La Chartreuse du Bignac
What We Love
- An idyllic stay with vineyard views at a refined, artfully-decorated country abode near BergeracThe inviting guest rooms, packed with unique features
- Experiencing the restaurant’s authentic flavours and local ingredients
- Exploring the hotel’s extensive grounds, which include a lake, an orchard and herb garden
What To Know
- Hotel owners Brigitte and Jean Louis Viargues live onsite
- Nearby must-sees include the Castle of Monbazillac and the Caves of Lascaux
- Free WiFi and complimentary private parking are included
Follow live-in hoteliers Brigitte and Jean Louis Viargues to their rural Dordogne hotel, La Chartreuse du Bignac, and you’ll find as many gourmet treats, beautiful natural surrounds and endearing decorative touches aplenty. This 17th-century manor house near Bergerac, in the heart of the Périgord Pourpre, has been lovingly restored to its original glory, and its communal spaces are both magical and elegant, while guest rooms feature soft lighting, exposed beams and embroidered bed linen – all adding to their individual charms.
It’s no surprise that the culinary experiences at the on-site restaurant are well worth indulging in, too. While the terrace views command your attention in the warmer months, you’ll find chef Rémy Le Charpentier and his open kitchen offer plenty entertainment on their own. With truffle, vinegar, walnut oil and wine producers among the neighbours here, you’ll be sure to discover that local flavours top the menu. A panoramic outdoor pool, 12-hectare park, lake and orchard complete the picture, offering a chance to swim or walk off some of the hotel’s edible delights.
How to Get There
I booked this as a 'gastronomic overnight treat' for my Partner's birthday. The hotel is in a beautiful setting on the top of a hill with wonderful views, but is not very disabled friendly. Access to the room was via the stony driveway - so difficult for wheelchairs. The disabled parking space is away from the main building, so after 'unloading' you have to move the car away (I was told I had to do this) from the central/stony area to the car park at the rear. Unfortunate if the disabled person is the driver. We were warmly welcomed by a young lady as we parked on the stony drive, and at her request I followed her inside to a small room for the 'check in'. This was the first hotel I've been asked for ID for several years, so make sure you have your Passport/Driving Licence. I had noted when reading up about the hotel that a continental breakfast was available in the room, and I asked for this to be brought to us at 10am the following morning.
It was a beautiful day, and we chose to sit in the shaded garden area late afternoon and have a couple of drink (no bar area), but again access was difficult. There are no handrails to the old uneven stony 3 or 4 steps up to this area. Our 'adapted' bathroom had a walk in shower, and just one handrail between the toilet and the shower (outside of the shower curtain). There was no handrail or seat in the shower, and once out of the immediate shower area the floor consisted of white shiny tiles which became treacherous when wet, which they obviously did, as we needed the curtain drawn back to have access to the support rail. There was no leverage to aid getting up out of the bed, as the bedhead was adhered to the wall, and the clear 'plastic' (peut etre 'a la mode', but naff in my opinion) bedside tables were flimsy. The room was lovely (no TV though), apart from the bedside tables which didn't seem to go (old with new - see photo), and this would be something I would be keen to change to something a bit more classy, as well as the cheap plastic toilet seat which didn't fit the toilet properly. The restaurant, approached via it's own entrance across the stony drive, was lovely, but I found the menu quite restrictive/limited. A little of Heston Blumenthal came to mind, but not quite as extreme. I persuaded my Partner to share the Guinea Fowl with me (off the €50 Menu), as I was not keen to chose Octopus, Pigeon or Veal Sweetbreads. The 'Amuse Bouches' were lovely - quite fascinating and interesting. The two young girls who looked after us, were lovely and the service was excellent. It was a very pleasant and memorable experience.
The public rooms were interesting, tastefully furnished (see photo), but we did not use them as it was warm and sunny outside. The pool sadly was not heated, was quite cool, and had a lot of leaves etc in it. At a cost of €199 for the room only, I would have expected a little more of this place, as in my opinion this does not give value for money. Certainly the pool should have been heated for starters, not to mention lack of a TV and the cheap flimsy plastic toilet seat. The internet was good, and the bed was comfortable. Sadly, our breakfast was forgotten about, but a phone call to Reception 20 minutes after it was due, resulted in a lovely tray full of delicious food being delivered 10 minutes later. The hotel was full of apologies, and the owner was extremely apologetic, giving us a gift of some wine when we checked out. He even came and waved us off!
All in all, it was an (expensive - total bill around €400) experience and I'm glad we went there, but I don't think I would go again.
Great surroundings and awesome restaurant.
The appetiser were delicious pieces of art and so were the main courses we selected.
Absolutely worth the extra miles uphill.
Highly recommend to have a glass of wine while enjoying the view from the area close to the pool.
The hotel is in a beautiful setting on a hill. The sunsets are fantastic. The quality of the rooms are excellent. The owners are very friendly and helpful as are all the staff, they are all excellent. The food and wine is amazing. A truly wonderful stay in a very special place.
We stayed at La Chartreuse du Bignac during a cycling trip through the region and could not have been more impressed. The overall setting - a former manor perched on a hilltop above St. Nexan - was gorgeous. Our room (Terrace) was spacious and charming, with French doors that opened to a beautiful lawn and pond below. The grounds and pool are both scenic and immaculate. And the dinner was one of our most memorable, fabulous dining experiences ever. If we are ever close by again, we will make a point of spending a few nights.
We stayed here for 5 nights and used La Chartreuse as a base to explore the Dordogne, lovely location and charming decor. Our room was lovely, clean and traditionally furnished, we had breakfast every morning on the terrace with stunning views towards Saint-Nexans and the surrounding countryside. Dinner was again served on the terrace by lovely staff, the food was excellent, our only comment was that the menu is somewhat limited if you’re there for 5 nights so we opted to skip a couple of nights and eat elsewhere. The grounds are lovely but the pool in September was a bit too cold for our liking,
Will definitely go back on our next jolly to the Dordogne.
Sadly the owners were on holiday but we want them to know that Le Chartreuse is delightful.