by Amanda Geronikos
The Domaine des Hauts de Loire is a castle hotel in France, but don’t let its beauty and luxury deter you from staying here with children — it offers family rooms with extra space (including in bathrooms) and free Wi-Fi. The castle, popular for weddings, features an onsite restaurant and cooking classes. It’s also located near another castle, Chateau du Chambord, the famous estate that inspired the magical castle seen in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”
Our Editor Loves
- Family rooms
- Cooking classes
- Located by
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
We just stayed two nights at Les Hauts. The property and its surrounds really are great. The pictures everyone posts do it justice. It’s also centrally located for the Northeast Loire so you can easily see Chenonceau, Chambord, Chaumont sur Loire, etc. Also, the food at the bistro is great (we didn’t eat at the 2 Michelin star restaurant in the hotel).
However, there are two things about this hotel that made us feel a little betrayed by the price and the Relais and Chateaux credential. First, our room was a tiny space in the attic. It was small, uncomfortable and had one tiny window from which you could barely look out on the property. Crazy the price we paid for that crawl space. Second, we had multiple unpleasant experiences with the staff (note - we live in France, so this is not a knock on French service). The worst of these was about lunch. We got back to the hotel from Chenonceau and were told that the bistro was completely booked for lunch. We asked at the front desk what we could do about lunch instead given our two year old needed to eat quickly before a nap. She said we could eat at the 2 Michelin star restaurant. We said that might not be best given our daughter. She said, “Well is she good? That’s our only other restaurant.” Yeah, the reason I didn’t want to have a 400 Euro, two hour meal of lobster and foie gras with my two year old was because I was worried she’d upset the other guests. We asked about room service, to which she said fine. We then asked if we could take the room service to the seats outside (note - there were more than 70 entirely empty seats outside of the Michelin restaurant, the bistro, and elsewhere). She laughed at me and said, “absolutely not. Room service is for your room. Those seats are for the gastronomique and the bistro. Now would you like to eat at the gastronomique or in your room?” Again, our room was tiny and dark with one chair. I somehow spent a bunch of money to eat overpriced room service in a dark crawl space after a haughty and unaccommodating concierge completely dismissed very reasonable requests. Relais and Chateaux indeed.
We stayed here for four days and loved the beauty and peace. Our one dinner there was excellent although pricey. Better to have a dinner or two at the lovely restaurant in Onzain, five minutes away. But the hotel is stately and pretty and well worth the stay. Very near the Châteaus, Blois and Amboise.