4, Place de l’Amirande 84000 Avignon − France
Hotel La Mirande is famous for its intricately renovated interiors. No expenses were spared to carefully restore what had survived from the past and to replenish, where necessary, the features of the age of enlightenment for the revival of a nobleman’s townhouse in the 18th century. In a brilliant endeavour, a secret private place was converted into a luxurious 5-star hotel without intruding on the soul of the building. Each guestroom has all the luxury amenities you would expect, but invisible if modern technology is involved as the mirror televisions of the mantelpieces. Even some former servants’ quarters, downstairs, were preserved and contribute to the activities we offer. La Mirande could be the perfect setting for a French Donwton Abbey equivalent.
La Mirande is entertaining by offering two completely different dining experiences, either up-stairs in its excellent the gourmet restaurant or downstairs in the old kitchen where guests share a large table and dinner is prepared on the old wood burning stove as it was in use in the 19th century.
“Staying at La Mirande is a journey back through two centuries of exquisite French decorative arts.” DEPARTURES Magazine
“Steeped in history with its origins in the 14th century it is today all Dangerous Liaisons with its 18th century treasures hidden behind the baroque façade, a grand gracious private house with a deliciously exotic edge.” Tatler.
On becoming a 5-star boutique hotel, La Mirande has not ceased to be a private house, and is a better guardian of its history than many a palace that is only preserved for visitation or to house a museum.
Although in earlier times Roman remains were found, the story begins in 1309 with the establishment of the Popes in Avignon. One of the cardinals accompanying pope Clement V was his nephew, Cardinal de Pellegrue, who built a “livrée”, as cardinals’ palaces were called, in the privileged location of the direct neighbourhood adjoining the Popes’ Palace. Up until the siege of the Popes’ Palace in 1410, when it was partly destroyed, the “livrée” had remained the property of cardinals, in particular Hugues Roger, brother to pope Clement VI, and Hugues de Saint-Martial, the last incumbent.
In 1653 the remains were sold to a man of law, Claude de Vervins. On his death, his son Pierre, marquis de Bédouin, built the typically classical façade which we see today, the architectural statement of a nobleman’s residence in town or “hotel particulier” as they are named in French. It was designed by the architect Pierre Mignard, son and nephew of Nicolas and Pierre Mignard, painters to King Louis XIV, of whom they painted numerous portraits.
“L’hôtel de Vervin” as it was called then, was the residence of the descendants of Pierre de Vervins until 1796, when it was sold to Jean-Baptiste Bénézet-Pamard, an officer of health. A sign of the times: La Mirande would never again belong to the aristocracy. Renamed as the “Hôtel Pamard”, it will for two centuries be the property of a prominent Avignon family, a member of whom became Lord Mayor and altered the town according to the precepts applied to Paris by Baron Haussmann in the latter half of the 19th century. We can dream today of that long span of years and of the kind of life lived by a bourgeoisie close to Napoleon III, enclosed in the sombre neo-gothic décor inspired by Viollet-le-Duc, amid heavy drapes and 19th century paintings. A secret and mysterious life, such as we always imagine for that century, which was so successful in protecting intimacy through the invention of privacy.
Sombre and secret, such indeed was the tone of the building as the Steins discovered and purchased it in 1987. In three years they turned La Mirande into something unique, and achieved their aim, which was to create the impression of a private house in which different décors had accumulated over three centuries. They were helped in giving shape to their ideas by the Paris interior decorator, François-Joseph Graf, and the Avignon architect, Gilles Grégoire. The purpose was to obtain an overall harmony out of the coexistence of 18th and 19th century styles, which is infinitely more respectful of the character of the building than earlier arrangements. A unique restoration process was carried out for creating a hotel. The Steins, unfettered by rigid rules, have succeeded in resolving the dilemma familiar to architects responsible for the renovation of historical monuments: what should one keep, what period should be given pride of place? For that which is handed down to us from the distant past is almost always composite. Restoration is not an exact science, but an art, which makes the person carrying it out an artist.
