Discover Southern Europe, Issue 11, January 2020

Page 38

FRANCE   |   CHATEAU & MUSEUM SPECIAL

Great food, wine and golf Whether you’re teeing off from the 27-hole golf course set in the tranquil Dordogne countryside, relaxing in the spa, or indulging in Michelin-star gastronomy, a stay at the historic Château des Vigiers will leave you feeling revitalised. Known as the ‘Petit Versailles’, this four-star hotel is the definition of luxury. TEXT: KATE HARVEY  |  PHOTOS: CHATEAU DES VIGIERS

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he Dordogne is dotted with hundreds of castles, but the Château des Vigiers stands out among the rest. The architectural style recalls the classical trends of centuries gone by, with marble fireplaces, decadent period furniture and hand-woven tapestries. It’s no wonder, then, that it was nicknamed ‘Petit Versailles’ for its resemblance to the Parisian chateau. The 16th-century chateau itself belonged to the Vigiers family until the French Revolution, but it wasn’t until some Swedish friends re38  |  Issue 11  |  January 2020

stored it to its original splendour that it flourished as a golf and country club.

A wide choice of accommodation When it comes to choosing a place to stay, guests will be spoilt for choice. For example, there are 25 rooms within the chateau itself, which are each uniquely decorated. “The best way to describe the décor is discreetly luxurious,” explains Niels Koetsier, managing director at Vigiers. Golfers will relish staying in the eco-friendly Le Relais hotel, just a stone’s throw from the first tee. Inspired by the local

tobacco drying barns of the Dordogne, there are 40 spacious and contemporary rooms with exclusive access to the breakfast room, pool, fitness room and sauna. For golfers looking to concentrate on their game, the hotel is fully equipped. After a visit to Vigiers, you might never want to leave. With its very own real estate, guests can now stay in one of six lake residences or seven estates overlooking the nearby vineyards. “The Dépendances holiday homes were built in the traditional Perigord style and reflect the quality of local craftsmanship.” says Niels.

An impressive ‘natural’ golf course The Château des Vigiers is also the ideal place to begin or improve your golf game. The 27-hole golf course opened in 1992 and was designed by Donald Steel, who is considered to be one of the very best ‘nat-