If I had to choose only one place to stay in France, I would most certainly opt for the Château d’Esclimont, one of the most luxurious and exclusive hotels belonging to the group Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Countless are the lures of this lavish accommodations, but what I mostly like are its history and the wonderful surroundings. Review our list of luxury hotels and destinations.
The Château d’Esclimont is one of those ideal places to relax for a weekend. It is located just one hour from Paris and is a favorite choice for personalities from politics, financiers and the arts set looking for retreat after a hard week of work. This romantic hotel— a jewel of Renaissance architecture— is located between Chartres and Rambouillet and very near Versailles, in the heart of a magnificent protected 60-hectare-park surrounded by a moat and pond.
It was built in 1543 by Etienne de Poncher, Archbishop of Tours, in the valley of Domaine de Esclimont. In 1580, Philippe Hurault, Count de Cheverny, became its owner and later handed it to Claude de Bullion, Adviser to Parliament under Henry IV and first president of the Parliament of Paris under the reign of Louis XIII. Its last owners were the Rochefoucauld family until 1981, when it was sold to the hotel group Grandes Etapes Françaises.
The Château d’Esclimont has 52 rooms in five different categories: one exclusive suite, Junior suites, Deluxe, Traditional and Standard. It offers accommodations within the castle or in its historic cottages: Trianon, Tour des Gardes and Pavillon des Trophées. With pleasant views over the park, the moat, the courtyard or the castle itself, the rooms are elegantly decorated and offer all modern comforts.
Inside the castle is the famous La Rouchefoucald restaurant, run by chef Romain Grasso, who previously worked on major restaurants like Le Bristol. The Rouchefoucald offers high traditional French cuisine with interesting notes of modernity, plus a selection of over 400 wines. It has two beautiful dining rooms and two more intimate lounges, plus a nice terrace for lunch and dinner in good weather season.
The Château d’Esclimont has two tennis courts, a heated outdoor pool and bike and hiking paths as well as the possibility of canoeing in the area. In addition, the hotel is within a few miles of magnificent Palace of Versailles, residence of the kings of France for centuries, declared World Heritage Site by Unesco and known for its stunning architecture and endless landscaped gardens.
A visit to Château d’Esclimont in France is a great opportunity to learn more about the history of this great country. ■