It was my husbands 80th birthday. We are active New York people. Having stressed this on the phone with Philip Haslett our travel agent for Provence and beyond we had long (starting at 9:30 daily, our choice) exciting days and evenings. We focused on history and art and Philip filled the itinerary and hooked us up with extraordinary guides who were delightful to be with as well as smart. From the private tour in the Popes Palace in Avignon to the Matisse Chapel in Vence, the new Frank Gehry building in Arles, and the Chateau La Coste- we were happy visitors! Philip handpicked each hotel, made sure our accommodations were special and even joined us for a few days when we visited Albi. Great journey.
My husband and I asked Philip to help us plan a week in Provence in October 2017 to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Everything about the trip was perfect, from the pre-trip e-mails back and forth about hotels, restaurants, and sites, to the actual trip itself. We were happy not to be driving ourselves on the narrow, windy roads with endless roundabouts, and happy not to have to park in crowded towns. Our driver and guide, Philippe, took care of everything for us, always with good humor and endless patience. We stayed in the countryside in beautiful old hotels and especially loved the Hotel Baumaniere. I originally thought it would be too fancy for us, but Philip persuaded me that it would be perfect, and it was. We had our 50th anniversary dinner in the 2 Michelin star restaurant there, complete with a chocolate anniversary “card”. The other nights we wanted to try something different, and Philip kindly arranged for a taxi those nights so we could have dinner in small typical cafes in neighboring towns.
Our excursions were designed perfectly also. We particularly loved the canoe trip to the Pond du Gard and the private tour of the top level of the aqueduct, a perk not available to the general public. One whole day was devoted to a tour of the Luberon, including the towns of Lacoste, Menerbes, Gordes, and Roussillon. We enjoyed seeing the towns and were happy to have a chance to get out and walk to see the towns up close. All in all, a wonderful trip, perfectly planned and executed, a memorable celebration for us.
All in all, a wonderful trip, perfectly planned and executed, a memorable celebration for us.
Philip Haslett and his associate Judy were resourceful and creative. My boyfriend and I enjoyed a spectacular cooking class the first day in Nice, which was a smart decision. The chef, Rosa, educated us on the flower/ produce market of Nice, selecting the ingredients for our 5-course meal, and teaching us about the rich culture of Nice. This experience set the tone for the trip. Philip and Judy were instrumental with their other recommendations including the hotel, excursions to Eze, Monaco, St. Paul de Vence, transportation. Philips personal touch, connections, and contacts made a huge difference. We ultimately were a little too booked and needed to relax, so we couldn’t get to every activity we desired; this knowledge of how we like to travel comes with travel experience! I highly, highly recommend Philip.
This was a very difficult trip to plan for many factors, we only gave them a couple of weeks to plan , 9 people coming and going at different stages, traveling with a 6-year-old, the busiest season in France, changes to the itinerary and/or restaurants on a daily basis and they truly outperform all my expectations. Phillip saved our trip, we were having a lot of trouble with the Burgundy, Provence, Coast part of the trip until he jumped in to help us. At that point all the black clouds began to go away, they responded in a way I was truly not expecting. They were in constant contact and solving issues, bookings, tours, changing hotels, getting train tickets, you name it. They always responded and solve any changes in 6 hours or less, they got us to the best places, they absolutely know where you should go and the time you should do it. From the balloon flight to the wine tasting, they made this trip unforgettable.
On one of the trains, we lost our passports and their help and trouble shooting was outstanding. We managed to finish the trip and get back home with a big smile.
Phillip has a wonderful team, I would recommend anybody to look for him. They are truly amazing.
July, Philip and Michael in Burgundy deserve more than a line, they make this a great travel specialist.
You could literally ask for anything and they found a way.
Philip Haslett and his team certainly go above and beyond to make every distinct detail of your trip and experience one that is of the utmost quality. Not only was he very prompt in his response to my unique demands and requests, he came back with honest answers and solutions based on my very specific needs. This makes him incredibly versatile when it comes to tailoring any trip! We look forward to working with Philip in the years to come!
Philip and Sarah on his team planned the most memorable trip for my family in Bordeaux, France. Philips efforts are incredibly authentic, genuine, and filled with passion. Philip made the effort to visit Bordeaux to meet my family which made our trip even more special and personal. We had a lot of specific desires and nothing was impossible or out of the question. My entire family is very grateful and appreciative of all of the hard work by him and his team. The attention to detail and timeliness in response is very difficult to find. Philip is now even assisting in planning our wedding! Truly, Philip is a wonderful person, who is fantastic at what he does. We will definitely remain in touch with him. We hope to meet Sarah in the future, who was incredibly wonderful to work with, in every respect. A+ !
