Domaine de St Clair

Golf, gastronomy and feeling great

The exceptional facilities of the Domaine de St Clair – hotel, spa and golf course combined – are only a short trip from the TGV stations in Lyon or Valence, but they feel like a world – and an age – apart.

TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON | PHOTOS: DOMAINE DE ST CLAIR

“The Chateau de Gourdan which is within the property is visible from the rooms on one side of the hotel, and from every hole from the fourth to the eighteenth,” says Cyril Tapie de Celeyran, in charge of golfing matters there: “When you play the course you have history watching – otherwise it’s very private!” Private and rather beautiful, with the Ardèche Mountains providing a background whether you’re on the course, your room, or sipping a nicely chilled glass of wine on one of the terraces.

People are drawn to the 4-star hotel and its facilities for a variety of reasons: “We have a lot of families who come for a break, with maybe pampering in our Decléor spa or the golf for the parents, the heated outdoor pool appealing to the children, and the gastronomic delights of the restaurant suiting everyone, ” says manager Audrey Brosse: “Plus we host plenty of business seminars, where after the presentations people can bond and network over a round of golf and a gourmet meal. We have wedding parties here too – I always think the prospect of a spa and golf must mean few invitations are declined.”

The scenic 18-hole course, which opened in 1988, was designed by celebrated course architects Thierry Spretcher a nd Gery Watine, with one particularly lovely and very French touch the avenue of plane trees on the 15th. Some golfers, however, are more focused on their game than the vista. “We have a golf academy with group or individual coaching assisted by the latest video technology,” explains Cyril: “So everyone from beginners to experienced players can get help with their play, then put it into practice.”