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Home > > CHATEAU de BAGNOLS, near Lyon


At-a-Glance Guide

19 apartments
bar, restaurant, dining terrace, private dining
grand salon
gardens, outdoor pool
Check in/out: 3pm/12 noon

CHATEAU de BAGNOLS,  near Lyon


The story of Château de Bagnols stretches over eight centuries. It begins in 1217, when a defensive fortress was built, consisting of three round towers, linked by curtain walls with arrow loops, surrounded by a deep moat. In times of danger, villagers could take refuge in its basse cour - the lower courtyard.
In the more peaceful period which followed the so-called Hundred Years War, the residential quarters were embellished with wall-paintings, one of which - an imitation tent - still survives. By 1490, Bagnols was owned by Geoffroy de Balzac, adviser and chamberlain to Charles VIII. A visit from the king, in 1490, is commemorated by the royal coat of arms above the monumental Gothic fireplace in the Salles des Gardes - now the dining room. By 1509, the basse cour had been rebuilt, and the garden was enclosed by a wall. Large windows were cut into the outer walls, and mullioned windows added to the inner court. In 1566, the first of three generations of the Camus family moved into Chateau Bagnols: they gave it its drawbridge, portcullis and imposing main gate – and gave the Grand Salon its beamed ceiling. It was the next owners, also for three generations, the Dugué family who gave Bagnols its greatest glories.
Gaspard Dugué, Treasurer of France, who bought the château - and the five surrounding villages – in 1619, made it into a stately home. A fixed bridge was built at the east entrance, large rooms were given anterooms and closets, and every room was richly furnished, extravagantly decorated with costly fabrics, with tapestries from Flanders, Rouen and Bergamo, and with wall paintings - which are now famous as the most extensive and highest quality yet found in a provincial French château. They can be seen, and enjoyed, today in many of the rooms.
Barthélémy Hessler, originally from Frankfurt, bought the château in 1711, and lavished more money on it – re-roofing (which took 10 years), redecorating, adding an ice-house and the formal garden, and removing some of the fortifications.
By the end of the 18th-Century, Bagnols’ glory days were over. Subsequent owners took little interest, the break-up of the estate reduced its income and it lapsed into obscurity for almost 200 years. The château became a working farm.
In 1987, Lady Hamlyn discovered Château de Bagnols - a sad but ravishingly beautiful building, with cracked walls, leaking roofs, rampant creepers and a family of crows living in one tower – but one protected by the State for its architectural and historical importance: a Monument Historique Classe. A year later, she persuaded her husband to buy it. And so began its phoenix-like rebirth: more than 400 specialist builders and craftsmen went to work on the chateau itself; and hundreds of items needed to complete the interior were specially commissioned: blue-and-white armorial china from Raynaud, of Limoges; copies of the 18th-century glassware from Hartzviller, of Alsace; table linen from Liddell, of Ireland; silk to cover chairs from Prelle, of Lyon. With all of this, plus her private collection of antique furnishings, and the addition of every modern facility, Lady Hamlyn created what is perhaps France's finest château-hotel. It opened in 1992.


With its sublimely beautiful rooms - like hand-painted illustrations from a rare, first-edition book of fairytales - and its glorious grounds, this is indeed a unique hotel. It is highly regarded, widely acclaimed and the winner of numerous awards – yet Chateau de Bagnols also succeeds in creating the charming and relaxed ambience of a private home, albeit a very grand one.


With so much to offer, this is very much a destination hotel in its own right. An excellent choice for a romantic getaway; it could also be your base for a break combining accommodation in a rural location with exploring nearby Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France, with 2000 years of history, and UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Chateau de Bagnols is licensed to perform civil wedding ceremonies.


The Grand Salon elegantly combines imposing proportions with an air of welcoming intimacy.

A drink in the Bar de Chasse provides an opportunity to admire the hunting scenes that adorn the walls.
Lunch and dinner are served daily in the Salle de Garde. This majestic room, with its large, sun-filled windows, is where you will see the royal coat of arms marking a visit by Charles VIII in 1490, above the fireplace. And you will not miss the gargantuan, Gothic fireplace - it is reputedly France’s largest. Menus offer robust Beaujolais cuisine, including local charcuterie, river fish and exceptional cheeses.
A splendid and varied wine list features all the subtle varieties of taste of the various Beaujolais wines, including the 10 celebrated Beaujolais crus, and many great wines from neighbouring Burgundy, as well as fine wines from other regions of France, and many other countries.
On fine days, a ‘Terrace Menu’ is offered outdoors - by the pool, on one of many terraces, or on the south-facing Salon d'Ombrage, under the shade of the 100-year-old lime trees, a romantic location, looking down to the gently splashing fountain at the centre of the park, surrounded by a cherry orchard underplanted with wild flowers, and with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and distant hills, smothered in vineyards and woods, fading into a haze.

The 19 apartments are breathtaking! Their restoration revealed, in many rooms, remarkable Renaissance and 18th-Century wall and ceiling frescoes. They have now been furnished with rare and beautiful antiques, complemented by soft, rich velvets and shimmering silks. All room have private bathrooms - many of these are located in the towers and are therefore circular, with arrow-slit windows.

Authentic Apartments, measuring 40-55 sq m, are individual little gems. Each has an intimate sitting area.
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Elegant Apartments, measuring 42-60 sq m and located at the heart of the chateau, are romantic and stylishly furnished.
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Prestige Apartments measure 72-90 sq m, and are diverse and demure in design.
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Paradise Apartments, measuring 62-82 sq m and located at the heart of the chateau, are spacious, luxurious and refined. Divinely decorated, they embody pure French art du vivre.
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Lady Hamlyn's Apartment is a stunning private duplex in the Residence, with a king-size bed and antique furniture from Lady Hamlyn’s private collection. It has a dining room, a separate lounge with open fireplace, an office and a terrace with private access to the château gardens.
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CANCELLATION POLICY: 15 days before arrival: without charge; 14-3 days before arrival: deposit kept; 2 days before arrival: the full stay will be requested.

There are many places in the gardens and grounds to relax and enjoy the surroundings. There is also a swimming pool. Like the chateau itself, the gardens at Bagnols have been extensively restored from the much-neglected state into which they had fallen. Lawn paths were laid and new plantings included about 2000 yew trees to create the estate’s characteristic aisles, over 100 cherry trees for the orchard garden, and about 300 landscaping shrubs. At the rear of the park is a small aromatic garden, designed in the shape of the British flag for Lady Hamlyn.

Chateau de Bagnols is licensed to perform civil wedding ceremonies. For these, and other events and seminars, it offers a choice of prestigious venues:
- the Winery can accommodate 250
- the Cellar can accomodate 100
- the Lavorel Courtyard is a 1,500 sq m outdoor space
- the Library can accomodate 25
- the Empire Room can accomodate 25
- the Music Room can accomodate 15
the Dungeon can accommodate 10

Our Book Now and Make an Enquiry buttons connect you directly to Chateau de Bagnols.