Carefully restored from a crumbling pile, Château de Sacy cuts a dashing figure amid the rolling vineyards of Champagne. The slate-roofed hilltop mansion has been lovingly restored by antique-loving designer Marie-Christine Mecoen. Named after flighty Marie-Antoinette, say, or a more imposing Winston Churchil, each room has its own personality and bags of historical charm. Hedonists are well catered for: sip bubbles in the bar, feast in the gastronomic restaurant, or soak in one of two hot tubs with fine unfettered views.
11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £162.59 (€180), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €0.75 per person per night on check-out.
Rates don’t include the buffet breakfast of fresh breads, fruit salad and fresh juices, pastries, eggs and cold cuts (€20 each, €10 for children).
In-room massages can be tailored to soothe whatever aches or ails you. For the more active, a yoga teacher and sports coach visit the hotel once a month.
At the hotel
Lounge, gym, hot tubs, bikes and electric bikes to rent, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, air-conditioning, free bottled water, Echo toiletries.
Our favourite rooms
Individually decorated with a clever mix of contemporary furniture and antiques, each of the 12 rooms has a dash of regal flair: Toile de Jouy here, romantic canopies there, gilded mirrors everywhere. Superior Deluxe Rooms are airy and bright, with verdant views over Reims Mountain and the red-roofed village. With its elegant chandeliers, sumptuous drapes and ostentatious circular bath tub, the Sun King Suite is worthy of the uncompromising monarch himself.
There’s no pool as such, but, just outside the château, two wood-clad Norwegian tubs command fine views over the vineyards. There's an adjacent sauna too.
Bring trunks and a chic one-piece swimsuit for a hot-tub dip.
Kitted out with an accessible bathroom, one of the Deluxe Rooms has been adapted for wheelchair users, who also have easy access by lift to the bar and restaurant.
Welcome, though the hotel is more of a grown-up retreat. A free cot or extra bed (€20 a night) can be added to the rooms. Local babysitters are available from €7 an hour. The restaurant has highchairs, and can rustle up something suitable for children.
Sink into a gastronomic reverie by the fire on chilly days; come summer, head outside for glorious sunsets over the vineyards.
Take your cues from the château’s stylish maître de maison Tiphaine Brossier: edgy tailoring, colourful dresses, anything with a hint of theatrical flair.
Elegant Les Vignes has the air of a cosy Napoleonic conservatory, with handsome rattan chairs and silken drapery, a crackling fire in winter and a sun-kissed terrace for balmier days. The menu changes with the seasons, making the most of the region’s fabulous produce and game in terrines, fricassées and roasts; cheese and dessert trolley add a dash of old-school panache to the proceedings.
A literary salon wouldn’t seem out of place in Bar Les Vignes, dressed as it is with deep armchairs, architectural palm trees and sheepskin-covered bar stools. The tipple of choice, naturally, is champagne, thanks to an extensive list of all things bubbly handpicked from the best small houses. Settle in for a tastebud-tickling tour of the region, complete with superlative snacks: guinea fowl and foie gras en croûte, say, or scrummy rabbit rillettes.
Breakfast is served 7.30am–10.30am; lunch noon–1.30pm; dinner 7pm–8.30pm. There’ll always be someone in the château to pour you a drink at any hour.
Light fare (plates of cheese and charcuterie, a comforting croque-monsieur) can be brought to your room around the clock.
The hotel is in the small village of Sacy, a tranquil spot a 20-minute drive from Reims in the heart of Champagne’s vineyards.
A 90-minute drive away, Paris Charles de Gaulle is the nearest airport and a hub for international and domestic flights. The hotel can arrange private transfers from €150 one way.
High-speed TGV trains from Paris to Strasbourg stop at Champagne-Ardenne station, a 10-minute drive away. Trams also run from the station to the centre of Reims.
A car is handy if you’re planning on exploring the region’s cellars and vineyards; there’s free parking at the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
You’d be forgiven for frittering hours away just gazing at the scenery, so peaceful and intoxicating the play of light across the vineyards. Enchant the senses with a sip of the region’s lesser-known vintages in the cosseting bar, or sneak a bottle out to keep you cool in the outdoor Norwegian hot tubs. The Champenois countryside is rife with cobbled villages, rolling hills and fairy-tale woodlands; rent an electric bike from Château de Sacy to explore them at leisure (while saving your quads any unnecessary effort).
With its Gothic cathedral and royal palaces, Reims is the cultural hub of the region, but it’s worth a jaunt south to the de-facto bubbly capital of Épernay and its Unesco-protected Avenue de Champagne, lined with the eye-catching HQs and magnificent cellars of Moët & Chandon, Mercier, Pol Roger and co. Or seek out under-the-radar growers from the Château’s wine list – it pays to call ahead for a visit, though many will welcome unannounced visitors, as long as you avoid the sacred lunchtimes.
In the village, friendly Le Comptoir à Bulles punches above its weight with towering tarts, gourmet burgers and an excellent wine list. Épernay’s La Table Kobus is a more refined affair taking its cues from Paris’s Belle Époque brasseries. Book ahead for with-a-twist classics, or pop in to see if anything tempting has been scribbled on the day’s chalkboard menu. Smith favourite Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa’s restaurant Le Royal has earned its first Michelin star, which means you’ll need to plan well ahead to sample chef Jean-Denis Rieubland’s elegant, effervescent cuisine; the hotel’s more casual eatery Le Bellevue is worth a stop, too.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this bijou hotel in Sacy and unpacked their flutes and Reims biscuits, a full account of their luxury French countryside break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Château de Sacy in Champagne…
A hilltop house in the Napoleonic style, Château de Sacy has a rather storied past. Commanding fine views over picturesque vineyards, the handsome bolthole survived war bombings and years of abandon. It’s now been resurrected as an enchanting rural getaway, thanks to the ministrations of a loving team of hoteliers. Each of the 12 rooms and suites has been given a makeover, with a style of its own inspired by historical figures: expect elegant chandeliers, antique furniture and canopied beds just made for lingering in. The gourmet restaurant, évidemment, should be enough to tempt you down the stairs: sample the region’s culinary traditions and excellent game, alongside carefully picked vintages from neighbouring growers. Bubbles and views are everything at the château, whether you’re savouring them from the comfort of the bar, or soaking them up from the two alfresco Norwegian hot tubs.