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- Karen Brown's Recommendation:
Le Clos du Buis is an incredibly lovely 3-star hotel with room rates that are amazingly low for the quality and charm of this little jewel. This delightful 200-year-old stone building is right in the heart of the lovely town of Bonnieux. When you first see Le Clos du Buis you would never dream that there is a sweet garden and a pretty heated swimming pool nestled behind the house and that the prime rooms have a splendid view. Pierre Maurin, who grew up right in Bonnieux, spent many years as a chef for the French embassy, then returned to his village and bought a derelict bakery that had lain abandoned for over 50 years. The Maurins have very cleverly retained the adorable façade of the old bakery and you might walk right by thinking it is a “real” shop. Old-fashioned, handmade-lace curtains decorate the windows behind which the pastries formerly were displayed. On either side are groomed potted trees. Protecting the entrance is an overhanging roof with an intricate border made in a fancy, wrought-iron design. The same sensitivity and excellent taste that motivated the Maurins to recreate the exterior is apparent in every detail within. Pierre and his wife Lydia did the decorating and it is exactly right. The fabrics, the colors, the antiques, the fresh flowers, and the way it is all put together are most appealing.