Dordogne, France

Château La Thuilière

Rates per night from$163.19

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR145.45), via, using today’s exchange rate.


French bliss


Bordeaux winelands

The Dordogne's Château La Thuilière hotel mixes a decadent concoction out of French grandeur and modern Spanish design amid the renowned wine region. At this cutting-edge castle with blood-red trim and a gothic back-story of an aristocrat’s lost love, the artful medley of stained-glass and Philippe Starck furniture sets a seductive scene.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A wine tasting session, a visit to the vineyards (subject to availability, or a bottle of Bergerac wine), and bike rentals for two


Photos Château La Thuilière facilities

Need to know


Five, including two suites.


Noon; check-in from 4pm. The hotel owners request that guests let them know their estimated check-in time before arrival.


Double rooms from $163.19 (€145), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €0.55 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates exclude buffet breakfast (€12 a person).


Ask in advance and the owners will organise cookery classes, tours of nearby vineyards, bike rides and other local pursuits.

At the hotel

Gardens, library, billiard table and free broadband (in the hall). In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, Nespresso coffee machine, fresh flowers, free bottled water and Hermes bath products.

Our favourite rooms

The XL rooms are exactly that, with sweeping views of the park and grounds, and sleek ensuite bathrooms equipped with invigorating rain showers. Room 3 has a soothing neutral palette and a balcony; Room 9 is more romantic, coloured with soft honey hues.


The hotel's unheated 36sq ft pool is near their winter garden, sunk into parkland, with a day-bed-strewn deck and serene green views.

Packing tips

Lace and silks for candlelit dinners in the restaurant, slippers for fireside lounging.


This hotel is better suited to couples, but children over the age of 12 are welcome in the Suite XL (extra beds are €50 a night).

Food and Drink

Photos Château La Thuilière food and drink

Top Table

Meals are a sociable affair – guests are seated around a communal table.

Dress Code

Stays here have an element of fantasy – model the bold colour, luxurious fabric, or seductive cut that you wouldn’t dare wear back home.

Hotel restaurant

Guests should let the château's gracious hosts know at least 24 hours in advance if they wish to dine at the restaurant on the first night of their stay. It's worth the trouble – a four-course tasting menu served in the dramatic dining room is €39 a person (excluding drinks) and includes dishes such as duck ravioli, marinated mackerel with exotic fruits, and eggs from the hotel’s hens, served on truffled potatoes. If you're dying to dive in to the local fromage, an organic regional selection is offered for €8.50 and a menu of locally sourced light bites is offered throughout the week. Breakfast is a generous spread of local produce, laid out on an old monastery table in the basement kitchen.

Hotel bar

There’s a well-stocked honesty bar in the drawing room, formerly the dance parlour. 

Last orders

Breakfast is served 9am–10.30am, and there's one table sitting for dinner at 8pm. From 1 October to 31 May the four-course tasting menu is available Thursday to Saturday, and all days except Mondays from 1 June to 15 September.

Room service

A menu of light snacks can be ordered to your door, including quiches, salads, cheese plates, Iberian ham and other snacks. In your room there's coffee and bottled water.


Photos Château La Thuilière location
Château La Thuilière
Château La Thuilière
Saint Front de Pradoux


Bergerac airport is 30km away, served by Ryanair; Bordeaux is 100km, served by British Airways and Easyjet.


Mussidan station is 5km away, with services connecting to Bordeaux.


It takes an hour to drive here from Bordeaux; there is plenty of free parking close to the château.

Worth getting out of bed for

Go rambling in the hotel’s private park (Laila can organise bikes or a walking tour). The château is in the heart of French wine country: Saint Emilion and Sauternes are worth exploring for their vineyards and historic châteaux. Thrillseekers can arrange canoe trips on the Dordogne (ask the hotel). Stop for lunch in Brantôme, and admire the town’s Gothic architecture and riverside cafes. Périgueux has plenty of historic charm, notably the Saint Front Cathedral, the Romanesque church of Saint Etienne de la Cité, the Mataguerre Tower and the half-timbered houses on Rue Limogeanne. Nose around the Maison Estignard, one of the best-preserved mediaeval merchant’s houses.

