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  Before Making a Reservation, Please Read . . .

About your stay:  
We would like to begin by telling you a little about staying in family-operated châteaus or manoir chambres d'hôtes. The service you receive will be more personal than even the smallest hotels, and you will find each property unique in its architecture, décor and other amenities. And, there are similarities at each as well. . . the gracious warmth of your hosts, the special attention they bestow upon you and the ambiance of being surrounded by family heirlooms, art and antiques at properties steeped in history. 

Traveling with your pet: 
It is important to keep in mind that you are in someone's private home, so your courteous and considerate manner is appreciated. And, if traveling with a pet, always be sure to inquire before making a reservation to learn if your companion is welcome. Many times the pets in residence are not happy to have other little visitors at their house. 

Your arrival time: 
Because the properties are family homes, please let your hosts know your estimated time of arrival the first day. If you will be arriving past 6 PM it is essential they are given that information.   Be sure not to arrive prior to check-in time, usually 4 PM.  Your room may not be ready for you.  If you go out in the evening, be sure to tell them your estimated return time. They do need to lock up at night. 

Spoken Languages:
On the first page of each member's property we indicate the languages spoken by your hosts in addition to French.  As all hosts on our site speak French either fluently or to some degree if they are not native French, we deem it unnecessary to mention it again on each member's web page with the other languages spoken.

Interior climate control: 
Most of the châteaus and country manoirs in France do not offer air conditioning.  It is really not needed as the buildings have thick stone walls and stay quite cool when the temperatures outside rise.  You will, of course, find a few properties on au Château that do have air conditioned rooms, and these are usually in the south of the country.  Heat is provided, usually with radiators in each guest room, often in the bathrooms as well, but for those renting châteaus by the week in France, there may be an additional charge for heat and/or electricity.  Electricity is quite expensive, so please be considerate and do not leave lights on if you are leaving your room.

<>What to expect:
You will see as you browse through our list of properties that the majority of our members offer just a few guest rooms, creating the atmosphere of visiting the home of a dear friend. At these you will receive the direct attention of your hosts for most of your needs. The other properties, in the minority, have more guest rooms, perhaps a restaurant on the premises, and may employ a staff to serve their guests. We have selected those larger properties quite carefully to avoid any which might seem like a hotel. Although they are able to accept more guests, the owners and staff still provide attentive and personal service. We are confident that you will not be disappointed in any property you select through au Château. Below are the types of accommodations offered:

       Bed and Breakfast (chambres d'hôtes):
Guest rooms are often furnished with family heirlooms, antiques and collectibles; your views over the expansive grounds will bring a sense of peace and relaxation; your comfort will be assured as it is always the main focus of your hosts.   In addition to breakfast, many of the châteaus and manoirs offer the opportunity to dine with the family - and we highly recommend that you do so. Stimulating conversation and regional dishes will delight you.  Others will prepare private dinners for guests with an advance reservation, and some properties offer restaurants on the premises where you can dine at beautifully appointed tables among your fellow guests. Talented château chefs can stand with those at any great restaurant, as they offer you marvelous menu selections and excellent wines.  There are properties where dinner is not offered, but your hosts are available to advise you of good restaurants nearby and will assist by making reservations on your behalf. 

     Gîtes on the estate:  
Some of the châteaus offering B&B rooms also have self-catering gîtes on the property.  These are one, two or three bedroom independent buildings with fully-equipped kitchens, ideal for small families who would like to stay for a week or longer in the countryside on the grounds of a château.  Laundry facilities are an added bonus, especially when you are traveling away from home for an extended period of time. The advantage to a château's gîte over renting a villa or small house elsewhere include having a swimming pool or tennis court at your disposal or being able to make arrangements to take dinner in the château.

      Renting an entire château: 
An entire château may be available for rent.  Think about a large family event, a gathering of friends for a holiday in France, or having a wedding or anniversary celebration at a château.  Each rental château offers different amenities, some will host weddings as they have expertise in organizing these events, others will arrange for a professional chef to come in and prepare some meals for your group, and yet others will help you arrange for local excursions such as vineyard visits and wine tastings.

Recreational offerings:
These vary from property to property, so be sure to read all the information on each château's first page.  Some have swimming pools, tennis courts, and pétanque outside; others have that plus a billiard room, table tennis and games rooms.  A few have marvelous screening rooms where you can sit back and enjoy movies.  Televisions are usually not provided in historic properties' guest rooms, but there is usually a salon or games rooms where guests can watch TV, play DVDs.,etc. 

are not available under most circumstances, and then they may only be used for local calls.  Guests should have their own cell (mobile) phones for making and receiving all calls.  Internet connections and/or WiFi are provided at many of our member properties.  However, this information is always being updated on our site and may not be current, so it is recommended that travelers ask about availability before making their reservations.  Some properties allow guests to use their offices for Internet connections and faxing.

Room Rates:
The rates given on our pages are per room/per night, not per person, unless otherwise indicated.   All room rates indicated on these pages are subject to change at the discretion of the proprietors. If you see the term 'demi-pension' or 'half-board', this indicates that the room rate includes both breakfast and either dinner OR lunch (not both) and is per person based on two people in a double room.  This may only be offered for a minimum stay of two or three nights, a point which should be clarified with your prospective hosts when making your reservation.

Deposits, Cancellation and Security: 

Deposits: To hold your reservation deposit are often, but not always, required.  It depends upon the policy of the property owner.  It is often equivalent of the first night's room rate for B&B guests and a percentage of the total rental amount for weekly rental guests.  Payment of deposits can be made by check in euros, some owners may accept other currency checks (determine this in advance of sending), and others will accept credit card deposits.   Many find a bank to bank wire transfer preferable.  If they accept credit cards (not all will), do not send credit card information by email.  Either telephone the owners with the details or send them a fax with the information. 

