A short drive through forested slopes brings you to the Domaine de Beauvois, set on a gentle slope near the city of Tours in the Loire Valley. The building is two wings of three storeys that enclose a small turret topped with one of those rather ridiculous but wonderful conical turrets. The Domaine de Beauvois dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Much of it was rebuilt in the 1960s though the construction is so skillful it’s impossible to tell.
The Domaine de Beauvois is part of the family-owned Grandes Etapes Francaises group which owns nine chateaux and 4-star hotels throughout France.
You walk into a long hallway with a pretty bar at one end, dining rooms straight ahead, a reception desk to the right and beyond that a long corridor that swings around to the second wing. It’s exactly like a small domestic castle should be. Every room has a small lobby –- ideal for a feeling of privacy and to keep out noise. No. 12 has a huge stone fireplace, a high beamed ceiling, old wooden furniture and windows looking out over the main courtyard. It’s large and imposing, decorated with rich reds.At the back of the hotel, there’s a small formal garden with a fountain which is the best place for drinks or a leisurely summer breakfast.
The energetic can take bicycles (from child’s size to adult) for a leisurely ride through the 140 hectares of park. And also check out the group's excellent self-driving packages, some of which include the Domaine de Beauvois, taking in visits to vineyards, castles and other attractions.
The perfect location
The Domaine de Beauvois is 10 kilometers from the center of Tours, capital of the region and the main town of the Val de la Loire. Set in 350 acres, it makes a great base for touring the region.
Tours, which lies on the Loire, is a delightful town. Well worth exploring are the streets hemmed in by medieval brick and wooden houses in the historic center, a gothic cathedral that took over 250 years to build, and a selection of museums. If you're limited for time, don't miss the Musee des Beaux-Arts housed in the former Archbishop’s mansion. It has a formidable collection of art from the 17th to the 20th century, many of the older works once belonging to Cardinal Richelieu. If you’re interested in artefacts made by the master craftsmen of past ages, a trip to the Musee du Compagnonnage is a must for its insight into the beautiful and functional objects used by our ancestors.
The Loire Valley is above all, famous for its magnificent chateaux that stand along the river, some defensive, others purely decorative. All show the glories of life under the great French kings of the past.
Getting thereBy car: Paris is 230 kilometers (143 miles) From Paris take the A10 to exit 24 signposted to Tour. Take the D952 in the direction of Saumur, then the D6 towards Luynes. Drive through the village of Luynes and follow the signs to the Domaine de Beauvois which is a little outside the main village.
By train: The TGV runs from Paris to St-Pierre-des-Corps, 18 kms (143 miles) or Tours, 10 kms (6.2 miles) from the hotel.
By air: Tours-St-Symphorien Airport is 20 kms (12.5 miles) away. (Flights from major European destinations).
Next: Read a Review of the Restaurant at the Domaine de Beauvoir
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