Manor les Minimes, Amboise

Jun 9th, 2004, 03:07 PM
  #1  
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Manor les Minimes, Amboise

We really enjoyed our stay at this beautiful manor house. We had a Traditional room, which is on the top floor and has exposed wooden beam construction. The house and room were in excellent condition and filled with wonderful antiques. The bed was king-sized and very comfortable. Touches such as white robes made us feel right at home, and tea or cognac in the evening outside was just what we needed after days biking to Chateaus or wine tasting in Vouvrey. Service was excellent and our stay was a real treat.
alan64 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 06:27 PM
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Thanks for posting - we have reservations for October. Did you borrow bikes from les Minimes, or were you on a more serious cycling program?
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Jun 10th, 2004, 05:56 AM
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I don't think they had bikes for loan. However, a few minutes away in town is a bike rental place. It was something like 14 euros for a day, with a discount for 2 day rental, etc.
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Jun 10th, 2004, 06:13 AM
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OK, we'll check into that. I'm hoping a ride along the river or some other path nearby will be somewhat traffic-free. Trying to avoid repeat of Amsterdam tram near-death experience!
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Jun 10th, 2004, 06:41 AM
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I am interested in staying at this same place in Sept. Did you combine this trip with time in Paris? Did you rent a car or take the train to Amboise.

How long were your bike rides to the other chateaus/wine tasting?
Thanks!
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Jun 10th, 2004, 07:41 AM
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We were in Paris for 8 nights, then on to Amboise for 4 nights. We didn't want to drive, and found the train easy between those cities. However, once in Amboise it would have been nice to bike some days and have a car others.

The first day we rode to Chenonceau. It's about 9km by a semi-main road, and 13km by a less busy route which I'd recommend. There's a steep hill leaving Amboise that made us question if we were up for the ride, but after that hill it wasn't bad at all. The road goes through a small section of forrest that was very peaceful. We took another route back that was about 20 km on similar (small) roads that go through a few small towns. Rick Steves' France book shows a possible longer circuit that would include another chateau, but we didn't want to overdo it. I'd take his long route and do it over 2 days.

Instead of going to the other chateau the next day, we decided we wanted to visit Vouvrey. Once we crossed the river there's a very busy moterway. We went passed it per a local's suggestion, and a smaller road near the hillside paralleled the river and main road. There was some car traffic but not much. Most of the small wine producers on the way require appointments for tasting, so we went to a few places in the town of Vouvrey that didn't require pre-planning. This route was perfectly flat, although not quite as scenic as the ride to Cenonceau.

Since we didn't have a car, we only visited that chateau and the one in Amboise itself. If we had a car, we might have gone to Chinon and other outlying areas. There are several small bus tours for 1/2 and full days if you want to see more chateaus without driving, but that's not our style. FYI.. a 1 day car rental in Amboise was around 100 euros.
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Jun 10th, 2004, 07:59 AM
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Thanks Alan.
Did you take the train to Tours, or directly to Amboise? How long was the trip from Paris?

Thanks
cruisinred is offline  
Jun 10th, 2004, 08:56 AM
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We took the train direct from Paris Austerlitz to Amboise (it later goes on to Tours). It took 2 hours 20 minutes and cost around $45 US round-trip. The hotel was about a 20 minute walk or 5 minute taxi ride from the station.
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Jun 10th, 2004, 11:23 AM
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We stayed here a couple of years ago and agree it is wonderful place. We had a car which was nice as we were able to really explore the area and secure parking is provided right in front of the manor house. At that time we were given a remote opener for the gate so when we came back after dark in the car we just opened the gate and drove right in. As mentioned, the rooms are large and very well equipped. The town of Amboise is also very good place to base yourself. If you do stay here, be sure to check out the excellent little cocktail bar across the bridge on the island in the center of the river. It is called Le Shaker, and if it is still there, it is a wonderful place for a cocktail and excellent bar snacks. One word of warning, it is very difficult to park around Le Shaker, so if weather is good a walk across the bridge might be in order.
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Jun 15th, 2004, 01:18 PM
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Thanks for the information. We will be spending 3 nights at Manoir les Minimes in July. We will have a car. Can you suggest restaurants in the Loire for dinner? We are planning to picnic for lunch most days. Also, has anyone taken the sunrise balloon ride? We have reserved a trip but have never read anything about it. Thanks.
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Jun 15th, 2004, 06:15 PM
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Hi, alan64 and mkk4050,

We stayed at Manoir les Minimes in 2000 and really enjoyed it. The superior double rooms are very spacious and, in my opinion, worth the extra money.

In terms of restaurants, the owners/managers have a book of menus at the hotel. They also recommended one restaurant across from the castle that was good food and good value.

On our own, we booked two Michelin restaurants: Le Manoir St.-Thomas (right in Amboise) and the restaurant at the Chateau de Pray (in the town or Charge, two miles from Le Manoir les Minimes going away from Amboise). Even if you do not eat at the Chateau de Pray, go for a drink on the terrace overloooking the Loire river (we did prior to dinner, so I assume anyone can do this).

Happy travels.

John H.
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