My stay in a chateau in France: relaxing in Le Mans at La Groirie chateau

I’ve always wanted to stay in a chateau in France and to my good fortune I had the chance to while visiting Pays de la Loire this summer. Hotels in France are as varied as anywhere in the world but a stay in a French chateau promises something special: a tranquil retreat far away from hectic modern life, and so it proved at La Groirie.

La Groirie hotel next to a French chateau
The view of La Groirie chateau from the boutique hotel next door

La Groirie chateau is just a few miles from the historic city of Le Mans and the property dates back to the 15th century, although the current chateau was built in the 17th century. The chateau itself, a large impressive building awaiting you at the end of a  long gravel drive, is still home to the Lepine family which owns it, and the hotel itself is just to one side, housed in what used to be the guests’ wing and now completely renovated and redesigned.

Stay in a chateau in France La Groirie
The hotel is on two levels, with the downstairs rooming all exiting straight out into the pretty grounds

The name La Groirie comes from a local Le Mans dialect meaning rocky soil which is good for growing grain, and La Groirie is surrounded by miles of farmland – most of which I visited, thanks to the sat nav sending me to the middle of a field, so make sure you get good directions from the hotel before setting off, or have eagle eyes for the small sign on the roundabout from the nearby A road.

The chateau at La Groirie
The chateau at La Groirie dates from the 17th century
The hotel bedrooms

There are 13 bedrooms in the hotel, most on the ground floor and some on the first floor upstairs and all are individually designed. You can therefore choose between the likes of Consular, decorated to look like the tent from which Napoleon directed his military campaigns; Memory of Italy, which is festooned with images of Naples, Vesuvius, Tivoli and the like; or the dark purples of Princess Zoubie. (All rooms are detailed on La Groirie’s website, lagroirie.com)

Little Marquise
My hotel bedroom, Little Marquise, was a chintz-fest which was more relaxing than it might appear in this photo

I opted for the flowery chintz-fest which was the Little Marquise, given its appealing four-poster bed and modern bathroom with vast shower, and while it might look slightly over-the-top from the pictures it was large, airy, charming and definitely unique.

hotel bedroom at La Groirie
The classical bedroom of Little Marquise had a surprisingly modern bathroom

As well as the vast bed and huge curtains there were side tables, a desk, comfy chairs, a mini-bar stocked with water and a smart TV, plus good air-con and shutters on the main door. The door to the room exited, like the other rooms, straight out onto the gardens at the front of the hotel which contain interesting sculptures and outdoor seating in case you wished to read a book in the afternoon sunshine after the drive there.

stay in a chateau in France at La Groirie
The grounds round the back of the chateau itself are lovely for a walk or just to sit in and enjoy the view
Exploring the grounds of this French chateau

I opted for a walk instead as La Groirie is set in 240 acres of land and while not all of it is accessible to visitors, there is more than enough for a good country walk around the chateau gardens. Maps are available from the friendly and helpful receptionists and I headed off to explore. In the forests at the front of the chateau is a lake with lots of overgrown footpaths to wander around in, and behind the chateau are lawns sweeping down to another body of water, called the canal, as well as a rose garden, dovecote, walkways and an orangery.

There is a lake hidden in the grounds at La Groirie
There is a lake hidden in the grounds at La Groirie

After all that walking it was time for a dip and thankfully there’s a delightful walled swimming pool just between the hotel and chateau which was ideal for a cooling swim. The hotel notes say that the pool is only open in the morning from 10.30am onwards which seemed far too late for a pre-breakfast swim but the manager kindly took the covers off first thing so I could swim in the morning as well.

the pool at La Groirie
The open-air swimming pool at La Groirie
The pool at La Groirie
The pool at La Groirie was perfect for an early-morning swim

There isn’t a restaurant at La Groirie as such but there is a menu for people – like me – who wanted to stay put and not go into Le Mans for dinner. The menu was surprisingly extensive considering, with pasta, shoulder of lamb and curry on the menu as well as classic French dishes such as rillette and fois gras, and my salade de feves and poulet roti looked small but was surprisingly tasty and exactly what I wanted.

My al fresco dinner at La Groirie
My al fresco dinner at La Groirie

You can order drinks too and sitting out in the evening sunshine with a beer I felt extremely relaxed in this luxury boutique hotel. There is no sound from the nearby motorway (unless the wind changes and you might hear a distant rumble) but considering it’s just a few miles from major transport links you could be in the middle of nowhere and makes for a really relaxing French break.

The breakfast room at La Groirie
The breakfast room at La Groirie
Delicious French breakfast
Delicious French breakfast

A traditional French breakfast in France is a real treat and breakfast at La Groirie was a mix of gorgeous French bread and butter and pastries and coffee from a machine and I realised that I would have to watch my bread consumption over the next few weeks as it is impossible to stop eating once you’ve started. Then it was back on the road and off to explore Le Mans, just a few miles away.

La Groirie, 72650 Trangé, Pays de la Loire. Rooms from £140 a night.

Useful links:
Information about  Le Mans in surrounding district https://www.paysdumans.fr/
Information about the nearby Vallee du Loir
https://en.vallee-du-loir.com

 

Get my free email with offers and updates!

Sign up to receive my fortnightly email full of news, offers and brand new reviews!

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sarah Bridge

Every review is personally researched and written by me, Sarah Bridge, who, when I'm not writing about leisure for a national newspaper, spends my time seeking out the best leisure experiences, from city centre boutique hotels to country house estates, Michelin-starred dining to the newest openings. Some of the links on my reviews are affiliate marketing links, which means if you click through I get a small commission if you end up buying on these sites. This in no way affects the independence of my reviews, but helps with website running costs and I just wanted to let you know so as to be fully transparent.
Sarah Bridge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *