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Relais & Châteaux is a world in and of itself, unlike any other. A warm, welcoming, gourmet affair awaits where outstanding quality is coupled with each individual property's passion for their own region and its terroir.
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The art of giving Relais & Châteaux with our CRÉATION Gift vouchers and Gift boxes. If you want to spend a magical evening in stunning surroundings in absolute tranquility or enjoy a gourmet dinner at a restaurant of one of our Grands Chefs, there are more than 300 Relais & Châteaux properties awaiting the lucky receipients of this gift, to offer them a truly memorable experience.
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Relais & Châteaux offers you a veritable world tour. Whatever the occasion, however long you stay, each of our hotels will offer you the very best of its culture and region.
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When you experience Relais & Châteaux, you experience a whole array of sensations. Each of our properties offers the opportunity to enjoy an unparalleled range of sensory experiences, where the beauty of a particular place, the warmth of the hospitality and the quality of the cuisine are in perfect harmony. Scents and tastes, landscapes and colours make every stay a rare and intense experience.
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Discover the excellent cuisine served in our properties: traditional or contemporary, it never fails to be wonderfully creative. This creativity is recognised throughout the world, as our Grands Chefs are considered to be the pinnacle of fine dining.

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The 2012 Relais & Châteaux Trophies

Every year, 12 Trophies recognise the exception men, women and properties who exemplify the requisite Relais & Châteaux standards of excellence

A sense of hospitality: a few well-chosen words, a sincere smile, a bouquet of fresh flowers, a warm and personalised welcome and a little taste of the region offered as an appetizer to greet you, these small yet essential gestures of generosity are recognised by the Welcome Trophy, awarded in partnership with Dom Pérignon. Restaurant Richard et Christopher Coutanceau in La Rochelle (France) receives this award in their sea-side restaurant. The views of the Bay of Biscay serve as the starter, the service does the rest and the cuisine adds the essential finishing touches.

Gourmet cuisine exacts its demands, and deserves its rewards. The Grands Chefs Trophies, presented in association with Taittinger, pays tribute to the elite of the Relais & Châteaux chefs of whom there are 5 who were promoted this year to this prestigious rank: Christophe Bacquié, who has been at Hôtel du Castellet (France) for the last two years and who includes in his retro-modern cuisine the finest ingredients; Antonio Guida of Il Pellicano (Italy) whose contemporary, Mediterranean-inspired inventions break with convention; Peter Tempelhoff of The Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel (South Africa) and his ‘deconstructed’ dishes, prepared with style and respect; Gunnar Thompson of Château de Sureau, a passionate promoter of ‘made in California’ local cuisine, and, also in the USA, at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, Joseph Lenn for the dishes he produces from ingredients grown on site, either on the property’s farm or gardens.

Chefs with promise, the ‘rising stars’ of Relais & Châteaux, have an award of their own. The Rising Chef Trophy, supported by the cookware company All-Clad, is awarded this year to Sébastien Sevellec of La Villa in Calvi (France), for the hymns to Corsica that this son of a fisherman has created, having worked at this property for 12 years now, and to Fabrice Vulin at the Château de la Chèvre d’Or (France), who produces Mediterranean dishes of rare sophistication, as pleasing to the eye as to the palate.

Beauty enhances all that is good, whether on the dish or beyond. A carefully chosen linen table cloth, fine silverware, crystal glasses; an attractively-laid table whets the appetite. San Pellegrino and the Art de la Table Trophy pay tribute to this quest for good taste. The Atrio Restaurante & Hotel in Cáceres (Spain), which belongs to Grand Chef Toño Perez, receives this recognition. It is housed in extraordinary buildings which skilfully combine the Gothic with Renaissance and a touch of Colonial style, and boasts a sleek, minimalist dining room with furniture by Mansilla + Tuñón, other masters of modern design.

The Woman of the Year Trophy, given in partnership with Pommery, celebrates one of the many exceptional Relais & Châteaux women. Grand Chef Carme Ruscalleda, owner of Restaurant Sant Pau (Spain) and the creator of an intensely personal, authentic cuisine inspired by surprising references from Catalonia and Japan is recognized this year.