Local restaurants

Sample foie gras, truffles, wine jelly and other gourmet fare at La Tour des Vents (+33 (0)5 53 58 30 10) at Moulin de Malfourat, Monbazillac. The restaurant is perched on a hill, with sweeping views of the Dordogne. Expect artistic creations and vibrant flavours from Restaurant l’Essentiel (+33 (0)5 53 35 15 15) at 8 rue de la clarté, Périgueux. There are a variety of tasting menus to choose from, ranging from €37 to €110. Restaurant Etincelles (+33 (0)5 53 74 08 79) at Le Bourg, Sainte Sabine Born, adds a sophisticated modern spin to traditional cuisine. Dishes include sturgeon with lentil and hemp crumble, Périgord lamb with fennel and cabbage, and asparagus shortbread with mango, strawberry and fruit coulis.


Photos Château La Thuilière reviews
Adam McDougall

Anonymous review

By Adam McDougall , Silver screen celebrator

We were wobbly with pleasure after 48 hours at Château La Thuilière. Slack-jawed and wobbly. Little tears, little soft tears of joy leaked out, as curly-mopped Patch the spaniel emerged onto the landing to bid us farewell in his own regal, poochy manner. Beautiful Eduard placed our receipt in a discreetly branded envelope of impeccable paper stock, along with two exquisite buttons of semi-sweet chocolate. Warm, kind Eduard. Jordi, he informed us, passed on his best wishes, but had gone to the market in Mussidan to pick up the ingredients of that evening’s five courser. Of course Jordi had. Lovely, twinkly Jordi, whose garden pea cappuccino with goats’ cheese foam had induced uncontrollable, goofy sighs of delight. It’s fair to say we were a little emotional as we left. No, not that kind of ‘emotional’ – not that. Although our honesty bar bill revealed that we had indeed been very, very honest over the course of our stay. No, it wasn’t that. We were just extremely relaxed. And now perhaps a little distraught. Now in the car, holding hands in silence, each of us staring ahead, slowly sucking our complimentary chocolates in silent, mournful dissolve.

‘You are two people? You have little luggage? You would like a... fun car?’ said the hire clerk at the airport, with a little wink and an arch of the eyebrow. Filthy. Course we did. As we fun-carred through the gates in our convertible, the sight of Château La Thuilière brought us to a halt. A long, white gravel driveway snaked under huge pines, past a sunken swimming pool and an ancient glasshouse full of tomato plants. At the summit of the gently sloping parkland approach stood the Château itself, a grand 19th-century objet d’amour over four stories, built as a wedding gift by a local marquis for his beloved. In the cool, dark wood-panelled reception hall, Jordi, Eduard and Patch greeted us from behind a beautiful old antique bureau. Patch and Eduard gave us a tour of the ground floor: the elegant billiard room; the tapis-walled dining room with its magnificent, long communal dining table; the lounge and music room, piled high with books on design, art and our hosts’ homeland of Catalonia. The local legend of Saint Front – a daring apostle who, legend has it, killed the pesky village dragon – had certainly inspired the marquis. Eduard pointed out dragons carved into various panels and on the ends of the bannister. The old boy had also commissioned a suitably fabulous stained-glass portrait of himself back in the day, done up in full knight’s armour, the cheeky devil.

With the shutters and windows open in our large, airy suite, voices drifted up from the balcony below – guests returned from the pool, freshening up for dinner. Another two guests had plonked themselves in hammocks, highballs poking out above the canvas. Strutting out from beneath them came Frank, a gallus, flamboyantly trousered cockerel, performing his daily pre-prandial inspection. Eduard came over to smile at us (and possibly just at life itself), before softly reading that evening’s menu.

Oh, there was a rich potatoey parmentier with a soft-poached golden yolk (apparently delivered by one of Frank’s concubines earlier that morning); an insanely succulent, singsonging piece of red-peppercorn-infused cod, cooked sous vide (posh boil-in-the-bag). There was a splendid bottle of something from nearby Bergerac to accompany. Jordi appeared at our table in his immaculate chef’s whites, suddenly, wide-eyed and Wonka-like, to gleefully introduce that evening’s cheeses, the names of the local producers and a few tasting tips. There was dessert, and that was, well, whatever – by that point we had melted into our blankets in a kind of blissful fugue state. Torches and candles had been lit around us and coffee and digestifs would shortly be served in the lounge.

Dinner is normally served at the communal dining room table but, for the two nights we were there, was served at separate tables in the garden. Yet there was ample opportunity to get to know our fellow guests, each night after dinner, as we sprawled across beautifully curated pieces of furniture, replete and knowing. In the course of our stay we got to know, among others, a German architect, a Brazilian food scientist, an English antique collector and a Belgian philosophy professor. Clever old us. That said, both days, apart from during cocktail hour, after dinner, or at the communal breakfast table, we really didn’t see much of anyone. With just seven rooms and such brilliantly discreet – but completely attentive – service, you feel as though you’ve been invited to stay at the home of a wonderfully sophisticated, thoughtful and generous friend.

