“Located in the magnificent Dordogne Valley, a stay at Château des Vigiers is something to be cherished. Affectionately known as 'little Versailles', Château des Vigiers is a restored 16th Century French chateau, tastefully decorated in French country style, and surrounded by its own golf course – 27 holes designed by Donald Steel which wind around vineyards, orchards of plums trees and at times mature oaks trees.
Château des Vigiers is a true golf resort, but I doubt it is the golf that will have you wanting to return, as most surely you will!
Tastefully restored to provide for 5-star accommodation, the château is perfect, with comfortable and individually decorated bedrooms, delightful drawing rooms, library room and billiard room, all inclusive gourmet dinners in the Michelin Star restaurant, as well as a swimming pool, and a health and Wellbeing Spa. Très bien!
The setting is very French, and absolutely gorgeous. It’s just a lovely place to be and it is centrally located if one seeks to explore the wonderful Dordogne Valley.
You can enjoy a dégustation meal with matching wines in the elegant private dining room, or just sit on the patio enjoying the wines made on the estate, soaking in the view across the valley, over the vineyards. It gives one a sense of being glad to be alive.
Swede Lars Petersson commissioned the golf courses in 1990 when he and two partners purchased the château and decided to develop a resort. Donald Steel designed 18 holes, which are largely unchanged – these are the Green (Vine), and Blue (Lake) nines. Steel returned in 2008 to add a further nine holes – the Valley (Red) nine.”
Peter Wood, founder of The Travelling Golfer, wrote the above passage.
When asked by a leading golf magazine to name his favourite hole from his long career, Donald Steel selected the doglegging final hole on Le Lac, which requires a drive over a ridge followed by an approach across the lake to a green that lies in front of the château.
Donald Steel commented as follows in his book, Thin End of the Wedge – a life in golf, “but the first French sortie in 1987 was to Château des Vigiers in the beautiful Dordogne region, the dream of Lars Petersson. Architecturally, it was novel in two ways. The course (later 27 holes) was converted from land that was part vineyard and it is the only design in which I found it possible to position the 9th and 18th greens side by side. It is a common ambition but a practical rarity.”
The golf courses are not of championship standard, but are nevertheless enjoyable for players of all standards. The picture postcard holes are the 'twin' ninth holes on the green and blue loops. Both holes have the very picturesque chateau as the background, and both holes have water to negotiate along the way. Once you have seen these holes you will instantly associate any image of them with des Vigiers.
I thought that the blue and red nines were more interesting than the green with the blue nine benefiting from a routing through some more mature oaks. The red nine being a more recent design has more interesting green contouring and bunkering, and also has the distinct advantage in regard to the natural elevation change and more interesting terrain that the routing allows.
My favourite holes at des Vigiers were two and nine on the blue loop, and two and three on the red loop.
However golf is only part of the equation at Chateau des Vigiers. The service levels are high; guests enjoy wine made on the estate, as well as quality meals served in different areas of the resort. Indeed the five star resort ticks all the boxes, and was the highlight of a spectacular tour through France. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.