Picking France as a holiday destination can be expensive. From my experience, the best value you can get without sacrifising quality too much is to stay in Logis (pronounciation similar to “lo shi” in French), an independently run lodging promoted and structured under an organisation called Logis de France in the beginning. The brand has since expanded outside France and also have logis in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Luxembourg. Therefore, it’s now called Logis Hotels instead of Logis de France. There are different gradings in terms of the rooms and the food. But you can always get good genuine French cooking from logis. That’s what you will expect from logis and also what they try to achieve.
I have stayed in different logis in France with different gradings and with many different interesting stories. They have recently introduced a new category called The Logis d’Exception. From the surface of it, you know it should be exceptional. There’s only one in Provence region called Hostellerie du Val de Sault, which I tried last month. I am going to review it from my experience.
You can book through Logis Hotels web-site or call their Paris office, who will help you call the logis and book for you. The Paris office can handle English speaking very well. So it’s quite convenient to hand things over to them. But I chose a more challenging way which is to contact the hotel directly through email, thinking that it’s an exceptional hotel, their English should be ok. But I forgot, it’s still a logis, run mostly by French families and they are not chain hotels. This is the beauty of it, really. With my sporadic French vocabulory and their minimal English, there were some misunderstandings in terms of when the deposit would be charged. Calling them was no use. It only made the situation worse. We just set off with confidence that things would be fine.
Finding Hostellerie du Val de Sault
It’s not too difficult to find the logis. Once you arrive the village centre of Sault, you will see signage all the way through. It’s only about 5 minutes’ drive from the Sault centre.
Upon arriving, all anxiety disappeared. Flanked by poppies and lavenders and then tall trees, we were taken into a beautiful land in the middle of a forest. Dotted with small charasteristic houses, Hostellerie du Val de Sault appeared in front of our eyes. Not typical chain hotel as it is, you won’t see any bell boys, doorman or concierge manager. It’s complete tranquility. We spotted a small house in the front of the huge area. There’s a sign out there saying “Reception”. We know where to go. Stepping in, we were welcomed with a big grin from Patrick, who’s eager to leave as it’s almost 5. Provencal life style! But Patrick was truly helpful and so relaxed.
Apart from Patrick, there’s also Pierre the Peacock welcoming us. We called him Pierre because he’s French!
Our rooms are not in the main complex. They are situated about 2 minutes’ drive from the main hotel. It’s called Villa Yvette, where the owner lives. Yes, we were staying in the owner’s house! It’s a big house. Half of it was rented out to guests. It has got 3 en-suite rooms with a private swimming pool and it’s a lot cheaper than the rooms in the main hotel. We paid €125/person/day including B&B+dinner while the rooms in the main hotel would have cost €165. That’s the main reason we chose Villa Yvette.
It was such a charming villa with view open to a valley and poppy fields.
Apart from a very minor plumbing problem in the bath (typical of France especially when you are in the rural area), everything was pristine and we were very pleased.
All Logis d’Exception should have at least the standard of 3 pots or Table of Distinction,which is equal to Michilin standard restaurant. Hestellerie du val de Sault has the rating of Table of Distintion and it did not disappoint us. The chef Yves Gattechaut lived up to the expectation of a Michilin starred restaurant and logis. It’s simple, elegant using lots of local ingredients. I always wonder how would you describe French food. One of my friends summed up in a brilliant way “A French chef will try to release the geniune favour from the food itself.” That’s why you don’t see lots of curry or spices in French food. And Yves’ cooking was exactly like that. From a simple home cured meat from local lambs to tomato mousse with local herbs, it’s just so good.
The hotel has been running by Yves Gattechaut for 17 years. Yves’ daughter Eva was a darling. Her no-pressure genuine hospitality made you feel so welcomed and well attended. The wine she recommended with a very resonable price was excellent. Hurah to Eva !
Overall, I give a 8/10 to Hostellerie du val de Sault. The 2 points are to do with the French plumbing problem.
Hope you have a pleasant stay.