The majestic Château les Merles in southwest France has everything you could require in terms of luxury, relaxation and good-eating. Located in the region of Dordogne, so named for the mighty river that runs through its hills, Château les Merles is perfectly situated among the famous vineyards and medieval landscapes that have so entranced European tourists.
I stayed at Les Merles during a July sojourne in France. Arriving with my family somewhat jaded after the five hour drive from Paris, we were welcomed by the pleasant, English speaking, staff with a cool drink in the Château’s sun-basked courtyard.
Dating back to 1677 and rebuilt by one of Napolean’s Generals, this is a building of grand interest. Recently fully refurbished, the interiors generously match the historic 19th century architecture of the building.
Boasting a challenging 9-hole golf course, swimming pool, tennis court and wellness treatments, the converted Château is well equipped for the ultimate getaway. With an intimate 15 rooms, including two suites and an apartment, there is a cosy sense of country estate combined with boutique hotel chic.
A feature of the hotel is the impeccable french cuisine and locally sourced wine available at Chateau les Merles’ restaurant La Bruyère Blanche. Our three course dinner was a standout – locally sourced produce was expertly coupled with the Château’s own wine. And the prices were exceptional given the setting and quality. The number of locals in the restaurant says we were not alone in this assessment.
Apart from the swimming, tennis and golf, the hotel’s grounds are a short walk from the picturesque Dordogne river. The grounds provided ample space for our kids to play and enjoy the French sun.
Our stay was a wonderful way to experience the best that France has to offer and it is little surprise that the hotel is a destination of choice amongst the discerning travellers from the UK and abroad.
Rooms prices start at $160 per night, including tax.
To book the Château les Merles or another Smith boutique stay, visit the Mr and Mrs Smith website or call their Travel Team on (Australia) 1300 896 627.