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The Château d'Amboise is one of the Loire's most famous: this is where Charles VIII grew up and where Leonardo da Vinci is buried, but it's also one of the Loire's most beautiful. The weekend market is another draw, and Amboise's numerous high end hotels appeal to French weekend-breakers, so when it comes to reserving the best places to stay in Amboise, it's important to book ahead.
Amboise, the pretty market town sitting between the château and the river, is an obvious choice for a base to explore the château and the numerous others in the region.
It is less than 90 minutes from Paris by TGV, and about 20kms east of Tours, so it's an easy spot to explore the Loire from. There are a number of beautiful châteaux nearby, and several excellent vineyards, but of course Amboise has charms of its own.
The château occupies a defensive position, and was originally built to serve as a fortress too, but was used more as a weekend escape, until it became the home of Charles VIII in the 15th Century. This is when it took its current, Italianate shape.
Château d'Amboise is also supposed to have had France's first formal gardens. Its other claim to fame is as the final resting place of Leonardo da Vinci, who took up residence at local manor, Le Clos Luce, at the invitation of Francois I.
Le Clos Luce is another popular local attraction, as is the curious Pagode de Chateloup and the humorous Pac de Mini-Châteaux, which has intricate scale models of 44 of the Loire's best known châteaux - it's like a poor-man's hot air balloon ride over the Loire...
The Hotel Guru's pick of the best places to stay in Amboise are all perfect bases for exploring the whole of the Loire Valley.
- The Château des Arpentis is a particularly stunning château set in a 30 hectare park - along the lines of a princess' castle. Its twelve luxurious rooms have wonderful original features.
- Le Vieux Manoir is more manor house than castle, its elegant 17th Century facade filled with antiques. A short walk from town you have privacy, but a great choice of nearby restaurants.
For Foodies and Wine-Buffs
- The Château de Pray was built in the 13th Century, and has two impressive round towers. Inside you'll find the Michelin starred restaurant and a beautiful collection of antiques, and outside are expansive gardens.
- Le Choiseul's restaurant offers dining overlooking the Loire River and local vineyards. Rooms and light, traditional and colourful, with their toile de jouy wallpaper.
- Outside of the town, Le Fleuray is a picturesque country house hotel with an excellent restaurant and a mix of rooms and suites sleeping up to six.
- Le Manoir les Minimes is a stunning 18th Century manor with views overlooking the Loire River, and easy access to the region's main sights.
Best B&Bs in Amboise
- Le Pavillon des Lys is a beautiful sandstone manor house turned elegant B&B right next door to the château.
- Manoir St Thomas is a traditional château B&B, also just steps from the royal château.
- The Domaine des Bidaudieres is an even grander B&B. Once a country vineyard estate, guests now have a choice of rooms, suites, apartments and two cottages to stay in. And while there's no restaurant, they do do breakfasts and suppers by arrangement.
Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Amboise, or contact, one of our friendly gurus for advice. Alternatively take a look at all our recommendations in the Loire Valley,
Best Hotels in Amboise
Le Clos d'Amboise 20 rooms from $110Amboise
Sitting alongside the Royal Castle is this 17th century chateau. Having been renovated in 2011 all efforts have been made to maintain its original charm. Rooms are decorated with antique French pieces; some have balconies. There is a pool, extensive gardens, gourmet restaurant and wine tasting.Fishing - For zander, bream, perch, catfish and carp in the Loire river.Sights nearby - Visit the Amboise Royal Château, a former royal residence.Four poster beds - For romantics.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Le Pavillon des Lys 8 rooms from $99Amboise, Loire Valley
A beautiful sandstone French country house B&B. Elegant rooms and suites in creams with subtle lighting, some with enormous private terraces. Charming breakfast room, sitting room, and friendly service. Perfect for local exploring and romantic breaks.Sights nearby - Right next door to Amboise chateau and ideally placed for exploring the sights of the Loire ValleyKayaking - On the rivers Loire and CherLocal markets - Good for local colour.Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Fodors
Le Fleuray 20 rooms from $102Amboise, Loire Valley
Picturesque country hotel with an excellent restaurant. A variety of charming rooms from bedroom, to family suite, to suite, sleeping as many as six. Swimming pool, hot tub, and massage too. A great spot for families, groups of friends, and avid golfers - the course is next door!FamiliesSights nearby - Borrow one of the free bikes and explore the area on two wheelsSwimming Pool - Outdoor heated pool available from spring to autumnKayaking - Available locally.Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
Auberge du Bon Laboureur 24 rooms from $125Loire Valley
A pretty hotel set in an 18th country house. Charming rooms feature antique furniture and elegant textile prints. Outdoor pool, gardens and terrace. Excellent regional cuisine with ingredients straight from the vegetable garden. A pretty, quiet and sophisticated spot.Local exploring - Just 500m from Castle of Chenonceau, and the vineyards of the region, with cycling and walking pathsSights nearby - Amboise, Chaumont, ChambordLocal markets - Good for local colour.Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Sawdays
