After visiting Chateau de Vie in Chandler, I have some major thoughts

After visiting Chateau de Vie in Chandler, I have some major thoughts

Photo courtesy of Teresa Traverse.

By Teresa K. Traverse

June 3, 2024

There’s a Castle-like mansion and lavender farm tucked away in Chandler. Here’s what it’s like to visit.

Chateau de Vie in Chandler feels like a true desert mirage.

Located about 10 minutes from the highway, you drive through some open gates and down a drive that leads to a 15,000-square-foot home resembling castle. It’s practically hidden from Kyrene Road—adding to the mystique. The all-brick exterior also features a signature turret and massive wooden doors that really do make it look like a castle.

The mansion is located on 10.44 acres that are also dream-like. The grounds even featured a white bridge with a babbling creek that runs underneath, green grass throughout, colorful roses in bloom, and lavender plants growing everywhere the eye can see. The entire scene is straight out of a romance novel.

To purchase tour tickets on-site (they’re $20 each and can also be bought online), you have to walk through a small brick building that resembles a much smaller version of the nearby enormous mansion. It once served as a guest house. Now, this building houses a small boutique filled with lotions, candles, and other home and bath products made with ingredients that are cultivated on the property.

After visiting Chateau de Vie in Chandler, I have some major thoughts

Photo courtesy of Teresa Traverse.

The store felt light and airy with high ceilings, white walls, and products displayed on tables and shelves. Some scents we found included lavender cupcake, lavender fields, citrus, and seasonal summer scents like lavender lemonade and chocolate lavender. We took home a vanilla lavender lotion that’s somehow thick and moisturizing but also managed to feel light on the skin.

There’s even a small fridge housing craft sodas and sugar cookies by the cash register. One was decorated in the color purple and the other featured white with a lavender flower on it.

What we loved the most? The floor-to-ceiling windows, which gave visitors an expansive view of the deep blue pond and grass throughout.

After visiting Chateau de Vie in Chandler, I have some major thoughts

Photo courtesy of Teresa Traverse.

The history of Chateau de Vie

The mansion was finished sometime in 1984 by Phil and Billy Lee Erickson, who sold the property in 2002. They were both in a framing contracting business. It took about two years for the home to be completed. You can see pictures of the construction on the Lavender Farms website.

The home got second owners, but eventually fell into disrepair. When current owners Shelly and Nick Goodman purchased the home in 2010, they took on the restoration process. It was previously used as an events venue, but that stopped due to noise complaints. In 2023, the couple reopened it as a lavender farm.

 

The Chateau de Vie tour

Tours—which take around an hour—start in the lobby of the magnificent home. The tour guide opens the massive wood doors and leads you inside, which makes for a grand beginning. What we were struck by most was the elaborate mural painted on the spiral staircase in the lobby. Look up and you’ll see daylight filtering through an intricate stained glass dome.

After visiting Chateau de Vie in Chandler, I have some major thoughts

Photo courtesy of Teresa Traverse.

There are so many impressive details that it’s hard to take them all in. One of the most striking features—in a home full of many—was the stained glass windows throughout. Much of the furniture was plush and antique, made with dark wood.

After visiting Chateau de Vie in Chandler, I have some major thoughts

Photo courtesy of Teresa Traverse.

After seeing a spacious sitting room, we headed up the stairs to the main bedroom. Before we entered, the tour guide pointed out a door that led to an upstairs office. Access to that office is only available to those who book a night tour.

The main bedroom was quite the site. This massive space included a fireplace, a mural on the ceiling, and a room off to the side that featured a balcony overlooking the main lobby. The bathroom was enormous. The centerpiece was a marble jetted tub, but the room also featured a walk-in closet, two water closets, a marble steam shower, and wood doors outfitted with stained glass windows.

After visiting Chateau de Vie in Chandler, I have some major thoughts

Photo courtesy of Teresa Traverse.

