My fiance and I were lucky enough to experience this treat during our trip to France this past week and a half. We stopped over in the Loire for a few nights after spending a week in Paris.
This was the highlight of our trip.
We arrived and immediately felt as though we had entered a modern castle. The air was fresh and the grounds were lovely and well manicured. They even have sheep and chickens on-site!
We stayed in La Chambre du Vigneron, a huge suite with a fireplace, sitting area, and gigantic spa-like washroom. It even has a view into the estate's cellars which offered a very lovely, rustic view. The room comes equipped with luxurious toiletries, complimentary still and sparkling water, and a nice hair dryer (ladies, I know you'll appreciate this). It is very clean (even the washrooms are spotless) and the bed is more comfortable than the ones at the Four Seasons ;)
The complimentary breakfasts are also worth noting as it is stocked with nice juices, fresh coffee, farm fresh eggs, good yogurts (even plain yogurt in glass bottles!), and more. There's a coffee maker (Krug I believe) in your room for the perfect cup of espresso in under 10 seconds.
The owners, Charlotte and Jerome, were attentive, nice, and offered wonderful service and recommendations. They set us up with a restaurant reservation, private wine tour (must do) and a chef's table experience.
On our first night we ate at a nearby restaurant, Au Chapeau Rouge. For $50 Euros you can get a spectacular tasting menu - some of the best food I've had in France. I'm not sure if it's a Michelin Star restaurant, but it was as good as some of the one, two and three stars I've experienced. Service is a little slow though, I think they were short staffed that evening.
The other two nights, we ate at the chateau. The first night was in the dining room with another couple also staying at the chateau. The second night, we tried their chef's table where you can sit in the kitchen and eat as the chef cooks for you. The chef, Philippe, is funny and amicable so he was a real treat to "host" our dinner. He even let me jump in there and learn to cook with him. It was a delicious and interactive experience that still very much stands out as the best meal we had in France and one of the most-fun experiences. I made a video of it, you can find here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihmCCJp5EAE
Otherwise, we spent time doing chateau tours, experiencing the region, and fantasizing about moving there ourselves. I think that's the biggest problem about our stay there: by the end, we wanted to stay forever!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Four beautiful self contained cottages set in a 15th-century Loire Valley Chateau and its outbuildings, entirely and lovingly renovated in 2008 & 2011 by the English and French owner managers. Peace and tranquility combined with warm hospitality. Very family friendly. Delicious French table d'hote meals available three evenings, breakfast included every day. Fully gated heated outdoor pool, free wifi, babysitting available, fantastic range of Loire Valley wines. Suites to suit a couple, a family of up to five, or book the entire place to sleep up to 16. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Loire Valley Retreat Hotel Chinon
- Loire Valley Retreat Chinon, France