Home to one of the world’s most prestigious golf clubs, Les Bordes, in the famed Loire Valley, has transformed to create a venue that offers understated luxury, leisure and sport.
Spread across 1,400 acres of a UNESCO World Heritage region renowned for historic chateaux, medieval towns, fine wines and food, the Les Bordes estate was established in 1987 by Baron Marcel Bich.
Now Les Bordes has broadened its appeal. In partnership with Six Senses, the estate is transforming the 19th-century Chateau Bel Air into an 88-room luxury hotel and spa, with a community village square, shops and restaurants for guests to enjoy. A variety of residential villas designed by Michaelis Boyd, as well as an equestrian centre, organic farm, art gallery and outdoor amphitheatre will boost appeal.
As part of the development process, Les Bordes is working to create a community where all family members – even those who aren’t aspiring golfers – can enjoy the estate. Natural swimming lakes and pools, a man-made white sand beach, boating and fishing lakes, archery and biking and walking trails are among the myriad activities already available on-site.
Younger family members can experience a petting farm, go-kart track, pony riding and adventure playgrounds, with a kids’ club, ice-cream shop and zip-lines set to open this winter.
Of course, while you might come to relax in the sumptuous surroundings and natural landscapes, glimpsing of red deer and wild boar around the lakes, it’s the golf that is the major draw.
The opening of a much anticipated second 18-hole golf course in the spring, designed by globally acclaimed American architect Gil Hanse, is the highlight. Hanse created the 2016 Rio Olympic Course, as well as Castle Stuart and Ohoopee Match Club, but this is his first original design course in mainland Europe.
Work has already been completed on an accompanying 10-hole short course at Les Bordes, with the Wild Piglet course immediately being placed in Golf.com’s top-25 par-3 courses in the world.
With Les Bordes’ original Old Course, already regarded as one of Europe’s finest courses, offering a contrasting style to the New Course, members of the Les Bordes club will be able to access 46 holes of incomparable golf.
Leading architects Michaelis Boyd have also completed a redesign of the clubhouse and renovation of 24 member cottages, while work on a new member gym, sports bar, mini-spa and private lounge and games room, including a golf simulator, is to be completed for March 2021.
“We are blessed with a beautiful site in one of the most stunning and culturally-rich areas of France, and all within 90 minutes of Paris,” explained co-founder Driss Benkirane. “With my fellow owners, a group which includes my co-founder Richard Sharp and Bluecrest founder Mike Platt, we have aimed to create the preeminent European golf club and to build a relaxed and fun-filled community for all members of the family – golfers and non-golfers, adults and children alike.”