Live like true royalty during your next visit to France. This country, with its rich history of elegant architecture features many castles that are open for overnight guests. As elegant as that sounds, some of these chateau hotels aren't insanely expensive. All the chateaux on this list of top French castle hotels bring guests a taste of the good life in old fashioned style and atmosphere. I have listed the chateau hotels geographically, from the north to the south of France, so if you’re doing a long drive, you could take in most of them!
01 of 08
This delightful hotel is not exactly the medieval stone walled castle you might expect, but a pretty whitewashed building in the delightful village of Montreuil-sur-Mer on the Opal Coast of north France. But choose the right room and you step back centuries. You can even have a four-poster bed if you feel like the full castle experience. It has an excellent restaurant which many people drive miles for even if they are staying elsewhere. All modern comforts, great bathrooms and pretty gardens.
02 of 08
Chateau Tilques, Pas de Calais, north France
Move a little further back in time and you come to the red-brick, 19th-century Château Tilques. Rooms in the main château give you the feeling of the past with their high ceilings and grandiose decor; rooms in the new building are comfortable and decorated in pretty chintz fabrics. With its tennis courts, and occasional visits by vintage cars, you feel as if you’re in the middle of a turn-of-the-century country house party. Again, there’s a highly rated restaurant. It is close to St-Omer and its various attractions.
03 of 08
Looking out over the Indre river valley, this was the luxury private château bought in 1912 by François Coty whose perfume empire stretched across the globe – and brought the Corsican patron a very large fortune. He tore down the old 15th-century building and constructed an elegant building with sumptuous interiors. Stay either in the main château or in the Pavillon d’Ariane and the Pavillon de Chasse. The bar has a collection of venerable Armagnacs to sip on before dining in the restaurant which has fantastic views.
04 of 08
Chateau de Codignat, Bort l'Etang, Nr. Clermont-Ferrand
If you’re looking for a romantic castle straight out of a fairy tale, this is the place. The fabulous Château de Codignat is hidden away in one of the most underrated parts of France, the Auvergne. Set in its own park (complete with a totally un-medieval helicopter park),it has the grandest entrance and round turrets, stone-flagged floors and stone walls, roaring fires in winter and rich fabrics.
Vulcania, the volcanic theme park
The undiscovered town of Le Puy-en-VelayContinue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Chateau de la Treyne, Dordogne
If I had to choose one castle hotel for a summer visit, it would be the Chateau de la Treyne. In the heart of the Dordogne, it combines supreme elegance with all the discreet comforts of our high tech age. Dine on the terrace looking out over the majestic river as the sun falls behind the hills opposite; play tennis, swim in the heated outdoor pool and do a little gentle sightseeing in one of the most beautiful parts of France.
- Sarlat with its fabulous Saturday morning market
- Go underground at the Gouffre du Padirac
- Hanging Gardens of Marqueyssac
- The Sacred Site of Rocamadour
- One of the most fascinating medieval working watermills in France
06 of 08
This small privately owned and run château has one of the best views in the region. It’s in the centre of one of the Most Beautiful Villages of France where small cobbled streets wind their way around the hilltop. Only 4 en-suite bedrooms all have the same glorious views. Enjoy the great cooking by Florence Lemaire then sit in a hot tub under the star-filled skies.
The fabulous replica of the Caverne du Pont d’Arc and its 36,000-year old cave
The magnificent stalagtites and stalagmite in the deep caves of l’Aven d’Orgnac
07 of 08
The stately Château de Prye dates back to the Middle Ages though you sleep in rooms added in the 19th century when the extensive grounds were redesigned. Owned by the welcoming Marquis et Marquise du Bourg de Bozas, it’s more a very posh bed and breakfast than a hotel in the lush countryside of Burgundy. And you really do feel you are in a castle, a guest of the owners.
08 of 08
Chateau Le Cagnard, Haut-de-Cagnes, Cagnes
This is south of France living at its best. Perched up high in Haut-de-Cagnes above Nice and the Côte d’Azur, you get views of the sparkling Mediterranean in the distance. It’s a gracious hotel, with pretty rooms decorated in chic Provence style and a dining room with a roof that opens to the sky.