Chateau d'Olmet

Olmet et Villecun, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Book from Book from £93 per night

A winning adults-only B&B with a small pool, serving up cool sophistication and joie de vivre in equal measures
The pace of life moves a bit slower in the tiny Languedoc hamlet of Olmet (population 14). That’s precisely the reason why Anglo-Luxembourgian couple Eric and Stephen, tired of the London rat race, decided to relocate here in 2015 to pursue their dream of opening a boutique B&B. They quickly fell in love with the local community (the feeling was mutual), and just as it's said it takes a village to raise a child, every villager lent a hand in the making of Chateau d’Olmet. From the friendly spirulina farmer down the hill, to the buzz of the neighbour’s bee hive which provides the honey at your breakfast table, you feel the warm welcome of the whole hamlet when you stay here.

Though you can see for miles from your bedroom window, there's scarcely another house in sight on the surrounding hills. You'd never believe you're only 45 minutes from international airports (Beziers and Montpellier), making this a super-easy destination for a long weekend. Leave home in the morning and be sipping Vins de Pays poolside by noon? Yes, please.

Highs

  • Eric and Stephen are natural hosts - you leave feeling like an old friend
  • The intimate vibe: just 5 romantic bedrooms, with possibly the most comfortable beds we've ever slept in
  • Impeccable styling - that rare perfect hybrid between modern comfort and charming rustic touches
  • Delicious breakfasts, plus formal dinners or assiette capmpagnard on request, made with local veg, charcuterie and cheese
  • The peaceful location in the Languedoc countryside; great hiking nearby and sweeping views from every window

Lows

  • A hire car is a must, to get here and to reach shops/restaurants (4km).
  • No food is on offer at lunchtime nor on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights
  • The sense of isolation won't appeal to everyone
  • No twin beds, and only Parker has a bath; the other bathrooms are shower only
  • There are some uneven steps around the property

Best time to go

Languedoc-Roussillon has mild seasons, with summer temperatures in the mid-30s and relatively warm winters. Spring brings gorgeous wild flowers and a light breeze, while autumn lights up the surrounding hills with vibrant red and ochre foliage.

Our top tips

Lovely Med beaches are only an hour's drive away. Spend a day sunbathing on Bouzigues's golden sands, and have locally farmed oysters for lunch; there are numerous beach-shacks selling them.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • Boutique B&B
  • 5
  • Breakfast + dinner on request
  • Adults only
  • Closed: 1 Nov 2019 - 31 Mar 2020
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Honesty bar
Room: Villecun Room

Rooms

A great deal of effort has gone into making the 3 suites and 2 double rooms as swish and comfortable as any top-end boutique hotel. You're surprised with little indulgences at every turn: sublimely comfy Hypnos beds (the best night’s sleep we can remember) with top-end sheets; deluxe rain showers, Nespresso machines, and high-end French toiletries. Although there are no TVs, you're given a tablet filled with movies - perfect for rainy days or lazy evenings.

Each room has its own distinct style, arrangement and mix of bohemian artefacts. We stayed in the top-floor Salagou, an open-plan suite with a massive four-poster bed and bookshelf of eclectic art and travel books. Lunas is the other top-floor suite, with a gorgeous Moroccan-style carpet and a separate sitting area. The 3rd suite, Le Jardin, is on the ground floor, with direct access onto the garden. Of the double rooms, Villecun is small-but-perfectly-formed, with a fun pink poodle print on one wall, and Parker has a bathtub for lazy soaks.

Features include:

  • Beach bag
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Kettle (on request)
  • Movie library
  • Nespresso
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfasts are a treat, served under the blue sky in the lavender-fringed garden in warmer weather, and in the renovated barn in cooler months (8:30-10am). Expect a spread of simple but extraordinarily good local and seasonal treats (salami with hazelnuts, honey from the neighbour’s hive!) and plenty of patisserie from the local boulangerie. Washed down with a cafetiere of French coffee, it’s a perfect start to a day of exploring the bucolic countryside.

Evening meals can be arranged with prior notice - formal 3-course dinners on Monday and Friday nights and assiette campagnards on Tuesday and Sunday nights. We went with the latter option; gorgeous mushroom quiches, seasonal salads, olives and regional charcuterie left us bursting at the seams.

Guests can use the well-equipped kitchen to fix their own light meals, and there's a well-stocked honesty bar filled with wine and snacks. Beyond the bar, you'll find a handful of lovely eateries a quick drive away in the town of Lodève (Le Soleil Bleu and Miniscule are recommended). Just ask Eric for his advice on where to eat, especially if you're staying here out of peak season as rural restaurants have erratic opening hours.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Just chill out. Sun worship by the pool, read in a deckchair, wander around Olmet and watch DVDs
  • The nearby town of Lodève has a lively morning market, with typical French local produce and beautiful linens
  • There's excellent hiking throughout the region. Cirque de Mourèze is a unique natural dolomite rock formation with fabulous hiking trails (30 minutes’ drive)
  • Borrow bikes to explore or go on horseback - there's a riding stables in Olmet
  • Lake Salagou (20 minutes’ drive) has lovely beaches for picnics, as well as places to go windsurfing, fishing and kayaking
  • The picturesque Saint-Guilhem-le-Dèsert is regularly labelled the ‘Most Beautiful Village in France’. Go and see why!
  • Pèzenas, the region’s capital, is a renowned town with an excellent summer night market (30 minutes’ drive)
  • Languedoc-Roisillon is Europe’s largest wine-producing region; ask Eric and Stephen to recommend local wineries and the best vineyards
  • Spend a day in Montpellier: a beautiful historic city (45 mins' drive)
  • Join one of the B&B's public yoga sessions (on the first Sunday of each month) or book a private lesson in the barn/garden

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Windsurfing
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga

Kids

Chateau d'Olmet is an adults-only B&B.

