A castle metamorphosis

The Rinck interior architecture and design agency took on a captivating, challenging project: transforming a care-worn Burgundian hotel, the Château de Saulon, into a top-quality boutique hotel. And that challenge was met, as the property – now completely renovated inside and out – was awarded a fourth Michelin star as soon as it reopened. A second phase of work adds guest suites in the chateau barns. It is another way to ensure visitors experience the ambiance of a family home, the primary objective of this transformation – conserving a venerable building in which, decade after decade, century after century, every generation has left traces of its identity.

Video & pictures © Gaspard Hermach/RINCK

The chateau was ideally suited to this creative undertaking, with a 17th-century central building, adjoining outbuildings, and 67 acres of wooded grounds with a river, the Sans-Fond, running through them. Rinck’s interior designers managed a full revamping that still wholly honors the premises, with inspiration taken from the Burgundy region and given 18th-century nods and contemporary touches. The renovation preserves the human resources of the previous hotel, ensuring the 40 employees and management team are both retained and retrained, to hone and deepen their understanding of hotelier savoir-faire to provide savvier, more upscale service.

In the main building, all the rooms have been redesigned, adding air conditioning, ceiling moldings, colored paints, new bathrooms, traditional armoires with closet space and built-in safes, and framed prints. The two barns have been remodeled, with the first now featuring a set of guest suites and the second becoming home to a gourmet restaurant, one that is expected, in time, to become a gold-standard establishment in the region. Lastly, a French-style vegetable garden has been planted along the edge of the grounds to provide produce for the kitchens, paralleling the forest on the other side of this grand, verdant property.

It is a magical place deep in the heart of Burgundy, perfect for a revitalizing break, be it alone, with family, or with friends.


© Lionel Dupouy

© Lionel Dupouy