Discover boutique hotels in Rambouillet, France

Under an hour’s drive from Paris, Rambouillet is known for its stately château and eponymous forest, a feature that led to this leafy commune becoming the retreat of choice among the city’s elite. In the days of the Ancien Régime, it was the sprawling oak and elm forest that made this pocket of Île-de-France so attractive, promising rich pickings for the aristocratic hunting parties that convened there. The nobles escaping the city needed appropriate lodgings on these rustic retreats, giving rise to resplendent castles like the Château de Rambouillet, a former summer residence for kings, emperors and presidents. The hunting parties may have vanished from the forest (replaced by walkers, mountain bikers and wildlife watchers) but you can still experience a touch of royalty at the hippodrome, where races are run on Sundays from March to October each year.

Areas in Rambouillet

When to go

The nobles tended to come here in summer, but these days Rambouillet is a year-round destination. The leafy forest and flower-spotted meadows com alive in the warmer months, but the area is just as charming in autumn.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Paris Orly is the closest of the capital’s airports, just 35 minutes’ drive away. You can fly directly from London Heathrow, Manchester and Birmingham. If you’re coming from elsewhere, you’ll probably touch down at Paris Charles de Gaulles; from there, it’s around an hour’s drive to most places in Rambouillet.
  • Trains

    Catch the Eurostar from St Pancras International to Paris Gare Du Nord, then hop onto Metro line 4 (the blue one) to Montparnasse-Bienvenue, where you can take regional services to Rambouillet.
  • Automobiles

    If you don’t mind driving yourself, a car will come in handy: there’s plenty to see in the surrounding countryside and public transport’s pretty thin on the ground. The Smith24 team can arrange your hire.