The tremendous force of La Mirande makes itself felt on whoever approaches it from near or from far, an echo of the tumult of the centuries, a resurrection of the splendour of ancient times, reminiscence of the age of enlightenment. La Mirande is a story without end that provokes the imagination. (adapted from a text by Claude Eveno).
The old kitchen is also the setting for the “Le Marmiton” cooking school. Séverine Sagnet invites some of the region’s greatest chefs to lead cooking classes for all culinary enthusiasts, from those looking for an introduction to the art of Provencal cooking to those wishing to enhance their knowledge of gastronomy. In keeping with La Mirande’s spirit of conviviality, novice chefs will have the pleasure of inviting friends to join them round the table and share in the meal they have prepared.
Based on the yearly calendar, cooking and pastry-making themes change with the seasons and according to the chefs’ whims and expertise.
“The cooking school at La Mirande, named “Le Marmiton”, which is the French name for kitchen lad, begins its classes with a trip to the Marché les Halles d’Avignon to choose the ingredients. The head of the school, the charming Séverine Sagnet, looped baskets over our arms and took us through the stalls, pointing out the best place to buy bread and gathering samples of everything from pickled garlic to aged Comté cheese. Once we were weighed down with local produce, we walked back to the hotel to begin making lunch. Classes are held in a sumptuous, rustic teaching kitchen, dominated by a vast wood-burning oven and open shelves piled with crockery. Instruction is clear but relaxed, and the cooking is distinctly unhurried. It is the kind of class where you will peel asparagus with a glass of wine at your side. Once our chicken was in the oven, and purple artichokes were sizzling on the stove, we went down to the cellar for an aperitif while things cooked. Lunch was served, plated beautifully, at the wooden table in the kitchen, followed by a few cups of coffee in the garden.” - A guest.
The interior wall design of the bedrooms represent the composition and symmetries en vogue in the 18th century: authentic dado wood panelling, visual support to the historic cotton print wall hangings, reaching from the dado rail to the crown moulding ; matched silk lined curtains ; vintage parquet floors, antique furniture, paintings, engravings and carpets; invisible mirror televisions integrated in over mantel or trumeau; large antique windows with a splendid view through the period-appropriate old glass on the neighbouring Popes’ palace.
Belle Époque bath rooms with bathtub encased in Carrara Arabescato marble, Edwardian fittings and block-printed wall papers.
The interior wall design of the bedrooms represent the composition and symmetries en vogue in the 18th century: authentic dado wood panelling, visual support to the historic cotton print wall hangings, reaching from the dado rail to the crown moulding ; matched silk lined curtains ; vintage parquet floors, antique furniture, paintings, engravings and carpets; invisible mirror televisions integrated in over mantel or trumeau; large antique windows with a splendid view through the period-appropriate old glass on the neighbouring Popes’ palace; (except 4 rooms with street or court view)
Belle Époque bath rooms with bathtub encased in Carrara Arabescato marble, Edwardian fittings and block-printed wall papers.
The garden pavilion, an extension added in 2012, has 5 rooms with historic block printed wallpapers instead of fabrics, while the bathrooms are treated in a neoclassical design.
The interior wall design of the suite’s living and bedroom represent the proportions and symmetries en vogue in the 18th century: authentic dado wood panelling, visual support to the fabric*, reaching from the dado rail to the crown moulding ; matched silk lined curtains ; vintage parquet floors, antique furniture, paintings, engravings and carpets; invisible mirror television integrated in a trumeau; six large antique windows with a splendid view through the period-appropriate old glass on the neighbouring Popes’ palace; *Montgeoffroy is the name of this historic cotton print as an original is still visible in a room of Château Montgeoffroy. Created around 1770 it is an “affordable” imitation of the famous and expensive French floral ikats also referred to as “Pompadour silk” with the characteristic blurred pattern.
Belle Époque bath room with bathtub encased in Carrara Arabescato marble, Edwardian fittings and block-printed wall paper imitating a drapery. The Bathroom has its own large window with view onto the garden and Popes Palace.
