When Garance Primat—the daughter of the French oil baron and billionaire Didier Primat—inherited her father’s 2,100-acre holiday retreat in the Charente region of France, her first order of business was to gut the centuries-old structures scattered throughout the grounds. Last summer, following five years of meticulous renovations, the younger Primat opened Domaine des Etangs as a château-style retreat with an inspiring mix of period and contemporary furnishings, original stonework and timber beams, and a collection of works by artists from Henri Matisse to Thomas Ruff.
In what might be considered an homage to her father—an avid outdoorsman and the founder of the Virginia wilderness resort Primland—Primat has also woven adventure into the Domaine des Etangs experience, offering cycling, rowing, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and sailing at her sprawling country estate.
WHAT: A historic château turned luxury resort with seven suites, seven farmhouse cottages, a fine-dining restaurant, and a soon-to-open spa. WHERE: Set on 2,100 acres of Charente countryside, roughly 100 miles north of Bordeaux. WHY: Traditional elegance meets the great outdoors. Domaine des Etangs, domainedesetangs.com ($650–$2,000)