It’s a phoenix, reborn from the ashes. Centuries old, it’s suffered the ravages of time and was damaged by a destructive fire, but the Château du Petit Chêne is getting ready for a new beginning.
In the Pays de Gâtine, north of Niort, the Château du Petit Chêne has been part of the Deux-Sèvres department’s history for the last eight centuries. The building dates back to the 13th century, when it belonged to the Seigneur of La Bouchetière in Saint-Lin. Over the years, three families shaped the building to create the château as we know it today. The Viault de Breuillac family, which owned the property from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, added to the building using materials from other ruined properties including the Château d’Augé. From 1832, under the ownership of the Tusseau family, the building was further developed. Its extensions and two wings disappeared, the main building was rebuilt in a Louis XIII style, the roof was raised and covered in slate and a chapel was built as a finishing touch at the rear of the château. In 1884, when it was owned by Mr. Léopold Goirand, the Senator of Deux-Sèvres, the château boasted beautiful grounds with water features, stairs and statues; a few years later, a beautiful ornamental veranda was added to the north-west side of the property.
Hidden away in 24-hectare wooded grounds with three gorgeous ponds and an 18-hole golf course, the Château du Petit Chêne is a national treasure and a listed historic monument. It was acquired in late 2015 by the Grande Maison Younan Collection, with plans to transform it into a hotel. A fire broke out during the renovation works in 2016, requiring additional work to be carried out. The renovations, approved by the French building authorities, are soon to be finished and will restore the property to its former glory. Rosettes, moldings, woodwork, cut stone, slate and a 19th century décor create a truly authentic setting, emphasizing the property’s incredible character. The 18 rooms of this new 5-star hotel, renamed Alexandra Palace, are decorated with majestic chandeliers and period furniture, gilded details and beautiful padded headboards, reflecting the incredible hospitality which guests can enjoy there. The lobby is decorated with valuable paintings, beautiful rugs, wall coverings and moldings, and the restaurant, with its magnificent coffered ceiling, adds to the decidedly royal décor. With a luxury hotel, a gourmet restaurant, two seminar rooms, a lounge bar and the Petit Chêne golf course, Alexandra Palace truly embodies the French art of living. The Grande Maison Younan Collection has created a new high-end venue in the region which pays tribute to the architectural splendor of the 19th century.