A Taste of France an Hour from Providence

SPA-SIDE-pic-1024x651Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to feel a world away. That would include Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills in the woods of Plymouth, Mass., about an hour away from downtown Providence.

Mirbeau’s 50 well-appointed rooms, landscaped Monet gardens, waterfall and Koi ponds were purposely designed to look like a French country estate. We stayed one fall weeknight last year and though the weather outside was frightful, inside was as warm and inviting as you’d expect in a resort where in high season, rooms fetch $700 or more a night. Since Mirbeau is open year-round, off season is the best time to catch bargains with rooms starting around $200. There is also a wide range of special packages available.

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The resort opened in June 2014, and quickly gained accolades. It is an AAA Four-Diamond award winner and was named to Conde Nast Traveler’s “Best Hotels in the World: Readers’ Choice Awards 2015,” and came in sixth among the magazine’s Top 20 Resorts in New England.

French flair is everywhere at Mirbeau, including antique items like an Aubusson floral country scene tapestry from the south of France; a French painted buffet known as a “buffet de chasse,” circa 1780; and a Demi Lune Console, made in the early 20th century, consisting of original Tinos green marble from Greece, along with modern touches like Art Noveau-inspired wrought-iron columns.

By far, one of the most popular features of Mirbeau for guests or anyone seeking relaxation is the 14,000-square-foot Spa Mirbeau, a very water-centric place with eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, and a huge circular central resting area, surrounded by loungers, hand-painted murals, frescos, stone columns, a sky-blue ceiling, fireplace and heated foot pool. Outside is the year-round aqua terrace, with hot tub, fireplace, and small bar and dining area.

LX6A1271-retouched-534The spa has 14 treatment rooms, each with fireplace and private sound system, offering a wide range of services that use Mirbeau’s exclusive skincare partner products from Babor, a German-based company and member of the GoGreen Service environmental initiative and that it never has conducted animal testing in developing new products. The offerings are many (we had a superb and romantic couples’ massage), and include massages, facials, body treatments and nail and hair treatments.

Golf is a big deal at Mirbeau as well, located on the 18th hole of the renowned Rees Jones course and adjacent to the Jack Nicklaus course at the Pinehills Golf Club, which has won accolades from Golf Magazine, Golf Digest and Travel & Leisure Golf magazine, among others.

One of the biggest draws at Mirbeau is the dining, featured in two venues, Henri-Marie, the resort’s fine-dining option that was designed as a repurposed chapel with a French-inspired menu, and The Bistro & Wine Bar, a more casual experience.

Most recently, Mirbeau named a new executive chef, Daniel Kenney, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, who has worked at the Boston Harbor Hotel and was part of the founding team of the Boston Wine Festival. He’s also worked at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, D.C., and the Four Seasons Hotel & Resort in Costa Rica.

LX6A1976-retouched-534Mirbeau is heavy on serving seasonal fare, which has included grilled Plymouth oysters with pancetta, bee pollen, tomato and chive fondue; a Mirbeau fondue of brie cheese, roasted garlic, and tomato-raisin jam; and bouillabaisse with shrimp, mussels, clams, lobster and scallops; and steak au poivre, with cognac, green peppercorns, pommes puree and French green beans.

All of which makes Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills a tasty place to visit any time of year. For more information, visit www.mirbeau.com

Photos from Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills

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