The Chateau des Reaux, near Saumur, is theatre from beginning to end! Yevgyni, a charming and charismatic Ukranian, larger than life and very generous with his "little drinks", together with his delightful wife, have almost completed converting this very attractive, gothic style, moated chateau and it's equally attractive grounds into a permanent gallery of stunning, vibrant modern art, with "the world's largest private collection of paintings of legs", predominantly female, displayed on most of the internal walls. Several easels with paints are discretely provided, possibly for visitors to contribute to the growing collection! The three days that we spent there were probably the most stimulating of our recent trip, although the sometimes erotic pictures may not be to all tastes.
On arrival, very late and well into the evening, we were warmly welcomed by our hosts and well fed in their sparkling dining room, with a lit log fire, elegant china and delightful table decorations. Breakfast comprised an attractive cold buffet, with scrambled egg as an option. Dinner was good, with some unusual dishes (eg carp soup) and a willingness to cope with special dietary requirements, but was quite expensive.
Service overall was well-intended but sometimes variable. The very willing but limited staff were at times somewhat pressed, requiring occasional reminders. Our bedroom, the Chambre du Chasseur, was comfortable, quite dark (probably inevitable in such a chateau), and decorated with objects from la chasse! We slept very well. Our bathroom was full of character but a little tired. The outdoor swimming pool was under renovation and the nearby railway line did not disturb us at all.
Overall, despite the several minor issues, we enjoyed our visit and would happily return, to re-visit the art collection, to enjoy the grounds with the black swans on the moat, to swim in the completed outdoor pool and to meet our hosts and their friendly staff again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our castle is a famous Renaissance building. It opens its doors as guestrooms.The Chateau is ideally located for the visits of the castles and the vineyards of the Loire valley. The Chateau offers a modern comfort in a setting worthy of fairytails. Our contemporary art gallery will surprise and intrigue you. The new exhibition on the theme of "legs of woman and man in the 3rd millennium" has no analogues in the world. For breakfast we propose not only egg, coffee, croissant but also meat, fruits, omelette and cheese. Our breakfast is really great! Furthermore, all our clients and guests have a possibility to order menu in advance. ... more less