The charm of Domaine de la Bretesche Hotel, Golf and Spa estate works its magic as soon as you enter the gates. A stunning 15th century château nestles in the heart of magnificent parkland hosting perhaps the most beautiful golf course in France, with ancient trees and a lake providing the perfect setting for this dream château estate. The restaurant is Michelin Star. The beach is not far away. Everyone hopes to find a peaceful and authentic corner of France to enjoy at leisure—and this may well be it!
Located in an inspiring and bucolic setting, in Missilac, between Nantes and Vannes, Domaine de La Bretesche is a haven of peace much appreciated by epicurean visitors—note that Michelin Star!—and of course golfers. Established at the border of the departments of Brittany and Loire-Atlantique, La Bretesche is steeped in history, the 200 hectare estate—owned by the French Bessé family (B Signature group)—marvellously combines luxury, calm and pleasure. Here the art of swing blends fully with the art of living. The hotel, labelled Relais & Châteaux since 1995, is one of the most renowned in the region.
The château was built just before the French Revolution, with towers added in the early 20th century. It has a park, a pool, rolling lawns and ancient woodland. Chestnut trees line the approach, a river runs through the grounds, there are lakes and woods for walking, farm animals—and even dromedaries in summer. It’s the setting for a romantic or family holiday—and if you are a golfer it’s even more sublime.
The hotel being Relais & Chateaux, the luxurious rooms range from Elegance and Deluxe to Junior Suites. Not in the castle itself, but in its historic ‘outhouses’, all have views of the château, the golf course or the Cour Carrée spa. Each offers original décor, authenticity and sophistication, as you would expect of Relais & Chateau. Several have windows on three sides and all are spacious. In addition, semi-detached villas are located in the old sheepfold of the Domaine, not far from the hotel, each with one or two bedrooms, bathroom and fully equipped kitchenettes opening on to comfortable living rooms, with a private terrace and garden.
Restaurant Le Montaigu is a plush, bourgeois dining room with windows overlooking the grounds and the lake. This, and the bar created within the former stables, is a delight. The Chef creates inventive French cuisine combining classic and contemporary with fresh local ingredients. The wine menu is excellent and includes extremely well chosen French wines.
The Cour Carrée spa is a haven offering well-being and peace of mind with a warm welcome and enchanting décor. Choose from a menu of personalised treatments and then follow up with a plunge into the indoor pool or time in the infrared sauna. This is sublime, memorable relaxation.
As to that magnificent 18-hole course, it was designed in 1967 by the English architect Henry Cotton. It is 6,015m long and is elegantly set against the majestic backdrop of the castle towers and ramparts. The 18 holes are composed of 4 par 3s, 10 par 4s and 4 par 5s, ranging from 130 to 459 metres. Depending on the season, the player swings under a magical light among rhododendrons, roses, squirrels or deer. The course adapts to all levels of play. A real parkland, it is rather flat but contains many traps, including several highly strategic doglegs. Bunkers are well placed and the rather large greens are often difficult to negotiate. Hole n°17 is perhaps the most spectacular. It is a par 3 whose green is surrounded by water and bunkers—a real challenge, especially when the wind is blowing!
And what a treat to find the fabulous castle in your field of vision. As on hole n°9, which offers postcard views of the castle of La Bretesche poised as if by magic atop its lake. Golfers of all levels may enjoy themselves in a sumptuous setting.
Thanks to the famous Breton microclimate, the La Bretesche course is open year round. And there is no shortage of other activities. The estate is an excellent starting point for walking, riding and cycling, as the region is rich and varied—and the beaches of Morbihan and Brière are in easy driving distance.
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