Chateau de Canisy
What We Love
- Daily breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- The chateau is equidistant from Normandy’s three main attractions: Mont Saint-Michel, the D-Day beaches and the Bayeux tapestry
- The rooms brim with history, family heirlooms and authentic period furnishings
- Service that’s truly welcoming and warm
- The magnificent rare book library (one of three libraries), shown only upon request
What To Know
- There isn't a typical restaurant, but there is a resident chef. Members will need to e-mail the property in advance to make reservations on the evening of arrival
- There are no elevators, but first-floor rooms are handicap-accessible
- Only one menu is served at dinner; if you have dietary restrictions or special requests, notify the staff at least 24 hours in advance
- Normandy is notoriously rainy; pack an umbrella
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Set on 740 wooded acres inhabited by cows and geese, the 11th-century Chateau de Canisy is a storybook castle complete with towers, moats and parapets, and enough Empire chairs, brocade fabrics and leatherbound tomes to fill a museum. But unlike many French chateaux, which offer nose-in-the-air stuffiness, this family-run retreat eschews formality and is a place where, despite its distinguished lineage and sumptuous furnishings, you can truly feel at home. A stay here is casual and convivial — with easy access to Normandy’s main attractions.
Bed and Bath
Off corridors lined with leather trunks and family portraits, the 17 guestrooms are études in French history, each representing a different era (First Empire, Restoration, Art Deco) and decorated with period pieces carefully selected by the comtesse herself. The majority of the rooms have luxe bathtubs (copper, clawfoot and marble), but only a few have walk-in showers. Though the chateau’s facilities have been modernized, there are no TVs in the guestrooms.
Mont Saint-Michel, the D-Day beaches and the Bayeux tapestry are close by, but the 740-acre estate offers plenty of diversions, from fishing to cycling to playing petanque or croquet. There’s even a botanical garden and a farm with llamas, turkeys and deer. And don’t fret if you’ve forgotten to pack your rain boots; the property has a ready supply of gear (including boots) for exploring the grounds. At night, tuck into a four-course dinner — with wine pairings, bien sûr — prepared by chef Christian.
In the Area
Mont Saint-Michel, its towers, turrets and ramparts rising from a swirl of flat sand, is the most recognizable landmark in northern France. At the very top of the compound, the abbey, founded in the 8th century, hosts chamber music concerts, illuminated nighttime tours and exhibitions in the high season. The Caen Memorial Museum is a must for war buffs, but if you want a bit of sand without the history, head to Agon-Coutainville. The Bayeux tapestry, a hand-embroidered, 230-foot-long depiction of the Norman conquest of England, is listed by UNESCO as a “Memory of the World.” Normandy is known for its black-and-white milking cows and the excellent dairy products that are made from the protein-rich milk. Visit the Camembert Museum (surely the world’s smelliest) to learn more about the local cheese.
How to Get There
We (a group of 38 friends and family) just spent the most extraordinary four days at the Chateau de Canisy. This is not a hotel or B&B in the traditional sense, but rather a gorgeous family home where the owner and the staff aim to make you feel like a special and valued family friend who is staying with them as a guest. Thanks to Patrick no detail slips between the cracks and all requests are handled immediately and expertly. The food is outstanding, the service impeccable, and if you're lucky you'll have Count Denis de Kergorlay give you a personal history of the property and his family, going back to the French Revolution and before. The rooms are lovingly redone to represent different periods in the chateau's history, and if you have a lake view you'll wake up every morning to swans piercing the mist coming off the water. Won't get any of that at a nearby Hilton. This was easily our most memorable vacation!
It had everything you expect from a 13th century Chateau and more, in our suite we had two bathrooms and mirrors everywhere. The house has a replica bar and dance hall of the Cavern in Liverpool. The extensive grounds with its lakes and woodlands are amazing along with the Black Swans, Geese and Ducks, the whole experience has to be seen to believe it. The staff were good as was the meals.
Drove from Amsterdam to visit this property during a holiday weekend. We had expected to stay in Deauville but the lack of availability took me to the Canisy castle. I arrived at about 6PM, impressed by the view of the castle is you drive in the property.
Checked-in is expedited, maybe too much. Very few information about the castle and the amenities. We did not get to interact with Patrick.
The castle and its rooms have impeccable furniture. Rooms are large, cosy and clean. Breakfast is services on a communal table which was great to get to meet other stay. There is a limited number of rooms in the castle, making the overall experience very intimate. Table service could be improved.
There is plenty to see in and around the castle.
Beautiful grounds with many lakes full of swans, geese, & ducks. Friendly and helpful staff, especially Jean Claude. It was amazing to stay in a chateau with such a long and living history. The rooms are extraordinary. Our dinner the first night was excellent. Would love to make a return visit for a longer stay!
An absolute pleasure to work here, I still have many fond memories. I worked her for one year and can only say again what a fabulous experience it was from weddings, parties, private functions and the Counts entertainment, I can only reiterate how amazing this place is.