King (or Queen) for a Day; Chateau de Bagnols takes you back through the centuries.
Before 1987 the historical Chateau de Bagnols may have seemed unwelcoming with its cobwebs and family of crows nesting in the dark corners but after Lady Hamlyn discovered this neglected gem, she dedicated most of her waking hours to painstakingly restoring this magnificent cultural centerpiece to its former glory. These days you can forget any notion that castles are cold and dreary--try instead, warm and inviting.
Want to live like royalty? Chateau de Bagnols will transport you back in time to the days of Charles XII and the infamous de Balzac family, with modern amenities of course. Escape to the rolling hillside where this 13th-century chateau is nestled among vineyards and lush forest. Enjoy lunch on a warm summer day under 100 year old lime trees on Chateau Bagnols expansive terrace with spectacular views of the sprawling valley below. After lunch take in a hot air balloon ride or a game of golf at the course located a short 15 minutes away from the chateau. Does it get better than this?
Despite being a haven for romance and relaxation, Chateau de Bagnols is bustling with activity. Are you a wine buff? The onsite concierge can arrange vineyard tours and wine tastings. More of an adventure traveler? Why not embark on a mountain bike excursion? If your fancy is gastronomy, you won't be disappointed. At Chateau de Bagnols they "leave nothing to chance." The Chef at Chateau de Bagnols serves up a seductive menu inspired by local traditions, while the Sommelier presents the best Beaujolais the region has to offer, as well as wines from neighboring Burgundy and other fine wines from all over France and other countries. Après le diner, why not take a stroll through a charming nearby village and snap a few pictures of enchanting Romanesque churches and abbeys? Our suggestion is to do it all.
You will be hard pressed for wants once settled into one of the chateau's opulent rooms or suites. Chateau de Bagnols' 21 rooms are lavishly appointed with soft velvets and shimmering silks and rare and beautiful antiques; many of the rooms feature exquisite 18-century wall paintings. Peak season typically runs May 16-Sept. 30, with rates ranging anywhere from 425 euro to 2,220 euro. Mixing business with pleasure? Chateau de Bagnols is on the cutting edge of technology. The Chateau's library is equipped with a 50-inch plasma screen with DVD, video recorder and ADSL high-speed Internet access; the notorious Geoffrey de Balzac would be green with envy.