“A winning adults-only B&B with a small pool, serving up cool sophistication and joie de vivre in equal measures”
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.
- 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
- 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
Our top tips
- Boutique B&B
- Breakfast + dinner on request
- Adults only
- Closed: 22 Nov 2019 - 31 Mar 2020
- Heated Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
- Honesty bar
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.
- Beach bag
- Kettle (on request)
- Movie library
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.
- Dinner by arrangement
- 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:
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Shopping / markets
- Wine tasting
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.
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.
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
- Beziers 73.0 km BZR
- Montpellier-Mediterranee Airport 76.0 km MPL
- Beach 80.0 km
- Shops 4.0 km
- Restaurant 4.0 km