Chateau hotels & luxury villa rentals in Languedoc Roussillon
Domaine & Demeure was founded in 2008 by Karl O’Hanlon to pursue a vision of authentic and sustainable real estate and tourism, with a particular emphasis on the restoration of ‘sleeping giant’ wine estates and other historic buildings.
A sustainable and authentic vision; “The restoration and operation of châteaux and wine estates and other character buildings as exceptional destinations, retaining and enhancing their essential purpose and character, wholly integrated with and respectful of the local environment – natural, social, cultural and economic.”
When we bought Château Les Carrasses in 2008, the estate had been all but abandoned for many years. Our idea was to turn it into à la carte vacation destinations: holidays and breaks that did not demand a compromise from guests, who could to have the holiday that suited them rather than have it imposed in a package.
Like the best French wines, the aim was to create an ‘assemblage’ of the best
elements of traditional accommodation options: The facilities and style of a quality hotel, the privacy and practicality of renting a villa, the charm and authenticity of a working wine estate and the laid back ambience and service of a private club. While we don’t necessarily have every aspect of each element, we’ve tried to ensure that we have all the best bits and that the estate comes together as a cohesive whole.
A Château pinardier revisited " I visited a hundred or so sites in the region before finding Château Les Carrasses. But it took me thirty seconds to buy it," confides Karl O'Hanlon, founder of Domaine & Demeure. Perched on a promontory emerging from a sea of undulating vines stretching south to the Pyrenees, the château flanked by turrets offers an incomparable view of the vineyards.
Built in 1886 by the Bordeaux architect Louis Garros, on the ruins of a relay for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela, the Château and all its outbuildings were still standing in 2008 when it was sold to Karl O’Hanlon and Anita Forte, who were looking for an estate to transform into a rural retreat. The transformation of the Château and the outbuildings took three years, when production was moved to the modern facility at nearby Domaine de Cibadies, with the current incarnation of the estate opening its doors to visitors in 2011.
Today the vines are managed by our partners Vignobles Bonfils, a family of independent winemakers with a portfolio of 17 award-winning properties in the Languedoc.
We are lucky enough to live and work in beautiful natural surroundings, and so it is important to us that we do everything we can to minimize the environmental impact of our estates, ensuring that this pristine environment is preserved for those that will come after us. This obligation guides our approach to both the development and the day to day running of the estate. This obligation guides our approach to many aspects of the day to day running of the estate.