Philip was just wonderful…he had great, interesting and off the beaten path ideas for excursions. He provided transportation at a reasonable rate and excellent guides. He was always available to talk…I had a million questions…and he was so kind. I was traveling with my husband, daughter and her boyfriend. My husband and I stayed closer to our chateau because it was so amazing we didn’t want to leave. Chateau Saint Martin(Philip booked it for us). My daughter and her boyfriend were much more adventurous so Philip found them hikes and all day adventures.
The last time we went to the area my husband and I rented a car and tried to explore on our own…we explored more tight streets trying to make a ten point turn than I would like to remember. I highly recommend using a driver…you can see more and get around so much easier. Its the way to go! Albeit pricier.
Philip also recommended great restaurants and made the reservations for us…which is helpful if your french didn’t get much further than your 8th grade syllabus.
I give Philip the highest grade! Enjoy your trip!!
We had an amazing three days in Provence organized by Philip Haslett. All unique experiences– surprising and wonderful and memorable. Just a few of many highlights–a tour of the villages of the Luberon in an antique Citroen convertible with our guide Philippe at the wheel; a visit to the first organic farm in France with a tour of the farm and surrounding area by the 7th generation farmer/owner in his horse and buggy; a picnic in the countryside; a private tour and tea with the current owner of the beautiful Benedictine Abbey, Saint Andre; and a Chagall music/art show in the old quarry of Carrieres des Lumieres in Baux de Provence. Philip arranged our hotel, La Mirande in Avignon, which was gorgeous and all of our dinner reservations. We fit alot into our three days and cant wait to go back. We would absolutely have Philip plan future visits and would hope that we would have the same driver/tour guide, Philippe, who was delightful.
Symphony of Provence and Beyond August 2016
My husband and I recently returned from an awesome 8 August days traveling throughout Provence and beyond, planned by Philip Haslett of Unique Provence. We asked them to handle it all – trip planning, transportation, booking hotels, guiding and transfers. An “eclectic view of Provence” was our request – a variety of experiences with emphasis on artists and textiles, culture and history of the area, seeing remote villages, enjoying local foods. Philip is both flexible and creative and obviously delights in helping his clients truly enjoy their experience. In the process we were treated as if invited guests being shown around by one who loves and knows their area intimately. The planning was insightful, the guiding masterful, and he avoided crowds in August! Whenever Philip said, “trust me, you really must see this!”, there were never any regrets from following his suggestions. The real magic Philip’s symphony of immersive experiences carefully crafted personally for us. The days played out with the perfect ebb and flow of color, wonder, adventure and quieter moments. Path and pace selections were orchestrated with an underlying sense as to variety and our energy levels, and without overload. The final product was so much more than we could have imagined! And, there of course there was the winning personality of our guide! A huge thanks to Philip and team, and to Wendy for making the recommendation!
We saw “Provence and beyond”, including Albi, a day at the French Riviera, and the balance of our time in Provence. I asked Philip if he could help us see the art of the Toulouse Lautrec’s estate that is housed in Albi (after being rejected by the Louvre) and attend an organ concert in the massive and intricately decorated brick medieval cathedral. He was delighted to make this happen with a 2 night stay in there, and stops along the way to and fro for strolls through medieval villages. As we drove towards Provence, I was wondering how this could be topped! Not to worry, the rest of the plan was filled with fascinating adventures and whimsical moments.
Highlights of the Riviera and Provence included seeing medieval villages, Roman ruins, churches, art exhibits (Cezanne, Picasso, Chagall), museums of history and culture, the exquisite shop of Edith Mezard (including the pop-up-shop of Pierre Cardin’s latest collection), the ochre trail of Roussillon, antiques in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, and even a whimsical cork screw museum. And of course there was always ample time for our requested necessaries – shopping, ice cream, dark chocolate (can there ever be enough?), local food specialties, and taking a huge number of photographs
There WOW moments, but the grand finale of our art experiences really must be mentioned – the art and music multimedia production at the Carrieres de Lumieres. This year the entire show features the art works of Marc Chagall. They use 100 projectors and 27 speakers to project 3000 digitized images of art works and coordinated soundtrack onto the interior walls and floor of a former hillside rock quarry. These walls vary from 20-46 feet high, providing 54000 square feet of “canvas”. The impact is massive! One can walk around and see different images from each direction since the same art piece is not showing simultaneously on each surface. This image and sound production is completely immersive and profoundly moving. Philip offered this as the surprise grand finale of our art experiences, and it did not disappoint! We are still in awe!
We highly recommend Philip Haslett and team for trip planning in Provence, the Riviera, and beyond!