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Chateau de La Barre, France

Chateau de La Barre

Saint Calais

A gloriously stylish chateau hotel owned and run by the Count and Countess de Vanssay.

Double rooms from £ 232
7 rooms
Guest Rating: 9.2 / 10
Grand Salon, Chateau de La Barre

Close to the Loire Valley, the history of Château de la Barre stretches back a long way, and has been the residence of the de Vanssay family for over six centuries. It is still in family hands and is the home of the Count and Countess, Frenchman Guy and his Anglo-American wife Marnie. Set in a private park hidden by trees, surrounded by meadows with grazing sheep and 26th century fortification walls, this is now a thoughtfully-maintained boutique hotel, voted the best château ‘chambres d’hôtes’ in France by the Sunday Times in 2007 and among the "Best 100 Hotels" by Times Travel Magazine 2010. The château was originally a court of justice and a toll collection centre, hence the name ‘La Barre’. The wing which forms the basis of the hotel today was constructed in the 17th Century, with its interior refurbished a century later.

The five bedrooms are all a sumptuous delight to stay in, but as befits a maison d’hôtes, they are all of an individual design, and have been renovated in the last five years. Whether it be the ‘Chambre Esprit de Jouy’ with its ‘toile de Jouy’ fabric, created during the Enlightenment, and four-poster king-size bed, the ‘Chambre Jaune’ with its golden-yellow hue, or perhaps the ‘Chambre Bleue’ with its carefully-selected antique oil paintings, each of these shows guests a different aspect of the diversity of this building so full of history.

The reception rooms are open to guests, such as the 'grand salon', much as it was in 1778, with its original ornate decoration and furniture. Or how about the traditional 14th century fireplace room, with a game of billiards awaiting guests, along with BBC and NBC satellite channels, and a games computer? One of two dining rooms (one for breakfast, the other for dinner) features Impressionist paintings depicting scenes of Loire Valley life and Parisian backdrops.

Attention has not been spared on the gardens either- there are four which surround a fountain (Italian, Japanese, American and Inca), plus a beautiful rose garden with over 200 different plants. The setting is romantic, and a tranquil accompaniment to one’s visit to the Loire Valley, whilst being just 45km from the magnificently renovated Plantagenet city of Le Mans, now stage set to numerous films.

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Chateau de La Barre, Loire valley Chateau hotel, La Loire Chateau hotel, Loire valley Chateau hotel, Pays de La Loire Chateau hotel, Saint Calais Chateau hotel, Conflans sur Anille Inca Garden, Chateau de La Barre Antique furnishing Chambre Bleue, Chateau de La Barre View from room, Chateau de la Barre Chambre aux Fleurs, Chateau de La Barre Chambre Jaune, Chateau de La Barre Bedroom, Chateau hotel Marin de Vanssay, Chateau de La Barre Marin de Vanssay bathroom Bathroom, Chateau de La Barre Chambre Oiseaux, Chateau de La Barre Chambre Oiseaux, clock Chambre Oiseaux, view, woods Chateau de La Barre lit up
Chambre aux Oiseaux

A twin bedded room with ensuite shower and small dressing room. It has a juliet balcony with a view over the garden and park.

Chambre aux Fleurs

Chambre aux Fleurs. Built during the dark ages of the Hundred Years War which hit Western France heavily, this lovely room is now brightened by stripes and an exquisite floral patterned fabric forming a striking setting for the antique furniture and furnishings. The adjoining stern watchwalk, with its deep arrowslots, has been transformed into an Italian marble bathroom replete with jacuzzi. In the next room, scarlet Napoleonic fabrics liven the walls and bed while the view from the window is of the chapel overlooking the defensive walls.
Large double bed, jacuzzi bath.

Chambre Jaune, Chambre Bleue

Chambre Jaune. A radiant room with mellow golden yellow Esprit de Jouy wall fabric and antique furniture. Splendid view of the colourful garden, the pond, the stream meandering through the meadow and the distant church tower.
Large double bed, window overlooking the park.

