Chateau d'Uzer

Uzer, Ardeche & Auvergne, France
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Chateau d'Uzer

Uzer, Ardeche & Auvergne, France

A chateau hideaway in the Ardèche with 6 opulent suites, a romantic wooden cabin and gypsy caravans hidden among tropical gardens

A chateau hideaway in the Ardèche with 6 opulent suites, a romantic wooden cabin and gypsy caravans hidden among tropical gardens

After a thrilling drive along twisting roads, past soaring cliffs and sparkling rivers peppered with pebble beaches, we arrived at this fairy-tale chateau to find a note of magic in the air. Tucked away in the hilltop village of Uzer, it was originally built to protect nearby silver mines, which helped to fund the Crusades. Luckily for us, it’s been reborn as a sumptuous country hideaway: the old dungeon has been transformed into a cinema room with red-velvet chairs, the arched medieval chapel has become a library, and the sprawling suites have been brought back to life with the perfect blend of traditional charm and modern luxury. The only room left untouched is the rococo Winter Garden with its dreamy pastoral fresco. Outside there's a freshwater pool, ancient rose gardens and terraces shaded by cedars and palms, plus a surprise among the trees: gypsy caravans and a romantic cabin for 2 where you can sleep in the most bewitching of settings.

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, picture-perfect hilltop villages and historic cave paintings. We left utterly enchanted by the rambling estate and this spectacular corner of France.


  • The atmosphere created by Véronique and Eric is simply magical, and interiors are impeccable
  • Ideally placed for exploring the Ardèche. It’s 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 1 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
  • During July and August dinner service is only available Monday, Wednesday and Saturday

Best time to go

The chateau is open all year round. Late spring and early autumn are the best times for exploring the beautiful scenery of the Ardèche and for making the most of the pool, but don’t discount winter - it’s a wonderful season to experience the castle, and you can cosy up by the roaring fire.

Our top tips

  • Don't miss the impressive Chauvet 2 Ardèche Cave, a replica of the nearby Chauvet Cave, which contains the earliest and best-preserved prehistoric cave drawings in the world
  • Meals are communal affairs and if you're travelling in August, many of the guests are French, so you might want to brush up on your language skills.
  • Great for...

    Great Outdoors
    • 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
    • Beach Nearby
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Car recommended
    • Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • WiFi
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Bicycles Available
    Room: La Suite Zéphir


    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 romantic Chambre du Grand Salon, which has a beautiful honeycomb-tile floor and French doors opening onto a private balcony with garden views.

    The 6th 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, their own bathrooms, and creature comforts such as heating and air conditioning. The largest, Philomène, is actually a trio of trailers, 1 housing the main bedroom and bathroom, 1 housing 3 children’s beds, and another with a living area and kitchenette. Alternatively, if seeking a tranquil little love nest, Le Cabanon will suit. We also loved its iron-cast bathtub and views across the vegetable garden to the mountain: rustic romance at its best. The smallest is La Vie en Rose (less than 12sq.m), tucked away in a shaded corner of the gardens - definitely for not couples who prefer their space, but nevertheless a gorgeous restoration to cosy up in for a couple of nights.

    Features include:

    • Hairdryer
    • In-room treatments available
    • WiFi


    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 waffles, pancakes and Véronique's homemade cakes.

    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. The guest kitchen is large and well-equipped - with a dining area - and has a private fridge for each accommodation. 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, a Nespresso coffee machine and a 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, Wednesday and Saturday, but fear not as there are good restaurants within a short drive.

    Features include:

    • Breakfast
    • Communal dining
    • Dinner by arrangement
    • Kids' meals
    • 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
    • Borrow 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:

    • Birdwatching
    • Cycling
    • Fishing
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Kayaking
    • Paragliding
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Well being
    • Wine tasting
    • Yoga


    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.

    Best for:

    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 2nd 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: 1 with a double bed, a 2nd with 3 children's beds and a 3rd with a living area and kitchenette.

    Cots Available, Extra Beds Available, Family Rooms

    Baby equipment:

    • Baby cots
    • High chairs

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Children's meals:

    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 borrow
    • Toys
    • Rowing boat to borrow
    • Football

    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)
    Kid Friendly:


    Chateau d'Uzer is set in the small village of Uzer in the heart of the Ardèche region. It’s just to the north of Provence in southern France.

    By Air:
    The nearest airport is Nimes (114km away), but you could also fly into Montpellier (151km away) or Marseille (190km away).

    By Car:
    It’s possible to take the TGV to Montélimar and catch a taxi from there, but you'll need a car to make the most of the region. See our car-rental recommendations. There’s secure parking on site.

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


    • Nîmes 114.0 km FNI
    • Montpellier 151.0 km MPL


    • Beach 140.0 km
    • Shops 0.3 km
    • Restaurant 3.0 km

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    Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests


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