. Her vision for the house and garden come together with truly harmonious synchrony so that you find many varied places to sit, read, dine or simply lose yourself in the beauty and peace that surrounds you. Montjalade answered our most demanding requirements: a sense of authenticity, beauty, comfort, style, peace, vista, good beds, feathered pillows, superb kitchen and laundry facilities, the sounds of birds and the fragrance of many perfumed trees and bushes. We will return next year to Montjalade which has found a most secure place in our hearts.
— M.O., Sydney, Australia
"Superb. You really can't do better"
For those unaccustomed to renting a holiday home in Provence from an Australian horse racing expert, a rich experience at Montjalade awaits. The house itself is as convenient as it is quirky, has all the mod cons anyone could need and is delightfully, tranquilly situated amidst fields of sunflowers and similar exotica. However, the crowning glory is the marvellous garden (containing a lovely pool) that surrounds the house. Joan Duck, chatelaine and your hostess, is in the Gertrude Jekyll class when it comes to understanding and situating plants. We have stayed for a fortnight for the last two years and will return in 2017 too. You really can't do better, or so we think.
"If you want peace, joy, pure air, ever changing light, and need your 'daybreak', go to Montjalade."
The sign at the entrance to Montjalade now proudly says "Quai du point du jour". Every hour and every light - constantly changing- is a new discovery at this wonderful house. Owner Joan Duck is delighted to have transported the sign from the banks of the Seine, and has ensured that a stay in her Provençal paradise will indeed be a 'daybreak' for her visitors. The sun climbs through the trees from the east towards Reillanne and then lights the garden in a golden glow before gleaming on the clear waters of the pool. Afternoon brings strong contrasts, brilliance matched by deep shadows, and at night the pool reflects the moon and the breeze rustles the bamboos where the sparrows roost. Purple prose? Yes, I admit it, but Montjalade deserves Cézanne, who lived down the road, in Aix and I'm no painter so words are all I can offer. My wife and I are gardeners, though, and anyone who loves gardens will love Montjalade and recognise the care and love with which Joan has created this Eden, seeing that this plant will look just right there and that new tree here- just as a painting is created from a mass of tiny details. Yet at the same time, it is all unfussy and relaxed. That's also how Joan treats her guests- ever ready to help, guide. joke and suggest, but never to intrude, so that in this other Eden, we a Grandpa Adam and Granny Eve were left quite undisturbed to splash in the pool. When we needed help though, Joan was there. Grandpa Adam managed to drive the wheel of his car into a concealed ditch. Joan was at the ready with ramps and boards and helped by a passing stranger, the car was soon out, quite undamaged. What else? The house is lovely too- quirky, original, (like Joan) no straight lines anywhere, full of odd and ends and much to make for comfort, and lovely bathrooms. If you are a fan of Le Corbusier, this isn't the place for you. If you want peace, joy, pure air, ever changing light, and need your 'daybreak', go to Montjalade.
-G.A., London, UK
"A wonderful stay in a wonderful property."
On arrival we were met by Montjalade's owner, Joan, who explained how everything worked & what to do/not do to get the most out of our stay there. The property, with its characterful beams & furnishings, was spotlessly clean & its extensive grounds beautifully maintained. There is a wonderful array of places to take your ease in the sun or shade & take in the wonderful scenery around you, perhaps reading a book from Joan's impressive collection of 'holiday' reading. She also has an extensive collection of videos (remember those?) should that appeal.The facilities inside are all that one could ask for & should anything not work because of misunderstanding or any other malfunction, Joan is at hand to help.We were booked into "La Pastorale," in nearby Céreste for our first night - we cannot recommend it highly enough... delicious meals at modest prices. Joan has other recommendations which she will happily share, arrange bookings for & provide clear directions to. We loved the relaxed Sunday morning market at nearby Reillanne, where we could supplement our initial shop at the local supermarket. However, the impressively huge Monday morning market at Forqualquier is not to be missed for the variety & range of produce on offer & the sense of life & energy emanating from it. Afterwards, consider a leisurely lunch at Restaurant No 9 where the service is also sometimes leisurely, but the food always worth waiting for at very reasonable prices.We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at "Montjalade" thanks to the standard of the property, its surroundings & the helpfulness of its charismatic owner, Joan.
