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Former monastery: 5* luxury, silent aircon, heated pool, gym & incredible view



Updated: 03-Dec-2016
A lovingly restored, quiet retreat, set on a hill, overlooking rolling vineyards

This uniquely positioned former monastery enjoys commanding views of a beautiful rolling landscape covered in vineyards. From the Pyrenees to the Black Mountains, Domaine des Montarels overlooks no less than five pretty, red-roofed villages complete with towers and spires, epitomizing the quintessential Languedocien dream. This is a truly special hidden treasure of the Herault region.

Perfect as an extremely quiet retreat or for wonderful family fun, the Domaine has a lovely garden with grass lawn and several terraces, a large pool and an orchard of almond trees; all of which get the sun all day long, and are fabulous for watching the spectacular sunsets.

This is a very ancient site, first mentioned in records dating back as far as the 10th century. During this millennia it has been a church, a hamlet, a retreat for monks from a nearby Abbey and eventually became a winery in the 19th century, producing almost a million bottles of wine per annum. Now in its latest incarnation as a lovely family home, full of antiques and treasures from the owners’ travels, you can feel the centuries past in its thick stone walls and charming courtyards.

The ground floor is entirely open plan divided by fabulous stone arches. There is an extremely spacious sitting room, hallway, dining room and brand new fitted kitchen with everything a large party would need for catering, all combined with character features such as old tiles, exposed beams and long windows throughout. There are two cloakrooms (one external for outside living).

Upstairs, the property has 5 large bedrooms. There are 3 with king-size beds and 2 with superking-size beds, of which the latter can be twin beds if desired. All of the king-size bedrooms are ensuite and there is a family bathroom. These bathrooms are brand new. All bedrooms are air-conditioned and luxuriously furnished for maximum comfort and all beds are hotel standard pocket-sprung, dressed in the finest English linens, with mattress enhancers to ensure a perfect night's sleep. There will be bath robes provided as well as plenty of soft towels, both for the bedroom and pool, and luxury French toiletries.

Outside is a wonderfully shady, Morrocan-style covered lounging area overlooking the swimming pool, with plenty of cushioned seating and a barbecue, and, of course, that incredible view. There is also further shade for lunchtime al fresco dining under a huge umbrella pine. In the evening there is a large oval rattan dining table with very comfortable chairs on the travertine terrace; ideal for relaxing over a bottle of the finest local wine, perhaps from next door’s boutique winery.

Oh, and did we mention the view?

There is a private apartment at the back of the property where the owners sometimes stay. It has shared driveway access, but is otherwise totally separate and does not overlook the private guest area. If in residence they would be delighted to greet you and offer advice if needed.

More Details
  • Sleeps 10
  • 5 Bedrooms
  • 4 Bathrooms
  • Parking
  • Garden
  • Swimming pool
  • Barbecue
  • Pets considered
  • Internet
  • Dish washer
  • Washing machine
  • Towels provided
  • Linens provided
  • Accept Credit Cards

About the Owner

Ian and Katie Jackson have lived in Domaine des Montarels since 2013, having fallen in love with the house the moment they saw it. They have fully immersed themselves in the wonderfully diverse local culture and managed to continue pursuing their passions in tennis, golf, skiing and horse-riding. Partial to the odd “investigatory” wine tasting, they are only too happy to pass on their discoveries!

Speaks English, French

0 Reviews


From the Owner

"It may sound strange, but even before we saw Domaine des Montarels in its full glory, we got the feeling that it was going to be our home. Originally only intending to research the area, this property was so special we bought it there and then. The house is the most peaceful, calming place to be - it just has a really special feel. When you combine the breathtaking views and sense of history with all the modern comforts of a luxurious family home, you have a pretty compelling case to stay." "We have been lucky enough to have travelled the world over and on those travels we had one eye out for a new country to settle in. We would never have thought that it would end up being France, but the incredible climate, the history and culture and, of course, the wine and food, made it a relatively easy decision. Combine this with what we have since discovered to be a really friendly and welcoming local community, we think we have found the perfect place to call home."

Activity and Interests

Nearest Airport : Béziers Cap d'Agde Airport at 30 Kilometres Nearest Barpub : Alignan-du-Vent at 3 Kilometres Nearest Golf : Golf de St. Thomas at 15 Kilometres Nearest Train : Béziers at 20 Kilometres Nearest Motorway : A75 at 10 Kilometres Nearest Restaurant : Several in Roujan at 6 Kilometres Nearest Ski : Font-Romeu at 200 Kilometres Nearest Beach : Marseillan Plage at 30 Kilometres Car: necessary

Domaine des Montarels is in the picturesque heart of Languedoc wine country, surrounded by vines, vineyards and enough wine tasting venues to last a lifetime; the closest of which being our next-door-neighbours at Domaine de Montazellis a temptingly short walk away. Venture further afield and you will have access to Historic Towns, Cities and Monuments, Beaches, Lakes, cascading rock pools and fast flowing rivers with canoeing on calm or white water stretches.

The major towns / cities of the Hérault are:

Pezenas: beautiful medieval town, with cobbled streets, restaurants and boutique shops.

Montpellier: regional capital, with old centre, the Musée Fabre, churches and other sites.

Agde : attractive old small city, old streets, market, cathedral, waterfront.

Béziers: traditional Languedoc city, with old streets, churches and gardens.

