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Chateau Ribagnac hotel, France

Chateau Ribagnac

St Martin Terressus

A beautiful family-owned 16th century chateau, which makes a wonderful family-friendly hotel

5 rooms
Guest Rating: 8.9 / 10
Chateau Ribagnac Limoges

You may recognise this hotel from a British television series. Former city lawyers Portuguese/Frenchman Patrick Bergot and his wife Colette decided to move from London almost ten years ago in search of their dream south-western French property, with the aim of raising their three young children in spacious surroundings. Château Ribagnac, the renovation of which was filmed for the Channel 4 series 'No Going Back- More Chaos at the Castle', is the treasure that they found in that search. Not only were the enthusiastic and hard-working couple the stars of the show, but their newly-acquired lovely 16th-Century property was too.

The Bergots had originally thought that the château was built between 1642 and 1656, during Louis XIII's reign, but it transpires it was built around 1560. It takes its name from the Bagnac river that runs through its land and the French words for stream 'ruisseau' (it was at one time Château de Rubagnac). During the renovations, they discovered hidden fragments of wartime newspapers behind the wallpaper listing soldiers' names as well as provisions hidden in the roof area, so although unconfirmed, it may have been a Secret Resistance hospital in World War II.

The château sits amid 90 acres of gardens, meadows and woodland. Most of the guest quarters are thoughtfully decorated suites (with one double bedroom), with each designed around a variation in styles, from classical to floral French to deco. Patrick and Colette sought to retain original features where they could, resulting in old grand fireplaces, glossy wooden floors and stained glass windows making up an important part of a sensitive refurbishment. All of the rooms have modern bathrooms (although the one in the Grand Suite does incorporate some original marble).

Children are very welcome here, and the Bergots' own son and daughter appreciate the vast amount of space around them, and are happy to show other children around. There is a play area, outdoor games and a nature trail for them to enjoy. Meanwhile, inside, both the large living room and the dining room and comfortable and cosy places to be, particularly in winter, thanks to their fireplaces, which are kept nicely stoked.

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Governess Room

Spacious double room (space for a cot) with floral decoration and attractive oak floor. Pretty view of lake and woods below. Traditional shutters. Refined mosaic en-suite bathroom with blue hue and bath and shower. Can be connected with Beamed Suite for larger families and groups, thanks to its connecting door.


Hydrangea Suite- Originally the first floor salon of the Chateau this suite is very spacious and is decorated in the traditional French style with fabric lined walls and detail, echoing the hydrangeas flowering below, with oak panelling and a high beamed ceiling and a monumental carved fireplace. The stained glass windows overlook the meadow to the rear of the Chateau. There is a classic bathroom with a lovely chestnut floor and a bath and a shower. There is a double bed and a sofa-bed and can also accommodate an additional single bed and/or cot, on request making it an ideal choice for families.
Honeymoon Suite- Small entrance hall of its own, opening out onto the dressing room with a coiffeuse and loveseat. Mirror, paintings and grand fireplace. Cot or bed can easily be added if required. Lavender and cream tones. Oak floor. View of the lion spring and pavilion from the bathroom.
Beamed Suite- Simple art deco style. Enrtance hall. Corridor with skylight leading to main bedroom, situated in the large octagonal tower. Double bed and slatted sofa-bed. Cot can be added to either room. Modern bathroom with large shower. Beamed Suite and Governess Room can be combined for larger groups, thanks to their connecting door.

Grand Suite

Two bedroom Suite.

The master bedroom has intricate plasterwork, panelling and subtly patterned fabric wallcovering. There is a trumeau (a particular arrangement of decorative mirror, a painting and grand fireplace) in this room with cherubim as its theme. The south-facing view presents a grand sweep of the Chateau’s park. The antique bed illuminated by delicate chandelier wall lights provides a touch of romance. There is also an antique paravent and chair of Aubusson tapestry of particular note.

The second bedroom overlooks the rear lawns and has its own access to the entrance hall of the suite through a small but lovely dressing room. There are twin beds (one of which can be removed) and a cot can put in either of the bedrooms. This bedroom is decorated in a gentle Victorian style. The marble bathroom of the suite also has doors leading from both bedrooms. Housed in an adjoining room and tower. The bathroom has a bidet, and a bath with a showerhead, but does not have a separate shower unit.

Table d'hôtes dinners are served. Guests meet over drinks and have dinner together; an ideal social experience. Ingredients are all local (from their own organic vegetable garden where possible). Colette and Patrick are happy to cater for vegetarians and those with food allergies. Younger guests can have an earlier dinner together at around 6pm, leaving the adults free to socialise and enjoy some time together later. Traditionally with table d'hôtes, guests and owners dine together but Colette and Patrick told me that owing to what they described as "expanding waistlines", they now prefer to enjoy an aperitif with the guests rather than eat the whole meal! In addition to some local specialities, Portuguese and South African-style meals are also made, finding influence in their own ancestries' traditions..

Dinner usually features appetisers and aperitifs followed by five courses, followed by coffee/tea/tisanes and including wine. There is a full bar service including an excellent wine list, including several organic wines. Meals are not usually provided on Tuesdays and Wednesdays although there are plenty of local restaurants that the owners are happy to provide advice on.

A continental breakfast is served, with the addition of eggs from the château's own hens (in season), homemade jams and yoghurts and cereals.

Lakes in which to swim (nearest 5 minutes away)
World-class golf course
St. Leonard de Noblay- mediaeval town on the 'Route de Compostella'
Resting place of Richard I (Richard the Lionheart) near Oradour-sur-Glane (important World War II site)
Limoges- cathedral, churches, famous for porcelain
Good shopping
Plenty of activities for children

Be the first to send us a review of this hotel. See below for some reviews from other sites.

We may not have as many reviews as some, but we do know their provenance. They have all been written by people who have visited this hotel after booking through Little Hotels. We publish all reviews, unedited, except for the occasional spelling correction.

Here's What Some People Have Written On Other Review Sites or in the Guestbook:

"A peaceful haven” The Skiddon Family, London

“Excellent location, excellent food, excellent hospitality.” Trish Tindall, Australia

“Wonderful break, very comfy bed and fantastic atmosphere & lovely people.” The Wilkinsons, London

“The perfect ending to our vacation- this was our favourite!” The Ellnes, Santa Fe, USA

Guest Rating: 8.9 / 10
This rating has been calculated by combining data from various websites which publish ratings for Chateau Ribagnac.

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In the hotel
  • Dining Room
  • Large living room & piano room
  • Library
  • Tea room with complimentary tea coffee tisanes fridge and microwave
  • Excellent wine list
  • 86 acres of grounds
  • Small lake in which to swim
  • Fishing
  • Play area
  • Outdoor games
  • Nature trail for children
  • Arboretum
  • A large range of facilities for baby guests

In your room
  • Television
  • En‑suite bathroom

We Say

Limousin is one of France's lesser-known regions (although we are doing our best to spread the word!) and resultantly, its unspoilt countryside (sometimes referred to as the 'French Lake District') offers spectacular scenery, outdoor activities aplenty and also an excellent setting for some rest and relaxation. It has been pleasing for us to follow the progress of the Bergots' château hotel since their relentless renovation work and to see them enjoying welcoming guests to Ribagnac.

A Word From the Owner

We fell in love with the Château, and hope you will too! The area is full of things to do, and yet is calm with people who have time to chat, browse at the market, enjoy a good meal and a glass of wine. The countryside is stunning, with breathtaking lakes and hills, forests and streams, and lovely villages and mediaeval towns. We love sharing the place we live and are very happy to help you discover the Limousin.

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