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Welcome

Le Cloître,
Arles

Le Cloître sets time aside from ordinary life

We come here to draw inspiration, we stay here to make discoveries, and we leave enchanted.

A place

On the square, a hundred-year-old Paulownia. This tall, single tree insulates Le Cloître and casts its kind shade over groups of friends gathered at tables underneath. Inside, the air is soft, cool, calm. We are struck by its geometry. We slide down its corridors as if on skates. We can hear the local school in the distance. Everywhere the city is bustling, but then the uproar fades when it reaches the stones. The design and colors breathe new life into this space. Should we have a reading break or a coffee break, or should we have a drink on the rooftop instead? At Le Cloître, unwinding is organized. Comfort is designed to inspire. The library is made for escape. The fluidity of service is conceived for well-being. This time of calm ends in moments of sharing, in revelations. It soon becomes a necessity to stay at this hotel without stars.

An identity

Everything retains color. The old stones, like limewashed walls. The blue of the towels is the same as the blue of the wall. In the city center the air is soft and quiet. The solitary echo of a schoolyard. The bell rings. Some crows on a branch and some laughter on the terrace. A bird’s "tweet, tweet" enters the room. In the shadow of the giant Paulownia, we have an afternoon drink. On the caramel leather sofa, you can rest, seated or lying down. Stone blends with design. The room is designed, fitted, signed. India Mahdavi’s trace is everywhere through an unusual mix of contemporary and rigid furniture made of warm, ancient stone, and hints of cheer and subtle eroticism that flirts with the 70s.

We have dinner on the terrace at the Épicerie. Oh, sardines! They are served from a jar. Bread, butter, some oysters, a plate of vegetables, some pesto, and a glass of rosé. Panna cotta and black sesame brought in by room service. A nightcap of sake before sleep. The night is spinning.

Gently, the doors begin to murmur. Reposed bodies go down the halls. Descent down the terracotta floor tiles. Breakfast is outside, in the sun or in the cool air of the hotel, where one may be tempted to match the orange juice with the green linen of the curtains. Where to start the day, in an Emmanuelle Wicker armchair, a velvet-covered bench, or a Scandinavian chair? And why not head straight for the buffet and pull up a wicker chair next to the croissants? This warm little room flutters and comes alive. A sculpture by Loris Cecchini sends vibrations through the plaster and awakens an inattentive gaze. The tea is cooling down... On the table, there are fruit, nuts, muesli, fresh bread, figs... The cheese platter is a small, vintage blue piece of furniture. Behind the yellow bench, a blue-lagoon wall shoots up from the entrance, up to the floor above it. Travelers enter and leave the aura of Le Cloître. A suitcase, a letter in the mail, an astonished tourist. Life begins again. It is morning.

India Mahdavi, decorator of Le Cloître

She infuses this place with well-being and delight, like she does everywhere else. The Designer India Mahdavi uses a palette of local colors that are both fresh and deep to illuminate Le Cloître and its Épicerie. She brings a very personal touch to this place, rich with eight centuries of history, to the spirit of Arles, and to the Camargue region and its unique temperament.

She shows the greatest respect for the work of memory in this building, which has been sustained by successive types of architecture since the Middle Ages, if only by the choice of raw materials used in the claddings and in the custom-designed furniture, all of which is brought together in an expressive and singular way, giving Le Cloître a unique, magical dimension.