Kid Friendly: Pool

Location

Chateau d'Olmet is perched in the hilltop hamlet of Olmet-et-Villecun, 15 minutes' drive from Lodeve, near the border of Languedoc-Rouissllon and Midi-Pyrenees, in southern France.

By Air:
Béziers (73km) and Montpellier (76km) are 50 minutes’ drive away; Nîmes and Carcassonne are just under 2 hours. Toulouse is also an option (240km) - approximately 2.5 hours' drive away. You'll definitely need to hire a car to get here as there's no public transport to the hamlet.

By Train:
If you'd prefer to travel overland from the UK, there are good services to Montpellier and Avignon. If you're coming from London and your train is not direct, change in Lille (a platform change) rather than Paris (a station change).

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to France and getting around

Airports:

  • Beziers 73.0 km BZR
  • Montpellier-Mediterranee Airport 76.0 km MPL

Other:

  • Beach 80.0 km
  • Shops 4.0 km
  • Restaurant 4.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 28 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
9/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Very welcoming owners and perfect for a peaceful, relaxing break. Lodève museum was a real find.

10/10,

I cannot praise this fabulous place enough. The hosts were lovely and friendly and offered many recommendations if needed. There is a great deal to do in the area such as canoeing, night markets, pretty local villages, rivers and lakes. The local village has a great cosy restaurant too. Our room was large and airy, extremely stylish and very comfortable. The pool and outside area is charmingly beautiful offering different places to relax. I would not hesitate in recommending.

10/10,

Beautifully located remote place, superb host(s) - it was a wonderful stay.

10/10,

Simply delightful escape if you're looking for somewhere to relax and chill. Eric and Steven are so welcoming and helpful - it's the perfect mix of boutique hotel/self catering and even the feel of staying at a friend's home. We had the Jardin suite which has direct access to the delightful courtyard and pool which we loved. Already missing Eric's daily breakfast trays! The views are amazing and there is surprisingly lots to do in the area - we enjoyed visiting local and picturesque towns and villages, swimming in the lake, canoeing the rapids on the Herault river, visiting coastal marinas and beaches, an evening in Pezenas and sightseeing in Montpellier. We'd really love to go back!

10/10,

We had a lovely week at Chateau d'Olmet. Eric and Stephen are perfect hosts and made us feel completely welcome. The room was clean, spacious and comfortable, and the Chateau is beautifully decorated throughout. The pool area is perfect for a spot of sunbathing, and the guest kitchen very handy for making lunches etc. We also grew fond of the resident cat, Parker, who liked to sit outside quietly in the evenings.
We'd recommend the 3-course meals at the Chateau (simple, well-cooked seasonal produce). In terms of other places to eat locally:
- La Palombe outside Octon (20 mins away) was excellent and good value
- De Lauzun outside Pezenas (40 mins) was pricey but good for a special occasion
- The Marche du Lez in Montpellier was great fun if you're into street food and live music
We didn't find too much to see/do in the local town Lodeve (10 mins) but in fairness we didn't give it much of a chance. Eric's recommendations of Gorges d'Heric for bathing in rock pools (75 mins away), Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert for canoeing (60 mins), Collioure (120 mins) and the Thursday evening market in Octon (20 mins) were all great. We'd definitely recommend Chateau d'Olmet and would love to return one day!

10/10,

Chateau d'Olmet is a fabulous place to spend a few days relaxing, it's a peaceful and beautiful location. Hosts Eric and Stephen were attentive and knowledgable, guiding us with suggestions for walks, markets and restaurants. We really couldn't have asked for more. Looking forward to a return visit soon!

9/10,

We loved the actual room Lunas but bathroom with sliding door so close to bed less good for us. Breakfast was good but we would have loved better fruit and fruit juice. Pastries were good.
Stephen was absolutely brilliant. He wasn’t there when we arrived though. We had to carry cases from car up to top
In extreme heat which wasn’t easy! Overall – the setting was really lovely, style perfect and guest kitchen brilliant.
I think two points to mention - there are a number of uneven steps everywhere. From car park to Chateau then way up to get to second floor and also to get to pool. We are one of your older clients so it was an issue for us. Some of the local restaurants you mention only open from July 1st. Lodev is dead in the evening, nothing really opens until July.

9/10,

Eric and Stephen were very attentive hosts, providing daily suggestions on what to do based on our interests. The accommodation was superbly clean. Overalll, a great experience.

10/10,

Eric was a fantastic host during our stay. Catering for all our dietary requirements. The chateau is beautiful and decorated very tastefully. The pool is also stunning for lazy days. We wouldn’t hesitate returning, Eric and Parker were superb.

10/10,

Eric was very congenial host with an interesting story about his exquisite renovation of five spacious rooms in this farmhouse. Olmet is of course rather remote but for that reason very serene and easy to access off A75 near Lodeve.

10/10,

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