Review: Terre Blanche, France

By Emily Rookwood

terre1Less than an hour from Nice airport and the bustling esplanades of the Cote D’Azur, Terre Blanche is its own little provencal village. Not your average provencal village, though. This one comes with two 18-hole golf courses, a golfing centre and clubhouse, four swimming pools, a super luxe spa and its own helipad.

Accommodation comes in the form of suites or private villas, there are no standard rooms at this five star resort. Located in traditional stone villas topped off with terracotta tiles dotted around the luxuriously planted grounds, you have a good deal of privacy but also the feeling of space. As you wander (or drive in your golf buggy) along the winding paths dotted with cyprus trees, vivid pink oleanders and heavily fragranced lavender plants, it is easy to forget that you are in a resort – you could be meandering through the narrow walkways of a nearby village.

terre2Suites are large with separate living, sleeping and dressing areas and interiors nod to traditional provencal styling while accommodating more international tastes. If a suite is not roomy enough for you, the resort’s prestige villas are vast and accommodate families or larger parties with ease. You can also connect three villas together to create one super villa, complete with its own infinity pool, hot tub and catering facilities.

While the terraces and balconies of the villas and suites offer wonderful views and perfect breakfast locations, if you’re looking for a truly splendid view, you should head to the resort’s infinity pool, which has expansive views over the valley below. Cabanas and sun-loungers surround the crystal clear waters and soft planting blends the entire area into the surrounding hillside. With a dedicated poolside staff and complimentary bottled water and sunscreen, you can relax knowing that everything is taken care of.

terre3Next to the pool is one of four dining options – a relaxed mediterranean restaurant, shaded from the sun and complete with its own fountain (for little ones to cool off in). Venture a little further into the main reception building and you will find the gourmet Le Faventia, which offers fine dining with local produce and Le Gaudina, which sits somewhere between the two. Both Le Faventia and Le Gaudina offer wonderful vistas from their terraces – perfect for watching the sun set, glass in hand.

You can also stop for a bite to eat in the Clubhouse, located near to the resort’s two sweeping 18-hole golf courses. The golfing facilities here set the property apart for those looking to indulge in a few rounds as part of or indeed as their entire holiday. Designed by Dave Thomas they offer excellent golfing in beautiful natural surroundings and for those looking to actively improve their game, the Albatros Golfing centre and Biomecaswing allow you to do so under expert supervision.

If you’re in need or some relaxation after a day on the fairway, or you are simply not a golfer there is a 3200m ² spa with 12 treatments rooms, a heated indoor pool and outdoors vitality pool. Neatly tucked away in its own Bastide, the spa is a peaceful escape from the summer sun. The indoor pool in particular is spectacular; a triple height space, lined with columns and bathed in light from the vast skylights. Treatments are offered alongside fitness and beauty therapies and The Infusion Cafe provides light snacks to be enjoyed in the elegant dining space or outside on the sun-drenched terrace, surrounded by a typically provencal garden.

While you could happily spend your entire holiday within the grounds of Terre Blanche, it is worth venturing outside of the resort to visit the picturesque local villages and numerous wine chateaux that dot the surrounding countryside. Regular markets in neighbouring Fayence offer local produce and colourful stalls, while a longer jaunt to Aix-en-Provence will reward you with not only some of the best markets in the South of France but glorious architecture, wonderful art and fabulous local restaurants. Tastings and tours of wine producers can be arranged with the efficient and polite concierge team, who can also arrange dirt buggy excursions for easily bored teens.

Terre Blanche is perfect for those wanting to combine luxury and privacy with fantastic facilities and wonderful excursions – it is a cultured golfer’s paradise and the relaxation seeker’s haven.