“A beautifully restored castle with 6 opulent suites, a freshwater pool and 2 bohemian gypsy caravans, hidden in gardens deep in the Ardèche”
We enjoyed blissful days relaxing by the lovely pool and strolling around the jasmine-scented grounds, occasionally venturing out to explore the Ardèche’s towering gorges and famous cave paintings. We left utterly enchanted by the rambling estate and this spectacular corner of France.
- We loved the stunning interiors created by owners Véronique and Eric
- Ideally placed for exploring the Ardèche: a beautiful region where you can kayak down river gorges and go wild swimming
- Delicious breakfasts, plus convivial dinners brimming with local produce
- The relaxed, get-away-from-it-all vibe. A perfect place to unwind, and you can book massages
- Extremely romantic but also great for families, with 2-bedroom suites, a family gypsy caravan and a guest kitchen
- Rates for the caravans and one suite (Côté Cour) don't include breakfast (you'll get a kitchenette or access to the guest kitchen to make your own)
- You’ll need a car to get around and to get to restaurants if you want to eat out
- Meals are communal affairs and most of the guests are French, so you might want to brush up on your language skills
- During July and August dinner service is only available Monday's, Wednesday's and Saturday's
- Credit cards aren't accepted, so you need to pay by bank transfer or cash
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique guesthouse
- 6 suites + 2 gypsy caravans + 1 cabin
- Mix of self-catering and B&B
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
Five of the vast suites are within the castle. Each is uniquely styled, with lofty ceilings, vintage furniture and extremely comfortable beds. Walls are adorned with eclectic artwork, and rich fabrics come in shades of ochre, burnt orange, lilac and dusty pink. Bathrooms have rain showers clad in mosaic tiles or smooth plaster, and some have tubs, too.
Our favourite was the romantic Chambre du Grand Salon, which has a beautiful honeycomb-tile floor and French doors opening onto a private balcony with garden views. The Chambre du Général is similar, while Zéphir, Céleste and Pom et Flore all have a second bedroom. Another 2-bedroom suite, Côté Cour, is set across the courtyard, next to the communal kitchen - which is handy as this suite is let on a self-catering basis. Its privacy means it's perfect for families, and we liked the lime-washed walls, polished concrete floors and huge bathroom.
If you fancy a back-to-nature experience, there are 2 charming gypsy caravans hidden in the gardens, each with a double bed and creature comforts such as proper toilets and air-con. The largest, Philomène, is actually a trio of trailers, one housing the main bedroom and bathroom, one housing 3 children’s beds, and another with a living area and kitchenette. Alternatively if seeking a tranquil little love nest, newest addition Le Cabanon, will suit: in trees near the vegetable garden, this well-insulated (and heated) one-room wood shack has a double bed, a cast iron bath, deck, loo and sink.
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
If you're staying in one of the 5 chateau suites, breakfast is taken in the vaulted dining room or outside on the terrace. You'll find a delicious spread of just-baked croissants and crispy baguettes with homemade jams, fresh fruit salads, and a selection of homemade cakes, waffles and pancakes.
The caravans and the Suite Côté Cour are let on a self-catering basis. Philomène has a kitchenette for preparing your own breakfast (and dinner at a pinch), but you'll need to use the guest kitchen if staying in La Vie en Rose or Côté Cour. There's a shop in the village for supplies. If you're in Le Cabanon, you get a small fridge stocked with milk, jams and butter, Nespresso coffee machine and kettle; bread and pastries are brought to your terrace every morning.
The table d'hôte dinners are casual and convivial affairs around a communal table. There’s no menu; just let Véronique know you'd like to dine in and she'll tell you what’s on offer. We wandered downstairs to find chilled white wine and homemade olive tapenade waiting for us in the courtyard, before tucking into 3 courses of rustic Ardèche fare - soup made with just-picked spoils from the vegetable and herb gardens, chicken in a red-wine sauce, local cheeses drizzled with honey.
Unfortunately during July and August dinner service is only available on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Saturday’s, but fear not as there are good restaurants within a short drive.
- Children's meals
- Communal dining
- Dinner by arrangement
- Lunch by arrangement
- Soak up all the chateau has to offer: relax by the pool, explore the ancient rose gardens, book a massage, or take a morning yoga class with Véronique. There's also a little boutique where you can buy crafts and homeware
- Hike through forests and vineyards. There are lovely trails to follow straight from the chateau
- Spend a day kayaking along the Ardèche gorges, paddling through stunning scenery and gentle rapids before stopping for lunch on the pebbled shores. Véronique can advise on kayak hire and prepare picnics on request
- Marvel at the Pont d’Arc, a striking natural stone bridge carved by the river
- Hire the chateau’s electric bikes (check in advance) to explore the picturesque villages of Balazuc, Labeaume and Aubenas
- See the Ardèche from above. Véronique and Eric are both aviation enthusiasts and can arrange paragliding or scenic flights in a light aircraft
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Scenic flights
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
- Wine tasting
Children of all ages are welcome, and kids will love playing in the gardens, exploring the surrounding area and watching movies in the cinema room.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
Three of the suites in the castle - Zéphir, Céleste and Pom et Flore - have second twin bedrooms, as does Suite Côté Cour, which is set on the other side of the courtyard; they can also take a rollaway single bed or baby cot. One of the gypsy caravans, Philomène, is a trio of trailers: one with a double bed, a second with 3 children's beds and a third with a living area and kitchenette.
- Baby cots
- High chairs
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
There’s a guest kitchen where you can prepare your own food (particularly handy for those staying in the adjacent Suite Côté Cour), and Philomène has its own kitchenette. Note that breakfast isn't included in the rates if you book either of the caravans or Suite Côté Cour.
Kids Activities on site:
- Gardens to explore
- Freshwater pool
- Cinema room
- Electric bikes to hire
- Rowing boat to borrow
Kids Activities nearby:
- Kayaking through the Ardèche gorges
- Wild swimming
Families Should Know:
The pool is walled and gated, but note that a river runs alongside the chateau
- Airport: 1.5-hour drive (Nîmes)
- Shop: 2-minute walk
- Hospital: 25-minute drive (Aubenas)