Hotel Review – Chateau Valcreuse
I swirled the glass, pursed my lips, and took a sip. I allowed the liquid to rest on my tongue before swishing it around. The body was thinner than expected and the palate delivered a slight, but still stronger than normal mineral stone which I found quite satisfying and refreshing. This was truly unlike any water that I have drank before. That’s probably because Caroline and Alexander, the owners at Chateau Valcreuse, fetched it that afternoon from a nearby spring. This is just one of the many touches that make the chateau such a special French countryside retreat.
I set my glass back on the ornate porcelain tray that my water was delivered on, kicked off my shoes, and laid back in my comfy double bed staring up at the chandelier above me. I couldn’t help but wonder if this is what being a millionaire felt like as I dozed off into one of the deepest sleeps of my life.
A Glimpse at the Chateau Life
The spoils of the chateau life continued throughout my two nights at Chateau Valcreuse where I stayed while attending a French Culinary Adventure at nearby Le Calabash Petit Conservatore de la Cuisine. Each night I returned to find my oversized bedroom already prepared for my evening rest. The bed was turned down, chocolates waited on the bedside table, the curtains were pulled shut, and the bed lights were turned to dim.
In the morning, I understand the chateau treats guests to a rather lavish breakfast on the terrace overlooking the River Creuse. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to experience breakfast on the property as I had special arrangements with Le Calabash each morning, but I couldn’t think of a more peaceful way to start the day – freshly brewed coffee, house made jam and bread, and the sound of the lazy river.
After breakfast, guests can amble along the river, walk the property’s vineyards, or relax at the pool with a good book borrowed from the chateau’s library. The more adventurous can borrow a bicycle and explore beyond the property into the surrounding countryside. Lazy afternoons are spent playing a game of jeu de boule on the lawn or swinging in the century old tree that watches over the property.
In the evenings, the snooker room comes alive as the chateau offers a wide selection of Trappist beers, fine spirits, and local wines. There are plenty of games available, but most guests retire to one of the many comfortable lounge chairs either reading a book or engaging in conversation. After an aperitif, there is an option to have dinner on the property prepared by the chateau’s chef from local produce. If too much of the quiet French country lifestyle is too much of a good thing, the chateau does have WiFi.
A Reminder of a Times Past
The little that is known about the chateau’s history inspires much curiosity. The Chateau was built around 1850 in an eclectic style influenced by Belle Epoque and Art Nouveau. During World War II, a Colonel of the Germany Army resided in the house while his troops fought the French Resistance. Evidence of the war still exists today. Bullet holes are visible on the north, west, and south walls and a plaque on the property reads “Bombardment 22 June 1940″.
The Best of the Loire Valley
Chateau Valcreuse is located in the “belly” of the Loire Valley amongst the rolling hills of the Vienne region. La Roche Posay, a medieval village, is a short walk away where guests can experience the healing power the village’s thermal spring water in the village’s renowned spa. La Roche Posay also provides many good options for lunch and dinner.
Beyond the village are plenty of other quaint villages, vineyards, and castles begging to be explored like Tours, Chateau Chenonceau, and Angles sure Anglin. Maybe venture into the Bordeaux region for an afternoon. If you want to pack a picnic lunch with items purchased from La Roche Posay’s twice-weekly market, ask the staff at Chateau Valcreuse to borrow a picnic basket for the day.
- Chateau Valcreuse is a boutique property with only five rooms. The quaintness helps you feel as if you are truly living the chateau lifestyle.
- The grounds have plenty to explore if you tire of touring the surrounding countryside. From the pool to the vineyards to the views of the countryside, there is plenty of space to explore and reconnect with nature and yourself on a quiet afternoon.
- The house is well appointed with some of the most comfortable furniture I’ve ever slept in or sat in. I sank into my bed each night and had a favorite sofa to cuddle up in each evening with my Kindle.
- There are no TVs in the chateau. While this didn’t bother me, it might for those whose idea of a vacation is to veg out in front of a TV after retiring to your room. Personally, I don’t understand that concept and found it refreshing not to have a TV in the room.
- I highly suggest renting a car if you are staying at Chateau Valcreuse outside of one of Le Calabash’s programs. It’s the best way to explore the Loire Valley.
While staying at Chateau Valcreuse was one of the many highlights of my French Culinary Adventure. I wouldn’t hesitate to return for a week just to explore the French country lifestyle. As I wrote in my previous post, I think we as Americans have a lot to learn from the French way of life. What better way to learn than to immerse and explore.
Have you ever stayed in a French Chateau? Tell us about your experience!
Disclosure – Merci beaucoup to Chateau Valcreuse for hosting me. Regardless of their generosity, readers receive my honest feedback as my opinions are not for sale.