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Staying at La Maison Bleue

Alexander Kraft is not someone one never heard of if one's interested in bespoke suits or luxury properties. CEO and Chairman of Sotheby's France and Monaco, he's always on French TV or luxury magazines like The Rake. And when he's there, chances are his Jack Russell, Bertie, will be there as well.
La Maison Bleue Provence - Alexander Kraft - freres de voyages

Photo from www.lamaisonbleue-provence.com

Even if it's only a matter of time before Bertie starts wearing 3 piece Cifonelli suits like Kraft himself, you don't need a 3 piece suit to go to his new hotel in Provence, La Maison Bleue. Ideally located between Cannes and Nice, it's in a small village called Ampus, which is exactly like you imagine a Provencal village. Small, stone houses, loads of tiny roads, and a unique charm. Though one would not immediately think of a luxury hotel being in this place, it sure is one of a kind. Sure, it's not as massive, and impressive as the Carlton in Cannes, or the Connaught in London, but it's pure luxury anyway. 
La Maison Bleue provence Alexander Kraft Frères de voyages leather bag
We got to stay there at the beginning of January, and I must admit we were not disappointed. Having stayed in Cannes the day before, we were just coming from streets full of luxury stores, hotels where a cocktail costs 25 euro, and where restaurants serve frozen food for 50 euro. Therefore when we arrived in Ampus, after an hour on the road, if was quite a different experience. Countless bends and mountains roads had had the best of us, and it was a relief to finally see the small church at the top of the hill, and finally, the newly renovated hotel, La Maison Bleue.
Once the house of a Michelin restaurant, it was falling apart when Kraft bought it a few years ago, and decided to create a small bed and breakfast, with only 4 rooms, taking inspiration from his own house for the decoration. 
As soon as we arrived, we were made to feel at home by Caroline, and almost immediately served an Aperol Spritz. Suddenly, all the weariness of the bad roads was forgotten, and the only thing we thought about was ordering another Spritz. 
La Maison Bleue provence Alexander Kraft Frères de voyages leather bag
For people who follow Kraft on social media, his taste for luxury but not tacky things is nothing new. Entering La Maison Bleue was like entering his own house. Plenty of Akaydu vases, art on the wall, old photographs of dapper men, there is no doubt that he is behind the decoration of the place. Even vintage polo boots are present, apparently from his personal collection. Stepping into this B&B is like stepping into another world, where everything is the best possible, and that makes you want to stay in this world as long as you can. Even the bed is from Hastens, a Swedish company which is renowned for producing some of the best beds in the world. If you don't sleep well on it, there is nothing we can do for you. Compared to many luxury hotels, it's obvious all details have been well thought of. The heater which warm up your towels are pieces of art, even the hangers are brilliant, they are numerous and different models are present, for trousers, suits, jackets. I even wondered what in the room was not given a special attention to detail, and I genuinely did not find anything.
It's impossible to go into this place and not want to live in it forever. Sadly for us, it was more one night than forever. 
The restaurant not open yet, we ordered some pizza from a guy in the village, got the tuxedo out, and drank some negronis. We were the only people in the hotel, and for one night, it truly felt like this house was our house. At least we wished. 
La Maison Bleue provence Alexander Kraft Frères de voyages leather bag
After a long night and many negronis, Claire welcomed us the following morning with fresh orange juice, croissants, and some coffees. Being a French guy currently living in Ireland, I can't tell you enough how much I missed croissants and pains au chocolat. The only thing I can tell you, is that those viennoiserie tasted like heaven. There is nothing like a small boulangerie in a small provençal village for the best croissants- trust me, I'm French. 
La Maison Bleue provence Alexander Kraft Frères de voyages leather bag
It was already early afternoon, and since good things never last, we were about to leave. It was then that a few guys entered the hotel and went back working on the restaurant, which is supposed to open in a few weeks. I almost wondered if they started working when we were leaving just to make us want to come back as soon as possible to see the new restaurant. The fact is, the only thing we thought about when back in the car was when we would be able to visit again. 
La Maison Bleue provence Alexander Kraft Frères de voyages leather bag
Book a room at La Maison Bleue on their website: www.lamaisonbleue-provence.com

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