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Domaine Madrona

CASTELNOU, FRANCE

Secluded woodland venue near one of the most beautiful villages in the south of France, offering space for nature, self-development, yoga, adventure and creative retreats.

PRICES

€11,825 per week

CAPACITY

20

IN A NUTSHELL

Set in Mediterranean pine forest in the foothills of the Pyrenees, this French venue which dates back to the 11th century is ideal for back-to-nature, creative, walking and relaxing retreats. A refuge during the plague in the 1300s, it now offers 10 stylishly renovated, calm, cosy bedrooms, terraces for yoga and workshops, and cultural sites, Mediterranean beaches and peaks to explore. Lovingly run by manager Liv Mick, it's a place where you can breathe in fresh, mountain air and let nature work her magic.

VENUE DETAILS

INDOOR RETREAT SPACES

On both floors there are open spaces with natural light for group activities. Above the dining room you will find the spacious lounge, which is furnished with vibrant hand-made rugs and large sofas. The loft room is a possibility for yoga sessions and yoga and other movement classes can be held on the large outdoor terrace adjoining the lounge.

OUTDOOR RETREAT SPACES

The venue has a delightful 5m by 12m pool, which is surrounded by a large, elegant terrace offering both sun and shade, as well as deckchairs and tables, and shade from pergolas. There's an upper terrace for yoga or workshops and smaller terraces for more private sessions, writing and meditating. A 90 sq m space offers a superb view of the surrounding pine forests and is the ideal place to enjoy sunset. On the doorstep you'll find forests and olive groves and nearby some gorgeous parkland.

SLEEPING

Each of the 10 light, bright bedrooms is named after a different place or mountain in the region and has its own style. Expect comfortable kingsize beds and high quality linen bedding. There are five double rooms with kingsize beds, two twin rooms and a loft dorm with four single beds and one sofa bed. The two-bedroomed apartment has two double rooms with kingsize beds, and a bathroom to share. Among the rooms in the house you can choose from Querubi which has a Moroccan themed bathroom, complete with tadelakt and a hammam atmosphere and Garouille, a coquettish room in a soft green decor, among others.

LIVING

An open plan sitting room with sofas, plenty of books, wifi and satellite television is a comfortable space where you can relax and it has a wood burner for chilly evenings. In addition to the main kitchen there's also an open plan kitchen area, which you can use. The dining room has a fireplace and there's an outdoor bar area by the pool, as well as table tennis facilities in the gardens.

RETREAT ACTIVITIES

Massage, yoga tuition, hairdressing and spa and beauty treatments are available and must be booked in advance. Local producers of cheese, wine, bread, meat and fish and organic extra virgin olive oil will put on tasting sessions. You can also enjoy star-gazing and sunset watching. As well as walking and bike trails from Domaine Madrona, there are opportunities for paragliding, canyoning, scuba diving, sea kayaking and guided mountain hiking (walking equipment is available). The medieval village of Castelnou is about 3km away and has a Tuesday market selling local produce. At Thuir, 6 km away, there are shops, banks and restaurants.

SUSTENANCE

The private chef at the venue uses only fresh, local products, including their own olive oil. He can cater for meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans with a menu that is tailored the the group's needs. Indoor or outdoor dining is possible with a long dining table in the shade on the terrace next to the swimming pool and two large tables in the dining hall next to the kitchen on the ground floor. Catalan cooking is a speciality and menus might include Ouillade, a bean stew with garlic pickled seeds, vegan chorizo, leeks, carrots and potatoes, and Escalivade, fresh vegetables, confit in the oven with olive oil, garlic and garrigue herbs, all served with a vegan steak.

SUSTAINABILITY

The venue buys local food to support the community and vegetables come from local farmers. It has its own water source which is free of chemicals. Where possible, waste is composted and all other waste is recycled. A wood chip burner provides heating and hot water. The owners are committed to sustainable organic management practices on all their land, which includes their olive oil farm.

The Extraordinary

The manager Liv Mick and her chef husband Xavier have a long history in hospitality and they don't miss a detail before or during your stay.

The Less Than Ordinary

The absence of distraction forces you to face your issues while loud birdsong might rouse you earlier than planned.

RAIL

Perpignan

LOCATION

Domaine Madrona
Coubris d'Amont Nord
66300 Castelnou
France

AIRPORT

Perpignan or Barcelona

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