By Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny
Hotel-Golf-Chateau de Chailly
The Chateau de Chailly is a 4-star hotel in the heart of Burgundy with a golf course listed in the top 10 of North Eastern France golf resorts by Fairways Magazine. But no need to be a golf fan to make this former fortress the perfect French country break or an alluring stop on your way to the Riviera.
Originally the chateau was a fortress built in the 16th century and your first impression when going through the castle’s gate will actually confirm this historical fact. With its long stern façade flanked by two round towers the Chateau de Chailly looks pretty impressive. The chateau was bought in 1989 by a Japanese investor, Yashuiko Sata. Thanks to its new patron’s involvement Chailly was able to revive and when entering the chateau you discover a comfortable country home beautifully renovated. The spectacular stone staircase of the spacious entrance catches the eye at once. People of the 16th century knew how to build houses meant to last for centuries! Next you will discover a series of reception rooms, a bar with panelled walls, all elegantly decorated with a mix of classical and modern furniture and art objects. Through the rear windows and French doors you will get an amazing view over the 18-hole golf course with its water obstacles and tall trees.
The chateau has 45 rooms and suites plus 8 beautifully furnished apartments with one to six bedrooms for families or friends. The rooms and suites are all very spacious and elegantly decorated in a French chic countryside style. The most spectacular suite is set on the second floor of one of the tower. Its amazing huge bedroom has been set under the impressive oak frame of the tower that reaches incredibly high. This is the suite where the Dalai Lama stayed in 1997 when he visited Chateau de Chailly. We really got a unique feeling of privilege and amazement to be able to sleep in the same room as His Holiness the Dalai Lama did. You can also admire the beautiful cedar tree he planted in the park close to the chateau. This is a very good spot for a picnic that the hotel. can organize for you. There is also a long outside swimming pool next to the chateau with views over the golf course.
Gastronomic dining experience
Alexandre Clochet is the new chef of the hotel restaurant; “L’Armançon”. After training in several French stared restaurants Alexandre Clochet decided to go back to his home region. He quickly was able to create his own cuisine mostly made with local products and inspired by traditional recipes but with a modern twist. The wine list of course honours Burgundy and sommelier Thierry Ledieu will skilfully help you make your choice.
“L’Armençon” is set in three adjoining beautiful rooms with spectacular fireplaces and beamed ceilings creating a warm atmosphere. The chef has chosen a “farm to fork” approach. Products are sourced at very close by producers. The beef that you will be served comes from a farm located in the same village as the hotel. Couldn’t be closer! The pikeperch comes from a nearby river, vegetables and most fruits are grown a few miles away… Wonderful products, a real chef knowhow, fine selection of wines, good service… all the ingredients of a good diner are gathered at “L’Armençcon”.
Breakfast is served in two beautiful vaulted rooms of the north tower. The buffet is filled with tempting food with a wide choice of breads, croissants, cold cuts, eggs, jams, juices, cheese, cakes… A very good moment to start your day!
Plenty to do at Chateau de Chailly
Besides golf and picnics the hotel proposes many other activities. Being in Burgundy it’s only natural to enjoy wine tasting in the chateau’s cellar. Thierry Ledieu, the restaurant’s sommelier, will tell you everything you want to know about Burgundy wines and the best way to enjoy them. You will taste two whites and two red as well as the iconic Burgundy gougeres, a kind of savoury cheese choux. You can also get a golf introduction, individual lesson or follow a training with the hotel golf pro. You can also rent a Citroen 2 CV or DS for a one-day tour of the close by sites of interest. Of course the hotel organises wedding parties and you can declare your marriage vows in the astonishing “Dome du Cosmos”. There was no chapel in the former fortress so Yashuiko Sata created this ecumenical colourful room during the restoration works. Even if you are not getting married during your stay don’t miss to visit this unique place.
Yashuiko Sata is a Burgundy wine lover and he promotes them all over the world through the Sata Foundation. He gave 60 barrels of wine to the Meiji-Jingu Shrine in Tokyo and every year 60 Burgundy wine estates give a few of their most precious bottles to the shrine to promote international friendship and peace. The famous Côte de Beaune, Côte de Nuits and Chablis are less than a hour drive from the hotel. They can also arrange a guided tour of local vineyards.
Many Burgundy sites of interest also are less than a one-hour drive from the hotel. You can easily get to Beaune, Dijon, Vezelay, Flavigny, Noyers, Autun, Chablis, Avallon, Semur-en-Auxois… There are many picturesque villages near-by such as Chateauneuf-en-Auxois that is only a 10 minutes drive from Chateau de Chailly. You will spot it from afar! The village is perched on the edge of a high headland overlooking the Canal de Bourgogne. Chateauneuf is listed as one of the “Most Beautiful French Villages”. It is mostly pedestrian and you will quietly enjoy your visit discovering the medieval and Renaissance houses. On top of the hill stands an impressive medieval fortress open to the visit from where you’ll get a panoramic view of the Burgundy countryside.
Close by -it is only 4 km away from Chateauneuf- don’t miss Chateau de Commarin. This chateau belongs to the same family for over 900 years and is still inhabited. It originally was a fortress but was turned into a family country house in the 17th century. It is still surrounded by moats filled with running water, still has its 14th century chapel, its round towers and original furniture. A very interesting visit that you can complete with a relaxing walk in the beautiful park. www.commarin.com/?lang=en
The hotel can also arrange nice excursion in the nearby countryside. You can take a day swimming at Chambloux or Settons lakes, take a bike and go around the region on little-used small roads, go hiking, fly in a balloon from the hotel park… Maps and itineraries can be found at the reception.
The hotel Spa is set in beautiful vaulted rooms with a wide choice of treatments, a big Jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish baths.
More information, direct booking and special offers at www.chailly.com/en
Text ©Annick Dournes
Photos (except the last one): ©Frederic de Poligny or ©Annick Dournes
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