Château de


    If people still used encyclopaedias, this is what would be pictured under “château”: palatial gardens, a moat and a stately residence set within a 100-acre estate. Louis XV and his in-laws used to stay here on hunting trips, but it’s now run as a hotel, with a spectacular restaurant in the renovated stables. With its drapes, tapestries and expanses of red and gold, this is French grandeur at it’s most opulent. Prices start at $265 per room per night; castle-paris.com


    Château de Noyelles

    The Bay of Somme

    You don’t need to hire an entire castle to enjoy feeling like a French duchesse for a few days. This is as intimate as a château-as-hotel gets – even when all eight bedrooms are full, you’ll feel like the only couple in residence. En-suites come complete with claw-footed baths, built for two. From the impressive front gate and double-height, shuttered windows to the cozy lounge spaces, this is every inch the classic, handsome French manor house. Prices start from $145 per room per night; chateaudenoyelles.com


    Château de Bagnols


    A Renaissance fantasy, this is regarded as one of the finest château hotels in the world, complete with moat, drawbridge and topiary straight out of a Grace Coddington photo shoot. The restaurant is one of the best in the region: order the Bresse chicken with a bottle of wine from a neighboring vineyard. Book the Geoffroy de Balzac suite, with its claret velvet canopy bed, or take over all 21 rooms and invite your friends on the most lavish wine tour of their lives, starting with a hot air balloon ride over the vines. Prices start at $600 per room per night; bagnols.com

    Château de Bourron features its very own moat

    Château de Bagnols' rustic charm

    Châteaux de Noyelles' stunning approach

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