In Dordogne, known as "The Valley of 1,000 Castles," there is one that stands out among all the rest. Château de la Treyne in Lacave, France, has everything you'd expect from an intimate castle-turned-luxury-hotel like spectacular rooms, beautiful furnishings, and excellent service. But it's the location of the four-star property that makes it truly special. Why? Well, it's built into a cliff.
The hotel is set on a rocky bluff overlooking the Dordogne, giving the sense that you are hovering above the water below. What's more is the terrace, which seems to just hang on to the steep surface, is where guests can enjoy a Michelin-starred meal during the warmer months.
"The chateau is just hanging over the river," owner Stephanie Gombert told Departures. "And when you are on the terrace, there's nothing else around. It's only nature. So, you have this amazing view, and it's quiet. You can only hear from frogs and birds. There is no other chateau like it in the region."
Given the Relais & Chateaux property's unique location, guests of the hotel have direct access to the river. "A lot of people go fly fishing or swimming as it's easy to go from the chateau to the water," added Gombert. And the front of the property is equally incredible. "The gardens and grounds are filled with 300-year-old trees," said Gombert. "It really is a special hotel."
Originally built in the 14th century, the Château was identified as a Huguenot hide-out and burned during the Religious Wars in the 16th century. It was rebuilt and restored by the Ramière family during the reign of Louis XIII, and in December 1759, it passed to the Cardaillac family. In 1905 it was acquired by industrialist Auguste-Gabriel Savard who was responsible for the formal French garden. It passed next to the Fontana family and then the Gombert family in 1982. They renovated and opened it as a luxury hotel in 1992.
"Château de la Treyne is a perfect example of what Relais & Châteaux is—properties anchored in their region, ambassadors of their heritage, but also passionate about their craft," Philippe Gombert, Stephanie's husband and President of Relais & Châteaux, told Departures. "The property offers a delicious immersion into the Dordogne for our guests."