Fodor's Expert Review Château d'Esclimont
2 rue du Château-d'Esclimont, St-Symphorien-le-Château, Centre-Val de Loire, 28700, France Fodor's Choice
Editor's Note: This property is currently undergoing renovations.
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. As you'd expect, 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).
- the grand style of a country château
- wonderful rural setting
- service can be pompous
- off the beaten path and not easy to find