Jacarandá Connections

Latest news

The romantic history of a Château

Apr. 13th, 2020

Discover how the Château de la Messardière in Saint-Tropez went from a wedding gift to being a 5-star hotel and one of only 31 Palaces de France. However, the story does not stop there….

Located just above the seaside town of Saint-Tropez, the stunning Château de la Messardière offers unique views of the Bay of Saint-Tropez and the beaches of Pampelonne Bay, as well as the vineyards of Ramatuelle. Over the years, the Château de la Messardière has welcomed – and continues to welcome – many famous figures and many regular guests.
The name of Messardière dates back to the time of the kingdom of the Franks in the 7th century and since then was associated with nobility and royalty. However, the Messardière’s Coat of Arms, which is still featured within the hotel, only first appeared in 1669.
Completed in 1904, the Château was a wedding gift to officer and excellent horseman Henry Brisson de la Messardière and his wife, the young and modern artist, Louise Dupuy d’Anjac. Although the couple had seven children, it is said that they lived a gentle and quiet life, filled with long horse rides through the country side of the Var- area and piano playing. With the Henri's untimely death, Louise was faced with poverty, however the dynamic and determined young widow decided to take the Château's fate into her own hands by using it as lodgings for prestigious guests. During the roaring twenties, the lounges of La Messardière were the stage for extravagant receptions and parties.
Sadly, Louise's poor management skills slowly but surely led the Château to ruin and subsequently Louise had to sell her beloved family home.  The new owner, a wealthy notary from Nice, rapidly re-sold the property to an industrialist, who restored the Château's former luxury and energy. At the time, a little train (still remembered by some of the older inhabitants of Saint-Tropez) ran through the pine wood. The Château found no buyers when the industrialist died in Cannes, and was once again faced with ruin.
Standing alone on the hillside, exposed to all weather and to pillagers, it was widely believed to be haunted. Some paranormal believers even declared they had sensed positive and negative energy fields around the Château walls, hence adding to the site's exciting and mystical aura.
Bought in 1998 by a French industrialist, determined to turn the Château into one of the Côte d’Azur's most luxurious hotels, Château de la Messardière started its second life. Its turrets, domes, vaults and columns underline the powerful original architecture, while preserving all of the Château's former charm and character. Its exquisitely refined atmosphere comes from a subtle blend of Anglo-Moorish, Oriental, Mediterranean, Florentine and Provencal styles.
In June 2019, the Château de la Messardière became part of Airelles Collection, a privately owned, boutique collection of 5-star properties throughout France. Over the current and the next 2 off-seasons, the Château de la Messardière will be successively transformed to mirror the style and service of its sister properties Les Airelles in Courchevel, Mademoiselle in Val d’Isère, La Bastide de Gordes in La Provence and the soon to be open Le Grand Contrôle in the premises of the Château de Versailles.

The romantic history of a Château