Les Bordes Estate, a private 1,400-acre private golf club and real estate development located in Saint-Laurent-Nouan deep within the Sologne Forest in the Loire Valley, is offering a first-of-its-kind opportunity for people to own a home in one of the most desirable parts of France.
While most luxury real estate opportunities in the Loire Valley have been limited to castles, manor houses and large estates, many of which are in disrepair, there have been few opportunities to own a newly constructed luxury home—especially one with access to the kind of amenities a private club provides, such as world-class golf, dining facilities and a built-in social life. Until now. Les Bordes residential offering, called Cour du Baron, will consist of 89 single family residences. Construction of the first phase of residences has already broken ground.
Originally established as a private sanctuary by Baron Marcel Bich (founder of eponymous brand Bic known for its ballpoint pens, razors and lighters), Les Bordes is a 1,400-acre (560-hectare) property that is roughly twice the size of New York’s Central Park. In 1987 Bich unveiled his personal private golf course, the Old Course, designed by Robert Von Hagge. Bich hosted family and friends, and on occasion, an amateur or professional event at the course. It remains one of the largest private estates in the country.
Control of the estate was taken over by the partners of esteemed private investment firm RoundShield Partners LLP and a few outside partners in March 2018. RoundShield has deep roots in real estate, as it specializes in providing private capital to mid-sized real estate, infrastructure, hard asset, and financial asset opportunities. The London, England-based firm manages approximately €3 billion of discretionary capital on behalf of pension funds, endowments, foundations, and other institutional investors.
RoundShield is investing substantially in the property. In 2021 they opened a second 18-hole course, known as The New Course (listed in Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Courses in the World), as well as a highly acclaimed 10-hole, par three course. RoundShield also developed or renovated existing facilities at the Golf Club and is the force behind the new Cour du Baron residences as well as a future five star hotel that will be developed at the property, the Six Senses Loire Valley and Branded Residences (developed jointly with Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, the French sovereign wealth fund).
Les Bordes Golf Club is now a private club. In addition to 46 holes of golf, Les Bordes offers unrivalled supporting facilities, including a clubhouse with world-class dining, a driving range and elaborate putting green. Its 250 members belong to many of the most prestigious golf clubs around the world.
Real Estate Opportunities
Designed by renowned architect Michaelis Boyd, the designer behind Soho House the spacious floorplans emphasize indoor-outdoor living, taking advantage of the stunning landscape of the forest, with beautiful mature oak, sequoia and cypress trees dotting the property. More than half of the 21 homes developed during the first phase were quickly sold to existing Les Bordes Golf Club members with limited availability remaining. The second phase of 24 homes are also available for purchase with prices ranging from €1.5 million to more than €6.5 million.
Home designs reflect the spirit of the Loire Valley and a variety of stone and timber options are available for buyers to choose from including customized color schemes ranging from light grey, cream and medium grey. Many of the three, four, five, and six -bedroom residences will have a heated private pool or the option of adding a plunge pool after construction is completed. Lots range from half-acre to more than two acres in size. Kitchens will have Miele appliances.
Homeowners can opt for a fully furnished, turnkey home by selecting one of the developer’s several, well-curated furnishing packages. Residential move-ins are anticipated to start in late 2023.
The original course at Les Bordes Golf Club, known as “The Old Course,” is widely considered to be golf course architect Robert Von Hagge’s masterpiece. It has been consistently ranked amongst the top three golf courses in Europe over the past three decades. The 7,009-yard long, par-72 course winds its way through the Sologne Forest and a beautiful series of lakes.
In 2021, a second course “The New Course,” opened. A championship length course, it was designed by acclaimed golf course architect Gil Hanse and his design partner, Jim Wagner. The 7,391-yard course is Hanse’s first course in continental Europe.
Hanse also designed a 1,557 yard long course called the Wild Piglet. The course consists of ten par three holes that pay homage to some of the most iconic holes in the world. It is ranked amongst the Top 25 par three courses in the world by Golf Magazine.
The Old and New Courses are accessible exclusively to members and their guests and homeowners will need to apply for membership. A Residents Club membership will also be available to Cour du Baron residents which will provide them with access to the rest of the property’s facilities, apart from the two 18-hole courses, but they will have access to the 10-hole, par three Wild Piglet course.
Managed Like A Five Star Resort
Once you enter the property and drive along the long drive, passing through three separate gates, your will immediately relax as the area is so quiet and peaceful. And much like staying at a five star resort, homeowners at Les Bordes Estate will have access to a wide variety of amenities and services. A concierge service will grocery shop for homeowners, arrange their travel plans, make offsite reservations and more. A property management program will take care of the homes and will provide, laundry services, landscaping services, housekeeping and even childcare. There is 24-hour security in this gated community and if they choose to, owners can opt to place their homes in a rental pool, managed by Les Bordes Estate, although by doing so they must select a specific interior decorating package for their home.
A wide range of activities are offered at Les Bordes. Amenities on site include a white sand beach and swimming lake, ziplining, fishing, horseback riding, archery, tennis, pickleball, bicycling and off-road all-terrain vehicles. In the clubhouse, there is a games room with a billiard table, foosball and a golf simulator.
Exceptional dining is available at the clubhouse, where there is a cocktail bar and an oversized fireplace large enough to walk into. A Six Senses Hotels Resorts and Spas will be constructed on the property in the next several years. It will be located in a 19th century-era chateau on the property. A pioneer of sustainable hospitality, Six Senses will offer guest rooms, a world-class spa, and fine dining—amenities that will be available to Cour du Baron homeowners.
“We like to think of it as an elevated playground without pretense, unlike anywhere else in the world,” says Massimiliano “Max” Binda, chief executive officer of Les Bordes Estate.
An Area Steeped In History
The Loire Valley has a rich history that dates back to Julius Caesar who conquered the territory in 52 BC. For centuries, the Loire Valley has been the playground of French royals (King François, Catherine de Médici, King Henry II) and artists, including Leonardo da Vinci. A favorite region of the French kings and court for centuries, who came here to enjoy outdoor pursuits, specifically hunting. Such is the reason why the area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its plethora of stunning châteaux from Château de Chambord to Château de Chenonceau and Château de Villandry.
The Loire Valley is also known for its winemaking, specifically dry white wines, including Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Chenin Blanc.
As Les Bordes is located only ninety minutes from Paris and with two private airports nearby and a helipad on site, it is easy to get to. “Americans have easy access to a unique, rich culture and setting they can’t find at home,” says Binda.
Carrie Coolidge is a Pursuitist contributor based in Manhattan. From 2009 to 2011, Carrie served as Co-Editor of Luxist, the luxury lifestyle website at AOL where she ran the Luxist Awards, a program that honored the very best in fine living. From 1996 to 2009, Carrie was a Staff Writer at Forbes magazine, where she covered real estate, personal finance and the insurance industry, among other areas. Carrie is also the author of six books, including "The Business of America is Business". Follow her on Twitter: @carriecoolidge