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CEO and Chairman of Karma Royal Group Acquires ‘Le Preverger’ in France

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John Spence, CEO and Chairman of Karma Royal Group has purchased the former estate of the late British designer Laura Ashley in the medieval French village of La Garde-Frenet.

 Set on 150 well-kept acres, just 13 miles from St-Tropez, Le Preverger is one of the region’s most recognizable and well-preserved chateau, and will add to a portfolio of private estates within the Karma Royal Group, that also includes Karma Pelikanos, on the island of Mykonos.

Dating back to pre-Napoleonic times, Le Preverger was bought by the Ashley family in 1983 from the French actress Jeanne Moreau, who entertained many luminaries from that era, including Orson Welles, Brigitte Bardot and Pablo Picasso.

The Ashleys were known for their signature hospitality, hosting several famous guests at the chateau, such as Diana, Princess of Wales and Margaret Thatcher, and it is this rich history of entertaining that John Spence has recognized as a very integral part of the estate.

“Entertaining is a huge part of the vibe and experience at any Karma, Chakra or Royal Resort, or in our beach clubs, spas and restaurants, and when an opportunity arose to entertain in one of the most beautiful places in the world, in a chateau that has entertained some incredible people over the years, I felt this was the perfect opportunity to expand our private residences for the international guests and members of the Karma Royal Group” said John Spence. “I believe in being a part of any community in which we own property, and the potential for Le Proverger to do just that, whether it be from producing olives and grapes or attracting visitors to the area, is enormous. To take on a part of this iconic, medieval French landscape expands the truly once in a lifetime experiences we are able to share with our guests from all over the world.”

Le Preverger boasts 18 bedrooms, eight reception rooms and 11 bathrooms, and it’s appeal lies as much in it’s bucolic setting as it’s classic architecture. The interiors will be refurbished with a view to staying true to the somewhat un-ostentatious classic English country elegance of Laura Ashley’s original vision. The extensive grounds of the estate are home to established olive groves, a vineyard, oak and chestnut woods filled with wild mushrooms and landscaped gardens and it is John’s intention to create fresh produce here, such as cold pressed olive oil, for use in Karma Royal Group Resorts all over the world.

The estate will host special events ranging from an association with Cannes Film Festival through to supporting local festivals such as Olive Picking and the Chestnut Festival. The chateau and grounds will also be available for location filming, with it’s picturesque setting is perfect for the part. The estate will be available to VIP guests and Karma Royal Group Members, who will enjoy the magnificent setting in the Côte d’Azur, complete with private helicopter and pilot on the estate grounds, who can have guests in St Tropez in 5 minutes, should they choose to leave the allure of the local surrounds.

“In many ways, one is always just a caretaker of these beautiful, old historic buildings” said John Spence. “We see ourselves as curators of a place intrinsic to this part of France. Our hope is that we can keep the integrity of Le Preverger and open it’s doors to guests so they can sample a truly authentic, unique manor house, located in the incredible heart of the French Riviera.”

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