Small enough to feel like a home, stuffed with delicious 18th-century decor, and replete with the most beautiful river terrace, this overlooked treasure proves—for a few lucky travelers—to be the most unforgettable château in the Loire. Other château-hotels may have pomp, but this has something more precious: authenticité.Once the property of the Marquis de Vaudreuil, first French governor of Louisiana, it was purchased by the current owner’s family in 1779. At the end of a long allée, this "pavillon Mansart" embraces you in a semicircular layout (the collier, or necklace). Ten family descendants study you from gilded Charles-Dix frames in the gorgeous main salon, a confectionery vision of white rococo moldings, glittering chandeliers, and furniture that Madame Bovary would have loved. The breakfast room is covered with quaint 16th-century Italian frescoes, and each guest room is a bouquet of antiques and comfy furniture.