Once an enclave for artists seeking inspiration, this captivating retreat has undergone a graceful transformation, its essence now delicately divided between the timeless stone castle and the charming village buildings. As one follows cobblestone paths, a magical world unfolds, where each room is a unique masterpiece, most adorned with vistas that conjure the limitless sea. Inside the ancient walls, stone weaves stories across floors, walls, and ceilings, a silent narrator of history.
Set The Scene
In the year 1953, a visionary named Robert Wolf fell under the spell of Château de La Chèvre d’Or, and with an artist’s heart, he transformed it into a realm of gastronomic delight. Local legends whisper that the great Walt Disney himself implored Wolf to acquire a collection of village houses, weaving them into a tapestry of hotel rooms, a touch of enchantment that later inspired Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Today, this venerable establishment stands as a symbol of Relais & Châteaux, gracing the world with 43 meticulously curated rooms and suites, including the coveted celebrity Panorama suite.
Stepping onto the steeply terraced property is like ascending to a realm where myths and reality intertwine. We are greeted by statues of mythical beasts and timeless figures guarding this celestial haven, which has welcomed luminaries like President Obama and U2’s iconic Bono. The heart of this enchanted castle is its staff, under the stewardship of the remarkable General Manager, Thierry Naidu. His warm spirit and effervescent charm create an atmosphere where every guest feels not like a visitor, but like an old friend.
Each room, a sanctuary of opulence, tells a story of unparalleled luxury. Provençal charm marries contemporary elegance, with stone fireplaces and regal furnishings contributing to the castle’s timeless ambience. We love the marble-clad bathrooms, imbued with the fragrant potions of Fragonard, which boast whirlpool baths that offer a glimpse of heaven. The Presidential Suite, where a sun-kissed sundeck cradles a heated infinity pool and a whispering whirlpool that shares secrets with the sea is spectacular to say the least. For an awe-inspiring view that seems to flirt with the edge of the sea, the ultimate choice lies within the deluxe rooms and suites. Nestled within this charming haven, all rooms are unique, ensconced in the cosy stone maisons de village clustered around the castle. The more modest rooms offer peeks into the medieval village or the serene terraced gardens.
As you step inside, the décor reveals a spectrum of styles, from the understated Provençal elegance to a hushed contemporary allure. Stone fireplaces and parquet floors coexist harmoniously with ancient doors, graced by the gentle presence of pale orchids, period cabinets, and designer armchairs. It’s a blend of tradition and modernity that enriches the senses and captivates the soul.
Amenities and Facilities
La Chèvre d’Or is more than a hotel; it’s a realm of relaxation and rejuvenation. Lazy afternoons are spent by the pools, and for me, the cliffside perched infinity pool was a favourite. Wandering the village’s winding cobblestone streets, art and antique-filled shops come alive, while the local Fragonard perfume factory casts an enchanting spell.
While La Chèvre d’Or may not boast a conventional spa, it offers a myriad of alternatives to embrace serenity. Multiple pools, each with its own unique charm, beckon, as does a tempting whirlpool tub that comes with a view that feels like a piece of heaven. For those seeking relaxation of a different kind, massages and beauty treatments are readily available, offering a rejuvenating escape. Yoga classes are on offer, soothing both body and mind, should you desire a peaceful interlude. One could lose themselves in the embrace of the most picturesque pool while casting their gaze upon the coastal panorama and the gardens that cocoon the soul. It’s a place that might inspire grand commitments, for La Chèvre d’Or is the French Riviera’s most coveted destination for weddings, where dreams are woven into reality with every gentle breeze.
The heart of this haven lies in its restaurants, each an ode to epicurean delights. La Chèvre d’Or, a mystical two Michelin-starred dining sanctuary. Under the artistry of Head Chef Arnaud Faye, Southern classics are reborn in spectacular form, showcasing pristine ingredients such as pistou, rabbit, John Dory, and the exquisite truffle. The presentation of these dishes is an art in itself, a visual delight rivalling their delectable flavours.
The breakfast buffet caters to the diverse palates of Monaco, featuring waffles, pancakes, and muffins, alongside delightful touches like baby mozzarella balls and panettone for those with Italian inclinations. For those with a sweet tooth, the pastry chef’s pistachio and Madeira cakes are a temptation for even the most discerning of indulgences.
The service here transcends the ordinary; it’s an art form. Every staff member, led by the inimitable Thierry Naidu, ensures that your stay is a masterpiece of tranquillity and wonder. From making sure that the staff remembers your favourite coffee to leaving special treats and surprises in your room, service is warm, refined, and faultless. As I departed, my gaze lingered on the legendary Nietzsche path, winding its way from town to the pinnacle, 1,400 feet above sea level, vanishing from sight. The stone village, untouched by the relentless march of time, seemed like a scene from a fairytale. La Chèvre d’Or is a timeless treasure that will forever be etched in my heart, a place where dreams are not just dreams but tangible, beautiful reality.