Roger St Pierre reports on Najeti Hôtel Du GolfJust 30 minutes inland from the Channel Tunnel, the historic old market town of Saint Omer was for centuries a key staging post between London and Paris but then the autoroute opened, causing most of the tourism traffic to bypass the town.
That’s a shame, because it’s at the centre of a region full of history, culture, pretty towns and villages, great cuisine and unspoilt countryside: pure ’La Belle France’ at its most accessible.
It’s also brimming with outstanding facilities for team building and other activities.
The Saint Omer Golf Club is set on a gently sloping hillside just outside the little satellite town of Lumbres, with panoramic views across the rural Nord/Pas de Calais countryside and the quaintly named River Aa.
There are six dedicated meeting rooms available, catering for groups of up to 150 theatre-style in the 155sqm Erable room. Guided tours of First and Second World War battlefields and the massive underground La Coupole planetarium, 3D theatre and museum originally intended as a launch site for V2 rockets, group visits to the Marais Audomarois marshes, outings by classic Citroen 2CV cars and Solex mopeds and golf school sessions are among the available activities.
With other properties dotted across France, the 27-venue strong Najeti hotel group also now owns the decidedly upmarket Château Tilques on the other side of Saint Omer. That one’s a country-house-style property that has been favoured for many years by well-heeled British guests and which has the capacity and facilities to host prestige groups.