About Only Provence

Our Staff

How it Began

Named a Top 10 Villa Rental Company for Fodor's Travel
Top 10 Villa Rental Companies

Many years ago we left our lives in the US to spend a year in Provence. We quickly figured out that one year would simply not be enough to truly experience what Provence has to offer. We bought the Mas de Gancel, a neglected farmhouse outside of Aix en Provence and spent the following 6 years truly living. While our young children went to local village schools, we painstakingly renovated our house and vineyard, learned the language, met a wonderful group of friends, and explored all corners of an area so incredibly rich in culture and heritage. Since then, Only Provence has become an exclusive boutique agency with devoted staff and over 150 exceptional properties in the region. Contact us for advice on the best ways to discover the beauty of the area.

- John & Lydia Dean

US-Based Team

John Dean
President/Founder
John Dean

John has spent his professional career in marketing, executive recruiting and business-building. In 2001, he and his wife Lydia moved to Provence where he discovered a passion for renovating old homes. John and Lydia began renting their restored villa - Mas de Gancel in late 2002. This was the first vacation rental property in what would later become Only Provence, one of the largest providers of luxury villa rentals in the South of France. Only Provence’s expansion into real estate sales taps into John’s life-long love for historic properties. John loves music, travel, social entrepreneurial activities and spending time with family and friends.

Lydia Dean
Marketing
Lydia Dean

Lydia left the US to build a life in Provence with John and their young family in 2001. Together,she and John developed Only Provence, and while she spends the majority of her time managing the humanitarian organization she founded (www.GoPhilanthropic.org), she continues to assist Only Provence in a variety of capacities including Marketing and Strategy.


Ingrid Smith
Client Relations - Vacation Rental
Ingrid Smith

Ingrid has worked in a variety of fields from environmental education, public programming, PR and non-profit management. Her professional career path has always been led by a passion and focus upon personal interactions and connectivity between client and industry. In her spare time, Ingrid enjoys the outdoors (hiking or kayaking), spending quality time with her family, and traveling to experience new places, cultures, and people.

Stan Smith
Operations and Administration - Vacation Rental
Stan Smith

Stan has experience as a Mortgage Consultant, Physician Recruiter, and an Advertising Sales Representative. A focus on customer satisfaction and relationship-building has always brought Stan the most joy. His experience in the operational process and customer relations lends itself perfectly to the administration process at Only Provence. Sports are a big part of Stan’s life and alongside playing tennis and golf, he enjoys coaching children in baseball. Stan loves cooking, traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Provence-Based Team


Gilles Combarieu
Product Development - Vacation Rental & Sales
Gilles Combarieu

Gilles spent much of his professional career in Public Relations within France’s Air Force. Born in the South West of of France, he has always enjoyed learning new cultures and sharing his own. Gilles joined Only Provence in 2010 and is responsible for locating the magnificent properties it represents. As the main liaison to the owners of the properties, he wears many hats within the business. Gilles loves sports and is also a talented mason.

Louise Combarieu
Private Chef and Tour Manager
Louise Combarieu

Louise is Danish citizen but has lived in Provence for more than 20 years. She has held a variety of positions in her career yet has always had a love for nature and cooking. After working in a real estate agency for several years, Louise helped a friend who was starting home catering business. This ignited her desire to share her passion for cuisine with those exploring the region. Louise joined Only Provence in 2013 and has since developed its growing network of the best chefs and tours in Provence.

Sandra Delesvaux
Provence Ground Team - Vacation Rental
Sandra Delesvaux

Sandra brings many years experience to the table working within a luxury hotel brand in Paris, managing all aspects of tour operator and European agency business to business relationships. Sandra relocated to Provence three years ago and has continued her professional career within real estate and villa rental. Sandra works alongside Hervé, managing all facets of quality control, owner and customer experience.

Hervé Sabat
Provence Ground Team - Vacation Rental
Hervé Sabat

After a long career in the catering and restaurant business in Paris, Hervé fell in love with the Luberon region over twenty years ago. He moved to the area and opened a hotel in Gordes, spending his time sharing the region’s beauty with visitors. Hervé works alongside Sandra, managing all facets of quality control, owner and customer experience.

Jumping the Picket Fence

In her newly released book "Jumping the Picket Fence," Lydia writes about their experiences raising a family, building a business in Provence, and later combining the love of travel with giving back. From magical and entertaining to painfully raw and unsettling, Jumping the Picket Fence shows us how to put fear aside, peel away all that insulates us, and listen to our inner selves. The book ultimately becomes less about what the author has done in her own life and more about what each of us can do to explore our own dreams and jump our own fences.

"Jumping the Picket Fence" is available Amazon, Amazon.uk, and Amazon.Fr.


 

Contact us: +1 (404) 806-2278 | info@only-provence.com