To uphold the best of our heritage and ensure its safe passage into the future requires a skilful blending of tradition with innovation. The Innovation Trophy, awarded in association with Nespresso, recognises this year the Chiu Family of the Villa 32 in Taiwan.

Commitment, too, deserves recognition for those who carry aloft the values of Relais & Châteaux and who fully engage themselves with their property and their guests, and is recognized by the Passion Trophy. This year, Cédric Morel, Owner and Maître de Maison of Château de Feuilles (Seychelles) is presented with this honour awarded in partnership with Hennessy.

It is an art to practise this passion on a daily basis and all with apparent simplicity and ease. This is case in the Restaurant Schwarzwaldstube (Germany), where, in the middle of the Black Forest, Grand Chef Harald Wohlfahrt and his team deliver exceptional cuisine. This property receives the 2012 Savoir-Faire Trophy, awarded in association with Glenmorangie whiskies, in recognition of its staff whose expert discretion is only equalled by their creativity and professionalism.

And in addition to the men and women of Relais & Châteaux, and the services they provide, many features of the properties are also worthy of commendation. With The Spa Trophy, awarded in partnership with Laurent-Perrier, the art of well-being is recognized. It goes this year to La Côte Saint-Jacques & Spa (France), belonging to Grand Chef Jean-Michel Lorain, for its 800 m² indoor heated pool, panoramic jacuzzi, hammams, sauna, fitness room and exceptional treatments, all completely at one with its remarkable setting on the River Yvonne in Burgundy.

The lounge bar is the place to relax and meet up with others in a refined and comfortable setting. This year, the Lounge Trophy is awarded, together with Grand Marnier, to the Oriental Lounge of the Grand Hôtel du Lac (Switzerland), majestically refurbished by famous interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon.

Environmental protection is a driving force behind Relais & Châteaux. It is only natural that the Association has devoted an award to this, the Environment Trophy, supported by the skincare brand Orlane, and awarded to Il Melograno (Italy) where the Guerra family, working in harmony with nature, seek to protect the beauties of the Adriatic.

Finally, the Garden Trophy, awarded in partnership with Rozès port, recognises the most beautiful of the many Relais & Châteaux gardens. The Fearrington House Country Inn & Restaurant (USA) offers exquisite green spaces where you can relax, stroll, seek inspiration; 100% in the open air, near meadows where cattle graze and next to 60 beds of flowers and aromatic herbs and lawns.

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The 2012 Relais & Châteaux Trophies

Blackberry Farm - United States, Walland
Restaurant and hotel in the mountains
Rediscover life’s simple pleasures and natural balance at this traditional farm in Tennessee. All year long, Chef creates delicious recipes borrowing from both haute cuisine and regional heritage, based on local ingredients and taking particular advantage of the cheese, vegetables, herbs and honey produced in the farm. The Wellhouse and its new wellness facilities are rooted in the same philosophy of balance and harmony between body and soul, and offer an enjoyable addition to the many activities provided, amongst which cooking classes, gardening, cheesemaking, fly-fishing or exploring the region on a Lexus or by horse-drawn carriage. ...Read more


The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel - South Africa, Cape Town
Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux Restaurant and hotel in town
Located in Cape Town’s historical Constantia Valley, on the breath-taking slopes of Table Mountain, all the rooms and suites of The Cellars-Hohenort boast panoramic views of the impressive mountain and the beautiful grounds. Set in 9.5 acres of gardens, this historic and beautiful country escape is only a 15 minute drive from the centre of Cape Town, South Africa’s oldest city, famous for its incomparable scenery, cuisine and wines. Back at the hotel, the gourmet cuisine of The Greenhouse focuses on regional flavours with modern interpretations. All of this is the result of owner Liz McGrath’s more than 20 years of hard work, love and endless inspiration. ...Read more


Château de La Chèvre d’Or - France, Eze-Village
Hotel and restaurant in a village
This château, built on the steep slopes of the French Riviera, offers breath-taking vistas of the Mediterranean and has plenty of relaxing activities in store: swimming in the pool, fragrant gardens or Indian massages. The charming rooms are all different. The great classics of French gastronomy as well as Mediterranean specialties can be savoured in one of the four restaurants of the Chèvre d’Or, where the pleasure derived from the fine cuisine is enhanced by the stunning views. After the meal, you can stroll through the cobblestone streets of the medieval cliff-side village overlooking the grandiose panorama of the sea. ...Read more


