In the heart of the Loire Valley stands a real jewel of fine hospitality and gastronomy, in persona of the Domaine des Hauts de Loire. Ideally located between the royal city of Blois and the legendary Loire castles, among them we may enumerate the flowered Chaumont-sur-Loire and its inspirated Festival of Gardens, without forgetting the Cheverny and Chambord castles that we would have a further look below.
It’s not a secret that in this haven of peace, you would live the typical castle life, while appreciating all the assets provided by this luxurious Domaine des Hauts de Loire, after a noble and large entranceway through a gigantic green central lane, bordered by incalculable trees, as tall as each other (photo credits : AP).
Thus, progressively visible behind the groves, inducing an ineffable visual effect, whose facade is sometimes flooded from the early hours of the day, within a rising sun that, slowly announcing the morning dew on the Virginia creepers leaves. Once in the reception hall, the parquet creaks under your footsteps and the smells of waxed wood, from the recently cleaned old furniture, slowly but surely rise until your nose.
Officially switched into a Relais & Châteaux establishment since 1974, this Domaine des Hauts de Loire has been recently acquired by the H8 Collection group. Therefore, this hospitality structure pursued the original spirit, step by step completed by a couple of renovations enhancing the smallest nooks, within contemporary details.
Thereafter, each of the 31 rooms and suites’ decoration has also been refreshed, through replicas of vintage furniture or even the employment of some premium Nobilis fabrics, used here as curtains, wallpapers and tapestries.
For your information, Nobilis offers many original designer furnishing fabrics, since 1928. This luxurious upholstery manufacture propose a chic and unique spirit, notably expressing the sensitivity of contemporary artists. Their wide selection has already been enabled them to acquire an international reputation, also recognized for their creativity, the richness and the variety of their materials, their patterns, their colors and above all, by their technical innovation.
In fact, once in your room, you would particularly enjoy the wedding between tradition and modernity, especially regarding the high-tech devices available, such as the Bluetooth speakers, air conditioning, and sometimes a massage shower!
Organized between the original edifice and a more recent building with its typical Sologne architecture, located just 30 meters away from the castle. This charming residence offers rooms and suites up to 70m2 and in both of them, you could enjoy the same ranges of room, all offering a smart view on the park, and even some privileged guests could also benefit from a private terrace, overlooking the garden where notably melt roses and sculptures.
Conveyed by a white luggage cart with the gracious help of a baggage handler, you would reach your apartments. From the classic or superior rooms, you would have the choice among several ambiances, in a timeless cocoon full of comfort. It’s not a secret that these elegant interiors hold a certain by-gone charm mingling with some modern comfort.
A good occasion to let yourself seduced by this cohabitation… Then came a couple of family rooms, ideal for large tribes, consisting of two separate bedrooms. The view above the park or the vegetable garden is really a green asset, while he two bedrooms are communicating and have a private terrace.
Furthermore, the prestige suites are decorated with care and elegance, these suites could easily seduce you with their spacious rooms and their terraces overlooking the green and prosperous countryside. Everything has been imagined to reserve you have an exceptional moment, thanks to very special attentions. Finally in the suites, an atmosphere of yesteryear floats through this space of refinement and clarity.
As you would notice, everything is bright and wide, enough to take possession of the place and take some time to relax on one of the balconies or terraces overlooking the park, while admiring some curious statues… Indeed, since spring 2018, the sculptor Pierre Yermia has installed some of his monumental artworks, spread in the wide park, property of the Hauts de Loire.
Concerning this Spa center by Clarins, fitted with an honorable surface of 150m2, inaugurated in April 2018 in the recent house next to the castle. Supported by the ancestral beauty expertise of this French brand, which offered its know-how to the Domaine des Hauts de Loire, and especially its customers willing to live a relaxing moment.
Sport and relaxation are favorite moments for this. An outdoor swimming pool, open all summer, awaits you for a few lengths or a refreshment when the temperature invites you to swim. You could also benefit from the nearby club house, for any shower or just to leave your clothes in the locker room.
A few meters away, in another typical club house, invite your children to play in the Kids Club, whether inside or outside, while you kill your calories in the front fitness room. A facility equipped with several modern gym machines, able to permit anyone to exercise and thus bring many benefits to their body. For studied comfort, an adjacent cloakroom is as well available to these athletes. As a last rejoicing, discover the typical bocce game at the ball court, in front of the Guinguette, where you could have a fresh drink and maybe meet new friends, propping up the bar!
You need other kinds of delights?
