Ten beautiful French castles in which you can spend a night


 

 

An inspiration for the settings of many fairytales, the French countryside has long been renowned for its stunning castles. You probably know the names of some of them. They are Chambord, Chenonceau or Amboise… But of the thousands of castles, mansions or bourgeois houses you can find throughout the country, some have even been turned into hotels.

Although often quite expensive, these usually luxury establishments are a fantastic opportunity to spend a night in the very core of French rich history. Prepare yourself to dive into the past, and to experience the French vie-de-chateau that has made our culture shine worldwide, for centuries.

 

Below is a list of ten of these castles you should consider before making your French accommodation arrangements. Most of them are within two or three hours from Paris by train or car.

 

1. The castle of Beaulieu in Busnes (Pas-de-Calais)

In the heart of the mining lands of Hauts-de-France Region (Upper France) is a typical small brick-built village. Its name is Busnes. It is home to a jewel whose brick façade does not contrast much with the surrounding architecture: the Castle of Beaulieu.

The elegance of the gardens, and the high-class of the castle silhouette are, however, in complete opposition with the area’s general feeling. Thanks to the rainy weather of this part of France, the grounds are green and pleasant. A large terrace allows visitors to enjoy the outside world as soon as the shy sun shines.

Located in a very convenient place for a last night before reaching Calais and the Channel, this fabulous castle welcomes you with very good restaurants (including a 2-star restaurant, le Meurin, and a French brasserie), and large well-kept rooms. This is worth noting as many castle-hotels in France offer old rooms which are sometimes still to be renovated (a problem when your night costs several hundred euros).

At last, the staff is generally friendly – a typical trait of the Upper France region known to be extremely welcoming to visitors – and you may even follow French cuisine lessons!

Star-rating : 4-star hotel

Approximate driving time from Paris : 2 hours 35 min

Official website : http://www.lechateaudebeaulieu.fr/

2. The castle of Augerville in Augerville-la-Rivière (Loiret)

Château d’Augerville – Picture : Wikimedia Commons – by Pline

In an article about hotels in castles, you probably guessed that most of them would be in the Loire Valley, the absolute epicenter for castles in France.

Augerville-la-Rivière, is a tiny town south of Fontainebleau, and north of Orleans, which could be your gateway to the Loire Valley. The castle is in the town, and is the typical castle you imagine, with its round pointy towers marking the angles.

On stunning grounds, the castle offers an 18-hole golf and a spa. If you do love golf, this is probably one of the best destinations for you. Likewise, if you are looking for a great escape to enjoy absolute calmness, Augerville is a great choice.

On the down side however, some rooms are a bit empty, or with a view to the parking lot – which considering the cost is a bit annoying. Also the park is mostly for golfers, and other visitors cannot really enjoy it.

The service, however, is great. Don’t hesitate one second to plan your stop there! And why not even book a chocolate and pastry class at the castle!

Star-rating: 5-star hotel

Approximate driving time from Paris : 1 hour 30 min

Official website: https://www.chateau-augerville.com/en/

3. The Waldorf-Astoria – Trianon Palace in Versailles (Yvelines)

How can you look for a great hotel in a castle and not check whether there is one in Versailles, which is the most royal town of all? You simply can’t. And indeed, Versailles is home to a wonderful castle – and I don’t mean Louis XIV’s exuberant palace.

On the very elegant Boulevard de la Reine (Queen’s Boulevard), right outside the park of the palace and near the Trianon castles is the majestic Waldorf-Astoria-Trianon-Palace hotel. This is by far the best hotel to stay at in Versailles and a great location to explore the gardens. Of course, the hotel offers a spa and the pool is simply beautiful.

If you want to stay there, be especially careful to book a top-category room marked as “palace building”, as the other categories (named “pavilion room”) are not located in the historical building but in a newly-built addition, nearby.

Let me also remind you that Discoverwalks also offers several Versailles free guided tours. To learn more, and start exploring the City of Kings, please click here.

Star-rating : 5-star hotel

Approximate driving time from Paris : 50 min

Official website : https://www.hilton.com/en/waldorf-astoria/

4. The castle of Etoges in Etoges (Marne)

Château d’Etoges – Picture : Wikimedia Commons – by EH d’Etoges

If you plan on visiting the large vineyards of Champagne, the castle of Etoges is a good option to spend a night.

Although the castle may need some refurbishment and lacks a swimming pool, the nice park and the agreeable living-room where you can sit by the fireplace largely compensate for it. The restaurant is also very much worth it.

Star-rating : 4-star hotel

Approximate driving time from Paris : 1 hour 30 min

Official website : http://www.chateau-etoges.com/

 

5. The castle of Pray in Amboise (Indre-et-Loire)

Château de Pray – Picture : Wikimedia Commons – by De Chaumont

The beautiful stone towers of this castle immediately remind you that you are in the heart of Loire Valley. The castle of Pray is located very close to Amboise, known for its stunning castle on the cliff, and for the Da Vinci museum at the Clos-Lucé Manor.

