On a narrow street in the historical centre of Villeneuve lès Avignons is this ivy-clad, former cardinal’s palace with tall windows and pale shutters. Now kindly Stephane looks after you impeccably in elegant rooms with beamed ceilings, stone arches, antique furniture and plenty of private places to sit inside or out. Inner courtyards have tables and chairs for alfresco breakfasts under vine-covered pergolas, there’s a roof terrace with loungers for a chilled glass of rosé and a garden with a smooth lawn. Bedrooms (over three floors and no lift) are light and airy with brand new everything – some with a balcony or terrace, all with soft colours and spotlessly clean bathrooms. Wake (no hurry) to breakfasts of local cheeses, eggs, homemade jams and pastries before heading off to explore. Stephane encourages guests to write about their days out on a large blackboard – a great conversation starter. A bus stop just down the road will whisk you to the centre of town for museums, history, cafés and river boat trips. If you’re sporty speak to Stephane who is too – but there’s no need to do anything if you just want to rest.