Just over 100 miles from Paris, the Loire has been a bucolic getaway for half a millennium. Anchored by a dreamy river, the region offers gorgeous scenery, excellent food and wine, and charming villages grown up around royal castles and other grand homes of the aristocracy. Visitors have typically received the Renaissance treatment, checking into antiques-filled châteaux set on parklands removed from towns’ bustle.
Two hotels that opened this past summer eschew that formula, offering a respite from the courtier feel.
Fleur de Loire
A disciple of the late Paul Bocuse, Christophe Hay earned two Michelin stars at his former restaurant, La Maison d’à Côté in the village of Montlivault. Now he has moved to town and become a hotelier. Located on the river road in Blois, Fleur de Loire offers two destination restaurants and views across the water of the town’s main attraction, the massive Château Royal. This home to seven French kings and 10 queens is just a 13-minute walk from the hotel.