"Peace and tranquility"
This house has been beautifully and sensitively renovated and is full of interesting old details such as huge beams, stone work details and old floor tiles. It was very clean when we arrived. The outside is covered with vines and roses which make the most wonderful shaded area for eating or just sitting and pondering over the lovely views and listening to the birds. The garden is also just lovely, and the huge pool (with lots of shade) is very refreshing.
We had plans to visit lots of places, but found it too difficult to tear ourselves away from this haven in the countryside. We pottered on the little lanes and walked to several little villages, and also played tennis in nearby Céreste but then found ourselves lazing by the pool in the peace and quiet!
Joan could not have been more helpful if we needed anything, and we really enjoyed the fresh vegetables from her garden. We loved it here and would recommend it to anyone who loves a beautiful old house in fantastic gardens and in the most peaceful and wonderful setting.
"Gorgeous holiday property and great place to relax"
We had a lovely relaxing holiday at this gorgeous property. Joan has clearly put a lot of time and careful planning into the renovation. We loved the garden. Lots of butterflies visiting the beautiful flowers and a large inviting pool. If you are interested in birdwatching you need go no further. Hoopoes, Orioles, Roller, Bee-eaters, Bonelli's eagle and plenty more from the garden or on the lane close-by. The house is spacious and well equipped. We kept discovering something interesting in the house every day. It was just right for our family. Joan was extremely helpful and keen to ensure we had the best stay possible. Great local info provided and suggestions for day trips. We really appreciated her kindness and the delicious freshly grown vegetables. A great base for the local area or a trip further afield. We hope you enjoy Montjalade as much as we did.
"A Slice of Paradise"
We could not have been happier with our four week stay at Montjalade. The house is so full of charm and warmth. The owner worked tirelessly on restoring this farmhouse with authentic materials and beautiful decor. There is an inviting coziness to the house which makes it truly feel like your home for the duration of the stay. The linens are exceptional and every inch of the house is immaculate.
The swimming pool and deck provided just the right change of pace from a busy day exploring nearby towns and markets or cycling. Montjalade proved to be a great base from which daily explorations of the surrounding area and towns were made. There are great bike paths in this region as well as many smaller roads for cycling. We enjoyed our evening rides down the surrounding country lanes. It's a short walk to Reillanne for the morning croissant and cafe.
The grounds here are beautiful and well maintained. Sipping a glass of wine on the patio at sunset while tasting our daily market appetizers was a special treat! The view of the church steeple from the front yard is breathtaking. Luberon sunsets are something to behold as well.
The owner was very helpful in providing any and all information needed. She located a French teacher for me, provided restaurant numbers for reservations, loaned us many travel and other books, maps and was in every way integral in making our experience in her home such a pleasure.
-C., Sun Valley, Idaho
"A Good Week...actually, A Great Week!"
"A beautiful house in a breathtaking location."
Montjalade is a rare and beautiful place. The lovely stone house has been beautifully restored to the highest standards, the garden is gorgeous, and the wide, quiet landscape that stretches out beyond is breathtaking. The owner, Joan, could not have taken more trouble to make our stay comfortable. The house was spotless and the garden beautifully cared for. Joan is delightful, generous, hugely knowledgeable, discreet, and a real friend in a crisis. When our hire car - which had no spare wheel - got a puncture on the way to taking friends to Avignon, with little time to spare, she dropped everything and raced to our rescue. We cannot recommend Montjalade highly enough.
"The Provence of your Dreams"
If your idea of Provence includes living in an ancient and superbly restored stone farmhouse from whose windows and patios you can watch white clouds rolling over lavender fields, mountain peaks, and unspoiled hill towns, you've just gotten very lucky. Many people have this fantasy, but too often it is corrupted by tour buses, t-shirt shops, and hordes of tourists. Montjalade, however, is the Provence of your dreams.
