“Mas Belle Source is the perfect place for a luminous sojourn in the Luberon. The 18th century Mas has been converted with exquisite taste and comfort to a top rated property for a vacation in Provence. Surrounded by gardens, orchards, olive groves and vineyards it is a place to relax poolside or to set off from to discover the many famous and secret attractions of Provence”
Living in Provence
It is mid-March 2020, the mistral is blowing but the sky is a brilliant blue and the bright sun silhouettes early-blooming almonds. I am sitting in my light-filled studio reading comments written in our guest book from the first summer in 2014. It is hard to believe that it has been five years since our first guests stayed in the house, just one year after we purchased the property of our dreams here in the magical Luberon.
Originally named Villa Goult we re-christened it ‘Mas Belle Source’ for the many freshwater springs on the property that have been the source of our hamlet’s fountain for over 3 centuries.
Traditional Provençal house with contemporary luxuries
The house and gardens have evolved as our dream of Provence has taken shape. We welcome guest rentals from June to September. My husband Arnold and I spend spring, fall and winter months in the house and have taken great pleasure of improving the property, the gardens and décor with antiques and ideas we find in the treasure troves of Provence – its lively fairs, “brocante” markets and the ubiquitous “vide greniers” – empty the attics!
After two years of dust, rubble and jack hammers (the walls are half a metre thick) we have said “au revoir” to the plumbers, masons, electricians, blacksmiths, and the few scoundrels who worked on the project.
Surrounded by vineyards, olive, almond and cherry trees the 2-acre property is nestled on the boundary of a 17thcentury hamlet in the wine rich Parc Regional du Luberon and lies a short distance from eight famous hilltop villages. Enclosed within limestone walls the stone house and outbuildings are clustered around a central courtyard. Gardens and pool are elegantly separate from the main house.
Architecturally the house resembles the primitive stone “Mas” or farms ubiquitous to Provence that are protectively built around a shade tree. Ours happens to be attached to a charming small hamlet a few kilometres from the villages of Lacoste, Menerbes, Bonnieux and Gordes on the slopes of the Luberon mountains.
It was an unexpected surprise to discover an expansive light filled house with a two-story formal dining area and salon in what began as a 200-year-old farmhouse intact with original beams and monumental old stones. We had seen dozens of houses on our search and none with such elegant bright interior space.
The house had been rewired, upgraded with modern plumbing and stone floors refitted with under-floor heating. It presented a perfect canvas for our enthusiastic brush.
Dining room with floating stairs to Rose Bedroom
The light filled Salon
TV lounge and study
Orchards, gardens and secluded garden rooms
At last count there are now 11 “outdoor rooms” on the property where one can choose to catch the sun, sit in the shade, lounge by the pool, have tea under the rose arbour, lunch under the shade of wisteria, share drinks in the evening in a covered alcove, take morning coffee enjoying the view of the orchard, or tuck your self out of the wind on a patio protected by a sloping garden of lavender and roses. We often take a picnic to the top of the field and enjoy the view of Mt. Ventoux, the glittering villages of Roussillon, Gordes and Goult while we sit in the shade of the almond trees.
In 2015 we opened the inner courtyard to the east and a field that had been fallow for years. The soil was rich, deep and exposed to full sun. With the help of landscape designer Louise Boutin we planted the “terroir” with almond trees, an orchard of plum, cherry, quince, peach and apple trees and, closest to the house, the olives – eighteen trees including three 80-year old and fifteen 30-year old specimens.
One of the most pleasurable outcomes of improving the property has been the production of our own private-label olive oil – a sample of which is part of the Mas Belle Source welcome gift.
The oil is delicious and can be drizzled on just about anything. One foodie guest loved it on her ice cream. We have plain and a spicy version I make with a mixture of herbs, peppers and chilies from the Bonnieux market.
A floating limestone staircase leads to the Rose suite, completely renovated during our first year in Provence. Stone under floor heating, an en-suite bathroom and millwork closets were added. The room is named for the climbing rose that peeks over the wall of the private terrace. In the 18th and early 19th centuries the tall room was used for silk production – the largest agricultural industry at the time.
The second bedroom is named Tilleuil for the Linden tree we planted outside its window – the first of dozens of trees and Provençal shrubs we have added to the grounds. The en-suite has a spacious bathroom and a claw-foot tub.
The Bergerie suite is located in the oldest part of the house and its charm is enhanced by the texture of the original plastered ceiling and stonewalls. It is the ground floor of the two-story “cabano” – the first building in the Mas that housed silk production on the top floor and a stable downstairs. It is spacious, has a private entrance and hallway and en-suite bathroom.
“La Rose” bedroom and ensuite bath
Below, “Tilleuil” or Linden bedroom and ensuite bath
Below “La Bergerie” suite
Visit our Guestbook
“Mas Belle Sources is the most perfect Provençal house we could ever have wished for. It is so beautifully furnished and equipped, and the garden is glorious. We have had the most wonderful two-week celebration of my birthday. Hopefully we’ll return in the future. Thank you for letting us share this little piece of paradise.”The Jensen family, Capetown South Africa
“An absolute dream, an idyll, a delight… Thank you for sharing this paradise.” Ewa Zebrowski, Shulim and Stefan Rubin, Montreal, Canada.
“This was the perfect romantic, well equipped and beautiful place to celebrate our honeymoon in private! A lovely atmosphere and gorgeous weather did the rest to allow us to fully enjoy the beautiful garden, the pool and the surrounding nature. Kind regards to the whole team who took great care of our every need.” A and W Paul, Friesach, Austria
“A beautiful piece of Provence. The house is lovely and well equipped. We really enjoyed the garden. It was as if we had a market in our own back yard!” We hope to return”K Sheffer, Kansas City, Missouri USA
Simply and most sincerely said, “Your home is a piece of heaven… We feel priviledged to have had a week to savour everything about it. Thank you” The McDermott’s, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
“Un Lieu magique … Deux semaines de privilege…On repart avee l’espoir de revenir… Un jour peur être… Merci”Famille Pinelli, Switzerland
The house is fully equipped. There is twice weekly maid service. Towels, linens and household necessities are included as are Wi-Fi and international phone service. Our management company have 18 years of experience and offer a full concierge service, including catering, chef service, drivers and tours.
Hameau St. Véran in the Luberon is part of the commune of Goult. It is 40 minutes from Avignon TGV, 1.5 hours from the Marseille airport, (Marigane), one hour from the city of Aix-en-Provence and 1.5 hours from the sea (Cassis, St’s Marie de la Mer, Arles) and literally hundreds of other marvels of PACA our region- Provence Alpes Côte d’Azure
Our short film of the Seasons in the Luberon. Enjoy
And, please visit our rental website: https://www.villasduluberon.fr/location/maison-goult-mas-belle-source-219782.html
Deborah MacNeill & Arnold Wicht
Deborah MacNeill – dmacneill.com
Arnold Wicht – arnoldwicht.com