Tuesday, October 1st, 2019
Château Les Oliviers de Salettes
Rural France is littered with castles and châteaux. Built hundreds of years ago many have now been converted into country house hotels. Some have been converted well………. others have not.
Fortunately for us, our next stop on our all electric trip to Monaco falls into the former category. Château Les Oliviers de Salettes is a charming hotel restaurant and spa in Drome in Provence. It has an outdoor pool and a wellness centre, and makes it ideal as a romantic luxury getaway stay in the South of France between Grignan and Montelimar.
Châteaules Oliviers de Salettes was built during the first half of the 16th century. Its origins maybe even older since it has now been found to have been constructed around a squared middle age tower that is today totally integrated into the castle.
Being a former dependency of the Commandery of the Saint John Order of Jerusalem, the castle was once at the centre of a vast vineyard.
Partners in life and now, Owners and Managers of this hotel, Dominique Berger and Robin Leyssens have dedicated all their savings and energy into restore the Castle and its Bastide during the last few years.
After many years as executives in large multinational companies, both Dominique and Robin decided to change their lives to enter in the hotel industry. They found Château Les Oliviers de Salettes in a state of total disrepair during 2010. It had been untouched since it was last occupied in 1960.
Opened in July 2013
A jungle of trees surrounded the Castle and the rain poured into the building when renovation work started. The hotel opened in July 2013. Dominique and Robin then bought the neighbouring Bastide in 2015 to restore it and increase their accommodation capacity.
Ancient maps and pictures to be found at the reception tell more about the castle’s 500 years of history and make an interesting read during your stay.
This life-project constitutes for Dominique and Robin an important investment from a financial point of view as well as in terms of energy to serve their guests and keep improving their services.
One of the many things that makes this Château stand out from others is that Robin is a keen collector of classic cars and has a small exhibition hall in which he keeps them. Not only is this a wonderful room in which to admire the collection it is also the perfect place to hold a short seminar of briefing given the adjacent bar and conference facility.
Another is the well presented spa offering ‘Cinq Mondes’ treatments in 2 massage rooms and equipped with its own; sauna, hammam, outdoor jacuzzi, Zen garden and fitness room.
Fields of lavender
Set among fields of lavender and acres of vines this 16th century château hotel lies at the end of an impressive, tree-lined drive. Offering a slice of luxury away from the beaten tourist path in the heart of Provence, it is the ideal summer retreat, in which to spend days lounging by the heated outdoor pool or hiking in the Drôme Provençale. Browse the markets in the town of Nyons shopping for herbs, olives and lavender. Be sure to visit the nearby historic town of Montélimar about 12 miles away and its medieval castle and be sure to sample the locally made nougat.
The cave-like restaurant serves fresh Provençal produce. Our dinner, from the set menu was a tasty and beautifully presented example. A lunchtime ‘market’ menu appeared to offer the same excellent value.