Chateau de Codignat
What We Love
- Stunning 12th-century castle with towers and turrets
- Michelin-starred cuisine courtesy of French chef Mathieu Barbet
- Opulent rooms with antiques and chandeliers (some have four-poster beds)
What To Know
- Free WiFi, parking and bike rental
- Impressive grounds with an outdoor pool, tennis courts and open-air fitness trails
- The wine cellar stocks 500 labels
- The property is an hour-and-a-half from Lyon and a four-hour drive from Paris; the nearest airport (Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne) is a 30-minute drive
- Free WiFi
Surrounded by 15 acres of forest a few miles from the city of Clermont-Ferrand, in central France, Chateau de Codignat is a 12th-century castle in a fairy-tale setting. Stately and elegant with towers and turrets, this regal retreat is a medieval dream. The opulent rooms and suites feature antiques, vintage furnishings, tapestries and, in certain rooms, huge four-poster beds. Modern amenities include air conditioning, DVD players and iPod docks. Relax at the chic, tree-fringed pool, take a stroll along the surrounding forest trails, or work up an appetite with a game of tennis followed by a muscle-soothing hydration massage which the hotel can arrange on request. Tease your taste buds with top-notch French fare at the Michelin-starred restaurant; the menu features ingredients from the region, such as foie gras from the Domaine de Limagne and wine from Saint-Pourçain.
In the Area
The Auvergne is an exceptionally beautiful region of France, with crystalline lakes, lush forests and majestic volcanoes. Ask at reception about hiking tours from the castle. Get a dose of local history at the Gothic cathedral in nearby Clermont-Ferrand. Made entirely of black volcanic rock, the building’s twin spires are an impressive 354 feet tall. To learn more about the region’s wines, visit the Musée de la Vigne et du Terroir; then head around the corner to the Union des Vignerons de Saint-Pourçain to stock up on your favorite tipple.
How to Get There
It really looks and feels exactly like an ancient castle. Spiral stone staircases, weapons as decorations, antique portraits abound. The rooms are furnished with old authentic furniture. All the interior decor is charming. The grounds exude charm as well. The food is outstanding, so go for dinner, breakfast, room package. The only drawback is the plumbing. It’s noisy, slow and no showers, only baths.
After you leave the Autoroute, you really need your car's GPS to find this place !! Codignac is another medieval castle with a long, tangled noble history..including a relative of the Czar who bought it after the Russian Revolution. The ever-presence of a hands-on General Manager assured the smooth delivery of quality service..including a front-desk employee (Stefan), who volunteered to drive us around ..to Vichy and a picturesque small village..when we arrived too late to get a next-day driver. Excellent food..both breakfast and dinner..promptly served. The only negative..as in other very-old properties... no elevators. Our bags had to be dragged up three flights of stairs to our room.
My husband and I were so excited to stay at the chateau during a quick getaway to France. I will start by saying that my review is no reflection of the hotel staff, who were wonderful and approachable throughout our stay. Unfortunately, the hotel is simply misqualified as a 5-star hotel. The toilet in our room barely flushed (we had to wait around to flush 5-6 times every time we used it), the bathroom door was impossible to open and close (I had to make sure my husband was nearby whenever I used the restroom so he could let me out and I didn’t remain trapped in the bathroom- fun!), and the decor extremely outdated. I understand the “charm” of preserving the antique, but many hotels of this class have been able to preserve their history while bringing their hotel and amenities into the 21st century. The drapery, linens, carpeting, and fixtures all felt worn and drab. As a frequent traveler, I never expect hotels to be everything they claim, but for the price and acclaim of a 5-star hotel, this place is not worth it and disappointing. I would stay elsewhere in the future and would recommend others to the same.
We stayed two nights at this chateau. The room was very comfortable, with wi-fi, air con and a nice ensuite including a bath. The grounds are well kept, and there is the added bonus of a swimming pool. Check-in and check-out were both very easy.
We stayed here on our way north from the south of France, relying on the Relais and Chateaux and Michelin ratings. It didn’t live up to either. Although the building itself and grounds are beautiful the bathrooms are tiny and in great need of updating. Food was massively overpriced and certainly didn’t live up to the Michelin star whilst service was erratic and flustered with very long waits. We decided against breakfast....