Wafts of lavender and earthy herbs tickle the nose as you walk twin pathways leading to the storied Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. Nestled away in the picturesque Oxfordshire countryside, the manor is home to the world’s first hotel gardening school, better known as the Raymond Blanc Gardening School—featuring 11 gardens known to leave guests in a state of botanical bliss.
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is just one of many properties opening its gardens to avid, at-home enthusiasts. By offering landscape and botany lessons from some of the world’s leading experts, luxury hotels are taking things beyond farm-to-table. Instead, the properties are bringing the farm aspect directly to guests for a holistic experience, embracing not only the output but also mental and physical benefits of gardening.
Below, we’ve rounded up four incredible luxury hotels that invite you to help harvest the garden.
Tucked away in the Tuscan countryside lies Borgo Santo Pietro, a luxury estate that is home to an extensive working farm. What was once a refuge for medieval pilgrims now serves as a botanical sanctuary to visitors from across the globe. One of the early adopters of the farm-to-table philosophy, the on-site team of farmers, culinary gardeners, and chefs work in unison to bring the fruits of their labour to the table. With over 300-acres of organically farmed land, guests can roam the market gardens, nut fields, herb gardens, and extensive vineyards, amidst the ingredients harvested for the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant.
Just a short walk from the fortified village of Cucuron, Le Pavillon de Galon provides secluded gardens with a view of the Luberon mountains. This restored 18th-century hunting pavilion is enveloped by 15 acres of vineyards and orchards, making for one dreamy gardening getaway. The house grounds are frequently awarded the title of “remarkable garden” by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. Guests can join the chef in the kitchen for a Provençal cooking class, utilizing harvested herbs and vegetables straight from the garden. Afterward, guests can head to the terrace to sample Luberon wine made with grapes from the backyard.
Home to nationally acclaimed historical gardens, Six Senses Douro Valley is a haven for avid horticulturists. Join the head gardener for an afternoon tour of the organic vegetable beds, learning the Douro Valley secrets for sustainable agriculture. Afterward, cozy up underneath the pergola to concoct your own drink, made with fresh ingredients straight from the herb garden. In the summer, tuck into the Garden Barbecue to sample local fish, as well as organic meats and colourful veggies.
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is the quintessential destination for gardening globetrotters, with 11 gardens scattered across the grounds. For the green-thumbed enthusiasts, the Raymond Blanc Gardening School offers insider secrets on growing your own world-class plots back home. Those who consider themselves more of a florist can learn how to craft incredible table displays alongside famed Sophia Hoggarth-Guest. Home to two Michelin-starred restaurants, there is no shortage of fresh dining options after you’ve worked up an appetite.