It’s time to feel good with a trip to the Dordogne’s Le Domaine de Sirius, a holistic B&B with plant-based food, daily wellbeing activities and acres of flush-inducing countryside. Hearty, healthy meals are cooked by the caring owner Victoire, who’s just bursting to show guests the light (not in an evangelical way). She’ll be on hand to prescribe the tisane for you (based on your particular ailment), cook you dinner or lunch daily, or take you forest bathing. This isn’t the kind of retreat where you stay put feeling wan – the purple Périgord is waiting, with its hill-top bastides, gourmet restaurants and mediaeval market towns.
Get this when you book through us:
A lunch for two or a pre-arrival wellness consultation with the owner Victoire
11am, but flexible if booked in advance. Earliest check-in, 3pm, also flexible.
Double rooms from £270.55 (€320), including 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.
Rates usually include breakfast and lunch or dinner.
Wellbeing is on offer 365 days of the year, but there are also frequent retreats, where topics include energy rituals, the body and food, and walking and meditation.
At the hotel
Free WiFI in certain areas, library, 12 acres of grounds, herbal tea station, wellness studio and practitioners, rowing machine and suspension rings, and a small shop selling candles, spices and home-made jams. In rooms: eco-friendly bath products.
Our favourite rooms
The two rooms are named after stars (Sirius itself was the Ancient Egyptians' polestar): healing Chiron has Earth as its element; for a bath tub and a hammock, choose Neptune. Moon is more like a private home, so it’s ideal for families and anyone planning on sticking around to really get their chakras aligned.
The outdoor pool is open from spring until the autumn, with lots of toys for children, sunloungers and a shaded area for snacks.
The entire domaine is basically a spa, with your wellbeing the only goal, whether it’s achieved on a running trail, a nature walk through the forest or sitting by the fire with a book. A daily wellness activity is included in the room rate: these include coaching sessions, energy cleaning, meditation and mantras, oracle reading, cooking classes and breathwork practice. Additional activities can be booked for €60 each. Guests can also sign up for private yoga, qi gong sessions and massages.
Books to read in a hammock, gardening gloves to help tend the land and a life problem for Victoire to solve. Leave the fast fashion at home.
The 18th-century house is unfortunately not suitable for wheelchair access.
Kids are welcome, apart from during the retreats (though there are family-friendly programmes on the agenda, too). The rooms have space for a cot, but not an extra bed. The wellness workshops and menus can be adapted for children.
Half of the estate’s acreage will eventually be vegetable patches – the aim is to be as self-sufficient as possible. In the meantime, the team is only buying from organic, local (within a 15-minute drive) producers. There’s no air-conditioning in the 18th-century house (its thick walls do the necessary seasonal cooling and warming). All of the bathrooms have eco-friendly products, rainwater is harvested, there’s no plastic on the property and Victoire’s homegrown, plant-based kitchen aims to be zero-waste.
Swapping sage advice with your fellow guests at the communal table, or out in the garden.
Hemp clothing, optional.
Rabbit food is firmly out in Victoire’s kitchen, which will show you that plant-based meals don’t have to be suitable for small mammals and can instead be creative, delicious and, most importantly, nourishing. You’ll complete a questionnaire before arrival to craft your meal plan and stay, with the catering adapted depending on whether you’re burnt out, trying to lose weight or in need of a detox. Everything is cooked by Victoire and much of the produce is grown on her land, with the Dordogne’s famous nuts put to good use, home-made jams and preserves, and dishes from all over the world. Anyone fearing clean-eating and an overload of lettuce needn’t worry: she loves cooking pastries and there’s something baking every day.
This may be France, but B&Bs don’t have alcohol licences – plus hangovers don’t really go with the holistic agenda here. Instead, Victoire will prescribe the healing tisane for you, to wash down her home-made cakes, ice-creams and treats.
Meals are served when you want them (within reason).
Victoire can cook something for you to enjoy in your room or terrace, ideally between 8am and 9pm, but it won’t come as a surprise to learn that she’s very flexible.
Surrounded by the purple Périgord in south-west France, the domaine is miles away from anywhere in Montferrand du Périgord.
The Dordogne’s two main airports are Bergerac, a 45-minute drive from the estate, and Bordeaux, two hours away by car.
Local rail stations include Lalinde, a half-hour drive from the hotel, and Le Buisson, 15 minutes away. Or you can chug into Agen (an hour and 15 minutes away) or Bordeaux.
The dreamy Dordogne needs a set of wheels in order to be appreciated fully – and the secluded setting is at least 15 minutes away from the nearest sign of life. Rural taxi fares here quickly run up into the hundreds of Euros, so it’s not wise to depend on them. Mediaeval masterpieces within driving distance include the towns of Belvès, Monpazier and Cadouin. There’s a car park in the grounds.
Worth getting out of bed for
The domaine has 12 acres of Dordogne countryside to its name, half of which is farmland, ready for runs, forest bathing and general ambling. A daily wellness activity is included for each room and you can book more – but don’t miss the Périgord Pourpre (Purple Périgord) on your doorstep (if nothing for 15 minutes in a car counts as a doorstep). Nearby bastide beauties to explore include Belvès, Monpazier and Cadouin – some of which are so attractive, they’re part of Frances’ modest Les Plus Beaux Villages association. Or go on a wine pilgrimage (cue references to Britain’s best detective) with a visit to Bergerac, just under an hour away by car. The region is also home to lots of wineries and markets. And if all the mediaeval architecture has got you in the mood for a banquet, be in Beaumont-du-Périgord in the middle of July and bring your dagger.
There are charming bistros to choose from in all of the neighbouring towns, but for something a little smarter, try Le Vieux Logis in Trémolat, which may be a fine-dining restaurant, but it has a plant-based menu so you can keep up the good work. More vegan and vegetarian goodness awaits at Maggie’s in the marketplace in Villeréal.
Anyone in search of alcohol should head to Belvès, which has lots of bars, including the English-owned Planches et Plonk, a cheese and wine bar for fellow Francophiles.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this wellness hotel in France and unpacked their tinctures and tisanes, a full account of their bucolic break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Le Domaine de Sirius in the Dordogne…
France may be a country more associated with carnivore-pleasing cuisine (still-walking steaks, foie gras, snails, frog’s legs…), but it’s plant-based all the way at Le Domaine de Sirius. The owner Victoire is a holistic convert, having been ‘saved’ by changing her lifestyle a few years ago – and she’s desperate to help you out, too. Every detail has been considered: there are even covers for the mirrors in some of the rooms, since feng shui says you should never sleep in a room with a mirror (or have one facing an entrance, for that matter). There’s no chance of anything preventing you from having a good night’s sleep here, though – especially since each room has its energy cleaned with candles and white sage between guests. And when you’re ready for some adventure (or some meat), there’s lots to do in the surrounding countryside, including trips to Bergerac in search of wine and tours of the beautiful bastide towns of the Dordogne Valley. A votre sante.