You and eight of your friends can enjoy the best of France in this luxurious personal home in the heart of Provence.

This Bonnieux estate is located on eight acres, surrounded by fields of lavender, and features four double bedrooms and one single. The home is furnished with a collection of antiques, provides a 45’ pool, and offers twice-weekly cleaning service, sweeping views of the village and wide valley—and, of course, an open door to “la vie en rouge.” The village is a ten minute walk from the home, and features the best of Provence—open-air markets, shopping and more.

Fair Market Value: $5,200

Notes and Exemptions: Seven days and seven nights. No black out dates, but subject to availability, by December 31, 2015.

Donated by: Debra and Lyman Drake

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Bonnieux follows the contours of its hillside perch.

Relax poolside with the village in view.

A magical view.

The village of Bonnieux glows with warmth at night.

More on La Mandarine

An ideal base for exploring Provence, La Mandarine is also a perfect haven of quiet and peace in the French countryside. Located just outside the village of Bonnieux in the Vaucluse département, it combines the interest of village life with the privacy of a house in the country. You can walk to the bakery for your bread in the morning, then disappear into your garden for the rest of the day. Or you can get in your car and drive to Aix en Provence in less than an hour - St. Tropez in less than three.  In the evening, you’ve a wide choice of excellent restaurants nearby, or you can prepare dinner in your modern kitchen using the freshest products from local markets.  The house sleeps 9 people comfortably, or makes a romantic retreat for two.  

When Lyman discovered La Mandarine in 1979, it was a coup de foudre.  It was exactly the house he was seeking: set in an unspoiled rural area away from the crowded Côte d’Azur, large enough for family and friends, both charming and functional, close to but not in the middle of a village, lots of land around it,  a large swimming pool, fruit trees, lavender fields, and a view to die for!  

The house has four terraces: a large covered entry terrace, a lounging terrace off the living room with a glorious view of Bonnieux over the lavender field, a dining terrace overlooking the garden and pool, and a terrace off the upstairs bedroom looking over the Luberon mountain.

The comfortable living room has a stone fireplace, satellite TV, a stereo system with a wide selection of CD’s, a hidden wet bar, and some beautiful paintings. The large kitchen includes a farmhouse style dining area.  For warm weather there is the dining terrace off the kitchen, or even the living room terrace facing Bonnieux.  Attached to the kitchen are a pantry and a laundry.  

There are 5 bedrooms, four on the ground floor and one upstairs, accessed by an exterior staircase.  The house comfortably sleeps 9 adults. Here is the layout:

  • The master suite has a queen size bed, a fireplace, satellite TV, a dressing room with walk in closet, and a bath with tub and large walk in shower.
  • The guest wing has two bedrooms: one with queen size bed and one with two twin beds. These bedrooms share a large bath with walk in shower. 
  • Off the pantry is a cozy little bedroom with one twin bed and a small private bath. 
  • Upstairs is a large bedroom with a queen size bed and a day bed where a third person can sleep.  There is a bath with tub and shower-in-tub.
  • In addition to the 4 indoor baths, there is a pool shower with WC accessed from outside.

The house is furnished with our personal art and antiques that the Drakes have collected in France over a period of 27 years.  This is not just a rental property, it is very much our personal home. 

La Mandarine is an 8 acre estate that affords exceptional privacy while retaining a feeling of expansive space.  Immediately around the house is an acre of green lawn - the setting for a 48 foot swimming pool with a pair of ancient olive trees providing shade.  A rose garden and a lavender field define the western confines. To the north toward Bonnieux stretches the main lavender field, beyond which is the orchard with its  cherry, apricot, plum and pear trees.  To the left of Bonnieux, the view extends 10 miles across the valley to the Plateau de Vaucluse.  At night one sees the twinkling lights of the celebrated villages of Gordes, Goult, Roussillon, and St. Saturnin.  To the south the property reaches down in a series of wooded terraces toward the massive Luberon mountain, which rises dramatically to define the horizon.                                               

At twilight when the sun has left the garden, Bonnieux glows in the darkening sky as if releasing the warm light it has absorbed during the day.