This is a selective guide to the best places to stay in Provence. All of them have been visited personally, not written up from press releases or the hotel websites.

We've had a jolly good look round on our "inspections" and stayed in some ourselves.

But remember: hotels can change hands, be totally refurbished, go to rack and ruin or even close down altogether. For this reason we have noted at the bottom of each review the date(s) when we visited.

If you wish to filter the results by location, click here for accommodation in Aix en Provence, here for Arles, here for Avignon, here for Marseille and here for other places.

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By making a reservation through them you can often get a very good bargain while helping us cover the running costs of the website.

The other, increasingly popular, option is, of course AirBnB, which is very well entrenched in France (though, as elsewhere in the world, hoteliers are lobbying against it).

And, if you sign up to this online peer-to-peer booking agency using this link, you'll get 25 €uros off your first stay! logoClick here to book a hotel in Provence

Le 28 a Aix front doorWith its discreet black door, the sober façade of 28 à Aix, tucked away in an historic 17th century street in the Mazarin Quarter, conceals one of the most luxurious B&Bs in town, with prices to fit.

marseille alex hotel bedroomThis modest, stylish boutique hotel in the bustling heart of Marseille is fantastic value for money, but the exceptional service is what really makes the Alex Hotel.

avignon au coeur facadeSet in a lovingly restored 19th century mansion, Au Coeur d'Avignon is an intimate, elegant and super-affordable guesthouse. It's a peaceful retreat right in the heart of the old city.

bandol hotel delos from seaFirst things first: the splendidly eccentric Hotel Delos is not, strictly speaking, in Bandol. It's on the Île de Bendor, a tiny island a short seven-minute boat ride from the mainland.

bandol ile rousse2Bandol's only five-star hotel-spa, the Île Rousse is brilliantly located right on the beach in a quiet street near the marina, shops and restaurants of the town centre.

Entrance, Bastide du Cours, Aix en ProvenceThe Bastide du Cours sits mid-way up the Cours Mirabeau in an historic building that was once a convent-orphanage, then a celebrated café.

bedoin hotel la garanaceA pretty, typical provençal mas (farmhouse) with blue shutters and a flower-filled garden, the Hotel la Garance is perfectly positioned for visiting Mont Ventoux.

marseille hotel c2Discreet is the word that springs to mind when describing the C2, a gorgeous, slightly secretive five-star boutique hotel in Marseille's newly fashionable district on the hill just south of the Old Port.

Casa Honore, MarseilleAs often in Marseille, appearances are deceptive chez Casa Honoré. The peeling frontage of a disused print works in a street behind the Old Port opens into a spacious modernist ryad. Think Dr Who's tardis.

marseille golden tulip exteriorConveniently located for business travellers and cruise tourists, the smart, modern, four-star Golden Tulip Euromed is a chain hotel with some quirky touches and a terrific restaurant.

Gordes Mas de la Senancole1Just outside Gordes, Le Mas de la Sénancole is an attractive and affordable base for exploring the beautiful villages of the Luberon.

Grand Hotel Beauvau from across the Marseille Old PortThe Grand Hotel Beauvau is one of the oldest in Marseille and superlatively located for tourists. The view over the Old Port could barely be bettered, the tourist office and dozens of restaurants and shops are close by and the metro is a few metres away.

The bar at the Grand Hotel Roi Rene, Aix en ProvenceThe Roi René is a four star grand hotel with a stylish history and some pretensions. Since it opened in 1929 it has welcomed the Aga Khan, King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Winston Churchill.

Holiday Inn, Marseille Saint-Charles These are two good chain hotels if you need to stay near Marseille's main railway and bus stations at Saint Charles, each equally close to the main concourse, but with slightly different advantages to commend it.

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