Hi all. I'm going to stay 2 nights with 1 full day to see a couple of chateaux. Will probably want to see Azay-le-Rideau and Villandry and maybe Fontevraud Abbey. I had planned to stay in Chinon per RS recommendation but think I may like to stay in a smaller village. Has anyone stayed in the villages of Azay-le-Rideau, Fontevraud-l'Abbaye, or Villandry? If so, opinions/ recommendations are welcome and appreciated. Thanks By the way, I'm getting pretty far along in my plans for this summer in France, and want to thank all the posters for all the good information I have picked up so far - it has really helped a lot. Hope I get some response on this one. Thanks again.
Thanks for the info that Chinon is a smaller town, that helped. Unfortunately Hotel Diderot was sold out for my dates (too bad, it looked really nice). I did some further research and just booked a room at the Hotel Grand Monarque in Azay-le-Rideau, it looks nice and has good reviews on Trip Advisor, slightly more than I wanted to spend but it will be my splurge. It's walking distance to the chateau so that will be nice. Thanks again for your input.
There are a few highly recommended hotels in Chenonceaux wiithin walking distance of the chateaux. Nice village experience. The one I am familar with (and recommend) is Le Bon Laboreur. The other frequently recommended on this site is le Roseraie.
I know this is not what you asked but Chinon is pretty small and very charming. We loved the Hotel Diderot in Chinon. Lovely owners, nice setting.
Brian, thanks for the info on Chenonceau but I have already been to the chateaux around there and this time I am concentrating further to the west. Grier, thank you for the info on Chinon, I guess I thought it was a bigger town. I will do more research and check into the hotel you suggested.
I stayed at Hotel Diderot last fall and liked it and Chinon very much, but Chinon may be a bigger town than what you are looking for. It's not big, but it's what I would call a village. Fontevraud-l'Abbaye is much smaller. I liked it, but I did not stay there, so I can't recommend any places to stay. I like to have more choices of places to eat, and I like to be able to take long walks around the town after dinner, so Chinon worked better for me. Although Rick gives it a pretty mediocre review, I loved the Abbey. It may be because I'm obsessed with Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, but I was thrilled to see it. My husband does not have the same obsession, but he really liked it too.
It has been almost 30 years, but I stayed twice in Azay at the Grand Monarque www.legrandmonarque.com
oops. just noted you had already been to chenonceau but thought this might help others Not sure if you have already booked but we are staying at a FANTASTIC chateau that is only a short walk from Chenonceau, I am told a "must see" in the Loire. Here is the web address: http://www.vrbo.com/222100 the owner, Valerie Faccini is such a gem. We had booked for May and had to cancel and she cheerfully refunded all of our money. Now we are going in September and cannot wait. She only rents one room and I am told will even cook for you (in your apartment or her home) if you like, and give you cooking lessons too. Her place has a pool, vineyards etc. and the reviews are stellar. Not sure if she rents only for a couple of nights...a note...her site says rent from wed to wed but she allowed us to book only wed to tues. Good luck!
Chinon is a charming town. I would say that the best b and b room we have ever had in 7 trips to Europe was at the Logis Saint Mexme in Chinon. We had the room which overlooks the street and parking lot. It was HUGE with an enormous living room, a balcony, french doors and wonderful antiques. Breakfast was wonderful, served either in the garden or a wonderful dining room of the house. I would recommend a tour of the castle above the town. It was lived in by 4 kings including several Henrys and William. Also the site of Joan of Arc's appeal to the king to resist the English. Another recommendation: avoid the fish restaurant recommended by Rick.