☆ Secret Hotels of the Loire Valley ☆
Just a two-hour detour from Paris, the Loire was once a playground to Renaissance royals. Now its vaunted châteaux are attracting enterprising young couples and artists who have remade them into captivating—and surprisingly affordable—inns.
4 rue de Buffon, 011-33/2-47-93-18-87, hoteldiderot.com, rooms from $72.
Le Moulin de la Renne
11 route de Vierzon, 011-33/2-54-71-41-56, moulindelarenne.com, closed Jan. 10–Feb. 10 and 10 days in Nov., rooms from $76, entrées from $15.75.
Château de l’Isle
1 rue de l’Ecluse, 011-33/2-47-23-63-60, chateau-de-lisle.com, rooms from $69, breakfast $13.
7 rue du Docteur Bretonneau, 011-33/2-47-23-90-09, hotel-chenonceau.com, closed Nov.–Jan. and Mar., rooms from $85.
Le Clos d’Amboise
27 rue Rabelais, 011-33/2-47-30-10-20, leclosamboise.com, closed Dec.–Jan., rooms from $98.
Auberge de Launay
Le Haut Chantier, 011-33/2-47-30-16-82, aubergedelaunay.com, closed Dec. 15–Jan. 15, rooms from $72, two-course dinner from $26.
Château des Tertres
11 rue de Meuves, 011-33/2-54-20-83-88, chateau-tertres.com, closed Oct. 19–Apr. 1, rooms from $94.
Auberge du Centre
34 Grande Rue, 011-33/2-54-70-42-11, auberge-du-centre.com, closed Feb., rooms from $78, entrées from $17.
A two-hour drive southwest of Paris, the Loire Valley is known for its earthy cabernet francs and hundreds of majestic castles. It’s impossible to see them all (a visit to one château can take half a day), so it’s wise to focus on the worthy ones: Chenonceau, the graceful riverine palace that once belonged to Henri II (chenonceau.com, $13); Chambord, which has a double-helix staircase inspired by the designs of Leonardo da Vinci (chambord.org, $12.50); and Cheverny, renowned for its flamboyant, gilded interiors (chateau-cheverny.com, $9.75).
Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
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