Grape escapes: the best vineyard hotels in France

Food & drink

Grape escapes: the best vineyard hotels in France

Go straight to source with a stay in the world's best wine regions

Caroline Lewis

BY Caroline Lewis7 July 2023

The New World may have been making moves for a while now, but you can’t beat a fine French vintage – and if you like a low carbon footprint as well as a delicious varietal, book a stay at a vineyard hotel in France for your next Bacchus-accompanied holiday. Here are some fine French hotels, skilled at creating equally fine wines…



Terrace with sun loungers overlooking the vineyards

If you prefer your wine to have bubbles in it, there’s only one place to locate a French vineyard hotel: the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) of Champagne, ie the only place on the planet where wine is allowed to call itself champagne and not just plain old sparkling wine.

Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa, a 17th-century coaching inn and erstwhile dance hall, is a 10-minute drive from Epernay, with some serious neighbours (Moët, Pol Roger and co). Unsurprisingly, the (Michelin-starred, of course) food is as laboured over as the wine. You’ll also be able to enjoy views of the vines served straight to the spa.



Infinity swimming pool overlooking the vineyards

Does anything shout ‘delicious French wine!’ louder than the word ‘Languedoc’? Mais, non – and you can expect to drink plenty at Château Capitoul in Narbonne, near Montpellier and Perpignan, amid the Languedoc’s millennia-old vineyards. The château’s Roman-planted vines have had lots of time to mature and they look pretty good too, especially when seen from its hillside setting.

Guests can sign up for strolls through the vineyards, tastings of the domaine’s wares and gourmet picnics in the grounds. Other activities on offer include snoozes in the shade of an olive tree, treatments at the Cinq Mondes spa and unashamedly French games of pétanque. The Irish châtelains are also behind Château St Pierre de Serjac (see below) and Château Les Carrasses, so you know you’re in safe, fellow-oenophile hands.



View of the hotel from the vineyard

Forget cups of sugar – your next-door neighbour at La Maison d’Estournel is the Château Cos d’Estournel winery so you can borrow (or buy) cups, bottles or boxes of wine instead. Other esteemed members of the community are Château Pichon Baron and Château Mouton Rothschild.

The 18th-century mansion has acres and ancient cedars, rooms and bath tubs with a view, and a terrace for vine appreciation and decadent dinners. This may apply for most of Bordeaux, but the Médoc in particular has some especially impressive wine-growing creds. This house was once the home of a respected vintner and his legacy is in good shape.


The Languedoc

Outdoor sofa and picnic by the swimming pool in front of the vineyards with the sun setting

With a trio of châteaux to their name, we’re guessing Karl and Anita O’Hanlon, who fled Dublin almost 20 years ago, know a thing or two about wine by now – although they had a little help from the Romans in getting the vineyard at Château St Pierre de Serjac off the ground (there’s been a winery on this site in the Languedoc for a good few thousand years).

Helping guests along until it’s officially wine o’clock are a spa with a hot tub overlooking the vines, tennis courts and a pétanque pitch, a heated pool and bicycles to borrow (onions and baguettes not included). When you’re ready to chin-chin, the estate’s output, which includes syrah, pinot noir and chardonnay, awaits.



Swimming pool surrounded by roses and sun loungers

Not one to let the side down on the Epicurean scale, Domaine les Roullets in Vaucluse produces olive oil as well as wine, and there’s a truffle forest attached, too. The hill-top B&B goes big on the Gallic charm, with beamed ceilings, stone walls and frilly bedding. From the terrace of one of the suites, Mont Ventoux will be visible on a good day. Also awaiting blue skies and sunshine is the domaine’s organic (or bio) Côte du Luberon rosé, with full-bodied reds ready for steaks, cheeseboards and cosy days.

The star of the immaculate grounds is undoubtedly the pool, lined by roses and, a little more helpfully, sunloungers.



Hotel surrounded by vineyards and greenery

Villa is an understatement when describing this Provençal manor, on the same estate as the wine-producing Château la Coste, in between Aix-en-Provence and the Luberon. This hillside Francophile’s haven is home to a spa, library and 28 suites, which all open onto a vine- and valley-facing terrace. And with grounds this gorgeous, it’d be rude not to share them – Château La Coste opens its doors regularly for outdoor cinema screenings, art exhibitions and concerts.

Gourmet getaways to this vineyard hotel can only be improved with restaurants by Hélène Darroze and Argentine pyromaniac Francis Mallmann, and a bright and breezy café designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.


Loire Valley

Exterior or the turreted hotel and courtyard

Whisky may officially be the water of life, but at Les Sources de Cheverny the fountainhead is wine – and favourite local appellations to wash down your French fine-dining with are Vouvray and Menetou-Salon. You’ll also be able to draw strength and motivation from the ancient forest, the lake and the many other neighbouring vineyards of the Loire Valley.

The follow-up to the spiritual home of vinotherapy Les Sources de Caudalie over in Bordeaux, Cheverny is amid the wetlands and woodlands of the Sologne, a lesser-visited part of the Loire. And yes, just as at sister hotel Les Sources de Caudalie, you’ll be able to take your oenophilia to new levels with an exfoliating Cabernet scrub or antioxidant grape-extract massage.

Now charge your glasses and discover a whole world’s worth of wine escapes