Great opportunity near Bordeaux - France

Villa Saint-Simon is a well-known, successful Guesthouse, situated in the heart of Blaye, just a few steps away from the Gironde River.
The owners desire a quieter life and have put this unique property up for sale.

“Our love for France in general, and our passion for Bordeaux wines in particular, brought us both to Blaye, where we immediately felt at home."

Leslie Kellen and Clarissa Schaefer don’t hide their love for the region and their villa.

The legendary Villa Saint-Simon was love on first sight.

“Here we have been hosting friends and guests for almost a quarter of a century”.

Villa Saint-Simon was built in 1860 as the residence of the then richest man in Blaye and ended up in the hands of Les and Clarissa around the turn of the century. South African born Les is an entrepreneur in his early 70ies, widely renowned for his wine knowledge and network in the wine world. Clarissa in her mid 50ies is a well-known, multi-faceted and versatile artist. She is also responsible for making the impressive Etalon Rouge wine, produced in the same street - the only winery in the actual town of Blaye).

Close to the river and wine

Despite the many renovations, Leslie and Clarissa managed to preserve the unique French charm of the property.
“In 23 years, we transformed the Villa into a picturesque and hospitable space for anyone visiting Blaye, the Gironde region, Bordeaux and the famous Médoc wine regions”.

The stately building is situated in the center of Blaye, just a stone throw away from the river and the public gardens. The town is lively and welcomes more than 300.000 tourists every year, visiting amongst other sites, the UNESCO heritage site, La Citadelle. Many activities are organized the whole year through, like the Blaye Marathon, an international horse jumping tournament, and festivals around art, wine, music, theatre, literature, and classic cars. Moreover, river cruise ships dock here, and the town is a well-known overnight stay on the walking routes to Santiago de Compostella. Blaye is also an ideal half-way stop-over for travelers between the UK and Spain.

The ferry at a few meters distance takes you in 20 minutes to the world famous Médoc wine region (Pauillac, Saint-Julien, Margaux, Saint-Estèphe, etc.), while it also allows you to reach the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean very quickly.

The popularity of Villa St Simon is due to all the above: lovers of Bordeaux Wines, French Culture, art, music and classic cars, among all the others attractions over the year. Guests have been back to visit up to 20 times since the couple established this home-away-from-home in Blaye.

Next stage of life

Les and Clarissa are selling this amazing building with a heavy heart.

“Villa Saint-Simon is very precious to us. It gave us the opportunity to meet incredible people from all over the world. But now is the time for a next stage in our lives, and to transfer this gem to the next proud owners. We believe there is still room to further develop the Villa Saint-Simon and give it a new life”.

Where are Les and Clarissa heading?

“We stay in Blaye, and we will continue our wine and art activities, allowing to create a synergy with the new owners”.

They do not need to worry.

“Our list with faithful, returning guests is outright impressive”.

Villa Saint-Simon facilities

Villa Saint-Simon features 9 rooms, spread over 3 floors, including a potential flat for the owners. Each room is fully furnished, with a private toilet and bathroom with bathtub or shower. On the ground floor you will find the entrance (with lock code), the reception, a breakfast room and a laundry space. The first floor features a small common space with a library. In the cellar, the bar can be used for live music, and there is also a pool table and stage.

High quality bicycles are available for the guests (there is a dedicated bicycle and jogging track through the vineyards of the region. Cyclist can do any distances from 5km to to 80km, beginning only 400m from the Villa front door).

There is plenty of free parking space around the Villa, including electric charging stations.

Villa Saint-Simon has been active for more than 20 years as a guest house for groups and individual travelers, especially from march until the end of October, which gives the owners the possibility to lock up and take holidays in the low season.


Blaye is situated at 40 kilometers from the City of Bordeaux, with its international airport and fast train connections to Paris or Toulouse. The famous medieval wine town of Saint-Emilion is only an hours drive away, and Cognac is an 1 hour 15 away. With the ferry you easily reach the famous Médoc wine region on the left bank of the Gironde, including the Chateaux Mouton-Rothschild, Lafitte, Margaux etc. in 20min and the atlantic coast within 1 hour.

For more information:

Phone +33 6 62 76 22 72 / +33 6 76 57 48 84

Asking price:

880.000 euro