If you plan on visiting the castles of Loire Valley, Pray is an incredibly great option to stay at. The gardens and pool are beautiful and the wine is excellent. Of course, as it often occurs in castle-hotels, the rooms are sometimes slightly too small. But the splendor of the building and the greatness of the region give this hotel everything it needs to provide you with an amazing stay to remember…

Star-rating : 4-star hotel

Approximate driving time from Paris : 2 hours 30 min

Official website : http://www.chateaudepray.fr/

6. The Tiara Mont Royal – Chantilly in La Chapelle en Serval (Oise)

In the North of Paris, less than one hour away, is the beautiful castle of Chantilly – which is probably one of the best week-end escape you may enjoy near Paris. The castle and grounds, the stables and the horse-racing tracks are worth a full day visit, which easily competes with a day tour of Versailles or the Louvre.

Not far from there, in the little town of La Chapelle en Serval, near the Asterix Theme Park, is the stunning Tiara Mont-Royal Hotel. It is quite hard to find anything wrong to say about this beautiful palace, located at the top of a small hill and overlooking its grounds and garden. This ideal romantic retreat, quite lovely and quiet, offers an absolutely impeccable service well justifying the price.

Whether you are a couple looking to flee the bustling city life for a romantic interlude, or a family wishing to visit the Chantilly area, this grandiose luxury hotel is a must, not to miss.

Star-rating : 5-star hotel

Approximate driving time from Paris : 45 minutes

Official website : https://montroyal-chantilly.tiara-hotels.com/fr/

7. The Domain of Tortinière – The Originals in Montbazon (Indre-et-Loire)

When approaching the small town of Montbazon near Tours in the Loire Valley, it is quite hard to miss the imposing keep and fortress. Yet, another castle is definitely worth the detour: the Tortinière hotel. With its lovely fairytale-like towers, the castle of La Tortinière is a fantastic place to stay at if you wish to visit the western Loire Valley.

The lovely architecture, and the great swimming pool turn your stay into a majestic movie-like interlude.

The quality of the service is no-less perfect, and you will probably appreciate every single minute of your very relaxing stay there, making every cent you spent totally worth it.

Only one word of advice, however: the castle offers rooms across four floors, reachable via a memorable staircase. If you have young children, or have difficulties walking, feel free to ask for the lovely rooms on the first floor to avoid a strenuous hike!

Star-rating : 4-star hotel

Approximate driving time from Paris : 3 hours

Official website: https://www.tortiniere.com/fr/

 

8. The castle of Rochecotte in Saint-Patrice (Indre-et-Loire)

Château de Rochecotte – Wikimedia Commons – by Beaujabot

If you plan on visiting the castles of Ussé, Saumur, Langeais or Chinon – some of the main landmarks in the Loire Valley, or tour the local vineyards, I suggest you stay at the castle of Rochecotte, in the small town of Saint-Patrice, nearby.

This typical French chateau, of the purest eighteenth century baroque style, sets beautifully on its green and vast grounds. Contrary to some small, cute castles, Rochecotte is grandiose, superb, and will welcome you as should be. Prepare to be the king or queen for some nights!

When the worst recurring complaint about the service is the lack of mini-fridge in the otherwise pleasant rooms, I believe you can consider this hotel be a very (very) good choice to pick if you wish to spend a memorable night by the Loire.

Star-rating : 4-star hotel

Approximate driving time from Paris : 2 hours 45 minutes

Official website: https://www.chateau-de-rochecotte.fr/en/

 

9. The castle of la Chenevière in Port-en-Bessin-Huppain (Calvados)

In France, castles are not only limited to the Loire Valley. Although their concentration, there, is very high, one may find chateaux pretty much everywhere. If you travel to France, you may want to visit Normandy, famous for its rural landscapes, the surreal Mont-Saint-Michel, and of course, the D-Day landings beaches.

Near the Colleville US military cemetery, is a great castle where you can spend a few lovely nights. This castle is La Chenevière. In a typical rural-France setting, this 18th century castle, located in tiny Port-en-Bessin-Huppain, is a perfect and relaxing place.

La Chenevière will turn your Normandy stay into a dream-like pause. If you really don’t want to do like everyone else, you may even arrive to the hotel by helicopter, since there is a landing pad on the hotel grounds !

Star-rating : 5-star hotel

Approximate driving time from Paris : 3 hours

Official website : https://www.lacheneviere.com/

10. The castle of Bourron in Bourron-Marlotte (Seine-et-Marne)

Château de Bourron – Picture : Wikimedia Commons – by and from the hotel website.

Like a jewel, placed elegantly on a small piece of water, and accessible through a grandiose symmetrical display, the castle of Bourron, just a few miles from Paris, is the perfect starting point for you Fontainebleau and Vaux-le-Vicomte excursions.

Hidden in a vast park, the hotel offers to you a real time-travel, into a pocket of tranquility. Enjoy the lovely decor of the refurbished rooms, talk with very nice owners, and enjoy the most perfect representation of French luxury art-de-vivre.

Small and warm reading studies are accessible to visitors, to relax, in the comfortable armchairs. Feel like a count or countess for a few nights, and never forget you absolute French experience!

Star-rating : 4-star hotel

Approximate driving time from Paris : 50 minutes

Official website : https://www.bourron.fr/

 

Here is my pick of ten nice hotels in castles. However, bear in mind that there are many more in France. The offer is quite endless! Of course, experiencing one – or several – nights there is rather expensive, since most of these hotels are rated four or five stars. The uniqueness of what you will live, though, makes it a French adventure not to miss! If you truly wish to see the French renowned world of high-class and luxury, these chateaux are an exceptional starting point.

Some of them are even registered as historic landmarks or are part of larger world heritage sites. Therefore, you have here the opportunity to spend a night or more in the heart of History.

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