A retreat whose food, golf and pampering make it impossible not to enjoy yourself.
Set between Provence and the Cote d'Azur in stunning, sun-dappled scenery, Les Domaines de Saint Enderol spans 370 acres of unspoiled landscape that encapsulates the exquisite lifestyle of Provence.
Whether your preference is for golf, spa treatments, walking, stretching out on a sun lounger, a quiet break or a lively holiday, Saint Endréol has it all. Located just 45 minutes from Nice airport, Saint Endréol combines the many attractions of one of the most energetic and appealing regions of Europe.
Opened in August 1992, it was designed by Michael Gayon, France's undisputed amateur champion from 1975 to 1985 and now its most high-profile golf architect.
It stretches to 6,434 yards with a par of 72 and boasts fairways cut through forest while the hilly terrain makes for a number of blind shots. Stand-out holes include the par-3 8th, with a carry across the second lake, and the 14th, 15th and 16th, which follow a bend in the river. The long par-4 17th is a worthy stroke index one, taking no prisoners at the start of the home holes.
Yet the highlight, in a literal sense if nothing else, is when one stands on the elevated 13th tee at St Endréol. The view is the essence of Provence, with olive groves, stands of pine trees and mellow buildings folded into rich Mediterranean countryside. Look up and you will see the hills of the Rouet and the red sandstone of the Rocher de Roquebrune. Look down, way down, and you'll see a lonely green almost surrounded by the River Endre. This is still one of the most memorable par 3s, up there (if you pardon the pun) with the 14th at Phuket's Blue Canyon or the 15th at Lemuria in the Seychelles. When it comes to spectacular drops, the 13th at St Endréol is one of the most precipitous.
Where you stay
The Domaines de Saint Endréol offers a large range of accommodation facilities. Whether it is for a night, a week or more, you will find Saint Endréol provides the comfort and services you need to make your stay a wholly enjoyable one. The residential hotel is conveniently located only a five-minute stroll through the forest from the clubhouse. It has 50 bright contemporary rooms, each with a tiny kitchenette and a balcony, plus restaurant, pool and spa (see right). Saint Endréol also has individual villas with private pool, town houses and apartments, blending Provencal tradition with a high standard in comfort. In this guise, you can stay for one week or more.
Saint-Endréol is obviously a top destination for golfers, but it is also a gourmet's paradise. Serving lunches and dinners in the dining room or out on the terrace, where you can lap up the panoramic views over the golf course, the restaurant serves guests re ned seasonal cuisine, topped with the gorgeous setting of an elegant bastide.
Michelin honours abound elsewhere too on this elite coast – the regional landmark is Gérald Passédat's three-star "Le Petit Nice" in Marseille but the towns and villages in the hills around St Endréol have their own only slightly less glittering goodies. David Carré with "Le Carré d'Ange" in Montouroux, Bruno in Lorgues; Hostellerie Les Gorges de Pennafort in Callas with the Chef Da Silva all deserve a mention in the one-star category.
The spa boasts 2,000m2 of amenities including a Turkish bath, saunas, a counter current pool, hot tub solarium and seven treatment cabins with a comprehensive list of treatments using Carita and Comfort Zone products. The spa spoils you with a great choice of luxurious, personalised body and face treatments for men and women using Carita and Comfort Zone products.
Explore the area
A day swimming and shopping in St Tropez or St Raphaël is always a delight: the culturally inclined might combine it with a visit to the Roman amphitheatre and aqueduct in Fréjus. At Saint Endréol, there is something for everyone.
Want to find out more?
OFFERS TO TEMPT
1. Seven nights in a townhouse (two bedrooms, 80m2, with garden). Spa access Monday - Friday. Four green fees. From € 1,000/week (4 people).
2. Three nights in a 'Prestige' hotel room. Breakfast and Spa access. Two green fees per person. From €582 (2 people). Visit st-endreol.com