Every room at Le Belvedere offers something magical. The Grand Salon is the perfect place to relax with a glass of port in front of the open fireplace, while the living room on the first floor with its big flop couches, entertainment system and extensive DVD library is the ideal place to unwind with family and friends after a day of site seeing. Each of the bright and airy bedrooms has its own private ensuite with a guest powder room on the ground floor for your convenience. On the first level, the regal master suite features original chestnut parquetry floors, soaring ceilings, antique furnishings and adjoining anti-room with small single bed. Also on the first level is the queen bedroom. On the top floor is a triple bedroom (three single beds) and double room (a double bed and single bed) both with quaint dorma windows that offer breath taking views out across the valley.
Built from local stone and chestnut wood and finished in walnut, Le Belvedere has remained largely in its original state over its 300 year history immediately and on entering the property the owners fell in love with it and its location. Set at the base of the Regional Nature Reserve of the Pibeste-Aoulhet Massif overlooking the village of Argeles Gazost, opposite Hautacam and within the massive mountain ranges of Pic du Midi, Tourmelet, Cauteret, etc. The construction of this house is estimated to be in the 18th Century, and unlike many other mansion houses or chateaux there is no date on the keystone and after a great deal of research Robynne discovered the history may have been forever lost during the war.
The mansion house for its part was linked to an economic function, with farm buildings and agricultural craft differentiating the mansion to that of a bourgeois pleasure mansion.This property was locked in the middle of its production buildings with a small garden but with original substantial land adjoining the property within a small village.It was probably inhabited by notables or nobility, people of the bourgeoisie, perhaps a wealthy landowner or business leader, as it is notably in the heart of the village situated next to the very small Chateau du Arzaas and overlooked its lands stretching to the valley below. Le Belvedere has been a government building, local council house, school, and private residence. The 300 year old wooden staircase is heritage listed for its unique construction as it is entirely free standing without vertical support beams.
In 1995 Jean-Marc and Dominique Crampe purchased Le Belvedere and took on a 12 year labour of love, returning it to its original glory. In 2006 Robynne McTaggart purchased Le Belvedere opening the house to special guests from all over the world who are able to enjoy this historic home, restored in all its magnificence with the added luxury of modern day conveniences.
Set in the Valley of Bergons, the village of Salles has a particularly rich natural heritage, thanks to an environment that has remained very well preserved.It is a small sanctuary and a precious place that has preserved its authentic pastoral character, offering to the true lovers of nature all the pleasures of a space still wild, where man has found his place in harmony with the landscape. Random paths, for which still hold its historic significance are still in existence through which to discover the many barns that adorn this landscape and further accent the charm of the place and where everyone can take in the scenery, smells and warmth of this beautiful space.
As is the history of the house important, so too is the richness of the history of the village.From the 12th century the village of Salles was located within the Noble Fiefdom of Arzaas and was the most important of the 10 villages in the Valley. During this time each village was linked by the small paths, still in existence today, suitable only for walking and it was this foot traffic that led to the importance and name of the village.In the 14th C a new path constructed suitable for carts to Argeles Gazost where the farmers market had stood since the 12th C and consequently the well used paths in the Valley of Bergons were bypassed through Argeles.These paths to Salles became less used and more neglected in favour of the cart path through Argeles-Gazost which in time became the principle village in the valley.However as Salles was still the seat of the Nobles of Arzaas, their chateau and lands situated in the heart of the village, Salles still remained the second most important village in the Valley.