The Loire Valley region of France, popular for its châteaux and wines, continues to attract visitors through its diverse offerings and numerous hotel openings. The region welcomed two new hotels this past fall. This year marks the 600th birth anniversary of Louis XI, for which special exhibitions and events will be held across the region.
Open as of October 15, 2022, Château Louise de La Vallière is a new five-star hotel, part of the Relais & Châteaux collection. This 16th-century château served as the first holiday residence of Louise de la Vallière (the future Duchess of La Vallière), who was also the first official mistress of Louis XIV. The boutique hotel offers 20 rooms and suites, a restaurant and spa. The staff don period costumes and recreate the historical era’s rituals and customs. Interior designer Jacques Garcia revived the château’s former grandeur with period furnishings, paintings, tapestries and objets d’art assembled from France’s well-known auction houses. The gourmet restaurant, helmed by Chef Maxime Lesobre, offers a multi-course tasting menu. The 47-acre park surrounding the hotel is home to 200-year-old trees, a fig conservatory (Louis XIV’s favorite fruit) and Madame de La Vallière roses.
Also opened in October 2022, La Borde en Sologne Château & Spa is a four-star hotel located in a 17th-century building in the village of Vernou-en-Solonge. Offering 35 rooms and suites, the hotel has sculpted walls and ceilings, wooden art frescos, fireplaces and a gallery. Rooms have views of the French and English gardens, parks and the pond, where guests can enjoy boat rides. The restaurant offers local and seasonal dishes, with some ingredients picked from the on-site vegetable and fruit gardens. The spa is located in the former orangery of the castle. It features a sauna, hammam and massage rooms with natural and organic treatments by Tata Harper.
This year marks the 600th birth anniversary of King Louis XI, known as “Louis the Prudent,” who reigned France from 1461 to 1483. To celebrate the occasion, Château Royal d’Amboise will host an exhibition titled “Louis XI, The Order of Saint Michael and the Rise of Royal Power,” focusing on the political power of the king who once lived in the château. Further south, in Touraine, the Château de Langeais, which was saved and rebuilt under the orders of Louis XI, will pay him a tribute with the exhibition, “Castle of Louis XI, The Builder King.” At the Cité Royale de Loches, one of the best-preserved dungeons in Europe and a state prison under Louis XI, offers a unique scenography route, showcasing the king’s childhood growing up at the château, besides his role and influence within the Court of France.
For more details, visit www.valdeloire-france.com.