Travel

Unique Castle Hotels and Rentals in France

by Lily Heise
A breakfast table with a board of exotic fruit and fruit tea with candles and flowers. A still day in the leafy garden of Domaine de Primard.
Top: Domaine de Primard by @franckschmitt.fr / Dinner in the old kitchen by @gaelleleboulicautpics on @domainedeprimard Above: Breakfast in the countryside by @gaelleleboulicautpics / @benoit_linero on @domainedeprimard

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France has a range of wonderful accommodation options, however, there’s something especially magical about staying in a castle.

The rear facade of Domaine de Primard with a full spread of blue shutters and garden dining in front of an immaculate green lawn.
The restful garden of Domaine de Primard

The country has hundreds of castle hotels and château rentals, so it can be challenging to choose. Whether you’re looking for a whole castle to celebrate a special occasion or a romantic setting for a couple’s getaway, here are some of our favorite unique castle hotels and rentals in France.

Domaine de la Bretesche

Croissants and orange juice served in your room at Domainen de la Bretesche. An aerial shot of the sprawling grounds of the chateau with a swimming pool in the foreground and the lake behind
Breakfast at Domaine de le Bretesche by @labretesche / The sprawling estate by @labretesche

Nestled on the border of the Loire and Brittany, this historic castle hotel is ideal for a romantic holiday. The fairytale château sits on a small island on a lake within a sprawling historic estate. The hotel rooms, suites and villas are found in the castle’s outbuildings and many overtook the enchanting towers of the château. These are all individually decorated with antiques, four-poster beds, soaking tubs and some have private outdoor areas. Spend your days strolling or biking through the estate’s deep forest, lounging by the outdoor or indoor pools, treating yourself to a treatment its Cour Carrée Spa or teeing off at the golf course. End your day with a delicious dinner at its bistronomic restaurant, which uses ingredients from the estate’s farm.

The Cotentin Manor

A twin bedroom in the Cotentin Manor with lots of exposed beams and a large old stone fireplace. The defensive turret of the manor stands over the stone courtyard.
Original period features and the defensive tower of Cotentin Manor on Plumguide

This petit 16th-century castle is ideal for a family holiday in Normandy. The fortified home sits on 2.5 hectares and has a tower to add to the charm. The cozy interiors have beamed ceilings, solid wooden furniture and large open fireplaces. There are four bedrooms and a lovely terrace to take in the verdant Normand scenery. It’s well located for visiting the area’s sites such as the D-Day Beaches, Bayeux, Caen or a relaxing day at the beach.

Domaine de Primard

Located only an hour west of Paris, this 18th-century noble residence has been beautifully converted into a stylish boutique hotel. Surrounded by 30-hectares gardens, orchards and woods, the château’s interiors have been entirely refurbished and feature chic contemporary design. There’s no need to leave once you’ve arrived thanks to its heated swimming pool, heavenly spa and farm-to-table restaurant.

Left: A beige chateau full of green trees and shrubs. Right: A bedroom with green walls, beige curtains, and a white bed.
The imposing facade of Domaine de Primard / The château’s comfortable bedrooms by @benoit_linero on @domainedeprimard

The Finer Things

An excellent venue to gather friends and family for a special occasion, this regal château is found in Normandy, a twenty-minute drive from the seaside and picturesque Honfleur.

An intricate array of colours, soft furnishing and a large chandelier in the lounge of The Finer Things chateau. An aerial shot of the imposing facade of the chateau with ivy gowing up the walls and flower beds and a small pond in the foreground.
The opulent lounge and the leafy facade of The Finer Things château on Plumguide

The castle exudes opulence thanks to its vast rooms, precious antiques, detailed tapestries, crystal chandeliers, historic paintings and marble busts. Guests can enjoy music around the piano, a game of pool in the billiards room, a round of tennis on the private court or a relaxing sauna. There are six bedrooms (doubles and twins), which have lovely views over the estate and its beautiful gardens. There’s also a jewel-box chapel for small wedding ceremonies.

Château de Rochegude

A winding staircase with turquoise walls and marble floors in Chateau de Rochegude. A copper plated roll top bath in the a chich bathroom with green walls.
The elegant staircase and chic bathrooms in Château de Rochegude

Dating back to the 12th century, this fairytale fortress overlooks the rolling vineyards of the Rhône Valley. Transformed into an aristocratic summer home in the Renaissance, the building was more recently converted into an elegant hotel with four-poster beds, large open-hearth fireplaces and crystal chandeliers.

