Château des Vigiers: Great food, wine and golf
Text: Kate Harvey | Photos: Chateau Des Vigiers
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.
The 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 restored 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 ‘natural’ golf course architects. The nine greens have been shaped to blend effortlessly into the landscape, with enviable views across plum orchards and oak woods. Arranged in three nine-hole loops, giving three 18-hole combinations, their golf course was rated in the top-ten courses in south-west France by Fairways Magazine.
Other golf facilities include a six-hole academy course, a covered driving range, practice greens and bunkers, as well as their very own resident golf professional to offer sound advice.
Prepare to be pampered
Vigiers has all of the facilities to help you wind down after a day on the green. Its intimate spa by Sothys offers a range of wellbeing activities such as a hydrotherapy pool, a beauty shop, fitness room, sauna and Jacuzzi, along with the hammam and indoor pool which will be completed in June. With two heated outdoor pools, guests can swim close to nature for a quiet moment of total relaxation.
“The chateau perfectly strikes the balance between its golf and spa activities. We are known locally for our golf course, but word is now spreading about our spa and restaurants,” explains Niels. With a wide range of beauty treatments and packages on offer, whether you’re here for the day or the weekend, you are sure to get that all-important rest and relaxation.
Local fare in a gorgeous setting
Vigiers is home to not just one, but two spectacular restaurants. Guests can dine in a relaxed or sophisticated atmosphere, depending on their tastes. Head to the renovated wine cellar-cum-restaurant Le Chai for a more informal dinner setting, complete with a magnificent lakeside terrace and plenty of regional dishes to choose from.
Among all the other delights on offer, the chateau boasts its very own fine-dining restaurant. Expect a sumptuous and innovative menu from head chef Didier Casaguana, who has been awarded a Michelin star every year since 2014. Les Fresques restaurant also boasts an extensive wine list: “our neighbouring winemakers regularly supply our restaurants. We produce our own award-winning AOC Bergerac red, white and rosé wines, and we harvest Merlot, Cabernet and Sauvignon grapes,” says Niels.
Tucked in the Dordogne countryside
Despite its pollution-free location among the region’s vineyards, European guests can fly directly to Bergerac Airport just a short distance away. “The airport is just 20 minutes’ drive from the chateau, so guests can relax as soon as they arrive.”
The Château des Vigiers is the ideal base for exploring the region’s rich history and culture, and its multilingual staff will be more than happy to advise guests. Head to the nearby food markets and try the local delicacies, explore the River Dordogne and make the most of the gorgeous climate in southwest France.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Receive our monthly newsletter by email