Photo of Charente

About Charente

The famed home of cognac, rural Charente is a beautiful south-western French region. Dotted with historic villages and characterised by rolling vineyard-clad slopes and leafy, riverside communities, this part of France has long attracted outdoorsy travellers, laid-back holidaymakers and keen foodies. Travel to Charente to soak up a slower pace of life — even in the charming hubs of Cognac and Angoulême — and to unwind in an array of excellent B&Bs or country house hotels. Fit for a whole host of tastes and budgets, our pick of the best places to stay in Charente offers the perfect springboard to start planning your trip.

Heritage aficionados and eager people-watchers should base themselves in Cognac or Angoulême. Both offer imposing historic buildings, lively markets, museums and eateries. The Musée d'Angoulême and the Jardins Public de Cognac are highlights. The Angoulême International Comics Festival is also enormously popular. Set on the banks of the Charente River, both communities promise lovely riverside walks, canal boat trips, fishing and kayaking opportunities, too.

Immerse yourself in understanding cognac, with tours and tastings at the surrounding vineyards or ‘houses’ of the most illustrious brands — Martell, Henessy Camus, Remy Martin and Courvoisier included. Follow portions of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route, go cycling and horse riding, or enjoy friendly games of tennis and restful spa afternoons at some of the best places to stay in Charente.

The Best Places to Stay in Charente

For an Intimate Hideaway

  • Château de Maumont is a magnificent 16th-century residence on the banks of the Touvre River. Set within 2 hectares of gardens, this is an immensely relaxing holiday base, with five rustic rooms featuring four poster beds and free-standing tubs. Intimate and a brilliant wedding or party venue.

For Families or Groups

  • Château de l’Yeuse is an elegant hotel near the Charente River, just outside Cognac. Expect rooms with space for little ones, a superb spa, swimming pool and gourmet restaurant. Go hiking, cycling and horse riding in the area. Fun for guests of all ages; groups of friends will appreciate the convivial atmosphere and the cognac lounge.
  • Château de Lerse offers romantic rooms and suites in a 12th-century residence, but its charming cottage sleeps six and is a dream retreat for families or groups of friends. Spend your days hiking, cycling, swimming or feasting on regional produce at the restaurant. Idyllic.
  • Le Relais de Saint Preuil is a former coaching house with a friendly, laid-back feel. The largest four suites offer space for up to five guests, making it a great choice for a family holiday. Share access to the swimming pool, sauna, tennis court and leafy gardens, or speak to the knowledgeable owners about family-friendly activities in the area.
  • Domaine du Chatelard has just 12 relaxed lakeside rooms with period furnishings and lake or garden views. Swim in the pool, play tennis on the hotel's court or enjoy delectable Italian fare at the restaurant. A great value choice for foodies or families.

For Grown-Up Glamour

  • Hôtel Chais Monnet offers a fabulously luxurious stay in Cognac. Perfect for romantic couples and well-heeled travellers, this glamorous hotel has an indulgent spa, two restaurants and a selection of elegant suites and private apartments. An exceptional choice in Cognac.
  • Hôtel Ligaro has sleek, sophisticated rooms tucked within a traditional townhouse in the centre of Jarnac. Pick this place for the chic, contemporary feel and the excellent gourmet restaurant — which offers a fantastic array of cognac.

For Rural Luxury

  • Domaine des Etangs is an exquisite historic château with adjoining cottages set in stunning rural surroundings. You'll find enormous suites with exposed stone walls and beamed ceilings, top-notch gourmet cuisine, spectacular shared spaces and an impressive programme of art and wellness events. Also a magical wedding or honeymoon venue.

FOR AN APARTMENT OR HOLIDAY COTTAGE

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport or to La Rochelle Airport and travel to your destination by car or bus. Alternatively, take a high-speed train from Paris; you'll be in the Charente region in 4 hours.
  • The Charente area is brilliant for a road trip! Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Visit during the summer for the warmest weather (around 22-26°C). For fewer crowds, travel in the late spring or early autumn. Do be aware that some hotels will be especially busy during the grape harvest.

STILL NOT SURE?

