Bask in the Romance of Relais de Chambord
Succumb to the magic of Chambord’s majestic towers, spires, and chimneys — built by King Francis I and designed with Leonardo da Vinci.
Located in the heart of France’s Loire Valley, the newly opened Relais de Chambord hotel oversees the magnificent Château de Chambord. This majestic architecture was built by King Francis I, rumoured along with Leonardo da Vinci. The perfectly romantic landscape was also the source of inspiration for the backdrop of castle in the Beauty And The Beast Disney movie.
The first luxury hotel to open in the castle’s Unesco-protected ground, Relais de Chambord offers an elegant escapade, away from the city bustle by a bridge crossing the peaceful Cosson river.
Chambord is the largest chateau in the Loire Valley, with grounds the size of central Paris, endless walks, cycle trails and tours of the castle itself. There are also several other worthy destinations nearby the castle grounds, such as the beautiful Château de Cheverny (featured in the Tintin books), and some of France’s most celebrated vineyards that will bound to enchant the wine connoisseurs.
While chateau is often brimmings with tourists, after the peak visiting hours, the hotel’s residents can enjoy the whole serene palatial surroundings. The hotel offers a great range of amenities and services, including spa treatments, a hammam, sauna, and also a smart billiards room. The pièce de résistance though, has to be the terrace, which faces on to the castle and spans both the bar and restaurant.
The sandy-hued interior of the boutique hotel remains reminiscent of its 17th century history as a kennel for the king’s hunting hounds. To preserve its novel past, vintage drawings, prints, historical maps and early black-and-white photographs of Chambord decorates the public areas. The hotel also features a contemporary collection of art curated with expert precision by Marie-Laure Jousset, chief curator at Paris’ Centre Pompidou for over two decades.
There are six grades of rooms available, with the most spacious being the Chambord Suites, presiding over the castle and its grounds. With floor-to-ceiling windows that open up on to the river, the best offering of the room will be its stunning view. Designed with rather modern fixtures with a nostalgic sive, each room centres around an individual wall mural, detailing a specific element of the chateau – Leonardo Da Vinci’s double helix staircase is a favourite.
Complimentary bikes are provided for the guests to tour around the area, as well as rowing boats, electric boats and electric golf cars to rent just across the river; the reception can help organise guided tours of Chambord or 4×4 game drives in the forest. The castle is surrounded by lush nature, with much wildlife to be spotted along the river, uninterrupted regal vistas, and fresh forest grounds.
No hotel stay will be complete without a gastronomic experience that matches up to its stunning setting. Besides spectecular local wines, the area is also home to several Michelin-starred restaurants including La Maison d’à Côté that dishes out a seasonal seven-course tasting menu that showcases the abundant produce of the fertile valley.
Breakfast at Relais de Chambord is a traditional affair. The continental buffet feast includes madeleines and cinnamon-laced ‘pain perdu’ (French toast), pastries, fruit salad, cereals, ham and regional cheeses. In warm weather, guests can eat outside on the parasol-shaded terrace.
One of the most popular gastronomical spots is the restaurant Le Grand Saint Michel, with its breathtaking sunset view during dinner hours. Of course, don’t forget to round off your night with a cocktail in Le Bar du Relais, the gentlemen’s club-styled bar that features many signature local liquors.
The Chambord Suites are available from £250 per night, while the Superior Room start from £170 per night, both prices including breakfast. View the official site of Relais de Chambord here.
Location Place St-Louise, 41250 Chambord, France.