One of France's most spectacular château-hotels lies northeast of Chartres in the town of St-Symphorien. With its pointed turrets, moated pools, and checkerboard facade, the 19th-century Esclimont domaine—built by La Rochefoucaulds—is well worth seeking out if you wish to eat and sleep like an aristocrat. Luxuriously furnished lodgings are adorned with reproduction 18th-century French pieces; note, though, that rooms vary in size (many are loftily dimensioned, others
snug in corner turrets). Carved stone garlands, cordovan leathers, brocades, and period antiques grace the public salons; the superbly manicured grounds cradle a heated pool. The cuisine is sophisticated: quail, suckling pig, and foie gras with prunes in armagnac top the menu at the restaurant, La Rochefoucauld (dinner reservations are essential, and a jacket and tie are required, as is a very fat wallet).
Jul 6, 2009
"I took my girlfriend to this beautiful chateau to propose. It went well. I proposed on a hot air ballon in the morning and it was beautiful. The gardens were locked and restricted which was disappointing. I thought the room was not to bad though at almost $1000 USD I was merely satisfied but not blown away. Decent space but still two twin beds pushed together and called a king size. I must say I was disappointed that there was no champagne for
us, only because they knew of my plans but did nothing above or beyond. Oh well. Dinner was pretty good but again not spectacular with exception to the frois gras. The wine waiter was pretentious to say the least with really really awful breath. We had wine that should have been included since I did pay for "drinks included" but they were not. The second bottle was twice as much. The asparagus truffle soup was bland and not even a hint of truffle. For the money and service anyone could do better. The bill had a couple surprises and as I was leaving the only other patron at the desk was arguing about his bill. Buyer beware of surprise charges and Snooty employees. The ladies working reception were very nice. The pool was not heated and I want to reiterate the gardens were locked up, off limits! I knew I should have gone to another Chateau
Dec 23, 2001
Incredible service from a staff which seems genuninely interested in the quality of your stay. The smaller rooms on the upper floors are not all that comfortable and if you wish to stay in luxury, don't skimp. The dining room has enjoyed a recent improvement and a wonderful meal should cap your stay. Be certain to catch the lectures at Chartres Cathedral.