Need to know
Six, including four suites.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $228.70 (€205), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
Rates include a buffet breakfast of home-made bread and pastries, cereal, fresh fruit, eggs, bacon, cheese, Nespresso coffee and Kusmi tea.
If you fall in love with the hotel’s Dutch minimalism, nose around the design shop; treasures include Carolina Wilcke’s porcelain vases and Reinier Bosch’s fluid, steel candlesticks. Smith guests get 15 per cent off.
The château stoppers its barrels from 11 November to 10 February.
At the hotel
Spa, hammam, sauna, gym, free WiFi throughout, and free parking on-site. In rooms: iPod dock, tea- and Nespresso coffee-making facilities, minibar, and Aesop bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Some of the six rooms are based in the main château, others in the adjacent farmhouse or gardener’s cottage. If we had to choose (trust us, this isn’t easy), we’d have to go for the Fontenay suite in the farmhouse, overlooking the pool. It’s on two floors, connected by a spiral, Venetian-made staircase; wooden beams criss-cross the whitewashed bedroom, purple velvet chairs are grouped together in the high-ceilinged living room, and the tiled, open bathroom is kitted out with designs by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola.
The outdoor saltwater pool (open from 1 May to 15 October) is heated and long enough to swim laps. Its wooden deck is topped with parasol-shaded sunloungers and is surrounded by neat lawns.
The petite spa is well-appointed with a black-tiled hammam; a sauna; and a relaxation area decorated with modern art. Treatments include three kinds of massage; the hour-long shiatsu brought us toe-wiggling joy. The modern gym has sleek white-and-grey equipment (an exercise bike, rowing machine and weights) set against black walls; there are paintings and light installations to gaze at when the going gets tough.
As well as the obligatory Breton tee and bikini (you are in France, after all), pack sturdy walking shoes for tramping through the vineyards – flimsy sandals and flip flops won’t cut it.
Idle away an afternoon knocking a few balls around on the hotel’s apple tree-shaded pétanque court.
Leave your tiny tots, tweens and teens at home.