The France chateau isn't just an attraction. There are many French chateaux that are open for overnight stays as chateau hotels.
They are most commonly found in the Loire Valley, where one-time mansions of kings are now converted to lodging. Many are also near grand chateaux open for tours. Experience French like a medieval lord or lady, king or queen.
Be sure to check the chateau's rules before booking, however. Many of the chateaux require reservations well in advance that includes a deposit, and some do not accept credit cards or young children. A couple have no TVs or have medieval-era technology. But what they lack in chain-hotel amenities, they more than make up for in sheer ambience.
Here is a list of some of the chateaux.
The Chateaux & Hotels de Charme is a group of independent hotel operators. Many of the properties are luxurious French chateaux.
The Chateau de Jonvilliers is between Chartres and Ramboillet, and has five guest rooms named after nearby towns. Only two of the rooms have TV, and all the channels are in French, but the mansion is family-run and close to many great attractions. It's an hour from Paris and 20 minutes from Chartres. It is also close to one of France's most famous palaces, Versaille. The rates are quite reasonable, starting as low as 60 euros.
The Chateau de la Poiteviniere in the Loire Valley (in Chinon) dates back to the 18th century and sits on 12.5 acres. Furnished with French antiques and art, it is near Amboise, Chambord and Chenonceaux. Rates are around 850 euros per week.
Le Vieux Manoir was restored by an American couple in 1999, and is in the heart of chateau country and near many wine routes. Rates start at 105 euros in the off-season and 125 during the regular season.
The Chateau d'Esclimont in St. Symphorien le Chateau is an experience unto itself. The staff is friendly and accomodating. The rooms are decorated with decadence. The sprawling 150-acre grounds include horseback riding, canoeing, tennis courts and golf. It's also about an hour from Paris and a few minutes from Chartres. The hotel's dining room is world-renowned for its fine cuisine.
Chateau de l'Ile near Strasbourg is a 19th century mansion near many attractions in the Alsace region near Germany. The chateau is timbered like something right out of a fairy tale. Rates start at 190 euros.