Cancellation Policy:  Anyone renting a property by the week has the obligation to ask about cancellation policies. Note:  French law does not require an owner to refund any deposit.  However, most of the property owners on au Château will refund full or partial deposits as outlined in their cancellation policies, so it is important for the traveler to find out exactly what the policy is beforehand.  A contract agreement is usually prepared for weekly rentals or renting a château for a shorter period for a special occasion, and this is signed by the guest and the owner, and it outlines these details.  B&B guests should also ask about cancellation policies at the properties where they plan to stay, but, of course, written contracts are not required.

Security/breakage Deposits are required for weekly rental properties or if you are booking several days for an event such as a family celebration or wedding.  This is standard policy, even in countries other than France, and the deposit is fully refundable if no damages are found after your group departs.  This must be paid in full before guests can occupy the château or manoir.  This is standard in the industry from the smallest cottages to the grandest châteaus. 

Trip Cancellation Insurance: 
We strongly suggest that everyone purchase trip cancellation insurance before traveling.  It can be the best investment you will make, and will probably cost a fraction of your rental car expenses or other costs in France.

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How to Book 

You have two options:

    • Many member properties' main page on our site provides several ways to contact your hosts. Their address, phone number, fax number and email address are given at the top of their page. 
    • If you want to FAX a request, click here  for our printable Fax Form.  Just print, fill in the blanks and send! 
    • If a château has email, we have made that email address a link - just click on it to contact them directly from au Château. 
    • If a property has its own web site, it will appear on their first page and you can click on the link to access it.  [Some have their own online reservation forms for your use.] 
    • Numbers provided on our pages for both phone and fax are those you would dial from outside France.  For example, from the United States you will dial 011 and then the number we have provided.  Within France replace the 011 and 33 country code and add a zero at the beginning of the number.
    • We suggest you send a fax or email clearly outlining your specific requirements for rooms, baths and the nights you wish to reserve.  Mention if you plan to bring a small dog, and ask if it will be welcome by the owners.
    • During this initial contact, you should ask for current room rates and inquire if there are any applicable taxes.
    • Inquire about check-in time for the day of your arrival.  It is usually later in the day in France than in the United States.  Ask, too, about check-out time on the day of your departure.
    • Specify if you will be traveling with children or if elderly persons are in your party. 
    • You can also request dinner reservations (if offered) at that time. 
    • Property owners will respond in kind by either fax or email.
    • Please mention this web site, au ChâteauIt is important that the owners know where you found their property!

    • >>>> BOOKING FORM  <<<<Please fill in all required information.
    • Or, if the email address on page one of the property that interests you is, you can click on it to send an email directly to au Château to arrange your booking.  BE SURE TO MENTION THE NAME OF THE PROPERTY!
    • We will give your booking special, personal attention as well as request dinner at the château and make other requests on your behalf.
Please remember the following:
  • Notify owners if you will be arriving after 1800 hours (6 PM). 
  • Determine if there are any cancellation fees imposed by the château owners.  Each proprietor's policies are different, but potential guests should become aware of those policies.  Cancellation information can be found on a property's own web site or can be ascertained by contacting the owners.
  • Some properties are closed for part of the year, and we suggest that you do not try to contact them at those times.  When planning your trip, visit the property's pages on our site and look for the dates they are open.  Try to contact them during that time period.


Be sure to click on Michelin Map to Château on each property's home page. We are proud to offer an instant link to a Michelin map to enable you to see detailed driving routes. Look for the red circle indicating the location of that particular property.  Combine this map with the written directions provided,  and you will find yourself at the door of your chosen château, manor house or medieval castle!   We highly recommend you visit the Michelin web site (click on their banner link on any of our pages) to view and purchase pertinent Michelin travel maps and publications.   Even with GPS, don't drive in France without Michelin!  GPS coordinates are given on some member pages.  We hope to have this as a standard inclusion very soon.

Guest Reviews

We are very interested in your experiences at the various properties on au Château.  Although people's opinions differ, what you tell us can be of enormous help to your fellow travelers - and to us!   Please feel free to email us!   Reviews can be found for many of our properties on the Special Offers page of this site, indicating each contributor by initials only. Let's hear from you, too!


Having trouble navigating our site, looking for particular information or need to know more about a property listed with au Château? Please go to  Contact Us and send us an email. We'll try our best to be of assistance.

Disclaimer:  Although we are confident that the properties on this web site will meet clients' highest expectations, nothing here provides any written or implied guarantees.  No one at Cold Spring Press or au Château has any liability or responsibility, financial or otherwise, regarding cancellations, failure of either party to fulfill a commitment or any other disagreements or problems between parties, and we are not liable for losses of any kind, acts of God, nature or man, or any condition that affects the arrangements between the owner and the guest.  Cold Spring Press and au Château recommend the purchase of trip cancellation and other travel insurance.  The information on this web site will be kept as current as possible, but it is each traveler's responsibility to obtain  prevailing room, rental and meal rates. au Château and Cold Spring Press accept no liability for any portion of any transaction between any parties, and are not responsible for any errors or omissions on this web site.  All drawings, text, graphics and photographs on this web site are the property of Cold Spring Press, P O Box 26098, San Diego, CA 92196-0098 (with the exception of photos that belong to property owners) and are protected by United States copyright laws and may not be copied or transmitted by any means for any reason without explicit written permission of Cold Spring Press.     Cold Spring Press and au Château accept no responsibility or liability for the contents of or services provided by any external web sites linked to this site or linked to au Château News.  Michelin Maps are used with  permission granted to Cold Spring Press by Michelin Travel Publications, and all Michelin copyrights and use restrictions apply.