Montpellier is a fabulous city to visit, historic and culutured yet ambitious and vibrant. It’s a perfect gateway to discover more of the south of France. Head west to explore the canals and Roman cities of Occitanie or east to the Camargue and Marseille. But do start with a few days in Montpellier itself. It’s easy to get to – arrive by air at Montpellier’s modern airport, by TGV from Paris or by car off the A9 autoroute.
But whichever way you arrive if you want to stay in some of the best accommodation at the end of your sightseeing day then the 5* Domaine de Verchant (a Relais & Châteaux hotel) will be your kind of place.
Just outside the city, so easy to access by car, this is much more than a regular hotel. In fact, from the moment you arrive it feels like you are being welcomed into a charming and intimate old-stone village environment with manicured lawns, exquisite planting, glimpses of vineyards in the fields beyond and at the heart of it a sumptuous manor house, where your accommodation can be found.
Twenty-six high quality rooms and suites are on offer, each with unique decorative themes blending traditional features with contemporary furniture and artworks. Chef Damien Cousseau has created an excellent gastronomic menu infused with Mediterranean flavours served in the formal dining room, while at La Plage, a kind of beach club vibe prevails at the huge pool overlooking the vines, where you can enjoy a cocktail bar and an informal restaurant. Brunch on Sunday is something of an institution amongst well-heeled locals. In the Domaine’s boutique-winery you’ll be able to sample some special grand-cru wines as well as trying the Domain’s own output, produced from the 13 hectares of vineyard which surround the estate.
The French like to “cultiver le bien-être”, that is, to cultivate your well-being. It doesn’t translate that well, but if you need to recharge your batteries after too much walking or driving then the Domaine’s Spa is just the ticket. An indoor pool is complemented by a gym, saunas, a hammam and of course numerous specialist treatments.
Domaine de Verchant Hotel & Spa, 1 Boulevard Philippe Lamour, 34170 Castelnau-le-Nez. Tel: Website: www.domainedeverchant.com. Rates from 220 euros/night.