From secluded hotels at the heart of their local communities to gourmet restaurants that strictly champion local, seasonal produce, these nine new members – from across Europe and in Canada – join the Relais & Châteaux network.
Dyvig Badehotel — Nordborg, Denmark
The Dyvig Badehotel stands between lush countryside and the Baltic Sea on the island of Als in southern Denmark. The delight of this small hotel – featuring just 17 rooms and 4 suites – is bound up with the tranquility of its waterside location. This is a place to escape from the bustle of life and, perhaps, time itself. The chef, Christian Lebech, concocts seasonal menus for the gourmet restaurant highlighting local produce, in particular seafood. The hotel’s brasserie offers typically Danish specialties, such as the stjerneskud, or ‘shooting star’ open sandwich.
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Thornbury Castle — Gloucestershire, England
To defy Henry VIII: such was the ambition of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, who had Thornbury Castle built in the southwest of England, not far from Gloucester. This imposing mansion is a glorious example of Tudor architecture, and its proud silhouette asserts a nearly original appearance. Massive yet private, welcoming yet filled with history, the establishment is an invitation to enjoy serenity with a taste of British heritage, in rooms worthy of the royal family itself. Chef Carl Cleghorn prepares vegetables from the castle’s own gardens and sources produce from local farms, offering a menu of traditional dishes and vegetarian options.
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Ballynahinch Castle — Connemara, Ireland
With a low mountain range as a backdrop, verdant forests nestling all around, and the calm waters of River Owenmore flowing below, Ballynahinch Castle is as pretty as a postcard. Located in western Ireland, this castle achieves the prodigious feat of being both majestic and welcoming, sophisticated yet simple. The wide bow windows of its cozy rooms offer views of the Irish countryside like landscape paintings. The chef, David Bodas Gutierrez, combines his understanding of traditional cookery with his knowledge as a nutritionist, demonstrating at every turn that gourmet cuisine can also be wonderfully balanced.
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Aïda Hotel & Spa — Crans-Montana, Switzerland
Visitors of this hotel – reserved for adults – will discover a prestigious chalet of 18 recently renovated and spacious suites offering breathtaking views over the Swiss Alps and the ski resort of Crans-Montana. The spa is also striking for its wide-open spaces: it offers 300 m2 / 3229 ft2 of well-being, ideal after a day of hiking or skiing. Michelin star-rated chef Franck Reynaud adores his region, and brings out the best of its traditional flavors through his cep puddings and truffled potato purées, among many other specialities. Opening scheduled for December 2021.
Maison Décotterd — Montreux, Switzerland
At the heart of the Swiss Riviera, this gourmet restaurant is located in the former Bellevue hotel, at the heart of the prestigious Glion catering school. It offers a sublime panorama over Lake Geneva and the Alps in a Belle Époque atmosphere in keeping with the magnificent style of the building. With two Michelin stars, chef Stéphane Décotterd has been committed to sourcing wholly local ingredients since 2018. Each morning he sets out to gather fresh herbs to flavor pike, tench and char as part of an approach to cookery that he describes as “resolutely responsible and bold, but never fixed, just like the waters of the lake which so inspire me.”
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Brindos Lac & Château — Anglet, France
Just a few minutes from Biarritz Airport, Château de Brindos has been recently renovated and is scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2022. From its reception spaces to each of its 29 rooms and suites, it proudly reasserts its Spanish and Moorish identity and upholds the festive atmosphere that the spot has cultivated since its earliest beginnings. The private 12-ha / 30-acre lake is not only perfect for contemplation: it also accommodates ten floating suites, each a dreamy refuge. Two swimming pools – one indoor and one outdoor – and a vast spa complete the picture. The restaurant features Basque cuisine, cheese and wine, as well as fresh produce from the Atlantic coast.
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Stonehaven Le Manoir — Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Canada
This is the Canada of your dreams, where forests merge with lakes: the Stonehaven is a bastion of elegance at the heart of the Laurentides. Founded in 1908, the hotel was recently renovated to highlight the Art Deco spirit of its early years. Its Italian garden is one of the crown jewels of Quebec, and each of its 34 spacious yet cozy rooms are equally idyllic. In the restaurant, French chef Éric Gonzalez combines fresh, local products with the classic specialties of his native country. Experience a moment suspended in time at the heart of one of the most spectacular regions of La Belle Province.
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Alex Lake Zürich — Zürich, Switzerland
This hotel offers an incomparable view over Lake Zurich, and indeed seems to float on the water. Its 41 rooms and studios and two penthouses are beautifully light-filled, with wide picture windows and elegant, streamlined interior design in light colors. In the restaurant, chef Michael Schuler seeks to bring as many ingredients as possible “from the farm to the table,” combining foods cultivated within the hotel’s kitchen garden with flavors from around the world. A member of the Swiss group The Living Circle, like the Relais & Châteaux establishment Castello del Sole Beach Resort & Spa in Ascona, Hotel Alex Lake respects nature with its ecological approach and aims to eliminate all use of plastic by 2023.
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Restaurant Saisons — Lyon, France
At the heart of a century-old park in western Lyon, Château du Vivier is home to Restaurant Saisons. The establishment is a showcase for Institut Paul Bocuse, a prestigious international school for hotel management and the culinary arts. The talented young team of Saisons is led by three-star chef Florian Pansin, alongside the Meilleur Sommelier de France Gaëtan Bouvier, and the Meilleur Ouvrier de France Davy Tissot, winner of the 2021 Bocuse d’or. They pass along their expertise and enthusiasm by cultivating the talents of tomorrow, across 70 different nationalities. Together they offer a touching culinary experience: the ingredients of the moment – as the restaurant’s name suggests – are selected from the best local farmers or the restaurant’s kitchen garden, and accompanied by exceptional vintages to thrill gourmets seeking a combination of tradition and modernity.
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About Relais & Châteaux
Established in 1954, Relais & Châteaux is an association of more than 580 landmark hotels and restaurants located in 60 countries and operated by independent innkeepers, chefs, and owners who share a passion for their businesses and a desire for authenticity in their relationships with their clientele. Relais & Châteaux is established around the globe, from the Napa Valley vineyards and French Provence to the beaches of the Indian Ocean. It offers an introduction to a lifestyle inspired by local culture and a unique dip into human history. Relais & Châteaux members have a driving desire to protect and promote the richness and diversity of the world”s cuisine and traditions of hospitality. They are committed to preserving local heritage and the environment, as encompassed in the Charter presented to UNESCO in November 2014.