Chambre Bleue. Standing in the fresh country air on the balcony of this charming room, contemplate the splendid view, as the sheep amble in the distant meadow beyond the chateau fortifications and garden. In the room itself, antique oil paintings adorn the XVIIIth century walls.
Large double bed, window with balcony, overlooking castle grounds and surrounding park.

Chambre Esprit de Jouy

French craftsmanship is the theme of this elegant bedroom with an authentic Louis XVI four poster bed. The 'toile de Jouy' fabric, created in France during the 'Siècle des Lumières', has since become famous throughout the world. This bucolic décor has come down from the days when Marie Antoinette identified with the pastoral way of life: This room is a lovely reminder of the romantic art of French life of bygone times.
King-size four poster bed, windows on South, West, and North sides.

Suite Marin de Vanssay

The Chambre Marin is like a lost paradise of elegance and vastness. Marin de Vanssay, the husband of the great grand-daughter of the builders of the famous Loire Valley castle of Chenonceaux created this wing of the château as a monument to his prestige. Facing the imposing century-old oak wardrobe, an important XVIIth century Florentine mirror towers over a magnificent XVIIIth century French Régency commode. The luxurious fabrics on the walls and the king-size canopy bed aptly complement the remarkable furniture.
King-size canopy bed, 3 windows overlooking the garden and park, large bathroom, with antique bathtub.

Single Room

Twice a week, guests can enjoy elegant dining "en famille" with all the family silver and china, served in the prestigious 17th century dining room. This dinner is upon prior reservation, and consists of four courses with two different wines and is priced at 125 euros per head, all inclusive. Before the dinner, champagne is served in the salon rose with its Louis XV armchairs and chesterfield sofa, or on the terrace, and afterwards guests can retire to the drawing room for coffee, tea and brandy. Château de la Barre is also happy to recommend little gourmet restaurants in picturesque towns of the region, for lunch and dinner on other days.

Breakfast, supper and picnics are also available at the château.

Golf course

Places to visit:
Vallée du Loir
The famous chateaux of the Loire valley
Le Perche, a fortified manor house, home to the famous Percheron horses
Romanesque churches with ancient mural paintings and frescoes in Lavardin, Montoire, Saint Jacques de Guérets and various other villages
Gardens: Villandry, Le Petit-Bordeaux, Sasnière, La Mardelle
Le Mans: not just a motor race, there's a beautiful old town and cathedral too

Be the first to send us a review of this hotel. See below for some reviews from other sites.

We may not have as many reviews as some, but we do know their provenance. They have all been written by people who have visited this hotel after booking through Little Hotels. We publish all reviews, unedited, except for the occasional spelling correction.

Here's What Some People Have Written On Other Review Sites or in the Guestbook:

"The de Vanssay family have been in this stupendous chateau since the 15th century — and they’ve apparently spent all that time building up to your arrival. The welcome from the French count and his Anglo-American countess couldn’t be more cultivated or enthusiastic. They’ve infused castle and bedrooms with warmth and bright colour, and the gardens and grounds go on for ever." TimesOnline Hot 100

"Dear Marnie and Guy,
Thank you for so much perfection coupled with so much humanity.
The perfection of Château de la Barre was immediately evident… the château itself, the grounds, the history, the furnishings. And to top it off, the added enhancement of your attention to detail.. fresh flowers, timely tea, lovely places to stop and rest a while, marvelous food.
The humanity which you two brought to this idyllic scene was notable and deserves added thanks. The special care which you bestowed upon my mom was a godsend."

Guest Rating: 9.2 / 10
This rating has been calculated by combining data from various websites which publish ratings for Chateau de La Barre.

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In the hotel
  • 2 Dining Rooms
  • 2 Lounges (Salon Rose
  • Grand Salon)
  • Games Room (Pièce à Feu)
  • Vestibule
  • Gardens
  • Car park

In your room
  • Antique furniture
  • Tea making
  • En‑suite bathroom
  • Hair dryer
  • Central heating

We Say

Guy and Marnie will welcome you into their family home (and what a home!), for
what is like staying with family in their own chateau. It's a truly grand house in this grand spot in Pays-de-la-Loire.

A Word From the Owner

Far from the maddening crowds, in an elegant setting of days gone by...we
look forward to sharing our home and history with you.

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