We left the main bathroom and walked down the hall to another bedroom before checking out a soundproof room that was hidden behind a moveable bookcase in the upstairs hallway. The bedroom walls were outfitted with speakers. According to our tour guide, the Beach Boys played on the property—twice.

Further down the hall was one room in the home that was made out of a barn that was moved from Indiana to Arizona. The walls were a dark, distressed wood that hinted at its past. A photo on the wall of this room was of the barn.

Next, we headed downstairs to check out the ornate dining room and kitchen. The dining room featured a fireplace and three etched glass panels that the tour guide told us cost $5,000 each and were imported from Europe. The middle panel was damaged during installation, and you can see the curved cut in the glass.

Like every room, the kitchen was spectacular. It featured a marble island with wood carvings underneath in addition to stained glass on the ceiling. Just off the kitchen was a smaller dining room surrounded by stained glass windows. Our guide told us it was the hottest room in the entire home. The ceiling was entirely copper and shiny to prove it. Above the fake fireplace in this room was an old TV that turned on via remote. It only showed static, though.

We then opened up the double doors to see the outdoor pool. The large pool was flanked by white statues and made for one perfect photo.

After visiting Chateau de Vie in Chandler, I have some major thoughts

Photo courtesy of Teresa Traverse.

We ended up in a large U-shaped living room that was covered almost entirely in wood and included filled bookshelves. The room’s centerpiece was a grand white fireplace with a mural above it. In the back was a wood bar with a marble top. Beside that was a home theater outfitted with a projector and soft-to-the-touch velvet walls.

The last room on the home tour was a billiards room that included plenty of stained glass, a fireplace, and a wood bar that came with custom wood chairs. The tour wrapped up at the store where we purchased the tickets.

After visiting Chateau de Vie in Chandler, I have some major thoughts

Photo courtesy of Teresa Traverse.

Above all, I would say that the tour was worth it. The home is so lavish that it’s almost unbelievable. It’s the kind of place that’s so rich with detail that it’s almost impossible to take it all in. Plus, we loved the store and its many original products. The décor was chic, and we loved the lotion we took home.

Pros:

  • Chateau de Vie is such a unique home in Arizona. Each room truly is awe-inspiring and more impressive than the last.
  • The bath products really are incredible. They’re unique, made from plants grown on-site, and only available for purchase at The Lavender Farm.
  • If you’d rather not tour the home, the property also hosts various classes like soap making and cookie decorating that you can take.
  • Night tours are available for $40 per person. On this tour, you see all the rooms in the home. According to the website, this includes a dungeon and one “ghost.”

Cons:

  • Chateau de Vie is only open from Thursday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The limited hours can make it somewhat difficult to reach, especially if you live far from Chandler.
  • Tour ticket prices are a tad high at $20. If you don’t want to spend the time or money on a tour, you can always pop into the boutique.
  • Although we loved the vanilla lavender lotion we took home, the products are somewhat expensive. They range in price from $7.50 for decorative soap or a two-ounce lotion to $37.50 for a reed diffuser.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.After visiting Chateau de Vie in Chandler, I have some major thoughtsAfter visiting Chateau de Vie in Chandler, I have some major thoughts

 

READ MORE: The Culture Pass: How to get free entry into 27 Arizona attractions

Author

  • Teresa K. Traverse

    Teresa K. Traverse is a Phoenix, Arizona-based writer and editor. Her work also has appeared in national print outlets including Weight Watchers, Bust and Parenting magazines and on sites like Tripadvisor, Wine Enthusiast, SFGate, Brides, Rachael Ray Every Day, Bustle, Racked, ForRent.com, WeddingWire, Refinery29, The Daily Meal, Oxygenmag.com, USA Today and Fast Company. She's the managing editor of Sedona Monthly. In her spare time, she loves hiking, reading magazines and spending quality time with her long-haired Chihuahua, Rocket. Visit teresaktraverse.com to check out more of her work.

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