St. Guilhen le Désert - small mediaeval city with romanesque abbey and ruined castle. (Also the nearby Grotte de la Clamouse: magnificent stalacmites and stalagtites.)

Sète: fishing and commercial port. Old town, beaches, boat trips

More about our local Town, Pezenas:

Pezenas is a gem of a medieval town that gives rise to so many people moving to this area – it was certainly a reason for us to be here. The best time to visit Pezenas is in the height of summer on a Wednesday or Friday night when all the shops and restaurants stay open late and the old town is buzzing with life.

Pezenas shot to fame when it was chosen as the seat of the Languedoc parliament in 1456. In the late 17th century Pezenas became the summer home of the Prince de Conti, who brought with him his entourage of playwrights and artists - including the then undiscovered writer Moliere.

The best part of Pezenas is the old town with its beautifully preserved narrow streets. You will still find a range of artisans plying their trade and countless bijou restaurants tucked away in courtyards and alleys. Pezenas' tourism office is situated in a barber's shop where Moliere is supposed to have spent his afternoons.


We have found that the Pezenas area and more especially our idyllic Domaine has its own micro-climate. Even the France Meteo weather forecasters get it wrong all the time - it's normally sunnier and a degree or two warmer than they predict. Trust us!

It is said that we get over 300 days of sunshine per year and whilst this isn’t something we’ve actually counted it is something we can certainly believe from our time living here. This all contributes to the Languedoc being one of the two hottest regions of France, where you can expect summer temperatures to range between 25-32°.

It also stays mild most of the year - our “Winter” months are December, January and February, when it can get cold, although it's normally still sunny. In a typical year the temperature can fall to around 2-10° in January and February, then rising as the year goes on. However we have had lunch by the pool in January wearing t-shirt and shorts and actually got sunburn playing tennis on New Year’s Day one year.

Despite this being a predominately agricultural area (mainly wine growing) we get much less rain than in northern Europe. The Herault is one of the driest regions in France and when we do get rain, it usually only lasts for a short time. This combination of intense sunshine and light rain makes it very difficult for the regions’ wine growers to produce anything other than alcohol heavy wines – the reds are mostly between 14 and 15%. Quel dommage!


Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Autumn 2016
1 Oct 2016 - 17 Dec 2016
5 night minimum stay
for 5 nights
Christmas / New Year 2016/17
18 Dec 2016 - 7 Jan 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Easter 2017
1 Apr 2017 - 22 Apr 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
June 2017
27 May 2017 - 30 Jun 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Summer 2017
1 Jul 2017 - 2 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
September 2017
3 Sep 2017 - 30 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
My Standard Rate
5 night minimum stay
for 5 nights

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees
Refundable Damage Deposit £750

The pool has augmented heating which can be switched on for May & October at an additional cost of £350.00 per week, for June & September at an additional cost of £250 per week and for July & August at an additional cost of £150 per week.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
Updated: 03-Dec-2016
Available arrival


From the Owner

"We spent two years fully refurbishing the property, finally completing this labour of love in June 2015. A new, fully insulated roof was only the start. Every bedroom and bathroom has been reconfigured, newly fitted out and decorated. A reverse-air air-conditioning system silently provides cool or warm air to the bedrooms as required and the thick stone walls keep the rest of the house cool. The private location has the additional benefit of reducing background light pollution, making night times an opportunity to see the moon and stars in a way few city dwellers will have ever witnessed. This is a truly magical place."

Property Type

  • chateau / country house


  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities


  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Washing Machine


  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster


  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room


  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Games ...
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Video Library ...

Pool / Spa

  • Heated Pool
  • Private Pool ...


  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets considered
  • wheelchair inaccessible

Location Type

  • rural


  • churches
  • cinemas
  • live theatre
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • winery tours
  • zoo

Leisure Activities

  • bird watching
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking

Local Services & Businesses

  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • cycling
  • golf
  • mountain biking
  • swimming
  • tennis

Floor Area

  • 375 m²


  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet, Bath with Shower, Shower Enclosure, "Family" Bathroom, multiple access.
  • Bathroom 2 - Toilet, Shower Enclosure, En-suite to bedroom 1.
  • Bathroom 3 - Toilet, Bath with Shower, Shower Enclosure, En-suite to bedroom 2.
  • Bathroom 4 - Toilet, Shower Enclosure, En-suite to bedroom 3.
  • The bathrooms are all brand new with traditional porcelain imported from England


  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Large Double Bed, Ensuite - shower, private terrace, vineyard / garden view.
  • Bedroom 2 - 1 Large Double Bed, Ensuite - bath and shower, garden/vineyard/courtyard view.
  • Bedroom 3 - 1 Large Double Bed, Ensuite - Shower - Courtyard view.
  • Bedroom 4 - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed, 2 Single Bed, Either SuperKing Double or Twin Singles - Courtyard view.
  • Bedroom 5 - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed, 2 Single Bed, Double or Twin Config - Restricted view.


  • Balcony
  • Bicycles ...
  • Boat ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Veranda
  • Tennis ...
  • 6 bicycles


  • Booking Possible
  • Catering available

Learn more about this holiday rental at the owner's website


  • We also allow access to an Art Studio with a selection of easels and the option of material supply at your request. If there is something missing from our list of facilities, then please contact us directly to see what can be done to make your stay as perfect as we would want it to be.

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