If you haven’t immersed yourself in the natural beauty and elegant Castle region of the Loire Valley, plan to do so during your next holiday in France. The feast for all senses awaits your arrival, and we recommend the appealing city of Amboise as your base.
While a long weekend offers abundant opportunities for exploring, we were fortunate to spend an enthralling couple of weeks. The extra time allowed us a leisurely pace to discover historic châteaus and enjoy picnics, superb dining, wine tasting and visits to the sprawling riverside market. Though Amboise is home to only about 15,000 residents, the city features a magnificent location on the Loire River. Enticing historic sites within the city include the imposing Château d’Amboise and the last home of Leonardo da Vinci –Château du Clos.
Plentiful royal chateaus dot the landscape within 15 to 50 minutes, including: Blois, Villandry, Cheverny, Chenonceau and Chambord – certainly enough to ignite your imagination!
We happen to love boutique hotels, and Manoir Les Minimes across from the Loire and tucked at the base of the Château in Amboise would make an ideal base from which to explore. Marked by exceptional hospitality and a warm, appealing French interior décor, the small hotel blends elegance, comfort and serene “à la Francaise” relaxation. Aside from your lovely guest room overlooking the Loire or the Château Royale, spacious guest lounging areas, a flowered terrace, convenient parking and property-wide internet service … and with 13 rooms and 2 suites, the hotel is an ideal size. From 97€, 18th-Century, 4-star hotel.
The breakfast presentation alone should seal your decision (though not included in your room rate)! Set with linens, silver and fine porcelain; you choose from multiple hot and cold drink selections, seasonal fruits, cereals, fresh pastries and baguettes, old-fashioned jams, hard-boiled or scrambled eggs, cheese and ham choices…well, it’s an astounding array of delectable offerings – definitely not your everyday continental breakfast!