Castle Categories: 5 Star Castle Hotels, B&B Castle Hotels, Castle Spa Hotels, Family Friendly Castle Stays, Michelin Star Restaurants, and Dog/Pet Friendly Castle StaysCastle Tags: Castle & Chateau Stays in the South of France (2024)
Near St Tropez and the French Riviera, this 5 Star château hotel is a slice of heaven in rural Provence guaranteed to please lovers of nature, wine, and food.
The vast majority of the 1,235-acre estate is left to the supervision of Mother Nature and is a classic Provençal mix of garrigue and centuries-old trees. They have some charming gardens too, which include a swimming pool, and a vast 320 acres of vineyards.
Their vineyards have been producing Provençal wines and rosés for over three hundred years, with their wines consistently well-rated. There are two fine restaurants at the hotel to enjoy too, one of which, Jardin de Benjamin, was awarded a Michelin star in 2017.
They also have top-of-the-range spa facilities and lots of activities on offer. Wine tasting, cellar & vineyard tours, etc. are the first to spring to mind but they also offer things like reiki and yoga, guided botanical walks, quad biking, and the traditional French sport of Pétanque (boules).
They have 27 spacious rooms and suites which generally have a rustic, country-chic vibe. With tiled floors, floral fabrics, and much elegant antique furniture on display, they range from classic doubles to choice 70 m2/753 sqft suites with private terraces. They don’t skimp on space with any of the rooms though, even the more lowly, for want of a better word, classic rooms come in at around 30 m2/269 sqft.
Check out all the details – prices, reviews, and more photos – on the booking page here.
FACILITIES & THINGS TO DO:
There are two restaurants to choose from: the most renowned is the Michelin-starred Jardin de Benjamin where head chef Benjamin Collombat delights time and again with his lively, colourful creations. Though the cuisine has an international slant, local ingredients are paramount; many of them come fresh from the estate’s own kitchen gardens.
It is very much fine dining while the other, Château de Berne Bistrot, is a more laid-back, homely affair. It mainly serves French and Provençal classics along with some more universal pleasures like pasta dishes and some great signature pizzas with fresh toppings that vary with the seasons.
They produce a lovely range of rosé at Château de Berne as well as other wines where they regularly use up to ten grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Sémillon, Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Ugni-Blanc, Viognier, Rolle and Mourvèdre. And you can expect a full complement of wine tourism activities here.
There is a gym at the property and their large spa offers ultimate pampering, with jacuzzis, sauna, steam room, an indoor pool, and massage and treatment services.
On the huge estate, you can immerse yourself in nature. Most of it is left wild and there is a lot to explore, with many lovely woodland walks and much local wildlife to be spotted. You can also do some mountain biking, or some quad biking if that is your thing, play the traditional French sport of petanque/boules, join a yoga class, or just lounge around the swimming pool.
The Château de Berne Estate is very much peaceful rural Provence though less than an hour from St Tropez and the French Riviera. It lies just outside the medieval town of Lorgues and around a 20-minute drive from Le Thoronet Abbey. The nearest train station is at Les Arcs-Draguignan 15 km away while the nearest airports are at Toulon, 75km away, and Nice Côte d’Azur, 100 km.
The land on which Château de Berne lies has a wine-making history going all the way back to Roman times. It is located on part of the Via Aurelia, the ancient route which linked France, Spain, and Italy and was widely used in trading wine.
The actual estate was first mentioned in the 12th century when the Count of Toulouse, Raymond V, granted it to Bernard de Clervaux, founder of the Cistercian monastic order.
In 1307 though it was seized by the King of France, Philip IV, and not long after it would become the property of the Marquis of Villeneuve for five centuries.
During the 19th century it was under the care of Marius Estellon, a former captain in the imperial army who was responsible for many upgrades including the modernization of the vineyard. The château would pass through many hands up until 1995 by which time the vineyard had become quite neglected.
In that year an English businessman, Mark Dixon, took over and transformed the place; replanting most of the vines, rebuilding the cellars, modernizing the winery, and, last but not least, opening the stunning 5-star hotel we see today.
WHAT OTHER GUESTS SAY:
“This must be heaven…Fantastic scenery, beautiful pool, amazing breakfast and above all super friendly staff….”
“The green area, the freshness of the air was incredible. The wines of the property are really good. Professional staff….”
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- 124 Chemin des Imberts