“Opulent yet cosy 19th-century mansion in the Dordogne countryside, with charming hosts, gourmet dining, and 5 elegant rooms”
A stay here is rather like being invited to some supremely thoughtful friends' opulent country retreat. We particularly liked the sumptuous, cosy interior, which combines contemporary design with stately antiques. A dramatic wooden staircase sweeps up from the lobby, drawing your focus to an autumnal stained-glass window: its centrepiece is the château's original owner dressed as a medieval knight. There’s a large sitting room with an enticing honesty bar, perfect for fixing an aperitif or a digestif. The original 20-seat table runs the length of the dining room, and 19th-century wall hangings, almost as good as new, adorn all the communal rooms. Breakfast is taken in the state-of-the-art kitchen (in the basement), or on the terrace overlooking the verdant grounds, where you’ll find a pool, a winter garden, hammocks, and possibly Patch the dog.
- Hosts Eduard and Jordi are a lovely couple - welcoming, laidback, knowledgeable and helpful - and Jordi is an extremely talented chef...
- Outstanding 5-course dinners with charming details like handmade herbal teas and personal wine recommendations from the well-stocked cellar
- A bucolic setting with the pretty towns of Bergerac and Périgueux nearby, artisan markets to explore and the Dordogne river for boat trips and swimming
- Beautifully decorated rooms with great views across pea-green lawns; one has a fabulous balcony, too
- Graceful lawns surrounding the house, with a sleek pool and mountain bikes to use (free for XL Suite guests)
- WiFi doesn’t work in the rooms, and even in the communal areas it’s not that fast (a high for some!)
- Not suited to families - this is more of a couples' hideaway, although one suite can fit a family of 4 (over 12s only)
- Communal dining is often the order of the day (a plus for some), but it is possible to dine à deux
- The hotel requires a substantial initial deposit
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
- Over 12s only
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Pool Table
- Snooker Table
- Bicycles Available
The 5 rooms are spread over the first and second floors, which are architecturally quite different, but every room is beautifully designed. Expect Mies van de Rohe Barcelona chairs, sleek beds and gilt antique mirrors, plus homely touches like fresh flowers, free bottled water and Miller Harris bath products. Book into an M or XL Suite and you'll also get an iPod dock, Nespresso coffee machine, TV and DVD player.
The first-floor rooms have more of a château feel, with high ceilings, proud fireplaces and polished wooden floorboards. XL Suite 3 is the only room with a balcony, making it a standout choice for honeymooners. The 2 M Suites have tall windows framing beautiful park or forest views, and ensuite shower rooms.
Up on the second floor, the ceilings are lower, but the views are far-reaching and there’s plenty of charm. Here you'll find S Suite, the smallest, which has no TV and is a great budget option. There's another XL Suite on this floor, too; Suite 5. Huge, with park views, it sleeps 2-4 in a contemporary open-plan loft layout with a walk-in shower bathroom.
All rooms have kingsize beds (which can be made up as twins) and little indulgences like fluffy robes and slippers, but don't expect technology heaven - the WiFi doesn't extend to the bedrooms.
- Coffee maker
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Honesty bar
- Satellite TV
Breakfast is a fine spread of pastries, yoghurt, bread, ham and cheese, served in the state-of-the-art kitchen or out on the garden terrace in summer. Although it's not included in the room rate, it's a lovely way to start the day. Eggs are collected from the resident chickens daily and can be cooked in various ways on request (extra charge).
During the day there’s the Bistro24 brasserie-style menu. You can order dishes like homemade quiche with salad - very tasty, if a little keenly priced - to eat in the sitting room, on the terrace or in your room. In the evening, a 5-course dinner is served at the long table in the traditional dining room, or outside in good weather. Every day sees a different menu, on a 7-day cycle, featuring sophisticated marriages of flavour, all stylishly presented. Courses may include scallops in carrot velouté or calamari on rocket pesto with black salt. Each meal ends with a selection of wonderful local cheeses, their provenance explained by affable host-with-the-most Jordi. The wine list is also extremely inviting, with a marvellous array of Bordeaux and Bergerac wines, and lots of discreet, helpful recommendations from your hosts.
If you decide to dine out, there are plenty of restaurants to tempt, ranging from traditional French cuisine and gastro-dining to Michelin-starred show-stoppers - Eduard and Jordi are happy to advise.
- Coffee maker
- Communal dining
- Dinner by arrangement
- Lunch by arrangement
- Organic produce
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Visit the local town of Bergerac, with its many monuments to famous fictional son Cyrano, lovely medieval buildings, small museums and markets
- Explore the town of Périgueux, stopping by the domed cathedral, Château de Hautefort, and the mazes at the wonderful Château de Bourdeilles
- Take a walk to the local 9th-century church and visit nearby food markets to sample truffles and cheeses
- Hop on one of the boat trips along the Dordogne, which set off from Bergerac, or go wild-swimming from its various river beaches
- Eduard and Jordi can arrange canoeing, wine-tasting in the surrounding vineyards, and cookery courses (from a few hours to 5 days) which include visits to a local market (in Spanish/English)
- Back at the château, swim in the sleek pool or lounge beside it, book an in-room Ayurvedic massage, or mountain bike in the grounds and surrounding area
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Cooking classes
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Hot air ballooning
- Mountain biking
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Pool table
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
- Wine tasting
The peaceful atmosphere is best suited to adults but 12+ year olds are allowed.
Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
XL Suite 5 can sleep a family of 4 in 1 double bed and 2 single beds (children must be aged 12-17).
The château is in the Dordogne region of southern France, 2km from the small town of Saint-Front-de-Pradoux and 30km from Bergerac.
Bergerac Airport (30km) is the closest, but Bordeaux (115km) is only an hour’s drive along the highway. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.
From the Airport
The château offers a transfer service from either airport, but it might be more practical to hire a car (see below).
It's worth hiring a car to get the most out of your stay - please see our car rental recommendations.
The nearest train station is Mussidan (a 5-minute drive), and a local pick-up can be arranged. Trains run from here to Bordeaux St Jean station, which has routes to much of Europe.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to France and getting around
- Bergerac 30.0 km EGC
- Bordeaux 115.0 km BOD
- Beach 150.0 km
- Shops 2.0 km
- Restaurant 10.0 km