A connecting queen double room offers the possibility for a two bedroom suite.
Make your big day the perfect event!
La Mirande is a fairy-tale setting venue for sophisticated banquets or family celebrations in Avignon, especially weddings, as you cannot be overdressed for a house which stands for French decorative arts of the 18th century at its best. An succession of beautiful period reception rooms around the central patio contribute to the generous public space available to stage an event, and the two ways of dining at La Mirande, one elegant and classic upstairs and the other convivial and “hearty” downstairs makes it easy to imagine all sorts of scenarios. The romantic location next to the Popes’ Palacecontributes to the impression tof stepping out of time for the very special occasions in life.
The extensive space offered by the reception rooms allows for up to 150 guests comfortably seated in three en suite dining rooms. The family can be accommodated in our 26 double rooms and friends in surrounding hotels in walking distance.
We have a good choice of orchestras for excellent live music entertainment perfectly at ease to perform unplugged and the vaulted cellars can be prepared as dance floor with a DJ.
The restaurant will exceptionnally be closed on Monday, August 20th, for lunch and dinner.
The rest of the year, the restaurant is open from Thursday to Monday, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. (last order) and from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m (last order).
You cannot come closer to the essence of Avignon's history than dining either in La Mirande's most ancient room, where in the 14th century the cardinals treated the popes to dinner, or the restaurant's garden adjacent to the impressive walls of the Pope's Palace.
The gourmet restaurant is an entity in its own right. At Hotel La Mirande the days follow a rhythm marked by genuine gastronomical moments, in which all the arts come together and nothing is left to chance. The table is a décor where the materials and the objects join with the forms and the colours of the food you are invited to taste: pleasure of the eye as an introduction to the pleasure of the palate! It is as if the products of nature had been observed and admired in their simplicity before becoming part of a recipe, however sophisticated and lovingly concocted, so as to preserve their integrity. And one of the greatest paradoxes is just how much energy is required to achieve such a light touch!
The talent and strength behind such an outstanding accomplishment is 29 year old Florent Pietravalle, former assistant chef of Pierre Gagnaire in Paris with whom he spent 4 years before deciding to cook in his own name. Since April 2016 he is the chef de cuisine at La Mirande.
The organic hotel garden is a labour of love whose wonderful haphazardness mixes box hedges, fruit trees, holm oaks, laurel, roses, and kitchen herbs for the chefs’ needs. It’s a little green paradise under the overwhelming skyward oriental façade of the Popes‘Palace. As so is the wine list* with its extensive selection of French wines, especially of the Rhône valley, with an emphasis on organic and biodynamic wines.
Please fill this form for individuals or for groups and you shall receive an answer written by a live person at Hotel La Mirande. This is the only way you can know exactly what room types are available for the dates you want, and the best possible rate, because you are dealing directly with the hotel.
Bear in mind that websites set up to give an automatic answer, work with allocated quotas given by the hotel, therefore when it appears there are no rooms available for the date you want, this is not necessarily true, because they never allocate ALL the rooms to third parties.
43°57’00.44”N / 4.48’27.43” E
From Nice, Lyon or Marseille on motorway, we advise you to exit at “Avignon-Nord” and to follow the “centre - ville” sign until you get to the “Porte de la Ligne”. You will then see the hotel’s name on yellow signs.
The hotel access bollards: Once you are on “Place des châtaignes”, stop your car in front of the hotel bollards that delimit the pedestrian street area. Use the hotel entry phone so that the hotel reception can lower the bollards. Take the ticket and wait until the traffic light turns orange before driving ahead.
TGV Avignon train station: 5 km
Central city train station Avignon: 1 km
From Lyon: A7 - Avignon-Nord 23 exit
From Marseille: A7 - Avignon-Nord 23 exit
From Montpellier: A9 - Remoulins 23 exit
Then follow Avignon
Avignon-Caumont: 10 km
Marseille-Provence: 85 km