Château de Saint Paterne
- Style Fine food, fresh heir
- Setting Cusp of the Loire
No wonder the fairy-tale looks and imposing stone walls of Normandy’s Chateau de Saint Paterne hotel feel right out of a history book – King Henry IV is said to have conducted late night trysts in these very rooms. Luckily, you won’t have to expect 17th century amenities – or amoureux – at this family-friendly castle that now boasts L’Occitane toiletries and underfloor heating.
Need to know
- Rooms 10, including six suites.
- Rates Double rooms from $180.37 (€131), excluding tax at 7 per cent.
- More details Rates exclude breakfast (€13 a person).
- Facilities Tennis courts, gardens with playground and trampoline, CD, DVD and book libraries, in-room massage, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD, iPod dock, L’Occitane products.
- Poolside There's a heated outdoor pool in the grounds, open May–September.
- Check–out 12 noon, but flexible according to availability. Earliest check-in, 2.30pm.
Children Extra beds can be added to all rooms, except Maréchal, for €15 a night (free if you book a family room). Cots for babies cost nothing. Baby monitors can be borrowed. Children’s dinner is served at 7.15pm.
- Hotel closed From 21 December to 17 March 2013.
- Also Pets can stay for €10 a night.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms L’Orangerie is set apart from the château, a huge, self-contained suite with an open bathroom, vast wooden bed and one wall made from a 19th-century backdrop found in a Barcelona theatre. The château’s most modern room is the Chambre des Mystères, romantically secluded up two narrow flights of winding stairs. It’s chocolate-coloured, with bold red accents. For a stay that’s steeped in history, go for the Chambre d’Henri IV, where France’s first Bourbon king kipped.
- Packing tips Riding boots and hats, and a hearty appetite for cider and cheese.
- Also In-room massages can be arranged on request, and there are bicycles to borrow.
Food and drink at Château de Saint Paterne
- Hotel restaurant Owner Charles-Henry de Valbray is a self-taught chef who prepares a terrific set dinner, served around 8pm each evening. Typical dishes include beetroot and caper gazpacho with cucumber sorbet, veal tagine with dried fruits, and apricot puffs with rosemary ice-cream.
- Dress code Bohemian and chic, to match owners Ségolène and Charles-Henry.
- Top table Take your pick from the drawing room or dining room, out on the terrace if the sun is shining, or in the Moroccan-inspired games room, which can be decorated romantically if you’re planning to propose.
- Last orders Breakfast is available from 8.30am until 11am. Dinner is served at 8pm.
- Room service None, though breakfast can be served in-room.
- Hotel bar There’s an honesty bar in the salon, a grand space in which to nurse a nightcap and pretend you own the château, to the sounds of jazz, lounge and classical.
Also worth knowing
- Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More details