Loire Valley

May 23rd, 2001, 06:51 AM
  #1  
Jean Bass
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Loire Valley

We are traveling to France, have 2 days to spend outside Paris and want to go to the Loire Valley. Suggestions for a town to stay in and hotel -- looking for charm, very comfortable, great view - perhaps overlooking the river and restaurant. Merci!
 
May 23rd, 2001, 07:03 AM
  #2  
JOdy
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Hi Jean,
will you have a car, that makes a difference on where we might suggest.
 
May 23rd, 2001, 08:08 AM
  #3  
Hans
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My suggestion would be the town of Amboise right in the middle of the Loire and reltatively convenient to many of the chateaux--inlcuding, of course, Amboise and Chenauceaux (sorry about the spelling on that one!) and Chambord. The town is very pretty and has some wonderful little restaurants and shops. The hotel I would recommend is Le Choiseul which is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the world. The hotel has only 28 rooms and 4 suites so book early but it is a very nice place. You can check it out at www.slh.com/choiseul/. Have a great trip!
 
May 23rd, 2001, 10:25 AM
  #4  
StCirq
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If you have a car, Amboise is my choice of base for the Loire. It's a friendly, sunny place with good restaurants (and Mme. Bigot's pastry shop-turned-tea-salon at the foot of the château is an institution)and shops and a lively Saturday market. It has its own brooding château (where Cathérine de Médicis defenestrated her Huguenot dinner guests)as well as a nice display of Leonardo da Vinci's inventions in the basement of the otherwise rather ho-hum collection of his items at the Clos Lucé, where he lived his last days.
I also second the recommendation for Le Choiseul, and, if that's over the budget, Le Lion d'Or at 17, quai Charles-Guinot.
 
May 23rd, 2001, 11:11 AM
  #5  
Diane
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Another vote for Amboise. It is a charming town and is convenient to many of the things you'll want to visit.
 
May 23rd, 2001, 11:18 AM
  #6  
Lexma90
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Ok, it's getting repetitive, but I'll vote for Amboise as well. We stayed at Chateau du Pray, which is a mile or two outside of Amboise, overlooking the river. There's a nice garden & a little wood to walk through, and the restaurant was good (though you're not required to eat there).

As another alternative, a smaller but nearby village is Blere. We stayed at the Cheval Blanc, which has a fabulous Michelin-rated restaurant. This hotel is right in town, so has no view, but I like to walk around the town, so that's a nice feature of this one.
 
May 23rd, 2001, 11:20 AM
  #7  
Curt
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A very strong YES to using Amboise as a base. Pleasant town to stay in. We stayed at the Manior Les Minimes, right at the foot of the chateau, a wonderful manor house converted to hotel. No meals served other than a typical French breakfast, but that was very good. Large and very nice rooms, private secured parking. Highly recommend this hotel. Also there is a really neat cocktail bar called Le Shaker on the island that is a nice place for a drink in the evening. They also have a pretty decent small menu of finger foods.
 
May 23rd, 2001, 11:21 AM
  #8  
Lauren
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I vote for Amboise too, but only if you have a car. If you do not want to rent a car, Blois is an easy day trip by train. There are also organized day trips that cover two chateaux (usually Chenonceaux and one other) from Paris.

You really cannot see the Loire adequately without a car.

If you are in Amboise in July or August on a Wednesday or Saturday, be certain to get tickets to the "spectacle" at the chateaux in Amboise. There is a cast of 450 and they are all volunteers and people who live in the town. The only one who gets paid is the guy who does the lights. It is really something. If you don't speak French, be certain to get the translation flyer they hand out. Even if you don't get every word, you cannot help but appreciate all the work that goes into presenting it. The Amboise spectacle is the best of these things in the Loire in summer--much better than the ordinary sound and light show.
 
May 23rd, 2001, 11:35 AM
  #9  
JOdy
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I'll be the great compromiser and vote for Onzain, halfway between Blois and Amboise!Domaine desHauts de Loire is a wonderful old Hunting lodge converted to a luxery hotel with a great restaurant. Not the kind of hunting lodge we see here !!!!!!! You are only mnutes away from either B or A, both delightful places to visit and convenient to almost all of the important chateaux.
we'l be in the Loire in OCt and the restaurant at Cheval blanc sounds too good to pass up, Thanks, Lexma90
 
May 23rd, 2001, 02:19 PM
  #10  
Rex
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Just to give you an alternative (well, you already have one - - so here's a second one) - - search Richelieu here on this forum.

And although I have been to the Loire (passing through, coming and going to the Bordeaux region), I have never actually been to this place (our own favorites in the Loire were Chateau d'Artigny for dinner or lodging, and Chambord for attraction).

There are a number of places that look attractive to me on the website http://www.bienvenue-au-chateau.com - - and "La Maison" (number 98 on their web site) - - http://www.bienvenue-au-chateau.com/la-maison-gb.html - - happens to sound like the combination of a neat property, situated right IN a town (most of their properties are NOT actually IN towns) that has been classified as a "historical monument".

And one final comment about the Loire "valley" - - unlike the Rhine valley, the Loire is in a very FLAT valley - - kind of like the Platte river "valley" of the American great plains.

Best wishes,

Rex



Best wishes,

Rex
 
May 23rd, 2001, 04:17 PM
  #11  
clairobscur
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I know I will appear very unoriginal, but I would pick...Amboise, at least if you rent a car. Tours is convenient too, but less pleasant.
 
May 23rd, 2001, 04:24 PM
  #12  
clairobscur
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Just to add that though I recomended Amboise, I've no idea if it's actually a better choice than Richelieu, that I never visited.

Richelieu seems to be less convienently situated (and is a very little town, AFAIK), but since some friends of mine highly recomend the village, it's probably at least worth the visit.
 
May 24th, 2001, 04:47 AM
  #13  
steve
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I agree with Jody about Onzain - a real village across the Loire from Chaumont. However, I vote for a hotel I stayed at twice (for 6 days once) -= Chateau des Tertes, Very nice, quite a bit less expensive than DOmaine.

Ate at a nice, moderately priced restaurant in Chaumont - Chez Collette. They even stayed open for us one night to cook us a dinner (they are closed for dinner on Friday - strange as that seems)
 

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