10 of the best hotels in Dordogne
The Dordogne is widely recognised as one of France’s many beautiful regions, known for its history spanning the centuries and named for its eponymous river. Half way between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees, it’s historically called Périgord and is a popular holiday destination for many reasons. Visitors delight in the pretty villages, diverse natural landscapes, mediaeval churches and renaissance buildings, but perhaps one of the most wonderful things about the Dordogne is the hospitality.
Here, the Good Hotel Guide shares 10 of their top hotels in Dordogne to visit this year…
La Metairie, Mauzac
In the Périgord Noir region of France, La Metairie is a four-star gem of a destination, owned by Swiss proprietors Heinz and Rita Johner, who bring their own twist to a getaway in the Dordogne. The ivy-covered 18th-century property is surrounded by countryside in a park above the Cingle de Trémolat. Guests delight in watching buzzards gliding past or taking a daytime dip in the outdoor pool. All rooms are individually decorated in grand style, and dinner is a feast of regional dishes served beside a beautiful fireplace or on a terrace.
La Chartreuse du Bignac, Saint-Nexans
In the Périgord Pourpre near Bergerac and Monbazillac, La Chartreuse du Bignac is an 18th-century monastery turned elegant hotel, run by resident owners Brigitte and Jean-Louis Viargues. Bedrooms are split between the main building, the windmill and the old bakery, with all rooms featuring local names and some with a private terrace. Interiors are true to the heritage of the property – think sloping ceilings, antique furniture, tiles and old parquet floors. Views stretch across the conservation area of the Dordogne and Vézère Valley, and on a good day dinner is served on the lawn as the sun sets.
Le Moulin du Roc, Champagnac-de-Belair
A 17th-century oil mill in a magical setting on the Dronne, Le Moulin du Roc is run by chef/owner, Alain Gardillou who has a Michelin star to his name. The hotel has an abundance of charm, set in bucolic surroundings in a village near Brantôme. However, it also has all the sophistication of a modern getaway. All bedrooms face the river (fringed by banana trees), and are decorated with antiques. Guests are greeted with fresh flowers, and days are spent exploring the gardens including a swimming pool and tennis courts. Dinner is, naturally, a big part of the experience, and Gardillou doesn’t disappoint, serving specialities such as foie gras rôti en cocotte, and salade truffée. There is also a wine list with around 900 wines to choose from.
Manoir d’Hautegente, Coly
A long-time Guide favourite, Manoir d’Hautegente is a welcoming and peaceful retreat that’s been owned by the same family for over 300 years. Today, the hotel is run by the latest family member, Patrick Hamelin and his Canadian wife, Marie Josée. It sits by a trout stream in pretty countryside north of Sarlat, and has rooms both in the main house and a nearby annexe. There’s a lounge with a log burning fireplace, and a formal dining area spaced across two rooms, where Chef Ludovic Lavaud serves exceptional fare – notably canard foie gras. In the summer months you can expect to dine on a terrace by candlelight, surrounded by flowers and overlooking the water with music playing in the background.
Hotel La Hoirie, Sarlat-la-Caneda
A pretty building in a quiet residential area just outside Sarlat, Hotel La Hoirie is a 13th-century hunting lodge turned romantic hotel retreat. Warm and welcoming, it’s made up of three old stone buildings around a courtyard, with rooms spread across each and views stretching across the gardens to the distant hills. There’s a pool in the gardens to while away hours in the sunshine. Rooms are surprisingly modern, but interiors in public spaces honour the architecture and history of the building, particularly in the dining room, which is set around a monumental fireplace.
Le Moulin de l’Abbaye, Brantome
A creeper-clad 16th-century mill turned luxury hotel, Le Moulin de l’Abbaye is actually owned by Régis Bulot, president of the Relais & Châteaux association. In the little town of Périgord, on one side the property looks towards an 11th-century abbey, while the other takes in views of the River Dronne. There are three dining options at the hotel – the gourmet restaurant, and two simpler choices including a fish bistro and a grill. Rooms offer rustic style and, once again, river views. Guests can choose to stay in the main building or one of the annexes La Maison du Meunier and La Maison de l”Abbé, each of which have their own character and charm.
Chateau de Lalande, Annesse-et-Beaulieu
A traditional chateau hotel surrounded by forest, Chateau de Lalande sits quietly in the Perigord region, known for its geese, plum trees and pigeonniers. Once derelict, the current owners lovingly restored it to become the chic, 19th-century style hotel that it is today. Beautifully decorated, it’s full of antiques and Toile hangings. The chef does the cooking “au gout du jour”, with a limited menu using superb ingredients. The outdoor swimming pool is charming and there’s an unequivocal romance to the whole experience. Breakfast is a treat, served in the converted horse stables across the courtyard, and the owners themselves imbue your stay with charm.
Hotel du Centenaire, Les Eyries-de-Tayac
Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil is the area of the Dordogne perhaps best known for the discovery of the cave of Cro-Magnon man, but Hotel du Centenaire is certainly a reason to visit in its own right. Located on the River Vézère, it’s got so many things to recommend it – the service, the value, the views across the hills, the pretty gardens and the swimming pool. Perhaps chief amongst its assets however, is the food. Chef Roland Mazère’s cuisine périgourdine (two Michelin stars, 18 Gault Millau points) includes langoustines rôties à la broche, fleurs de courgettes du jardin – savour every bite.
Château de la Côte, Bourdeilles
In parkland peppered with century-old trees, Château de la Côte is a Renaissance château near Brantôme and looking across a valley. The summertime sees views brimming with sunflowers, while you swim in the pool and take in the atmosphere. The owners are a father and son duo, which adds a sense of personal care to every detail of the property. Rooms are in period style, and each is different – for extra opulence, opt for one in the turret, or perhaps you will prefer the suite with private access to the dungeon terrace. Food by chef Marie Verdier is traditional Périgord cuisine. The best way to describe this hotel is ‘graceful and romantic’.
La Roseraie, Montignac
In the medieval village of Montignac on the Vézère River (famous for being home to the Lascaux Caves), La Roseraie is a handsome 19th-century building surrounded by mature gardens. It should go without saying that the gardens are brimming with roses, while palms stand around a curved swimming pool. There’s a paddling pool for the youngest of guests and lots of spaces in the grounds to sit and watch the world go by. Enjoy drinks on the terrace or brought to you on your lounger, and tuck into local fare in elegant surroundings at dinner.
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