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Terre Blanche - a province within Provence

Terre Blanche

Rachel David of Terre Blanche tells ITCM about the French resort’s unrivalled facilities

The South of France is always an attractive destination and so ITCM was interested to meet Rachel David, Sales & Marketing Director of Terre Blanche Hotel Golf Spa Resort, during her visit to London recently.
‘We are only 45 minutes from Nice Airport’, she told me, ‘or less than half that time to our helipad and, with 300 hectares (750 acres) our estate is about 1.5 times the size of Monaco.’

Terre Blanche, therefore, can be compared to a self-contained province that offers everything corporate group organisers could possibly want for their delegates or award winners. The region is known as Pays de Fayence and boasts nine picturesque medieval villages that grow grapes for the local wineries, olives for oil and flowers for the world-famous perfumery at nearby Grasse.

The name Terre Blanche (White Earth) derives from the large amount of chalk in the soil.

Excursions, cycle safaris, team building activities all have unrivalled settings.

And, of course, there is golf. Terre Blanche has two 18-hole golf courses, one of which is open to visiting groups.

‘Our golf facilities’, Rachel was able to tell me, ‘include the Albatros Golf Performance Centre, which has 64 mats on two floors, the Leadbetter Academy, and the Biomeca Swing Centre, which uses cameras at every angle to show golfers of any level exactly what they are doing right or doing wrong.

‘We can’, she adds, ‘arrange exclusive golf tournaments for up to 120 people.’

Terre Blanche was at one time a private estate owned by Sean Connery. It has been a resort since 2004 and is now the sole hotel property of a German software tycoon named Dietmar Hopp. He is a keen art collector and many of his previous modern pieces can be enjoyed around the resort.

A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, Terre Blanche has 115 rooms, suites and villas. These are dispersed around the huge estate, whilst a central low rise building accommodates two of the resort’s four restaurants and an infinity pool.

Philippe Jourdin is the Executive Chef and a team of highly qualified sommeliers ensure that the best wine is served in the correct manner.

‘Everywhere on the resort’, Rachel says, ‘guests are aware of the fact that we use our own herbs in our cuisine. The herbs add fragrance to the gardens’.

As many as 90 of the suites are identical, so that a good number of delegates and partners can be accommodated at the same standard. The suites range from 60sqm to 100sqm, with the 3-bedroom Villa Terre Blanche measuring 300sqm.

‘We have maintained’, says Rachel, ‘the ambience of a Provencal village. Guests can enjoy as much privacy as they wish, but the central building has the Salon Fayence that can seat up to 200 people and there are very comfortable areas for small meetings, discussions and networking.

‘On the one hand it is an extensive estate. On the other hand, the whole resort can be exclusive to one client.’

Although the golf courses are open all year round, the resort accommodation is closed between December and February. ‘High season’, Rachel points out, ‘is July and August. The months favoured by corporate groups, say March or November, are low season, yet they can still expect good weather.’

With all that Terre Blanche has to offer, prices are not frightening. The sum of 200 Euros per head will secure room and breakfast.

The Spa at Terre Blanche is a key facility. It is open from 7am until 9pm. There are 14 treatment rooms. The fragrances and oils used in the spa are uniquely produced from local flowers especially for the resort. Furthermore, in one of the treatments, the masseur stimulates the skin and muscles with the use of five golf balls.

Terre Blanche has already earned an international reputation for its attractions and its quality at a modest price. The UK is the number one source of guests, followed by the USA and Germany.

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