Auberge Resorts Collection, the award-winning portfolio of one-of-a-kind luxury resorts, hotels, and residences, has been selected by Garance Primat to manage Domaine des Etangs, as of April 2023. Located in the charming town of Massignac, the historic French chateau is situated just three hours by TGV train from Paris Montparnasse, near Cognac and Angouleme, France, and served by the convenient Limoges airport nearby.
The 13th-century castle, previously owned by Garance Primat’s father, the late French industrialist Didier Primat, since the 1980s, served as the family’s private holiday estate for many years and was recently transformed into a uniquely French luxury hotel and art de vivre retreat for discerning travelers from around the world. Conceived as a magical place to reconnect and find balance through a harmony of art, nature, and an ancient taste of French country culture, Domaine des Etangs is as much a discovery as it is a retreat. Celebrating the picturesque landscape of the Limousin region, the estate’s stunning grounds cover 2,500 acres of preserved nature, spread between diverse forests, lush green meadows, gardens, and lakes that evolve with the seasons. Reminiscent of the Primat’s back-to-nature family retreats, Domaine des Etangs is now a one-of-a-kind destination where guests will come to restore balance, reconnect to simpler pastimes and explore leisure, art, and wellness in an exquisite natural setting.
“As we continue our focused expansion in Europe, we are thrilled to add this magnificent and historic property to Auberge Resorts Collection’s portfolio of one-of-a-kind hotels,” said Dan Friedkin, chairman, of Auberge Resorts Collection. “We are honored that Garance Primat has entrusted us to manage another one of her family’s properties that, like Primland in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is devoted to helping travelers forge a unique and authentic connection with its locale.”
From its origin as a fiefdom of the knights of Chasteigner de la Roche-Posay to its 1860s renovation as a family castle, Domaine des Etangs is emblematic of rich French history. In fact, King Richard the Lionheart passed Domaine des Etangs’ small moat bridge many times. When Didier Primat purchased the estate more than 100 years later, a series of major refurbishments were executed to restore the property to align with his deep appreciation for beauty, nature, and the great outdoors.
Today, Domaine des Etangs embodies the absolute best of French design, blending a world class restoration of an ancient castle and original farm buildings with a sophisticated palette of curated modern art and artisan architectural interventions. The juxtapositions are fascinating at every turn, and include a world class Art-Gallery experience in an old dairy barn, a wellness space that is built around the original works of the old mill building it inhabits, a Thermal baths pool house, conical spires of oak beams in the tower suites that spiral up over the beds for starry night views and charming multi-story rooms carved out of restored 18th century barns. Each showcases the layered, curious minded world of Domaine des Etangs. The property is a nature-filled sanctuary that offers a chance to slow down and reconnect with the old and new traditions of the exceptional French countryside. From the enchanting grounds to the ancient architecture, thoughtfully preserved to honor its history yet dutifully refurbished to enable modern comforts that appeal to the most discerning travelers, the resort was built in deliberate harmony with nature and the local terroir. From this otherworldly haven of raw beauty and coveted quietude, guests will also enjoy convenient access to explore neighboring towns—from enjoying a drink on the terraces of the charming French village of Massignac to shopping for porcelain in Limoges to touring the exquisite cognac cellars of Cognac and, farther south, the famed wineries in Bordeaux and Medoc.
Domaine des Etangs’ owner Garance Primat notes, “Auberge Resorts Collection has been managing Primland, our family resort in Virginia, for the past two years. Seeing them in action has given me the confidence to entrust them with the management of Domaine des Etangs. At the Domaine, nature is at the heart of everything, because our health depends on the health of the earth. Committed to preserving and respecting a balanced environment, the Domaine’s philosophy is built around an art of life reconnected to nature. I am confident Auberge shares those common values with me and that they will take good care of my beloved Domaine in the future.”