Hotel review: Chateau Saint Pierre de Serjac, Languedoc, France
The Chateau St Pierre de Serjac is the sparkling new jewel in the Languedoc's crown. Opened in April 2016 after a €25m renovation, the stunning wine estate is the perfect luxury holiday destination.
The friendly and down-to-earth owners' main aim is for you to relax and unwind in an upmarket yet laidback environment: a private members' club feel with five-star facilities, without the snobbery. And, after creating a total haven at sister hotel Chateau Les Carrasses, they've got that formula totally nailed.
SEE ALSO: Hotel review: Chateau Les Carrasses, Languedoc, France
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A long winding tree-lined drive offers a grand entrance to the estate, which has been meticulously renovated and can't fail to make a love-at-first impression. The majestic chateau and surrounding buildings are bubbling with charm and as soon as you step onto the terrace overlooking the stunning 30-metre infinity pool with vineyard views, you'll feel that French joie de vivre take over.
What's to love?
Everything you need for an amazing holiday is here within the grounds: The main chateau offers top-notch facilities, including a beautiful restaurant and pool, yet self-catering villas on the estate mean you don't have to leave your own sun lounger all day if you don't want to. There's a stunning wood-framed Alpine-style spa with picturesque views, a boules and tennis court, and bikes to wind your way through the vines together.
Best rooms in the house
The 'chateau hotel' has eight luxury rooms with quintissentially French looks, all velvet curtains, decadent chandeliers, steel Bateau baths, and rich hues. Of course, there's all the bells and whistles too, like flat screen TVs, wifi, indulgent bathrobes. Want more space and independence? The original buildings of the estate have been converted into 36 characterful self-catering villas, which boast high-end modern interiors with authentic, natural materials - lovely linens and cool concrete floors - keeping the French vibe alive. Each property has a private garden, beautiful views, BBQ, TV and sound dock, and Italian kitchens, while 17 of them have their own heated private pool. Of course, all the facilities of the hotel are also available to villa-visitors. Owner Karl O'Hanlon took a hands-on approach to the interiors and is even in the process of developing an online furniture site so you can get your mitts on some of the decor delights you see in the properties - and, trust us, you'll want to take it all home.
Eating and drinking
Take a dip in the main pool, dry off in the sun and hop, skip and jump over to the terrace for a light lunch. You can go the whole hog and choose three courses for amazing value at €25, or opt for a simple burger. Inside the chateau, there's also a restaurant oozing with the style of an old-era Paris salon where you'll find a mix of relaxed ambience with mouthwatering Mediterranean cuisine. Fancy a cocktail? Head to the relaxed bar housed in what was once the original chateau drawing room.
Continuing with the 'unwind and relax' theme prevalent throughout the estate, we loved how we were offered a glass of rosé after our treatment to enjoy on the double lounger outside. of course, the obligatory herbal teas are available too, but this is a holiday, right? The massages are fab, and there's a large heated pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room to boot.
Of course, this is the meeting of a holiday destination with a working winery and, to that end, you can also put your sommelier hat on and enjoy wine tasting as well as the opportunity to learn all aspects of the wine-making process.
This place is perfect if you...
Want a holiday that's guaranteed to please. The main chateau is perfect for couples, while the villas are great for big families or for sharing with friends. During the peak season there's even a great kids' club to keep your little ones entertained while you relax for a while. The estate is also excellent for events or conferences, with a huge stylish space above the winery able to host up to 200 people. With high-vaulted ceilings and wooden beams (and don't forget those vineyard views). It's perfect for weddings, parties, seminars, exhibitions and product launches alike.
In-the-know locals and holidaymakers are eschewing the glitzier (read: busier) Riviera for the Languedoc, an area that stretches along the Mediterranean down to the Spanish border. Why? Its discreet charm, its beautiful beaches, antiques and farmers' markets, excellent wines, rolling vineyards, pretty fishing villages, and let's not forget those 300 days of sunshine a year.
If you can tear yourself away from Serjac, you can visit the nearby market town of Pezenas, a haven for antiques, take in the historic castle at Carcassonne, go shopping in Beziers, enjoy a canoe and lunch at Roquebrun, a picnic at the Gorge d'Eric, and cheese-lovers won't be able to resist a trip to Roquefort.
I want to go!
A one-night stay in a room in the chateau is from €220 (approx. £175). A seven-night stay in peak summer season in a large 3 bedroom house with pool, terrace and garden, from €5380 (approx. £4300). To book email email@example.com or call 03456866505 (UK local rates) or +33(0)4 67 93 12 34. For more information visit www.serjac.com.
See more pictures of the hotel in the gallery below: