With its imposing roof and decorative timber framing, boutique hotel Manoir de Surville has bags of Norman charm. It may bow to tradition with apple-tree-studded gardens and a Calvados-stocked honesty bar, but this rural 16th-century bolthole has happily embraced contemporary creature comforts, too. Indulge in a head-to-toe spa treatment, feast on the region’s best produce and make yourself at home.
Get this when you book through us:
A welcome glass of local pink cider, one free breakfast each during your stay, and 15 per cent off one, one-hour spa treatment
Noon. Earliest check-in, 4pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability. Reception is open from 8am to 9pm; call ahead if you’re planning on arriving outside of opening hours.
Double rooms from £161.20 (€190), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €1.00 per person per night on check-out.
Rates exclude the Continental breakfast of fresh juices, granola, bread, croissants, home-made jams, local honey and fresh fruit salad (€17 each for adults, €8 for children), but include access to the steam room and sauna as well as free tea and coffee.
Grab a travel book from the library or get acquainted with fellow guests over a leisurely game of chess in the lounge.
The hotel is closed from 20 December 2018 to 5 January 2019, as well as for two weeks at the end of October.
At the hotel
Spa, fitness classes, bikes to borrow, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TVs, iPod dock, bathrobes and slippers, free bottled water, Rerum Natura bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Pared-down and individually decorated, each of the 11 rooms makes the most of the manor’s quirky layout. Right under the eaves, Cocoon rooms make up for their smaller size with an in-room bath tub for indulgent soaks. Photographs of riding boots and a splash of tartan give the Blue Suite contemporary country flair; its three dormer windows look out over the manor and let in plenty of light.
The hotel's heated outdoor pool is open in the summer months.
The manor’s bijou spa has a steam room, sauna and two cabins for treatments inspired by round-the-world traditions. A North African black soap scrub leaves skin baby-soft and moisturised; for a relaxing massage, choose between soothing Balinese strokes or a knot-untangling Polynesian ritual. Don’t miss the spa’s signature therapy, a holistic mind-and-body treatment using traditional Tibetan bowls.
Leave your umbrella at home: you can borrow one from the hotel for Normandy’s unpredictable weather.
The hotel’s public spaces are all accessible to disabled guests. The Classic Room on the ground floor has a bathroom adapted for wheelchair users.
Welcome. Extra beds can be added to suites and babysitting can be arranged for €10 an hour.
Located just above the restaurant, the Suites have space for an extra bed, and can be connected to a Classic Room for large broods.
Little Smiths can happily roam around the manor’s sprawling gardens, where they’ll find a giant game of Mikado. On a rainy day, borrow a board game from the library for an afternoon en famille around the crackling fire.
Borrow floats from the hotel for a summer splash in the heated outdoor pool.
The restaurant has high chairs, colouring books and a kids’ menu, and staff will happily heat up baby milk. Borrow a baby monitor from the hotel for a romantic tête à tête.
The hotel can arrange local babysitters with a day’s notice (€10 an hour for a minimum of three hours).
No need to pack
Manoir de Surville has all the essentials: cots, changing mats, toys and books, as well as baby food to purchase.
If you’re planning on exploring the countryside on two wheels, the hotel can lend you a bicycle seat for toddlers.
Manoir de Surville considers its impact carefully by using green cleaning products and recycling rainwater. The produce in its kitchen is seasonal, organic and locally sourced; food waste is composted and heating comes from geothermal sources.
In fine weather, grab a seat on the manor’s pretty patio for tantalising views of the garden’s apple trees.
Owners Camille and Hugues like to dress up for dinner, so err on the smart side with relaxed tailoring and luxurious knits.
Savour the manor’s locally sourced, organic cuisine in the inviting dining room. Chef Jordan Fouchet’s daily changing menu makes the most of the region’s seasonal produce: cress soup and lemon-confit duck in the spring, for example, or pollock and parsnip cream in the winter.
Decked out with exposed timber beams, a circular mirror and an exposed-brick fireplace, the lounge invites guests to linger a while. Snuggle up on the sofas with a tipple: a glass of local apple brandy, perhaps, or an organic beer hand-picked by the owner from his Belgian home.
Breakfast is served from 8.30am to 10am; dinner from 7.30pm to 9pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night only (except in July and August, when you can dine any night except Tuesday).
A half hour’s drive from Rouen, Surville is a countryside retreat in the heart of serene Normandy.
A 90-minute drive away, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is the nearest international hub. Half an hour closer, tiny Deauville Airport serves seasonal flights to London, Birmingham and Marrakech. Call our Smith24 Team and they’ll sort out your flights and transfers.
Services from Rouen, Le Havre and Paris Saint Lazare stop at Val de Reuil station, a 20-minute drive away.
Bring your own wheels to explore Normandy’s verdant rural landscapes and windswept seaside. There’s free parking on site.
Worth getting out of bed for
Crossed by the river Seine, this slice of Normandy is all about rural pursuits: ramble around the serene countryside, borrow a bike to explore gently sloping paths, or book a hot air balloon ride for a bird’s eye view of the fertile valleys. Honfleur is a seaside gem worth a day trip; Deauville’s grand casino, horse races and boardwalk still have bags of Napoleonic charm. In Giverny, stroll around the gardens and lily ponds Monet painted so obsessively. Harcourt Castle’s arboretum is lesser known but equally lovely. There are plenty of Renaissance castles and mediaeval abbeys nearby, but if you’re in the mood for more active pursuits staff will happily point you in the direction of nearby golf courses, riding schools and kayaking hotspots.
Rustic La Chaumière is particularly pretty in the summer, when its covered terrace all but disappears behind seasonal bloom. Hearty country fare is on the menu here: expect tasty terrines, meat and fish grilled in the chimney and old-school desserts. Everything at L’Hostellerie d’Acquigny is prepared on site from fresh seasonal produce: St Michel mussels, local black pudding and foie gras from the farm down the road are rustled up in dishes as delicious as they are eye-catching. La Ferme de la Haute Crémonville is all countryside elegance in striking 11th-century surroundings: sample langoustine with girolles, tender veal and moreish French toast from a recipe perfected by the chef’s grandmother Henriette.
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 country hotel in Normandy and unpacked their riding boots and calvados, a full account of their rural break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Manoir de Surville in Normandy…
Tucked away in a corner of the verdant Eure region, Manoir de Surville is the stuff of rural fantasies. Standing proud in delightful sprawling gardens, this intimate 16th-century manor has fairytale good looks. Behind the steeply-pitched roof and charming dormer windows are just 11 rooms and suites cleverly kitted out with enormous beds, in-room bath tubs and contemporary furniture. This boutique bolthole may be strategically positioned for Normandy’s attraction – castles, abbeys and historic gardens are all within easy reach – but there’s plenty here to tempt guests into indolence. Steam and scrub your way through an afternoon at the spa, sample the chef’s daily changing take on local cuisine and cosy up by the fire with a glass of restorative Calvados.