Life’s Rich Tapestry

A vision of the countryside with the old stone bricks of this small chateau and weathered rooftiles. A chessboard sits on a low coffeetable in a small rustic lounge of the chateau.
The bucolic exterior of Life’s Rich Tapestry château and the rustic interior on Plumguide

The authenticity of the Dordogne Valley shines through at this rustic four-bedroom château. Wonderfully restored to bring out its historic character, wooden beams and exposed stone walls are accented by top modern amenities, including sumptuous bathrooms, a top quality kitchen and lovely pool. It’s the ideal base for exploring the quintessentially French villages, vineyards and historic sites of the region.

Château De Pray

The impressive facade of Chateau de Pray as night falls, lights from inside illuminate the front garden. The comfratble lounge of Chateau palm with large settees leads out on to a white balcony with a view of the sea below.
Château De Pray at night / The lounge and balcony of Château Palm on Plumguide

Set on the banks of the Loire River, this lovely castle is found minutes from the royal Château d’Amboise and is a great choice for travelers without a car.  From here, you can easily tour the top historic châteaux of the Loire by train. Surrounded by a five-acre park with a heated pool and lovely sitting areas, the hotel is a relaxing oasis. The interiors have timeless elegance and each of its 19 rooms is uniquely decorated. After your day of castle touring, savor a royal meal at its renowned Michelin-starred restaurant.

Château Palm

A long lounge lined with settees of grey, ecru and white and a glass chandelier gives an opulent feel to this room. A similar colour scheme to the bedroom which leads out on to a white balcony,
The sumptuous lounge and bedrooms in Château Palm on Plumguide

Vacation like the stars at this glitzy eight-bedroom castle tucked away in the hills above Cannes. Hidden by palm trees, the opulence is felt as soon as you step foot inside the columned château’s marble entrance. It boasts a formal dining room, a wood-paneled drawing room, a private gym, and spectacular sea views from the terrace and bedrooms. You can have a change of scenery from the pool by venturing down to the Croisette. 

Château de Gilly

A lush garden of green plants and grass mixes with the pathways and fountain of the courtyard of Chateau de Gilly. The terrace with several laid tables under a green canopy of foliage creates a very pretty scene.
The impressive gardens and delightful terrace of Château de Gilly

Built from the 14th to 16th centuries, this former Burgundian residence of Cistercian Monks is ideal for wine lovers. Located between Dijon and Beaune, some of the most prestigious wineries of France are within a short drive. The castle’s moat, suits of armor, cozy fireplaces and painted ceilings all add to its allure. The château’s rib-vaulted cellar has been transformed into a wonderful gastronomic restaurant.

The Château des Fines Roches

A view from the dining terrace of The Château des Fines Roche with white linen and wine glasses on the table and sprawling vineyards in the background. The sunny dining terrace of the chateau with white table cloths and parasols.
A view over the vineyards around The Château des Fines Roches

Overlooking the prized vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the former residence of renowned Provençal poet Marquis Folco de Baroncelli Javo, now an elegant 4-star hotel. With its Medieval style architecture and crenelated towers, it’s hard to believe that the castle was built in the 19th century. Its interiors feature Provençal decor with neo-Gothic flare, but it’s really the views that are the showstopper—best enjoyed with a glass of the estate’s vineyards on the terrace.

The immaculate lawns of Chateau de Gilly with the tall slim trees and a green square sculpture in the foreground. Traditional bedroom of the chateau with flowery bed linen and a plush red armchair is lit by a sidelamp.
The picturesque gardens and luxurious bedrooms of Château de Gilly

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Written by Lily Heise for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide,  Haven In and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out marketplace shop and experiences.

Written By

Lily Heise

Lily Heise has been living in Paris for more than 10 years. When she's not getting into romantic mischief, she writes on dating, travel, and culture. Her writing has been featured in Frommer’s Guides, the Huffington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, City Secrets, DK Eyewitness Guides, and other local and international publications. She is the author of Je T'Aime, Me Neither, and Je T'Aime... Maybe? lively novelized memoirs on her romantic misadventures, and continues to share dating tips, stories and travel features on her blog www.jetaimemeneither.com. View Lily Heise's Website

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