Breathtaking is a word often used to describe an expansive view, but when surveying the low, even landscape that stretches out around Les Sources de Caudalie, there really is no other word to define it. Located among seemingly endless rows of neat vines, edged on one side by a verdant forest, it’s hard to believe that both the five-star hotel run by Alice and Jérôme Tourbier, plus their family’s neighbouring vineyard, Château Smith Haut Lafitte are just 20 minutes south of bustling Bordeaux.
Testament to the skill of French architect Yves Collet is the fact that the seven state-of-the-art buildings, which house the hotel’s 40 rooms and 21 suites appear to have stood tall for decades. Paying homage to the Aquitane region, he used local and recycled materials such as cladding from old Canadian barns to ensure the structures, which include a tower, a boat barn, a dovecot and a fisherman’s village, blend seamlessly with their bucolic surroundings.
Central to the tranquil enclave is a picturesque pond on the edge of which sits the hotel’s iconic ‘L’Ile au Oiseaux’ suite (pictured, top). A romantic nest perched atop stilts, the space is reimagined by a guest designer every three years. Following in the footsteps of Maison Martin Margiela, Maxime Simoëns and Delphine Manivet, Lebanese couturier Rabih Kayrouz (who just opened his first London store on Mount Street) is the latest creative to work his magic with a vision that combines tin-plated copper tables, lustrous textiles and coloured glass accessories all of which add a subtle sense of the orient, as well as a centrally positioned platform bed, lengthened with a sofa to provide more space for lounging.
‘It was important for me to have a simple and bright room’ says the Paris-based designer. ‘I wanted people to spend time not only to sleep, but also to enjoy the suite as a real living area, to relax and really appreciate the luxury of doing nothing.’
Also part of this of this laid-back yet luxurious complex are three restaurants, one of which has 2 Michelin stars, and an immersive woodland art trail, plus the 1,500 square metre Caudalie Spa. Featuring 20 treatment rooms it boasts outdoor and indoor swimming pools, an outdoor wine barrel bath and relaxation areas overlooking the vineyards beyond.
And while ‘vinotherapy’ may sound like treating yourself to a large glass of red after a long day, it does in fact encompass the range of products developed by Alice’s sister, Mathilde Thomas, that uses left over grapeskins and seeds to produce high potency, antioxidant skincare used during the soothing spas treatments. It a sure-fire recipe for relaxation, but to be honest we’d probably have that glass of red too. Cheers. sources-caudalie.com
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