Our Favourite Château Hotels in France
Published on: June 3rd, 2019
Last modified: September 25th, 2023
Nothing says European luxury like a château retreat in France, and there are few better ways to spend a vacation than sipping on champagne overlooking one of France’s picturesque winding rivers.
To help you choose where to spend your next château vacation, our experts have rounded up their favourite château hotels in France.
Domaine des Etangs, Southwest France
Just two hours from Bordeaux, the idyllic Domaine des Etangs is far enough off the beaten track to provide real seclusion. With over 2,500 acres of protected forests, grasslands and ponds, this chateau property is truly something special. Built in the 11th-century, you don’t get much more traditional than this. There are twenty-nine rooms here, with seven incredible suites taking pride of place in the chateau itself and the rest scattered across charming farmhouse cottages.
This hotel brings a new meaning to other-worldly, as the rooms are named after planets and constellations to give the property an ethereal feel. The Domaine awakens the creative senses and puts nature at the heart of everything they do, with inspiring artwork on display and a splendid kitchen garden supplying fresh ingredients. Complete with its own Michelin star restaurant, guests aren’t left wanting here.
Château Saint-Martin, French Riviera
Perhaps one of the most revered chateau hotels in France, Château Saint-Martin on the Côte d’Azur is the very embodiment of classic French elegance. With the turquoise Mediterranean stretching from the hotel to the horizon and the southern Alps providing the perfect backdrop, it’s one of the most picturesque chateau hotels in France.
A chic family-friendly retreat, this property is set amongst 34 acres of stunning natural beauty, with the surrounding countryside offering a perfect place to wander through verdant hills. This classic property offers a spa, fitness facilities, two tennis courts and a majestic infinity pool all within a truly luxurious setting. With the World Luxury Spa Awards deeming the Spa Saint-Martin the “best luxury spa destination in Europe,” the Château Saint-Martin is perfect for a spot of rest and relaxation.
Château Les Crayères, Champagne
Nestled in the midst of lush seven acre gardens, this stately chateau once belonged to the noble de Polignac family. Decorated in classical French style, the 20 spacious rooms and suites here are characterised by timeless decor and opulent style. It’s a great place to stay for foodies, with the on-site Le Pare restaurant boasting an impressive two Michelin stars for its magnificent Haute Cuisine.
This chateau also caters well to oenophiles; the extensive wine list features more than 600 different Champagne labels. Guests can spend their days here horse riding, playing golf or tennis, biking or meandering through the surrounding countryside. A delightful property in a romantic setting, the hotel is an unforgettable place to stay.
Château Grand Barrail, Bordeaux
Located less than an hour from Bordeaux, the fairytale Château Grand Barrail is surrounded by beautiful landscapes. Seven acres of luscious green parklands are wonderfully complemented by a stunning moat winding its way around the castle periphery. There are 46 rooms here, all spread across the château and its outbuildings and completed with rich colours and lush fabrics.
The hotel’s gourmet restaurant offers innovative dishes created by renowned chef Romain Gondras, alongside some of Bordeaux’s finest wines. Guests here can spend time unwinding in the spa, or travel back in time by enjoying a cigar from the hotel’s extensive collection.
Château de la Chenevière, Normandy
In the heart of Normandy, Château de la Chenevière marries old-world charm with the warmth of an English country home. Sitting in 12 hectares of forested estate, this enchanting chateau is located between Omaha Beach (where American forces landed on D-Day) and the quaint town of Bayeux. From soft pastel colours to marble fireplaces, each room is decorated in its own unique style.
In the plush, antique restaurant, traditional Norman dishes are served alongside excellent regional wines that are hand-picked by a local sommelier. The hotel is perfect for outdoorsy people, with pursuits on offer including horse riding, mountain biking, sailing and golf. Whatever it is you want from your luxury chateau vacation, you’re sure to find it at the Château de la Chenevière.
Château de La Treyne, Dordogne
Overlooking the ethereal Dordogne Valley, the 14th-century Château de La Treyne is renowned for its refined taste and understated luxury. Surrounded by a French garden lined with century-old cedars and rare species of trees, this château looks as if it’s been lifted straight from a postcard. There’s also a 120-hectare private forest on the grounds, meaning endless greenery to explore here.
Seemingly floating atop the Dordogne River, this impressive château is surrounded by UNESCO protected biosphere reserves, so is perfect for nature lovers. The interiors here preserve the château’s authentic spirit, with stone, wood and tiled floors transporting guests back to the eloquent French Renaissance. There’s a plethora of activities on offer here, from horse riding to mountain biking. The hotel’s showstopper, though, is dining al fresco on the enchanting terrace of the Grand Louis XIII Salon, overlooking the gentle Dordogne landscape.