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The beginning of the tale

Roman Roads and forts

Strolling through the grounds of our Château you can feel the history which began in 350 AD when Saint-Martin, Bishop of Tours, constructed a fortified structure and gave his name to the property.

Before that the Romans occupied the city of Vence and today guests walk to our tennis courts along part of a Roman road. 


Knights Templar Treasure

In 1115 the Count of Provence bequeathed the property to the crusaders and in 1150 the Château became the stronghold of the Knights Templar, who naturally valued it for its strategic position high in the hills. Back from Jerusalem, they grew vineyards and olive trees on the land, some of the ancient boughs are there today.

The tale also says the Knights buried an amazing treasure in the park of the Château, it is yet to be discovered. The heritage from the Knights is still very present at Château Saint-Martin & Spa which is located on the Templar’s Avenue in Vence.

The ruins

The Château in the 20's

The Restoration

Chancellor Adenauer in 1958

Heart-shaped pool

The Parisian era

In 1905 a Polish Count discovered our place of peace and history, he bought the ruins of the Château with the intention of restoring it for a religious order.

The project was never completed but soon a Parisian businessman, seduced by the surrounding beauty, made it his private home. After spending almost 20 happy years in his residence the owner, who was a natural host, decided to convert the Château into a hotel in 1954. Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of West Germany, and Harry Truman, President of the United States, came to stay at Château du Domaine Saint-Martin. Truman was disappointed that the hotel did not have a swimming pool, ever considerate the French owner constructed a heart-shaped pool, which has since been replaced by our beautiful infinity pool.


A family affair 

In 1961, the owner began building six villas overlooking the property especially for families to enjoy privately. They were named "Saint-Martin" after the Bishop of Tours, "Riou" and "La Foux", which are streams close to the Château, "Saint-Véran", after the 5th century Bishop Saint-Veran who saved Vence from being destroyed by the Visigoths, "Saint-Lambert" after the Bishop Saint-Lambert, who according to legend changed water into wine, and "Ponant" a reference to a west wind blowing over the French Riviera.

Eventually the Château passed into the hands of the owner’s son.

Masterpiece Hotel

Oetker Family

Rudolf Oetker, founder of the German commercial organisation Oetker, already owned Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc and pursuing his love of beautiful hotels acquired the Château in 1994.

He lavishly renovated the property, adding our glorious infinity pool by the Knights’ ancient olive trees and a renowned Spa. Château du Domaine Saint-Martin became Château Saint-Martin & Spa in 2008.

A place of luxury that is completely at one with the surrounding countryside, the hotel was rewarded for its commitment to sustainability with Green Globe Certification, a prestigious award which we have received every year since 2011. 

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