If you’re traveling to Montpellier in the south of France, a stay at the Domaine de Verchant is highly recommended. Just at the doorstep of the bustling city, the Domaine is a stunning vineyard estate with a recently renovated hotel and a luxury spa. Guests can enjoy wine tasting in the cellars, strolls through the vineyards, games of tennis, dips in the swimming pools, and more.
The Domaine de Verchant attracts an eclectic range of guests, from lovers in search of that romantic moment, to worldly travellers seeking authenticity, or executives longing for a little peace and quiet. The unique charm of the estate derives from its blend of contemporary design and ancient walls, the sense of centuries-old history at every turn, the lush landscaped setting, but also its cheerful and modern approach to service, enhanced by a luxury spa complex and the refined gastronomy of the chef Damien Cousseau.
Set in a one hectare park, landscaped in the 19th century by the Bühler brothers, whose glories also included the Tête d’Or Park in Lyon, the estate is the latest chapter in a long history that stretches back to the Gallo-Roman area. The current mansion, commonly known as the ‘Château’, was built over the ruins of a 14th century manor and then converted as the centuries and fashions dictated.
When the current owners took possession, their sole aim was to maintain the illustrious connection with centuries past. Thus they decided to restore the château and its outbuildings in line with long established practices. They called in the finest craftsmen to restore the property to its true glory. Every stone, every window, every detail down to the smallest mosaic tile were faithfully renovated. This perfectionism extended to the addition of 200 iron bars, wrought in the original fashion, to form the monumental handrail that has lost none of its grace (while remaining fully compliant with safety standards).
Accessed by an oak-lined avenue, the Hôtel de Verchant was converted into a hotel in 2007, and then joined the Relais & Châteaux group in early 2013. The hotel has been built on a deliberately intimate scale, which places the very best in service and comfort ahead of the need to maximise accommodation opportunities. There are only 26 luxurious rooms, suites and apartments from 30 to 90m2, which offer a subtle blend of historic architecture and contemporary design. The château boasts 9 rooms and suites, with a further 14 rooms in the outbuildings, including 2 rooms for people with reduced mobility and 2 apartments. Finally, the old forge is now home to a detached villa. Cutting edge amenities confirm the 21st- century status of the Domaine de Verchant: flat-screen TVs in the rooms and LCD in the bathrooms. Computers connected to the hotel’s free Wi-Fi, auto-regulated air conditioning, heated mirrors and underfloor heating, along with the traditional mini bar, coffee machine and electronic safe.
Three reception rooms cater to the needs of companies and individuals. The hotel’s Orangery; a smaller-scale room with a capacity of up to 40 people; and a prestige room for weddings, seminars, drinks parties, ideal for up to 600 people. The spa and fitness suite staffed by a coach and boasting the very latest equipment, the heated outdoor overflow pool and its Jacuzzi, or the pool in the spa, the tennis court – among the oldest in France – are all perfect opportunities to relax or indulge in sporting pursuits to complement the unique experience of a stay at the Hôtel de Verchant.
The Domaine is serviced by friendly, experienced, bilingual or trilingual staff with at least 5 years or more in 4 and 5-star hotels.
Domaine de Verchant 34170 Castelnau-Le-Lez. Tel: +33 (0)4.67.07.26.00. www.domainedeverchant.com . Rates around 220 euros/night.