For more than 30 years, Jean-Claude Thomas and his wife have run this characterful and comfortable hotel overlooking Trigance near the dramatic Gorges du Verdon. Nowadays their son, William, is involved. The chateau remains a welcome port of call in a region of rough terrain and few villages. On arrival, you might be taken aback. Is this fortress, perched high on a rocky peak, really your hotel? (Yes.) And if it is, how are you to penetrate its defences? (Until recently you had to climb a steep flight of 100 steps now, to the relief of most guests, you can reach the castle by car.) Once inside, you are in the Middle Ages. M. Thomas has painstakingly rebuilt his 11thC castle stone by stone (villagers had stolen many of them to build their own houses); if you ask, you can see photographs of the various stages of his amazing project. The impressive stone-vaulted, candlelit dining room (with a knight in armour at the entrance), and the sitting room below, are windowless and highly atmospheric, furnished in medieval style. Most of the bedrooms (cut into the hill) are similar, with canopied beds, antique furniture, tapestries and banners and stunning views from their windows. You can have breakfast on the battlements. The cooking is surprisingly good, considering the remote location.