Côte d'Azur, France

Zannier Private Estates - Château Saint-Maur

Style

Gimme, gimme Maur

Setting

Close to the Côte

Sleeps

15

France’s châteaux aren’t exactly the humblest of dwellings, but 18th-century French Riviera hideaway Château Saint-Maur really raises the stakes – and not just in its private gentlemen’s gambling club, which it has, alongside a nightclub (with VIP lounge), personal bar, full spa, chapel… With its vermillion exterior, it’s flamboyance is apparent from the get-go, and within it’s a sartorial orgy of Napoleonic imperiosity and Russian Empire baroque, with a gilded heritage grand piano, the staircase of your ‘sweeping down’ dreams, and lavish living rooms for almost all seasons. It’s as unapologetically rich as foie gras, but tasty indeed, and, it’s evident from the ground’s lavender beds and vineyards that run long into the Provençal massif, that it’s still a fan of the classics.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of wine from Roger Zannier's domaine on arrival

First Glance

  • The château is 3,500sq m in size, covering three floors.
  • A grand entrance hall inspired by the Egyptian vestibule of 18th-century Russian imperial residence Pavlovsk Palace. Here you’ll find an André Arbus baby-grand piano made of gold-lacquered wood and a sweeping modern spiral staircase with a handrail made of Malagasy ebony. On the first floor, the staircase is designed to look like a Gothic cloister.
  • Three living rooms. The summer living room with ample sofa seating is on the ground floor; a lounge with a TV is on the same floor; and on the first floor is the winter living room with Louis XV-style woodwork.
  • A cosy bar with an art deco backing of mirror and wood with four stools to pull up and shelves stocked with spirits.
  • A statement backlit wine cellar with bottles displayed behind glass.
  • Art deco-style office and meeting room for up to six guests.
  • A gentlemen’s club with a Russian-made roulette table, lavishly dressed in Second Empire style.
  • Spa space with a treatment room, hammam, gym (with an elliptical trainer and all-in-one training machine), beauty salon and relaxation area.
  • High-gloss kitchen with a breakfast island and adjacent dining room. On the first floor, there’s the kitchen office with a dumb waiter and store room. The second dining room is on the first floor.
  • Ventilated smoking room on the first floor with a working fireplace and display cases filled with cigars and cocktail fixings.
  • The owner has amassed a vast art collection and 60 pieces are displayed throughout the château.
  • Game room with a football table, large TV and arcade game.
  • The original belfry.
  • Laundry facilities.
  • Even the elevator, which runs to all floors, has been primped and preened, with glossy panelling.

Villa highlights

  • No-holds-barred opulence
  • Highly cultivated vineyard
  • Party-starting pad

Sleeping arrangements

  • Eight rooms and suites in total to sleep up to 15 guests, with ensuite bathrooms. Each is uniquely decorated with lots of personality. Bathrooms have checkerboard tiles or multi-hued marbles, and bedrooms have furnishings in rich woods, deep-pile rugs and reams of luxe fabrics.
  • The Menton Room is on the ground floor.
  • On the first floor is the master suite with an antechamber and dressing room.
  • The Monaco suite, with its Directoire-style decor, is on the first floor.
  • The Grimaud room is on the first floor.
  • The Villefranche, Beaulieu, Antibes, Roquebrune and Cap Ferrat rooms are all on the second floor.

Key kit

  • Check-in, 3pm; check-out, 11am
  • The hotel is open all year round
  • Daily cleaning with linens changed three times a week
  • Concierge
  • A team of staff, including a maid, butler, security and pool and garden maintenance crew
  • With 48 hours notice you can hire a babysitter or nanny and baby cots are available on request
  • A personal shopper is available on request
  • Library of books
  • Board games
  • Yoga and gym equipment
  • A centralised home-control system for the lighting, curtains and more
  • TVs
  • Bath products in all rooms
  • Free WiFi
  • Air-conditioning
  • No pets allowed

Poolside

  • The 26-metre pool, which can be heated on request, is set in the grounds, 30 metres from the main château. It’s large enough for all guests to do laps at once and partly shaded.
  • There are sunloungers on the deck and an outdoor dining area with a lounge and kitchen.
  • The pool annexe has two changing rooms, bathrooms and an indoor dining space.

Grounds

  • The sprawling 15-hectare park surrounding the hotel is neatly arranged into lawns, meadows, fragrant lavender beds, rows of cypress trees, a vegetable garden, covered winter garden and vineyard.
  • An English-style garden spread out over multiple levels has a Jean-Pierre Reynaid Space Pot sculpture.
  • Outdoor dining terrace surrounded by blackberry trees.
  • Covered loggia with seating overlooking the garden.
  • A furnished first-floor terrace with garden views.
  • Tennis court.
  • Vineyards and the winery where the Zannier family’s eminently drinkable Côtes de Provence Cru Classé is made – and art exhibitions are held here too.
  • There are three outbuildings: one at the edge of the vineyard is an orangery turned meeting room for up to 100 and a reception hall; another is a private nightclub with a bar, DJ booth, disco-ball-lit dance floor and VIP lounge, plus there’s a games room for kids; the third is a pool house.
  • A chapel inspired by Tuscan cathedrals.
  • Stables.
  • 10 parking spaces and a gated entrance.

Location

  • The chateau and vineyard are set in the foothills of the Maures massif, along the French Riviera. It faces the mediaeval village of Grimaud, part of which is uniquely laid out in Venetian style over a series of waterways.
  • Cogolin (a 10-minute drive away) and Saint-Maxime (a 20-minute drive away) are the closest communes, while the beachy glamour of St Tropez is a 30-minute drive away.
  • If you have a private jet or you’ve hopped in a chopper from Nice or Geneva, you can land at La Môle (a 15-minute drive away) or Cannes Mandelieu (an hour’s drive away), or touch down at St Tropez’s heliport. Toulon-Hyères, an hour’s drive away, runs services between Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, Brest and Brussels, but international passengers will likely fly into Nice or Marseille, both of which have connections throughout Europe (and some beyond) and are around a 90-minute drive away. Transfers can be arranged at an extra cost.
  • The winery will keep you entertained with tastings and tours (one of each is included in the rate) and more tastings. Art exhibitions are frequently held here too.
  • Ask the hotel to arrange a picnic for you to enjoy in a wooded glade, in the Grimaud hills or at the edge of the vineyard.
  • The hotel can help with mountain bike hire and show you the best trails.
  • The hotel has stables and can arrange riding lessons for all abilities, or show you the most picturesque trails.
  • If you’re visiting in autumn you can help out with the grape harvest and – more excitingly – participate in grape-stomping.
  • Yoga lessons and massages can be arranged.

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