You’re undoubtedly at the right place… since these Hauts de Loire have been luckily associated since 1988 with a talented Chef Rémy Giraud, ravishing all the passing epicureans.
These precious elements muchly depend on the maturity of vegetables, fish or meats availability, and of course the inspiration of this Chef, native from Vendée, who varies then, as much as possible, his menus regarding these parameters. For your information, his asparagus grow on a plot located in the neighboring village of Veuves, while many other of his vegetables come from la Touche farm, in the Chitenay village, along most of the fish caught in the Loire river and the privilege to cook with regional caviar, bred from Sologne.
Always developed with a certain surprising sense of associating unexpected savors, you would definitely be convinced by each culinary artwork imagined by Rémy Giraud, assisted by the Chef Baptiste Gournillat. For instance, you may explore two appetizers, such as this legendary duck foie gras enhanced in a sweet support of gingerbread crust and cherry chutney (pictured on the right), completed by a Texture of artichoke, emphasized with an incredible smooth harissa sorbet.
Suggested with a local Chardonnay, you would be obviously ready to face the Guinea fowl, carely selected by two passionate farmers Guylaine and Damien Leroux. A tasty and digeste assortment, highlighted with some Touraine truffles.
Cherry on the cake, the sophisticated but refined Raspberry dessert (pictured above), balanced with its lemon basil sorbet and its related jammy raspberry coulis.
All these jewels are delicately served with the help of a crockery full of golden reflections, stamped Raynaud Limoges and a finely chiseled Ercuis and Voglux silverware, notably for the butter dish.
In case of good weather, you would enjoy each second of this memorable moment, in the panoramic terrace in front of the castle, time would stop just for you, expressly when you focus on a random decorative wood fire or the swan pond, just arising over the horizon.
Conforming to the high quality gastronomic offer of these Hauts de Loire, again under the leadership of Rémy Giraud. Influencing this time a rather terroir cuisine, proud of the past and of the forestry environment, rich in game meat, either grilled on a spit, or in the charcoal wood oven. There, it’s announced some veal crepinettes, pork knuckles, stuffed quails or lamb shoulders, in this intimate room, topped with imposing brown beams.
Moreover, you would also be grateful to take your continental breakfast, possibly in the terrace of the Bistrot or inside, during winter time. Full of timeless elements, such as viennoiseries, homemade honey, fresh fruits, delicatessen and scrambled eggs with bacon. You wouldn’t feel so much disoriented!
Last but not least, we are pleased to invite you to discover this huge stretch of nature through this forest, surrounding the resort. Only accessible for the guests, several pedestrian itineraries are proposed, whose longest is about 45mn! You may pass through a couple of curiosities, like the water tower turbine or even the helicopter airstrip.
Furthermore, close to the two other artificial lakes, where a canoe may be at your disposal, stand three hives providing the necessary honey needs of the hotel. A production supplied and protected by the expertise of the apicultor David Delaporte and his Api’Planète structure. Don’t hesitate to ask at the reception when he would be available to show you some secrets about bees, of course protected in a dedicated protective beesuit.
Likewise, the team as well cooks their own chocolate, thanks to the talent of their pastry master Tom Duclos, who takes time to offer fine pastries and other gourmet desserts designed around cocoa, faithful to his inspirations of the moment.
Starting from this prestigious hotel base, you can’t miss the exploration of the Loire Valley of the Kings and its hundreds of fairy castles! In fact, all these wonders of French architectural and historical heritage are located less than an hour’s drive from the estate.
If you feel like exploring further this topic, the Loire Wine Route waits for you, stretched over 800 kilometers along the river, and as well aligned along the vineyards of Bourgueil, Chinon, d’Esvres and Vouvray. But the more adventurous of you could probably sail on the Loire in a gabarre (local rowboat), embark in an ULM, a helicopter or even in a hot-air balloon to admire these endless vines and these Châteaux of the Loire (Loire Valley Castles), surely from another angle.
Not so far and from pretty different styles, we find the Domaine of Cheverny is a unique Loire Valley, in a way that it’s a family property which has been held in the same heritage of the Marquis De Vibraye tribe, for over six centuries.
For your information, Cheverny has been the first French Castle to have opened its doors to the public from 1922.
Inside the chateau are featured very unique pieces of furniture from different styles and remarkably well-preserved interior fittings, such these monumental firehouses.
Although this Cheverny architectural masterpiece conceals many other treasures, such as a 17th century Gobelins tapestry presented in the Salle d’Armes or even the Louis XIV period chest of drawers, by the time manufactured in Boulle style.