Art, Wine, And Sweet Digs In Provence

The glorious 500-acre Château La Coste in the Luberon region of Provence welcomes families to wander among lush vineyards and dozens of contemporary works by the most famous artists and architects. And it’s only getting more fabulous in 2017, when a Michelin-starred chef takes residence and five-star villas open their doors.

If The Berkeley And Claridge’s Are Any Indication . . 

Developer Patrick McKillen has an interest in some of the cushiest hotels in the world. So we have high hopes for his new Villa La Coste, currently in soft-opening stages at Château La Coste. The contemporary hotel and spa is almost complete, with 28 villas available for booking by early next year (nine can be reserved now). Each villa (from $533 per night) offers views of the estate, plenty of space, elegant furnishings, and art from McKillen’s private collection. Cribs, babysitters, and drivers are all available to guests upon request.

It’s Like A Museum, Minus The Lines

McKillen has filled the château grounds with impressive pieces by Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Alexander Calder, Richard Serra, Sean Scully, and other notables. More than 15 additional installations are in the works—from the likes of Oscar Niemeyer, Ai WeiWei, and Renzo Piano. Guests are greeted by Louise Bourgeois’ Crouching Spider 6695, an installation that represents femininity and motherhood—the first sign that families are, indeed, welcome here.

Go Ahead, Touch The Art

On the château’s Art & Architecture Walk, little ones are free to roam, run, explore—and touch the art. The self-guided tour takes about two hours, but can be split into shorter walks of 45 minutes and 75 minutes. Just grab a map (provided), camera, and comfortable shoes; $34 for a family ticket.

You Won’t Have To Go Far To Eat Well

Michelin-starred chef Gérald Passédat will be heading up the property’s new restaurant, opening next year. In the meantime, you won’t suffer at the two on-site eateries, both of which use seasonal ingredients from the garden and local farms. Order the kids a charcuterie and cheese platter with baguette and side of veggies at The Terrace, a casual spot with outdoor seating. Or, reserve a table for lunch at Tadao Ando, which serves up Provençal pastas, salads, and main dishes like fish with ratatouille or roasted chicken with buttered peas.

We All Know You Came For The Wine

Best known for its rosé, La Coste’s organic vineyard covers more than 200 acres and features biodynamic production practices. Bring the littles on a 90-minute tour of the Jean Nouvel-designed wine chais or leave them at the château with a sitter (book ahead). After the tour, visit the wine shop, housed in a nineteenth-century farmhouse, to purchase wine and olive oil as well as locally produced honey, books, dishes, and glassware. Guided tours and tastings are offered every day throughout the year—in French from 11am to 3pm and in English at 1pm. It costs $13 per adult and $11 per student or older child.