We made a couple of modest excursions, purely out of a sense of duty. We walked from the Château grounds through fields of sunflowers to a nearby ninth-century church, the key to which Jordi kept in a secret drawer. We drove into town and popped into Super U – who can resist a French supermarket? We bought flan and carottes râpées and pastis and tins of French diluting juice. There were speakers in the car park trolley bays. Speakers, blaring out funk. So we danced.

Back at the gaff, it was time for Tanqueray. And Frank. And Patch. And Eduard with the menu. And Armagnac and cigarettes and music and chat and bed again. And after an, er, light breakfast of coffee, croissants, organic yoghurt with homemade apricot compote, local cheeses and saucisson, home-baked bread and white chocolate cake, it was time to say goodbye.

And we sat in our fun car for a long time under the trees, holding hands. Devising a wedding. And a car park reception.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Château La Thuilière’s Guestbook below.

We loved

We loved that it's a little off the beaten track but also accessible by public transport. It was exactly what we wanted. It was the perfect mix of quiet time to ourselves and spontaneous conversation with your fellow guests over an exceptional shared dinner. We stayed three nights and each dinner was better than the last. Stephan and Leila really made us feel like part of the family.

Don’t expect

A lift, we were on the top floor with a number of staircases to climb, the view was worth it though!


Stayed on 19 Sep 2018

We loved

We loved the architecture of the chateau. I suspect it was built as a hunting box as it is quite a small chateau. The rooms were very comfortable with a king sized bed, very unusual for France. The salon was lovely and the dining room spectacular. The chateau is set in parklands, making it very quiet. There are new owners and they seem to be trying very hard to continue the tradition of the chateau. The new owner's wife is the chef and we enjoyed our dinner – classic fare of an amuse bouche, foie gras and duck, with a tarte tatin. Half bottles of wine are available – the Monbazillac we had with the foie gras and dessert was particularly superb. There are a number of caves to visit (both the drinking sort around Bergerac, Montbazillac and Bordeaux) and the prehistoric sort (Lascaux, Font de Gaume). If you want a very special lunch, drive about an hour to the Vieux Logis at Tremolat. It richly desserves its Michelin star. For 53 EUR you get a degustation lunch (menu tapas) of two entrees, a fish, a meat, a cheese and 2 dessert courses. The quality, presentation and flavours are outstanding and the serving sizes are perfect. The restaurant sits in a village above the Dordogne – the views nearby are spectacular.

Don’t expect

A lift. The owner will help you with bags but the rooms are all upstairs. No external food and drink permitted. (Satellite) WiFi was available downstairs but the owner had an appointment the day we left to set up WiFi throughout the building.


Stayed on 22 Mar 2018

We loved

Stéphane and Leila were outstanding hosts and looked after us superbly with excellent attention to detail. The chateau has been very well maintained with a good balance of the old and the new to give it real character together with great comfort. Dinner was delicious and we then enjoyed a great chat with Stéphane and Leila in the great drawing room. Overall a great stay.

Don’t expect

We visited in February in low season. The local towns were quiet (although plenty to do 30 minutes away) – so we just relaxed in the chateau and played chess over a bottle of wine! Perfect. 


Stayed on 20 Feb 2018

We loved

The very relaxed atmosphere, the amazing food, the beautiful setting, and the incredibly friendly proprietors!

Don’t expect

To walk anywhere. The Chateau is pretty remote, so having a car is essential! The service is very no-fuss, so expect to help yourself to drinks etc.


Stayed on 17 Aug 2017

We loved

There was absolutely nothing we didn't love. It was as close to perfection as we could imagine. It managed to feel both relaxed and upmarket and we especially loved the food, the honesty bar and all the little details that made you feel cared for.


Stayed on 16 Aug 2017

We loved

The beautiful castle, wonderful decorating and amazing food!


Stayed on 1 Jul 2017

We loved

Edouard and Jordy were amazing hosts, our room was delightful and the public areas sublime. The food was beautiful prepared and served – both fresh and delicious at every meal. It was one of the most charming chateau experiences we have ever had out of dozens throughout France.

Don’t expect

Late late nights or early mornings, come and relax and enjoy the country pace of things.


Stayed on 24 Jun 2017