Le Relais de Franc Mayne
- Style Corker of a château
- Setting Rolling vineyards of St-Emilion
Set on seven acres of rolling green vineyards in the heart of France's St-Emilion region, Le Relais de Franc Mayne hotel is an old estate with an elegant grey stone façade and a whiff of the mediaeval about it. An oenophile's delight, this family-run 16th-century chateau's cavernous cellars are packed with barrels of the house wine – made from grapes grown on-site – guaranteed to have you aching for another tasting.
Need to know
- Rooms 12
- Rates Double rooms from $281.04 (€206), excluding tax at 7 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €0.44 per person per night on check-out.
- More details Rates exclude breakfast (€18.80).
- Facilities Billiard room; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock, minibar, La Compagnie de Provence toiletries.
- Poolside The hotel’s natural swimming pool sits serenely under the cedar trees, overlooking rolling vineyards.
- Check–out Midday. Check-in, 3pm.
Children Cots can be provided for €25 a night, extra beds for €50.
- Hotel closed Le Relais does not accept bookings over the Christmas period.
- Eco‐friendly The chemical-free pool is self-cleaning thanks to specially selected aquatic plants and is heated by warmth-retaining stones.
- Also Wine-tasting sessions are free for hotel guests. Non-smoking throughout.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms All of Le Relais de Franc Mayne’s rooms have been individually decorated, with varying degrees of decadence. Our favourite, Campagne Française, is one of the hotel’s biggest and, being south-facing, it boasts a grab-your-camera view of the pool, garden, and vineyards beyond. There’s a gorgeous white stone fireplace supporting an antique gold-framed mirror, and the whole room is softly lit by a golden chandelier. You’ll find brighter, bolder decor in Pop Art, all lime greens and dark woods, and Asian Mood, which features a blue and red colour scheme and an oriental birdcage. Indian Fusion features a four-poster bed and ornately carved wooden wall panels, and Out of Africa and African Lodge adopt a safari theme.
- Packing tips An extra suitcase to cram with the domaine’s wine – and something soft to wrap the bottles.
- Also During your stay at Le Relais de Franc Mayne, you’ll given a tour of the château’s wine-making equipment, including the impressive new vat in the reception area and the cavernous cellars where the seemingly endless row of barrels are stored.
Food and drink at Le Relais de Franc Mayne
- Hotel restaurant There’s no restaurant, but the hotel can prepare a cold platter for lunch or dinner on request. The dining room – where breakfast is served – is an elegant, chandeliered space with rustic terracotta stone floors.
- Dress code Dark colours to hide any wine spillages.
- Top table Take a glass (or a bottle) out on to the terrace and soak in the sun with the vineyard vista spread out before you.
- Hotel bar Le Relais de Franc Mayne’s cosy, burgundy-shaded salon has an ingenious Enomatic wine-dispensing system (in other words, an elegant wine vending machine), which keeps the wines at the correct temperature and preserves their flavour. Guests are given a card with €50 credit on check-in, which they can use to access the machine to purchase glasses of wine, which cost between €7–10 each; on check-out the card is checked and guests are charged for the number of glasses purchased during their stay. Beer is also available, if wine's not to your taste, but it's served in a less hi-tech fashion.