The house itself is magnificent and includes every amenity, from sumptuous linens to excellent appliances. Each bedroom gives on to stunning views and sitting on the terrace with your morning coffee, or afternoon glass of rosé, is reason enough to be there. Yet all around you narrow roads climb to small hill towns, outdoor markets, and breathtaking views. If you want to bike or hike, your only problem will be to choose among apparently endless possibilities (after which a dip in the pool and that glass of rosé are especially gratifying). If touring in your car is what you enjoy, Montjalade is within easy striking distance of every one of the famous sites throughout the region. In addition to providing whatever you require, the charming innkeeper is a font of local information.
Countless country restaurants will make dining decisions difficult, as will Montjalade's charming and well-equipped kitchen and the proximity of farmers' markets, where you will be hard pressed to resist the temptation to buy more fresh vegetables, meat, cheese and olives than you can possibly consume--unless you decide to stay longer, which I heartily recommend.
In short, we have traveled to the region many times and twice to Montjalade which remains for us the epitome of Provence. We are eager to return and envious of those who get there before we do.
My wife and I have been very fortunate in that over the past five years we have had the opportunity to vacation in Provence on three separate occasions. Of all the properties we have stayed in this ranks at the top in all categories. If you are only going once this is the place to stay. Joan has spared no expense to make her property a little slice of heaven. Montjalade is perfect and the location is excellent for visiting sights in the area. If you have not seen the movie "A Good Year" with Russell Crowe set in the surrounding towns take the time to do so. We found several internet locations with info regarding the film and took the time to visit our favorite spots in the movie. We liked A Good Year/The Luberon Experience/Small Group Tours for info. Local markets and advice from Joan kept us on the right track during the day and with her property to look forward to at the end of the day we did not want to leave. Joan, a lady with a strong personality, was a delight to work with. She arranged restaurant reservations for our arrival night and introduced us to one of her favorite local spots. Her knowledge of the surrounding villages pointed us in a different direction each day and we took full advantage of the local countryside. We are already working on plans to visit Joan and her property as soon as we can. This is the place to stay and if this is going to be a once in a life time visit. Make sure you do not pass up this superb property and a delightful owner.
-R., Spangdahlem, Germany
"The best bonus that comes with Montjalade is the owner, Joan Duck."
How lucky we were to stay at Montjalade! This refurbished farmhouse is the absolute best place to have as a home-base to return to each day after making day trips to an unending number of medieval villages and cities in the Provence region. The pool, cabana, fruit trees, and gardens make this a luxury property. The best bonus that comes with Montjalade is the owner, Joan Duck, who is the greatest resource. She has lovingly and painstakingly restored the entire property and has turned it into an oasis in the middle of the open countryside. Pictures do not do enough justice to Montjalade, they offer only a hint of how well-maintained and authentically restored it is. One word of advice: when Joan offers her expert travel advice, take it. We made the mistake of NOT conferring with Joan before our trip to Aix and found out after returning that she could have saved us an hour that we spent driving around looking for a place to park in the city. She's great and so is her house! Very difficult to leave; we hope to return soon.
We have just spent a delightful week at Montjalade. The mas is set in beautiful surroundings, in a glorious valley with wonderful views of the Luberon mountains. We particularly enjoyed the Sunday morning market at nearby Reillanne, where local farmers & artisans bring their fresh produce & wares, & took away a rotisserie cooked chicken & rabbit for lunch. The incomparably huge market at Forcalquier follows close on its heels the next day - everywhere else shops are shut on Monday morning, but such is the deluge of people that descend on Forqualquier, they are all open.
Eating out locally was rewarded with a very good meal at Chez Eric at Montfuron & superb meals at La Pastorale, Reillanne, where the wonderful slow-cooked lamb did not require the use of my knife & Maarten, the chef, is such an artist with chocolate.
Owner, Joan, is helpfulness itself & such a resource for local information. Her energy & attention to detail is reflected in the tastefully refurbished farmhouse itself & its beautifully maintained landscaped surroundings. Montjalade can serve as a great base for exploring the many nearby medieval villages or simply a place take it easy, take the occasional swim & relax by the pool. We so enjoyed our sojourn here, thoroughly recommend it & will certainly return.
Chris James, Headcorn, Kent