A classic honey-coloured late 17thC façade by Pierre Mignard transformed La Mirande, Avignon, built on the 14thC foundations of a cardinal's palace, into a hôtel particulier. Right opposite the Palais des Papes, in a quiet cobbled square, it was seized on by the Stein family and, since 1990, has been a sumptuous hotel that looks and feels as if it had been lived in for generations by a single family endowed with money and good taste. Tiled and parquet floors, smart Provençal fabrics and chintzes, wall coverings, paint, panelling, pictures, mirrors, and furniture all come together in serene period harmony. The good news doesn't stop there: the staff are kind and courteous as well.
  The central courtyard, dotted with plants and sculptures, has been covered over with a glass roof, and is surrounded by a series of public rooms any one of which you'd like to wrap up and take home with you. The bedrooms vary in size (those on the first floor being the largest) but not in their uniformly high quality. From the second-floor balconies you are treated to rooftop views across the city. Last but not least are the treats in store in the dining room: Jérôme Verrière draws eager gourmets from far and wide, and the introduction of a club table in the old kitchen for 12 to 14 people, who can take pot luck with a menu cooked over a wood-fired range, has proved a great success. And, yes, there is a garage for your car.