Château de Marçay
What We Love
- A gorgeous Loire Valley château with its own vineyard, truffle plot and heated outdoor pool Staying in a UNESCO World Heritage Site rich in history and culture
- Taking time to explore the Château's vineyards
- Setting off to visit the Loire's many beautiful castles and their gardens
What To Know
- All 22 spacious guestrooms are done up in Haute Epoque decor
- The 15th-century converted chateau is pet-friendly
- In low season – November through March – the hotel and restaurant are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Set in the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site peppered with lovingly cared for castles and vineyards, Château de Marçay brings nature lovers into the heart of a French region celebrated for its excellent wine and most scenic, fairytale landscape.
The Château itself is a four-star 15th-century gem that you’ll be eager to explore. A charming property with its own park, vineyard, kitchen garden and truffle plot, it serves delightful local dishes in its refined restaurant and – of course – its wine cellar is stocked to the brim with the Loire Valley’s best.
How to Get There
In 2017 we had an unforgettable stay (accommodation and restaurant) in Château de Marcay; reason for booking the chateau again on our trip to the French Atlantic coast.
Assuming we booked the same room in the castle, it turned out that we got a room in the West wing; an absolutely smaller, less luxurious room although the price was equal to the year before. So be sure what room you book.
This room had a very small garden 3x3 m2 with 2 chairs and a table. Through a small path in the hedge it was possible to walk to the swimming pool.
The bathroom only had a hand shower which you while taking your shower or trying to wash your hair (no facility to attach the shower). So I had to ask my husband to hold the shower while washing my hair. The door of the shower – in the bath- didn’t close very well, so within a few seconds the bathroom and water closet were soaking wet. So we had to use our towels to dry the floor, which had become dangerously slippery.
Service at the swimming pool was very good, although it took some time.
Breakfast was ok.
The hotel seems to be under new management, since a sticker was pasted over the name of the former manager. New management meant to us loss of quality.
But we will not return; not because of the (bath) room, but mainly because of the even greater disappointment and bad service in the restaurant “La table du Marcay”.
I can't write a review of the hotel without also mentioning the restaurant as our experience had both intimately paired.
When we arrived it was like you were in one of those period piece movies with you riding your horse across their grand entryway heading toward the castle. It is magnificent.
Checkin was easy and they upgraded us to the Superior Room at the top of the right tower seen in the picture. This is the room that you want - and just so you know, the bathroom occupies almost half of the circumference of the tower on that floor. It was indeed very impressive - just search for pictures on Trip Advisor of the Superior Room and you'll see the bathroom. Only problem (that I'm beginning to suspect is more of a French thing) is that the shower temperature doesn't go above 38 degrees (slightly above body temperature or what we commonly refer to as "lukewarm"). This was annoying but expected at this point in our travels given other hotels were the same way.
Now on to the dinner. You want to make sure you have reservations set up in advance. The chef had a special menu set up for the winter time that was 8 courses that each had black truffles incorporated in it somewhat - even the dessert! Actually we got 10 courses that evening but the waiter informed us that they didn't count the other 2 in their price as they didn't include truffles in them. The cost was around $80/person not including wine. Plan to spend 3-4 hours for this dining experience. I calculated an average of 24 minutes per course. It's a French dining marathon.
Our waiter informed us during dinner that since we purchased the fixed price truffle menu that we got free passes to join the truffle hunt the following morning with the chef. So we did that and had a blast. It was also a great time to talk to the chef about his thoughts into why each course was made the way it was and hear his thoughts about the myriad uses of truffles. The guide who took us on our truffle hunting walk was entertaining (although my wife had to translate for me as he only spoke French to our group). Their 2 dogs are hilarious as they seemed to know how to maximize the treats he gave them for as minimal amount of truffle finding they needed to do. That didn't stop them from finding us tangerine sized balls of truffles which is quite amazing given how expensive those little guys are.
So in summary, you must do the full experience of staying at the chateau and eating at their restaurant. I've included this same review in both the hotel and restaurant portions for this reason. I'd be curious to know if you had a different experience - please leave feedback and let me know. Thank you.
Beutiful Chateaux set in a rural position, quiet and well appointed. Restaurant is very good. Not cheap but the rooms are exceptionally well furnished. Close to C?hinon which has a lovely medieval centre.
If you ever wanted the epitome of a lovely trip to France stay here! The Chateau is amazing. After 2 nights of dinner and the same menu we were ready for something different so we took a taxi to town and ate at Les Annes Trent. Lovely! The pool is Magical and the wait staff are all lovely. Wished we were able to get the tour of the wine cellar at the Chateau du Marcay but unfortunately it wasn't available.
We chose the chateau for a 2 night stay en-route from the Dordogne back to the UK, on arrival it is a definitely a grand old building that is in need of TLC, we had a large bedroom on the first floor filled with odd bits of furniture with a large bathroom which was clean. The room was 269 Euros a night B&B and they are so mean that you get a bottle of water on the first night and that’s it, you pay for water after that, in this day and age that is just not acceptable. There’s no Tea or Coffee making facilities either. We chose to eat in the restaurant the first night which is a pretty room and the Somellier was helpful and knowekdgeable but the food was quite simply appalling, we chose different starters both of which were nearly inedible, the goats cheese wrapped in something had obviously been prepared in advance and was so cold it was almost frozen, the presentation non existent, the other starter of prawns was equally inedible, we both chose the boeuf which was served on a splash of Aubergine purée and lacked any finesse, as for the deserts we both chose the peach dish was obviously again prepared earlier, brought out of the fridge and served with a dollop of sorbet, the whole dish floated in some inedible liquid. We and others that night complained to the Receptionist whose response was that presumably we didn’t want our reservations for the Saturday night.
Breakfast is a help yourself arrangement in the Richelieu room across the courtyard, a soulless bland room with the atmosphere and lighting of a morgue. The staff on both mornings were unhelpful and downright miserable. Coffee is out of a pot, the breakfast table on the Sunday morning was basically exactly as it had been left after the Saturday breakfast with many items not refreshed or replaced. Just not acceptable.