Please sign in to post.

Amboise accommodations

hello.

we will be in france in august and will pass by the loire valley on the way to the french basque region and on to northern spain.

i am reading RS on the loire valley. would like to ask your experience in accommodations in amboise, whether hotels or chambre d'hotes. we don't have a car and will just rely on trains, buses, and our two feet. we are 68 and 69 yrs old.

btw, we will be taking the train from paris to st pierre des corps to amboise (per rail europe website).

thanks.
olivia

Posted by
1114 posts

If you do not have a car, I would not even consider using Amboise as a base. It´s a small community with very limited public transportation.

Unquestionable I would stay in Tours. There are a number of hotels between the train station and Place Plumereau in Old Tours. They are all within an easy walk of the station.

Best Western Central

Hotel Oceania l´Universe

Hotel Ronsard

Hotel du Manoir Tours

I should also recommend an excellent chambre d´hôte or B&B

La Maison Jules

I would also obtain a copy of the Michelin Green Guide for the Châteaux of the Loire.

You can book a number of minivan tours from the Office de Tourisme located just across the street from Tours Centre, the train station.

There are several châteaux which have relatively easy access via train such as Chenonceau and Château Blois. Tours has a number of restaurants of note, museums, shopping, and cafés. However, you´ll want to stay within the areas of Place Plumereau, Tours Centre, and the Hôtel de Ville. Other areas of Tours will not be as interesting to tourists.

Posted by
204 posts

Hi tocard.

That sounds like a sensible suggestion. I was carried away by rick’s book where he said for first timers, Amboise is better than chinon. He probably has a clause about having cars that I didn’t catch.

Thank you.

Posted by
1516 posts

Hi Olivia, we stayed at the Hotel Bellevue (http://hotel-bellevue-amboise.com/) for 6 nights in September 2016. This was my third visit to Amboise. The other two trips were short and I never felt that I really got to know the town. We visited the Chateau d'Amboise (the royal residence of King Francoise I) and Clos Luce (where Leonardo DaVinci spent the last 5 years of his life). We also spent a few hours walking to and from the Pagoda of Chanteloup (nice walk but there's not much to see). The hotel or Tourist Information Office can arrange for small bus tours of the Loire Valley chateaux. I think Amboise is a good destination in itself and a workable base for exploring the area. We were traveling by train (Switzerland to Amboise to Paris), no car.

Posted by
7286 posts

Hotel Bellevue was our worst hotel experience ever... mold in the rooms and bathrooms (we had two rooms). That was 2001. Maybe it has improved since then...

I’m certain RS assumes visitors with cars.
I’d go with Tocard’s recommendations.

In Amboise, our 2nd one week visit there, we stayed at La Manoir les Minimes, a wonderful but expensive hotel with beautiful grounds right below the chateau and across from the river.

Posted by
204 posts

i went back to the RS book and re-read the Loire Valley chapters. there are shuttle buses behind the blois train station that take visitors to chambord and cheverny, so i finally decided to stay in blois at a best western hotel close to the train station. this would make 3 chateaux very accessible, including the chateau in blois.

the amboise chateau is easy to reach by train, then on foot; chenonceau perhaps by train or a bus tour. the rest of the chateaux on the western part of tours can be reached by a bus tour or train, if we haven't gotten our fill of chateaux yet.

thanks.

Posted by
7286 posts

Blois is a city vs Amboise a small, charming town. I hope you make it to
Château de Chenonceau... my favorite.

Posted by
99 posts

Whether Amboise is a good base or not depends on how many chateau visits you plan to make. Chenonceau, for example, is quite accessible by bus from Amboise, and Chateau d'Amboise is right in town. If you add many others, Amboise might be a little unhandy without a car. If you're going in August I'd be really sure that I was getting an air conditioned place. With normal weather the nights cool down quickly, but if you get there during a heat wave -- well, you're from Florida. You understand.

Bruce

Posted by
58 posts

Hello. So many choices! I used Amboise as a base and booked tours through their tourist office. Our stay was at a Chambre d’hote le clos St Raphael. It’s a brisk walk from the train station, but worth it. It’s on the opposite side of the river from town but a lovely walk across the river. I’ve also stayed in Blois (but in town at the revamped IBIS) - also a good town with museum and I think they now have a nightly light show. I travel by train almost exclusively and find it enjoyable and more stress-free. Good luck on your adventures.

Posted by
3283 posts

Amboise is very nice, a charming small town. I think its workable with walking and public transportation. That said, it'd be easier with a car and we thought driving in the Loire was pretty easy. We even stayed in a chateau at a very reasonable rate, Chateau d "Pray. For the chateaus, over the course of two trips we went to Chambord (huge, mostly unfurnished, beautiful exterior, wonderful views from the "roof"), Chenonceau (stunning! lovely gardens, decorated rooms, cute kitchen), Chaumont (interesting link to Chenonceau, views of Loire), Villandry (pretty, furnished and huge formal, amazing gardens), Azay-le-Rideau (pretty, on the water somewhat similar to Chenonceau), Clos Luce (different from others, da Vinci's home and can see some of his inventions) and Saumur (very old, started as a castle and then became a chateau). Its hard to pick a favorite because they were all very different, but if forced, I'd say Chenonceau and Villandry.

Posted by
3283 posts

Amboise is very nice, a charming small town. I think its workable with walking and public transportation. That said, it'd be easier with a car and we thought driving in the Loire was pretty easy. We even stayed in a chateau at a very reasonable rate, Chateau d "Pray. For the chateaus, over the course of two trips we went to Chambord (huge, mostly unfurnished, beautiful exterior, wonderful views from the "roof"), Chenonceau (stunning! lovely gardens, decorated rooms, cute kitchen), Chaumont (interesting link to Chenonceau, views of Loire), Villandry (pretty, furnished and huge formal, amazing gardens), Azay-le-Rideau (pretty, on the water somewhat similar to Chenonceau), Clos Luce (different from others, da Vinci's home and can see some of his inventions) and Saumur (very old, started as a castle and then became a chateau). Its hard to pick a favorite because they were all very different, but if forced, I'd say Chenonceau and Villandry.

Posted by
1005 posts

Regarding Blois, see the sound and light show at the chateau there--it is spectacular. Getting from Blois to Chenonceau could be a challenge--yes, it can be done by train, but you need to transfer in Tours and it will take about two hours. I'd try to get to Chenonceau as early as possible to beat the tour buses.