Restaurant Christopher Coutanceau - France, La Rochelle
Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux Restaurant on the seafront
Concurrence beach stretches out at the foot of this beacon of gastronomy in the Charente. Just imagine a world where your pleasure comes first. The clocks have stopped on this Relais & Châteaux road to happiness letting you share a memorable experience. Today Christopher, the son, is in sole command. He has been strongly influenced by his father's legendary culinary rigour on which he puts his own personal stamp. However, the “signature” of the restaurant has not changed: superb seafood, sourced that very morning at the harbour market, creativity and passion for fine dining. Dare to ask for the secret behind that crispy line-caught sea bass in a shellfish foam. ...Read more


The Fearrington House Inn, Restaurant & Spa - United States, Pittsboro
Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux Restaurant and hotel in the country
Midway between the nation’s capital and the historic port of Charleston lies Fearrington House Inn, Restaurant and Spa. The hotel has a relaxed agrarian feel yet cosmopolitan spirit, surrounded by Piedmont pastures with rare Belted Galloway cows and nestled among exquisite shops and restaurants. Guests can stroll the extensive grounds, enjoy author readings and culinary events, indulge in a spa treatment, browse the boutiques and taste a local brew at a seasonal beer garden or wine and cheese at the wine shop. Not to mention Chef Colin Bedford’s exceptional southern-influenced European cuisine, all just a short drive from Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham. ...Read more


Château de Feuilles - Seychelles, Ile de Praslin
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront
With its intimate atmosphere, Château de Feuilles boasts panoramic views of the sea and islands that are quite simply breathtaking. Just below the hotel, with its pool and deliciously exotic restaurant, the fine sandy beach of Anse Marie-Louise promises unforgettable dips in the Indian Ocean. And for that extra special occasion, have the island of Grande-Soeur all to yourself for a weekend. Can you imagine anything more romantic than that? ...Read more


La Villa Spa - France, Calvi
Restaurant and hotel on the seafront
A stay at La Villa is a statement. This hotel stands for good taste. It offers a particular art of living. La Villa, much like a private club, is a haven for lovers of beauty, tranquillity and culture. Art permeates the entire hotel, from the painter’s canvas to the violinist’s bow, not to mention the keys of the piano. Culinary art too has some well-tempered chords to play. The views over the Bay of Calvi, the scents of the sea and the pine forests, the sounds of music mingling with the song of the cicadas, the flavours of the local ingredients, beautiful plasterwork cool to the touch... Just enter La Villa, across from the Citadel, and all your senses will come alive. ...Read more


La Côte Saint Jacques & Spa - France, Joigny
Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux Restaurant and hotel on a river
The Côte Saint Jacques, in the heart of Burgundy, is a captivating destination. Most of the pleasant rooms have nice terraces, and there are panoramic views from the jacuzzi on the banks of the river Yonne. With an array of activities available, from cooking lessons, to strolling along the canal, an indoor swimming pool, a spa and special programmes for children, you will not be at a loss for things to do. Chef Jean-Michel Lorain, the hotel’s exuberant owner, will welcome you like a friend, and if you’re lucky, he will let slip the secrets of his recipes. It’s worth a trip here just to enjoy his Genesis of a Dish on the theme of the oyster. ...Read more


Carme Ruscalleda - Restaurant Sant Pau - Spain, Sant Pol de Mar
Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux Restaurant on the seafront
On the Catalan coast, between Girona and Barcelona, Chef Carme Ruscalleda crafts creative, modern cuisine inspired by the landscape and Catalan culinary traditions. In a beautiful garden bordering the charming beach of Sant Pol de Mar, Carme develops her very own original gourmet style, with produce from the Maresme region, famous for its fishing ports, its specialised crops and its wild mountains. Dishes with a fine balance and natural flavours play with contrasts and textures. Since 2004, Carme’s cuisine has drawn on Nipponese influences which marry naturally with the culinary style at the Sant Pau. ...Read more


