If you have never holidayed in a French castle before, here are some reasons why you should consider one for your next luxury holiday.
By their nature, chateaux are large pieces of architecture. However the reception rooms on the ground floor are typically huge and wonderful rooms to relax in and soak up the ambience. French chateaux lend themselves perfectly for wedding venues.
Sometimes a reception room may house a Michelin-starred restaurant. If it does not then usually there is one not too far away.
The premium bedrooms or suites are normally located on the first floor and are usually palatial built for the original creators of these architectural gems. Do not be surprised if the ensuite is bigger than a whole floor of your own home. The upper floors which usually have a lower ceiling height were reserved for the incredible number of full-time staff required to keep a chateau running like clockwork even at the beginning of the last century.
Chateaux normally lord over a domaine which historically necessitated wood-cutters, and ground staff on top of house staff. Remember these gems were built before the invention of lawn mowers and chain-saws. Ten gardeners used to do the work of a gardener today with all of his modern equipment. This ratio is pretty typical of the historical staff numbers required in the kitchen and the laundry too.
Big is not necessarily better. Huge castle hotels often house their guests in converted outbuildings, with the coach-house being a favourite. Some castle owners reduce the number of rooms available so that they can increase the size of the rooms and the public spaces and provide a better service. How many rooms a castleoffers affects the ambience and the service. Do your homework or you could be sharing your lovely intimate chateau experience with 60 other couples all of them as eager as you to experience the grandeur of life living like royalty in a French castle.
French chateaux were usually constructed in enviable locations, with beautiful vistas over rural France. You can take in the countryside from your room in a castle on top of a hill. Historically chateaux were usually built atop hills for obvious strategic defence. They provide a retreat where you can wind down, rest your weary feet and take advantage of the host's outstanding local knowledge. The chateau styles vary depending upon the era in which they were built and the location in France.
Service is all-important in French chateaux. Hosts ensure that guests want for nothing, and yet the service is discreet, so guests don't feel hassled or intimidated. The lower number of guests at a French castle means that the service can be impeccable, and it usually is.
The term "chateau" may give the impression that they are incredibly expensive, but that's not the case. In fact, you may be surprised by how affordable many of them are. For the same price or maybe just a little more than you might pay for a very ordinary chain hotel, you could be staying somewhere with real atmosphere and real service.
French chateaux have design running through their core and it is a pleasure to stay somewhere that's been designed and decorated with an eye for detail and finish. From the fine architectural details, like stunning plaster work, sweeping stone staircases, parquet floors, gorgeous tiling, wrought iron balustrades, beautiful marble and stone fireplaces, trumeau mirrors, trompe l'oeil paintings, magnificent french chandeliers and sconces. Everything in a French castle is typically design-led.
French chateaux were built with a fastidious eye for fine detail. Remember that the French under Louis XIV set the standards of sophistication, style, and glamour that still rule our lives today. Remember that before his reign commenced, his nation had no particular association with elegance, yet by its end the French had become accepted all over the world as the arbiters in matters of taste and style and that France had established a dominance in the luxury trade that still continues today.