Why so chic?
Why travel experts chose this hotel
Peaceful château setting
Surrounded by verdant grounds
Two top restaurants
Only when you book with Chic
Complimentary bottle of wine
Early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability)
Room upgrade (subject to availability)
Sitting within 5 hectares of parkland, this grand yet welcoming house is the ideal spot for a tranquil holiday surrounded by nature. And with two superb restaurants housed in the estate’s former stables, it’s a haven for foodies too. The location? On the edge of dreamy Provence in the dinky hamlet of Combes.
Rewind to 1848: the château was built for wealthy silk manufacturer Alexandre Eugène Collain and used as a private residence for many years. Towards the end of the following century it was converted into a hotel, before changing hands in 2016. Under the new ownership and following an extensive restoration and refurb, the establishment reopened its doors to guests in the summer of 2018. And what a place it is: 29 elegant bedrooms spread across three floors, with classic interiors by Swiss designer Iria Degen and local architect Sophie Petit.
Outside, guests will be wowed by the huge walled garden and its wealth of flora: more than 40 varieties of rose and 140 types of tree, a large pond filled with koi, and fields of lavender wafting that heady, instantly recognisable scent. Not to mention the swimming pool, boules and tennis courts, walking paths, and 800-metre jogging trail that lie within the grounds.
A mere 50 steps leads Chef Matthieu Hervé from his kitchen to the plentiful herb garden, where fresh produce is picked daily. With a globe trotting track record working in Basel, New York, Montreal and Nice, the young French culinarian has a particular love for fish and seafood. He makes the most of local suppliers, placing his own stamp on everything he conjures: "Matthieu manages to prepare exceptional ingredients in a way that fully releases their flavours. At the same time, every one of his creations includes a small, surprising twist without coming across as pretentious or forced," says the hotel. And with a test kitchen in what was once a pigeon loft, Matthieu has plenty of space to experiment.
There’s all-day dining at Bistro de Montcaud, where traditional French plates and multi-course, fixed price lunches are the order of the day. Enjoy fish soup with rouille and croutons followed by fillet of beef with asparagus, shallots and port jus – indoors in the wood-beamed space, or alfresco on the terrace.
And for a gourmet, regional meal, check out Le Cèdre de Montcaud, where both seasonal tasting and à la carte menus are available, with inventive plates such as John Dory with passion fruit and parsnip, and duck with squash and mushrooms are served. If the weather is warm, be sure to book a table in the flower-laden courtyard.
The property is well-known for their Sunday jazz brunches too.
Step inside and wind your way up the stately staircase and into your parquet-floored room; whichever category you choose there will be views to the landscaped grounds, a safe, Loewe flat-screen TV, minibar, and blackout curtains. Think high ceilings, natural tones, and a nod to the past with silk work. In short, an ethos the owner and managers (Jürg Witmer and his daughter and son-in-law Andrea and Rolf Bertschi) like to call ‘the luxury of simplicity’.
Romantics may opt for the Collain suite, with its in-room freestanding tub. And particularly suited to families are the roomy 2-bed Duplex suites, where there’s a lounge area, a mezzanine, and a balcony.
Note: the property has a lift, two accessible rooms, and some bedrooms are located in the separate gatehouse. Well-behaved dogs are welcome in all rooms except for L’Appartement (extra charge applies).
Nestled in the Cèze valley between Provence, Ardèche and Camargue, there are trips galore to enjoy if the mood takes you, ranging from visiting the caves of Aven d’Orgnac and the grotto of Saint-Marcel-d’Ardèche, to checking out the impressive La Chartreuse de Valbonne monastery or L’Occitane en Provence factory. Thrill seekers can explore by quad or take a helicopter flight over Saint-Jean-du-Gard, and cycling routes for all abilities are in abundance – proficient riders may want to attempt the grueling climb up Tour de France’s Mont Ventoux. Bring your own equipment, or use the hotel’s complimentary bicycles; those less confident on two wheels may want to opt for an electric bike.
Do make the most of the hotel’s sommelier, who will happily recommend nearby wineries to visit – the pale pink rosés of the region are a must-try, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape is just half an hour away by car.
But if you’d prefer to make the most of the château, simply kick back in the scenic grounds by the pool, or wander the oh so pretty gardens.
Dogs are welcome at Château de Montcaud. A supplement is applied (€ 20 per day and € 40 end of stay cleaning fee). Rooms that have been booked with an animal are subject to particularly careful cleaning.
When visiting with your pet, please be respectful of other hotel and restaurant guests.
With the exception of "The Apartment", all room categories are pet-friendly. Take your dog to Bistro de Montcaud, but furry friends are not allowed in the gourmet Le Cèdre de Montcaud restaurant.
Free parking is available.
Places of Interest
Uzès: 35-minute drive
Avignon: 45 minutes
Montpellier: 1 hour 20 minutes