Chateau de Pray 17 rooms from $135Amboise, Loire Valley
Impressive 13th century chateau in the Loire Valley. Charming rooms and suites with antique furniture and all the mod-cons. Michelin starred restaurant and large garden. Wine tasting and ballooning nearby. An ideal weekend away for foodies.Foodies - Chef Frédéric Brisset's Michelin-starred restaurantGarden - 12 acres of gardenSights nearby - Castle of Chenonceau, Da Vinci House and Chambord CastleViews - Loire RiverRecommended by - Fodors
Le Manoir les Minimes 13 rooms from $135Amboise, Loire Valley
A stunning 18th century manor in the Loire Valley. Sumptuous decoration in rooms and suites with large bathrooms. Fantastic views across the Loire river. Close proximity to town and historical chateaus. An idyllic spot for couples or families.Wine tasting - Loire valley vinyards nearbyRiverside - Situated on the Loire RiverSights nearby - Chateau d'Amboise, Clos-Luce, Mini-Chateaux Park, Pagoda of ChanteloupLocal markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Fodors
Chateau de Pintray 5 rooms from $120Indre-et-Loire, Loire Valley
A 16th Century Chateau bursting with traditional features and rustic charm. Character in abundance with original fire places, wine cellar and exposed beams. A pretty terrace overlooks a lovely landscaped garden and vineyard where guests can relax and enjoy wine tasting sessions.Garden - A landscaped garden with deck chairs on the lawn and picnic spots available as well as a Garden kitchen in the summer monthsSights nearby - Day visits to the Chateau de Amboise, Chateau de Chenoceau and the Clos Luce where Leonardo Da Vinci famously residedKayaking - Canoeing and kayaking in the Loire ValleyBack to NatureRecommended by - Sawdays
Chateau des Arpentis 12 rooms from $141Loire Valley
Stunning Chateau set in 30-hectare park. Twelve luxurious rooms with original architectural features and a heated pool in the garden. Set in idyllic UNSECO Loire Valley in close proximity to other chateaus and wine tasting locations. A romantic spot for a short break.Sights nearby - Few kilometers from the Chateau Renaissance d’AmboiseArchitectural - The chateau was renovated in 2008CharmingRomantic - Good for couples.
Le Vieux Manoir 6 rooms from $146Amboise, Loire Valley
Elegant 17th century hotel for a weekend break in the Loire Valley. Rooms and cottages are clean and traditional with antique furnishings. Sunny rose garden and cozy library. Minutes from Amboise and the river Loire. A picturesque choice for a romantic weekend away.Antiques - Antique furniture throughout hotelRomantic Break - Have breakfast in the garden roomSights nearby - Loire river in walking distanceCountry House - 18th centuryRecommended by - Fodors
Manoir St Thomas 10 rooms from $135Amboise, Loire Valley
A traditional chateau B&B that combines the old with the new for creature comforts. Rooms and suites in contemporary style. Delicious breakfasts, swimming pool, and steps away from Amboise's royal château, the river Loire, and the Clos Lucé.Sights nearby - A stone's throw from Amboise Castle and the River LoireSwimming Pool - Heated outdoor poolGreat walks - Good for walkers.Local markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Johansens, Sawdays, Frommers
Le Choiseul 32 rooms from $185Amboise, Loire Valley
A stunning chateau in the Loire valley. Rooms are light and traditionally styled with toile de jouy wallpaper. Restaurant dining room overlooking the River Loire. Wine tasting, ballooning and chateaux on the doorstep. A romantic and relaxed choice for couples or families.Country House - The chateau accommodation is spread across 5 housesArchitectural - A beautiful 18th century building.Wine tasting - Loire valley vinyards in vicinityRiverside - Loire riversideRecommended by - Small Luxury Hotels
Chateau de Nazelles 5 rooms from $167Amboise (Nazelles-Négron)
16th century house surrounded by vineyards. Rustic-chic interiors have exposed brick walls, wooden floors and white furnishings; modern bathrooms. Pavilion has full kitchen and living space. Outdoor pool, 6-hectares of garden. A modern take on the chateau break.Local exploring - Perfectly situated to see the Loire's chateaus, wine caves and boat trips on the river, all with this very chic baseSights nearby - Day trip to nearby AmboiseKayaking - Kayaks rides on the LoireCooking classes - Check for timings.Recommended by - Sawdays
Chateau de Perreux 11 rooms from $172Amboise (Loire Valley)
An elegant Chateau dating back to the 1700s offering a quiet escape in peaceful surroundings. Tasteful bedrooms that combine contemporary comfort with the unique Chateau style. The in house chef focuses on locally sourced, seasonal produce. An outdoor pool is reached by a secret underground passage.Local exploring - Situated in Nazelles-Négron, at the heart of the Loire Valley, this is the perfect base for exploring this UNESCO heritage area.Total relaxation - Plush rooms, great pool surrounded by lovely gardens and forests, plus awrd winning cuisine and roaring fires.Kayaking - Grab a kayak and head off to explore the Loire, admire the lovely villages, chateaus and countryside.Great walks - There are lovely walks through the property's manicured gardens and wooded parklands.
Domaine des Hauts de Loire 31 rooms from $251Onzain, Loire Valley
Classic luxury in a 19th century former hunting lodge and a two Michelin starred chef. What more could you ask for? Happy and charming staff ? This is 'la différence ', the 'je ne sais quoi' of classic service. Vive la différence. This is Domaine des Hauts de Loire.Foodies - The restaurant has two Michelin starsGreat walks - 3 walking trails on the estateSecluded setting - For escaping.Views - Great views from hotelRecommended by - Tablet, Relais & Chateaux, Fodors