Restaurant Schwarzwaldstube - Germany, Baiersbronn
Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux Restaurant in the country
The views are idyllic, the forest air is revitalizing: in the heart of the Black Forest, Harald Wohlfahrt offers a festival for all the senses. Carpaccio of wild gambas and breast of black-feathered chicken stuffed with foie gras, are amongst the culinary creations which turn a meal at Schwarzwaldstube into a great moment. Inspired by the tantalising diversity of the best produce and drawing inspiration from cuisines the world over, the Chef approaches traditional cuisine with authenticity, precision and a wealth of innovation. This pleasurable experience is further enhanced by sommelier Stéphane Gass, the welcome by Maître de Maison David Breuer and a service team full of joie de vivre. ...Read more


Château du Sureau - United States, Oakhurst, Yosemite Nat. Park
Hotel and restaurant in the mountains
The Château du Sureau is the ideal place from which to explore the waterfalls and granite domes of Yosemite National Park, one of America’s most spectacular natural sites. This majestic hotel is reminiscent of the finest European châteaux. Its elegant interior, with guest rooms named after herbs and flowers, is resplendent with antiques, tapestries and artworks. The restaurant showcases the freshest Californian produce in sophisticated dishes packed with flavor and accompanied by the region’s best wines. If you are lucky enough to visit on July 14, you will be treated to the Elderberry Harvest Dinner, a fabulous five-course feast in honor of the château’s namesake. ...Read more


Atrio Restaurante Hotel - Spain, Cáceres
Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux Restaurant and hotel in town
Located inside the walled town of Cáceres with its extraordinary Almohad, Gothic, Renaissance and colonial buildings, Atrio boasts sublime architecture by Emilio Tuñón Álvarez and Luis Moreno Mansilla, masters of modern design. In the heart of the old stone buildings of this medieval town, Chefs José Polo and Toño Pérez prepare cuisine with unique, authentic flavours in a heavenly, extremely contemporary setting. Truffles, pasta and mushrooms, razor clams with cured Iberian ham, pig’s trotters, oyster and other gourmet creations are in complete harmony with the splendid building. ...Read more


Hôtel du Castellet - France, Le Castellet
Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux Restaurant and hotel in a park
On the edge of a forest of pine trees overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the Hôtel du Castellet is one of the region’s most charming properties. Guest rooms are painted in hues of honey, lavender and grape and there are plenty of sun-drenched terraces. Chef Christophe Bacquié has stamped his style on the Monte Cristo, the prestigious gourmet restaurant of the hotel. The cuisine is based on seasonal and Mediterranean produce enlivened by a hint of flavours from further afield. For absolute relaxation there is the pool, golf course and spa. When night falls, the gazebos are illuminated, to highlight the beauty of the grounds. ...Read more


Grand Hôtel du Lac - Switzerland, Vevey
Hotel and restaurant in town
On the shores of Lake Geneva, close to Lavaux with its terraced vineyards, which have been listed as world heritage site by the Unesco, this timeless hotel offers a unique universe, which celebrates the past of this grand historical residence and combines it with subtle contemporary flourishes. An intimate and serene setting, a fine gourmet cuisine at the restaurant “Les Saisons”, local inspirations at the restaurant “La Véranda”, a terrace with a panorama view of the lake at the “Marina”, an outdoor pool and a spa with Swiss Bellefontaine treatments offer moments of pleasure and relaxation. ...Read more


Villa 32 - Taiwan, Beitou
Hotel and restaurant in town
It has been more than a century since the first hot springs hotel opened in Taiwan, and it became a destination thanks to the healing properties of the water. Villa 32 builds on this tradition and enhances it further by drawing on the delights of nature that surround it. Located in Beitou, tucked away between impressive mountains in a geothermal valley, this spacious villa has only five rooms – each with its own hot springs tub. Ming-Hong Chiu has succeeded in crafting a delicate and relaxing atmosphere by artfully combining the surrounding natural elements: water, wood, trees and stone, in the midst of lush vegetation covered in mist from the hot springs. ...Read more