The 17th century Chateau St Surin sits in 12 acres of tranquil gardens and parklands with a private swimming pool, providing an ideal location for families and larger groups. Enjoy a self-catered holiday in the sunny and warm climate of South Western France. The Chateau St Surin (sleeps 16) shares the estate with the Domaine (sleeps 10) and the Etables (sleeps 12). However, each property has its own private terrace, swimming pool and grounds. This is a wonderful chateau holiday experience and the property will exceed all your expectations. Within a short driving distance (30 minutes) of the Chateau St Surin are blue-flagged beaches, wine an...d cognac tours, and shopping.
The Chateau St Surin has 8 bedrooms to sleep up to 16 guests. On the ground floor there is a salon with piano, satellite freeview TV, a snooker room with full sized table, a dining room and a fully equipped kitchen. There is also a double bedroom with en-suite bathroom, and a further shower room. On the first floor (bedroom floor) there are 5 double bedrooms, 2 twin bedrooms. Each bedroom has its own bathroom, there are 6 en-suites and 2 seperate bathrooms altogether. The house is well appointed with all modern conveniences, the kitchen having electric cooker, gas hob, microwave, washing machine, dish washer, fridges and freezer as well as kettle, coffee machine, toaster, iron and hair dryer. There are cots, Sat. TV, CD/radio, internet connection and bicycles available for hire. All linen, house towels, kitchen towels and utilities are included in the rental. We do ask you to bring pool and beach towels. Outside the chateau has its own private parkland, swimming pool and BBQ with decked eating area. The swimming pool is surrounded by a 1.4 meter high wall with a self closing gate, safe for children from 2 to 8 years old. There are a full 8 acres of parkland for you to explore.
*Please note, locations shown on the maps are approximations only The region of Charente Maritime is one of the sunniest parts of France and benefits from a mostly sunny and warm climate from April through October. The influence of the Gulf Stream means that winters can be as mild as the Mediterranean. Cognac & Saintes are 15km away and Royan is 25km from the estate. The airports of Bordeaux, Angouleme and La Rochelle are within 1 hours drive and are served by an increasing number of UK regional airports. St. Genis & Pons are both 5km away where there are restaurants and small shops. The nearest beach is only 35 minutes drive. There are 3 golf courses: Saintes (typical UK type club), Cognac (good course, above average) and Royan (reminds one of the Berkshire courses - pine on sand - good course). The area has many historical sites relating to its past including the periods of Roman occupation, Richard Coeur de Lion and Eleanor of Aquitane, the French Revolution and the Second World War. As the centre of Cognac production, the towns of Cognac and Jarnac are must visits with guided tours around the headquarters of Hennesey, Martell, Remy Martin, Otard, Hine etc. The coast line from St Georges de Didonne north to St Palais sur Mer has miles of sandy beaches and good fish restaurants. The towns of Royan, La Rochelle and Rochefort are interesting places to visit and are all within one hour's drive. The area abounds with many fine restaurants, some more expensive than others but all incredible value for money. Many local artisans welcome visits to view their business, including barrel making, wood carving and sculpture, pottery production, chocolate making and many more. The wine production areas of Bordeaux are within easy reach with the Blaye region only half an hour away and St Emilion just over an hour by car. From the towns of Blaye or Royan it is possible to take a car ferry across to the Medoc. The city of Bordeaux can be reached in an hour with its good shopping, art galleries, museums and historical buildings. The same can be said for Saintes. Within an hour there are three top golf courses at Saintes, Cognac and Royan with more around Bordeaux. As well as the obvious sea fishing, river fishing in the Seugne is only 5 minutes away. The Charente only half an hour away. Only 5kms in either direction are good quality local tennis courts. There are several horse stables around providing riding for all levels through the local woodlands. A very local stable provides carriage rides around the lanes of the area. An international length (1.2km long) go-cart track is only 10 minutes from Clerbise. Canoes are available for hire on the local river Seugne. A busy nightclub is just 5kms away and is open from Thursday to Sunday.
Although the Estate is mainly let on a self catering basis, there are extras available to help. Contact Oliver's VIP Concierge Team to ask about a chef, maid service, babysitting, morning bread delivery and access to the increasingly good wine cellar. The owners are also able to arrange Wedding Blessings on the Estate which are becoming increasingly popular.
The garden is large and well maintained and some of the rooms in the chateau are beautiful.
However, the general attitude of the owners was very disappointing; we were not made to feel welcome at all and they seemed to resent our presence. We were not permitted to even temporarily park in front of the chateau to unload our bags! Sc website mentions wine tasting but when I enquired about "access to the increasingly good wine cellar”, we were told we'd be better off at the supermarket.
The chateau's kitchen is woefully inadequate for a large group; the fridges were old, rusty and inefficient, door compartments missing and broken. Coffee making facilities unusable initially and we bought an extra one in the end. There is a large purpose built catering kitchen alongside the hall - ideal for large groups but we weren't permitted to use it.
The owners' own website mentions a covered bar area alongside the swimming pool. In reality, it was a dirty and dusty dumping ground for old pool toys and games, which were scattered around the floor when we arrived, and a number of half built unusable bikes in a heap at the back. Sc website says bikes are available but the owner said he hadn't had time to fix any of them.
The barbecue had not been cleaned and still had food on it. The plastic garden furniture was dirty and looked as though it hadn't been cleaned even once during the season!
It's an old chateau and we didn't expect everything to be perfect but much of the maintenance that has been done looks as if it's been done on the cheap. During the rain, the kitchen walls leaked profusely, as did the front door - much to the surprise of the owners!
It would have been nice for the towels to be have been placed either in the bathrooms or the bedrooms, instead of in one pile in the hallway.
The place could be so much more but the distinct lack of hospitality rather spoiled our week.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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