Located on 750 hectares in the heart of Provence, the luxury resort has two 18-hole championship golf courses and a golf academy.
Provence is well known for its wonderful climate, picturesque villages, delicious cuisine and even more tantalizing wine. But did you also know that it is also the Mecca of first-class golf?
The five-star Terre Blanche hotel, located on 750 hectares in the heart of Provence, houses a world-class resort with chic suites and private villas; four restaurants including Michelin-starred Le Faventia; an infinity pool overlooking the estate; a luxury two-story spa with indoor and outdoor pools; competition level tennis courts; two 18-hole championship golf courses; a state-of-the-art golf academy; and more.
Located a short drive from Saint-Tropez and all the other attractions of the French Riviera, Terre Blanche, which was once a Four Seasons, the French luxury property also belonged to Sean Connery, who started the job Initial Golf Links Tracing — is a member of the prestigious The Leading Hotels of the World, as well as a European Tour Destination, which designates the continent’s best golf resorts. In 2012, following the termination of the Four Seasons management agreement, it became an independent luxury resort.
Transforming the estate, originally owned by French aristocrats in the 18th century, into a world-class golf destination, reflects the vision of German billionaire and philanthropist Dietmar Hopp, who acquired it in 1999 and whose incredible collection of sculptures adorns the ground.
“In the heart of the magnificent landscapes of Provence, I realized a dream,” says Hopp. “The dream of three hundred sunny days, the dream of tranquility, which for me represents absolute luxury. Terre Blanche is like an oasis and staying here is soothing to the soul.
The architectural and interior design of Terre Blanche is inspired by its surroundings, “combining the best of nature” and “focusing on space and serenity”, with most of the architectural elements of local origin, including the stone used in all buildings, carved in quarries in Provence. Its majestic avenues have the feel of a Provencal village, and the classic Mediterranean style of their design gives an overall air of timeless elegance.
The main attraction for sporty gentlemen like Hopp himself is of course the two 18-hole championship golf courses, Le Chateau and Le Riou, ”designed by Dave Thomas. The Château stands out for its “spectacular water features; ravines; large and fast greens; and large white sand bunkers ”, while Le Riou, with its“ steep fairways and elaborate greens ”, is reserved for hotel guests and members of the Terre Blanche club.
Terre Blanche has been named “Number One Golf Resort in Continental Europe” three consecutive times by Golf magazine, among other distinctions.
The complex also has a Albatros Performance Center, the only certified European Tour Performance Institute in Europe, is home to the state-of-the-art Terre Blanche Golf Academy, launched in 2019.
The academy offers golf lessons, basic courses (2 to 5 days) and intensive courses (4 or 10 weeks), for both experienced amateurs and professionals. It’s also not about just practicing your swing. Each course involves an “unrivaled combination of biomechanical analysis and physical and mental coaching”.
When it’s time to relax, there are 115 spacious suites and villas on the property, ranging from approximately 650 square feet (suites) to 3,200 square feet (villas), all with private terraces. Billionaires and celebrities favor high-end villas, including Villa Méditerranée with private pool, Villa Estérel and Villa Provence with private jacuzzis, and Villa Terre Blanche with private pool and jacuzzi.
The interior design reflects the natural surroundings, with a palette of warm neutrals and terracotta. The baths are also sufficiently luxurious and each accommodation has a suite full of luxury amenities.
Want to stay longer? Within the 750-acre estate of Terre Blanche, one can purchase plots of land of varying sizes to build a private residence with privileged access to Terre Blanche’s golf and resort facilities. The Golfers Houses, located near the golf academy, also offer turnkey villas.
A notable feature of the property is the 34,500-square-foot split-level spa, surrounded by gardens, which won World’s Best Luxury Golf Resort Spa and Western Europe’s Best Luxury Hideaway Spa. Spa Terre Blanche has numerous suites and treatment rooms, as well as personal trainers offering aqua fitness, aquabiking, yoga and pilates classes.
The spa has a 65-ft. indoor pool and outdoor “vitality” pool with water jets and inflatable mattresses, as well as indoor and outdoor terraces. The magnificent facility also houses a sauna; a hammam; a laconium (dry sweat room); a hammam; a steam shower; a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment; and a relaxation room with tropical shower and ice fountain.
The 6,500 square feet. The main infinity pool is Terre Blanche’s most striking feature alongside its golf courses, with panoramic views over the stunning countryside of southern France.
The pool area also has a jacuzzi and cocktail bar, as well as Le Tousco Grill, showcasing fresh fish and local products, of course locally sourced. In season, a buffet offers organic salads, grilled meats, fresh fish and a variety of desserts.
There are also a number of poolside cabanas offering more private relaxation, including VIP cabanas with a private terrace where you can enjoy a Le Tousco lunch or cocktails around a private table.
The cabana experience also underlines Terre Blanche’s partnership with Château d ‘Esclans, the iconic nearby vineyard that produces the world’s most expensive rosé wine, as well as the famous Whispering Angel (the resort can also arrange a cellar tour).
Terre Blanche is also proud of its gastronomic offer, with four restaurants overseen by executive chef Christophe Schmitt, working in collaboration with Terre Blanche head sommelier, as it is of course one of the best wine countries in the world.
This is in addition to features like the resort’s bakery, which produces 17 different types of fresh breads for a true Provencal baking experience.
The range of restaurants is led by Le Faventia, which has been awarded a coveted Michelin star, where “art and gastronomy create a fusion of the senses enhanced by the panoramic views of the villages of the Pays de Fayence below ‘as well as the infinity pool. Reopening scheduled for 2022, Schmitt and his team have planned a number of culinary initiatives to delight and seduce.
The Gaudina offers a more relaxed, “modern and informal” atmosphere, and houses the hotel’s main bar. While Le Faventia was temporarily closed during the pandemic, Le Gaudina has stepped up to offer a seamless and elevated dining experience on its pretty terrace. The menu focuses on Mediterranean and Provencal classics. Diners can even select their own lobsters from the restaurant’s living aquarium, either blue or prickly depending on your preference.
Located at the clubhouse, Les Caroubiers bar-restaurant is the favorite lunch spot for golfers, spa-goers and guests, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the greens.
A house specialty is of course the club sandwich, this one a gourmet catch made with free-range chicken and bacon. There’s also a Buddha Bowl with crispy king prawns if you want a healthier option. And drinking rosé for lunch is a must.
The Terre Blanche wine cellar is of course a sight to see. Showcasing over 3,000 different wines, from local offerings to some of the world’s most famous labels and vintages, when available, guests have the option to book wine tastings hosted by the property’s star sommelier, Aurélie Deharbe.
Wine tastings can be accompanied by homemade tapas to enhance the experience, whether one sticks to the Provençal offer or that one throws a wider, wine-growing net.
Either way, let yourself go as you please – don’t miss your departure time the next morning….
Tags: France golf golf course luxury Provence sports suite of the week Terre Blanche Travel