Weather

Monthly Weather in Charente

Best Hotels in Charente

  • Chateau de L'Yeuse Cognac 24 rooms from £66

    Families  -  With so many activities on the doorstep, it will be hard to find time to enjoy the hotel's pool and gardens
    Sights nearby  -  Chateau de la Rochefoucauld
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Traditional
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  Michelin Travel

    An elegant hotel near the river Charente. Charming rooms feature opulent wallpapers, antique style furniture, and stunning views. Spa, sauna and outdoor pool. Gourmet French food, lovely bar area. Great value, family friendly. See More

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  • Domaine du Chatelard Dirac, Charente 12 rooms from £73

    Romantic Break  -  Lakeside walks, riding and cycling with picnics, as well as gourmet food on the pretty terrace
    Sights nearby  -  Angoulême Cathedral and the city’s historic Remparts
    Tennis  -  Tennis court onsite
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    TennisRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenParking
    Recommended by  -  Michelin Travel

    An elegant lakeside hotel. Rooms feature period furniture, garden views and spacious bathrooms. Outdoor pool, tennis court, sunny terrace and gardens. Fantastic Italian cuisine. Romantic, pretty and quiet. See More

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  • Le Relais de Saint Preuil Charente 8 rooms from £66

    Active Holiday  -  Your hosts can organise hot air balloon rides, tours of vineyards, cooking classes or golf trips.
    Cooking classes  -  Cooking classes are offered to guests.
    Tennis  -  There is a tennis court on-site.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor swimming pool.
    Air conditioningTennisRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParking

    Charming boutique hotel on a Cognac vineyard offering traditional and rustic rooms, family suites and a cottage. A former 17th century coaching house, the rooms omit a 19th century elegance, with antique furniture and wooden beams. Tours and tastings are organised for guests around local vineyards. See More

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  • Chateau de Maumont Charente 5 rooms from £108

    Country Escape  -  Set within 2 hectare garden, with hot tub and massage for your enjoyment, take a walk along the river
    Great walks  -  Walk along the "green path" (Coulée Verte)
    Sights nearby  -  The Rochefoucauld Château
    Lakeside
    GardenParkingNo pets

    Ivy-clad 16th century chateau. Interiors are full of rustic charm with four poster beds, parquet floors and contemporary bathrooms. Hot tub and massages available, two hectares of fragrant gardens and terrace. Peaceful, grown up and at good value. See More

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  • Hôtel Ligaro Jarnac, Charente 10 rooms from £121

    Wine tasting  -  Located in the heart of Cognac country
    Restaurant  -  300m away on a different site - unique regional produce
    Short break
    Kayaking  -  Available locally.
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenDisabled accessParking

    Hôtel Ligaro offers spacious, sleek and contemporary rooms, decorated in neutral tones in a traditional townhouse in the centre of Jarnac. There's a gourmet reetaurant for serious foodies and plenty of activities on the Charente River or exploring in Cognac, which is only 10km away. See More

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  • Château de Lerse Pérignac, Charente 5 rooms from £121

    Weddings  -  Breathtaking, natural and expansive setting able to cater for weddings of up to 120 guests and up to 30 for accommodation
    Families  -  The beautiful cottage houses up to six people and is equipped with a sitting room, kitchen, private terrace and barbeque
    Foodies  -  Gourmet, fresh French-style cuisine is the best for miles. Plus - dinner cooked by and served with hosts is a must-do
    Romantic Break  -  A quiet setting offering an intimate stay in a beautiful setting with organic food and stylishly renovated rooms
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    A beautiful 12th-century château, turned hotel, offering smart rooms, organic food and acres of beautiful, secluded grounds. Having undergone an entire revamp the feel is fresh yet without losing the original character. Cottages and deluxe safari tents are also available for a more private affair. See More

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  • Hotel Chais Monnet Cognac 92 rooms from £180

    Local exploring  -  Set in the heart of the picturesque town, this hotel is the perfect base for exploring the namesake cognac distilleries
    Foodies  -  With two tantalizing restaurants onsite, both serving contemporary gourmet cuisine, this hotel is great for foodies
    Romantic Break  -  With well-appointed suites, a romantic bar and great restaurants, this hotel makes a dream couples' getaway
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    This luxury hotel is nestled in the heart of Cognac. The heritage site where the hotel is located has been lovingly remodelled with the help of a renowned architect and now offers elegant guestrooms in soft pastels with luxurious linens and a sleek spa. This bolt-hole makes a great romantic getaway. See More

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  • Domaine des Etangs Charente 29 rooms from £347

    Country Escape  -  A stunning countryside location with 100 hectares of surrounding woods, beautiful ponds and a restaurant overlooking the valley
    Romantic Break  -  Stunning nature, romantic walks through the woods, spa sessions and evening meals overlooking the valley-what could be better?
    Great walks  -  With such extensive and beautiful grounds there are plenty of great routes
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolPet friendlyParking
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels

    This stunning Domaine is located just outside Angouleme in the Charente Limousine region. The chateau and its 7 cottages are decorated elegantly and traditionally but with some modern features incorporated. There's a superb restaurant, a spa and a pool. A classy and romantic countryside retreat. See More

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