Ever since Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux invited their close friends to their postnuptial party last year, ?buddymoons? have blossomed.
Effortlessly combining the space needed for socialising and the couple?s need for privacy, Le Château de Candie, on the outskirts of Chambéry in south-east France, is an ideal destination to celebrate with mates.
Brand new to Madame Vacances? extensive portfolio ? which offers 22,000 beds in more than 71 destinations across France ? the authentic fourteenth-century fortified house offers a glamorous yet romantic (and relaxing) escape for couples and friends alike.
Located just over three miles from the centre of Chambéry, the luxury four-star château blends past and present seamlessly, to create a memorable stay. Guests can admire the beautiful architecture, enjoy the exceptional views across the valley, and make the most of the outdoor pool.
As well as the spacious apartments (25 in total, accommodating up to four people) with soft sofas, walk-in showers, claw-footed baths and tall windows, Le Château de Candie has an opulent tower suite, ideal for couples after a quixotic retreat.
Set across three floors, the tower comprises a spacious living area with a love seat, a magnificent bedroom with vistas across the landscaped lawns, and a sleek bathroom, which has a large Jacuzzi bath.
During the day, explore the surrounding area, stopping at La Fontaine des Eléphants ? a beautiful fountain constructed in 1836 that is decorated with elephants carved from stone ? the impressive Château des Ducs de Savoie (a castle built in the 16th century) and the interesting Musee des Charmettes (writer?s house museum), where visitors can watch a number of plays (performed by amateur dramatics societies) throughout the year.
Chambéry plays host to numerous activities too, many of which are ideal for groups. Summon up the courage to go canyoning at Lac d’Aiguebelette and sailing at Aix-les-Bains, leave the road well travelled and hike along the winding trails in Chartreuse, or stroll (or roll on Segways) through sweet-smelling vineyards and sample local wine in Les Marches.
Alternatively, stay at Le Château de Candie and enjoy a foot massage ? which helps increase blood flow and release tension ? in the reflexology clinic. Or wander through the castle?s own vineyard that produces circa 6,000 bottles of wine each year.
As lunchtime (or dinner) beckons, book a table at Les Halles (serving authentic French cuisine) or La Fruitière d’Augustin, which specialises in offering delicious cheeses from Savoie (both restaurants are located in Chambéry and are open from Tuesday to Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday).
Le Château de Candie has two top options as well: La Cantine (open from Monday to Saturday, closed Sunday) is a stylish bistro serving local produce; and L?Orangerie (open from Wednesday evening to Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday), is an elegant gastronomic restaurant that attracts food connoisseurs from far and wide, keen to savour exquisite dishes, sample original amuse bouches and sip smooth wines recommended by the knowledgeable sommelier.
And why not go the full distance and get married at Le Château de Candie too? With a dedicated and knowledgeable wedding team on site, plus spacious reception rooms, a beautiful terrace overlooking the extensive grounds and a chef ready to cater for the party?s every need; it?s a recipe for success.
Richard Green, founder of Madame Vacances, says: ?For 25 years, we?ve strived to offer a wide range of wonderful accommodation, from chalets to villas, modern apartments and houses, but Le Château de Candie ? with its luxury, pageantry and strong spirit ? is an exciting new venture.
?The sleek décor, intricate architecture and incredible eye to detail, means it is a perfect destination for that special occasion. And, its wide selection of characterful rooms ? including the incredible suite in the tower ? makes it ideal for a group of guests all after a slightly different experience.?
A three-night stay at Le Château de Candie costs from £319 (two sharing) for a classic room. A session in the reflexology clinic costs from £46 pp (for a 50 to 60 minute session). To find out more call Madame Vacances on 01273 358 071 or visit www.madamevacances.co.uk.