Cognac, France

Hôtel Chais Monnet

Rates per night from$228.68

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR200.91), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Oak and taupe

Setting

VS to XO

Hôtel Chais Monnet is a converted cognac distillery with buttery, blond-wood rooms in a 19th-century mansion, and a fine-dining restaurant in the barrel-lined cellar. There’s a modern edge too, though – a dazzling glass-and-iron pavilion by architect Didier Poignant holds the Codage spa, and there’s a jacuzzi-toting pool stretching out into the garden. Explore the sprawling riverside site a little more, and you’ll find a cocktail-shaking jazz bar in the old cooperage, and a brunch-serving warehouse bistro refitted by local carpenters.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

One cocktail each at Jazzbar

Facilities

Photos Hôtel Chais Monnet facilities

Need to know

Rooms

92, including 10 suites.

Check–Out

Noon, and check-in is 3pm, but both are flexible, subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $228.68 (€201), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.00 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates don’t include breakfast, but for €25 you can have your way with the breakfast buffet of sausages, bacon, omelettes-to-order, and a spread of cereals, fruit, yoghurt and freshly baked pastries.

Also

The €60 million hotel conversion was personally financed by British entrepreneur, Javad Marandi.

At the hotel

Gym, free WiFi. In rooms: TV, Nespresso machine, minibar, air-conditioning, free bottled water, tea-making facilities, Fragonard bath products.

Our favourite rooms

A terrace is handy for room service in the sun, and request a room with original oak beams for an extra dose of ooh lah lah. The sumptuous Junior Suites have a living space furnished with a plush sofa and fauteuil armchairs.

Poolside

The heated pool is long enough for lengths and has a bubbling Jacuzzi at one end. On sunny days, paddle out to the open-air section.

Spa

The impeccable spa and beauty salon offer a full suite of treatments, including massages and body scrubs using Codage products. There’s a fitness room, hammam and sauna, too.

Packing tips

A journal, for taking tasting notes on the many cognacs you’ll sample – not that we’re necessarily saying you won’t remember…

Also

There are four rooms designed for wheelchair users, and all buildings at the hotel are accessible.

Pet‐friendly

Bring your bow-wow for €20 a night; they’ll get a bowl, some treats, and a plump cushion. See more pet-friendly hotels in Cognac.

Children

All ages welcome. Extra beds and cots can be added to all suites.

Best for

Over-fives.

Recommended rooms

The Presidential (Jean Gabriel Monnet) Suite comes with a kitchen, dining room and living room, as well as butler service to keep even the most demanding ankle-biter happy. If you need beds for four people, go for the Friends and Family Suite.

Activities

Borrow bikes to explore the local area, or take a short drive to several family-favourites nearby. Head for the Paléosite de Saint-Cesaire for archaeological intrigue and a ten-hectare park, Les ânes de la Rêverie for donkey walks and horse riding, or Cep Enchante for fun and games in a vineyard.

Swimming pool

t’s large, heated, and there’s an adults-only jacuzzi at one end.

Meals

Highchairs and baby-changing facilities are available at both restaurants, but don’t expect fish fingers on the menu – even youngsters order from the grown-up selection.

Babysitting

Book a babysitter at least eight days in advance; it’ll cost €30 an hour.

No need to pack

Paints and crayons – the hotel has plenty at the ready, for the mini Monets amongst you.

Food and Drink

Photos Hôtel Chais Monnet food and drink

Top Table

Snag a table outside at La Distillerie, and enjoy a typically lengthy French lunch in the sun.

Dress Code

Dress down for La Distillerie, and up for Les Foudres.

Hotel restaurant

Executive chef Sébastien Broda oversees two tantalizing restaurants: La Distillerie – a buzzy, lantern-lit brasserie – and Les Foudres, where the finest gourmet creations are served up in an intimate underground chamber lined with time-worn cognac barrels. Broda sources farm-fresh produce from across southern France – expect creamy Poitou goats cheese, legendary Echiré butter, and fines de claire oysters from the Atlantic coast. On Saturdays, book in for the table d’hôte, a seasonal set menu devised by the chef each week – then wake up and join the locals for a lazy Sunday brunch. If you’ve any appetite between meals, pop into Angélique Café for just-baked cakes and pastries, alongside Le Parti du Thé tea and a bespoke blend of Merling coffee.

Hotel bar

Live jazz takes centre stage under the vaulted ceiling at Le 1838, which is housed in the maison’s old cooperage and is open daily from 5.30pm to 1am. The cognac connoisseur can pick from several hundred local varieties behind the bar, or mix it up (literally) in a cocktail – go for The Road Jack if you like the sound of Cognac VS, white Pineau des Charentes, lemon thyme syrup, floral honey and a dash of sparkling water. 

Last orders

La Distillerie is open daily for breakfast (7am to 11am), lunch (noon to 2.30pm) and dinner (7pm to 10.30pm). Les Foudres serves lunch (noon until 2pm) Wednesday to Sunday, and dinner from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Angélique Café is open daily from 10am to 6pm.

