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Domaine des Hauts de Loire, Onzain 

Route de Herbault
France 41150
Tel: 33 2 54 20 72 57
view web site ›'s insider take:

A publishing magnate with aristocratic pretensions built this ivy-covered faux château in 1860. The estate covers 173 acres of woodland and includes two swan-filled ponds (one for fishing, the other just for looks). There are also 19th-century greenhouses, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and flower gardens. Not all the 25 guest rooms and 11 apartments (by far the best accommodations available) are in the main house, and the carriage house has been carefully designed to reflect vernacular styles. Most accommodations are spacious and strike the right balance of antique and modern: It's not unusual to find a room with arcs of rough wooden beams and fat antique chests of drawers set off by a flat-screen TV and walls of glass overlooking the gardens. A treat to stay at and impeccably run, this is also the perfect base from which to visit Château de Chambord (François I's 440-room pleasure palace) or Chaumont-sur-Loire, just across the river. The Michelin-starred restaurant serves seasonal fare in three dining rooms.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
This 1860 hunting lodge in the Loire's castle and wine region has "beautiful grounds" and "spacious rooms and apartments" decorated in floral wallpaper that matches the bedding. "Staff make your stay special." The main dining room's "exquisite, classic French cuisine" includes a "surprisingly delicious eel appetizer." After morning coffee served on fine china, take a bike ride through the vineyards.

(32 rooms)
—2011 Gold List
Overall Score: 90.3
  • Design: 90.9
  • Food: 90.9
  • Location: 87.9
  • Rooms: 87.9
  • Service: 93.9

Also appeared in the Gold List in 2010, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005

Amenities: Pool, Tennis

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