Fodor's Expert Review Château d'Esclimont

2 rue du Château-d'Esclimont, 24 km (15 miles) northeast of Chartres via N10/D18, 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).

PROS

  • the grand style of a country château
  • wonderful rural setting

CONS

  • service can be pompous
  • off the beaten path and not easy to find

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
Sophisticated
Countryside
$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: -02–37–31–15–15

HOTEL DETAILS

48 rooms, 4 suites
Rate Includes: No meals

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