Room service

Order the house take on a bento box – choose different types, including a gourmet, Asian, and ‘natural flavours’. From noon to midnight you can also order bagels, salads and pizza; during the night, munch on plates of cheese and charcuterie.

Location

Photos Hôtel Chais Monnet location
Address
Hôtel Chais Monnet
50 Avenue Paul Firino Martell
Cognac
16100
France

Hôtel Chais Monnet is on the banks of the River Charente in the mediaeval town of Cognac, in southwestern France.

Planes

Fly into Bordeaux airport (British Airways, Easyjet and Ryanair have routes from nine cities in the UK), then head inland by car to Cognac. The 130km journey takes around two hours; a private hotel transfer can be arranged for €280 each way. You can also fly into La Rochelle-Ile de Ré Airport (there are routes from six cities in the UK), then head inland by car to Cognac; the 110km journey takes around 90 minutes.

Trains

You can take high-speed TGV trains to Angoulême from Bordeaux (35 minutes), Paris (two hours) and Strasbourg (six hours). Angoulême station is 45 minutes from the hotel by car; a hotel transfer is €95 each way. There are also trains connecting Angoulême Station to Cognac Station, which is five minutes from the hotel by car.

Automobiles

There’s a ready-made road trip from Bordeaux, taking in the wine regions, rolling countryside and Cognac – just make sure you’re not the only designated driver. At the hotel, pull up at reception and leave your wheels with the valet.

Worth getting out of bed for

Go for a morning dip in the indoor-outdoor pool, cleanse your pores in the sauna and steam room, or work off last night’s brandy extravaganza in the gym. Pick a prettifying Codage treatment at the spa, or plump for the signature treatment, a fragrant ‘Aroma of Chai’ massage and facial. Between lunch at La Distillerie and dinner at Les Foudres, take afternoon tea courtesy of the pastry chef at Angélique Café. Later, there’ll be live jazz and cocktails at Le 1838. 

Cognac is not just about cognac, you know. Pineau des Charentes is the local fortified wine – try it as an aperitif, or stop at one of the many small-scale producers to find out how it’s made. Swap grape for grain at Brasserie des Gabariers (39 Rue de Bellefonds), a microbrewery specialising in hop-heavy pale ales and craft lagers. The Charente river is best experienced by boat – book a tour through the hotel concierge, and cruise through the picture-perfect valley, stopping at sleepy mediaeval villages and fairytale châteaux along the way. If you go as far as Angoulême, you’ll find the self-proclaimed ‘Comic strip capital of the world’ – check out the comic strip museum for the full story (board). 

When in Cognac… you’re practically obliged to tour the cognac houses. Start with Hennessy (Rue de la Richonne, 16100), and compare it to Martell and Rémy Martin.

 

 

Local restaurants

There’s nothing quite like a proper French crepe, and that’s exactly what you get at Creperie L’Olympia (34 Rue du Canton) – stick to the classic suzette or complète, or experiment with savory fillings such as pan-fried scallops and grilled shrimps. You don’t get a lot of choice at homey Chez Aristide (38 Rue Aristide Briand), but you can’t go wrong with the menu du jour. La Rôtisserie de Philippe (3, Allées B. Guionnet) does the simple things best – succulent chicken, basted in a secret sauce, and roasted on a spit (there’s a deli counter too, for takeaway picnic-fillers). Les Pigeons Blancs (110 Rue Jules Brisson) is a former coaching inn turned riverside restaurant, concocting beautifully presented dishes including duck foie gras with fig chutney, and truffle-infused veal medallions.

 

Reviews

Photos Hôtel Chais Monnet reviews

Anonymous review

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 luxury hotel in France and unpacked their brandy and blue cheese, a full account of their Bordeaux break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Hôtel Chais Monnet in Cognac…

Hôtel Chais Monnet is a bit like a good brandy: it’s got contrasting but complementary layers, a great backstory, and it’ll leave you pleasantly light-headed. The hallmarks of its past are proudly preserved – there might be an ancient oak beam above your bed, or a repurposed barrel by your table in restaurant – but the once-industrial complex has been given a up-to-the-minute makeover. Descend in a glass lift to the subterranean spa for a Codage treatment or swim in the pool, then book in for dinner at Sebastien Broda’s visionary gourmet restaurant, Les Foudres. A dedicated pastry chef bakes fresh cakes for afternoon tea each day, and in the evenings you’ll be joined by locals for live jazz in Le 1838. Cognac (in hundreds of variants) is definitely on the menu, but it’s up to you how you enjoy it. Straight-up – the old-fashioned way, or mixed up in a house cocktail – for a modern twist on a timeless classic. 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Hôtel Chais Monnet’s Guestbook below.
No Smith members have posted their reviews of Hôtel Chais Monnet yet. You could be the first!