The capital of Burgundy is an epicenter of culture, history and gastronomy, with a wide selection of accommodation fit for royalty. Expanding on the strict definition of the palace hotel, here’s a choice of city palaces, country chateaux, abbeys, and mansions that cater for a discerning clientele.
This palatial medieval property is steeped in history. It is actually three mansions combined into one. In 1490, Thomas Berbisey, a civil servant close to King Louis XI, began construction of his opulent mansion, with the gothic courtyard fashionable at the time. In 1571 his descendants sold to a congregation of nuns until the revolutionaries took possession of the place and through different owners it was converted into the fabulous Maison Philippe le Bon, a four-star city palace in the medieval center. It’s amazing to see so many of the original features have survived the test of time.
Maison Philippe le Bon, 18 Rue Sainte-Anne, Dijon, France +33 3 80 30 73 52
At the heart of the historic center of Dijon, the residence of the Pré aux Clercs has just five rooms with contemporary décor set in the awe-inspiring architectural ensemble of the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, across from the main building housing the Musée des Beaux Arts. As if the stunning backdrop of this well-kept secret wasn’t enough, downstairs of the residence is the renowned Pré aux Clercs restaurant.
Résidence Pré aux Clercs, 3 rue du Palais, Dijon +33 3 80 38 05 05
South of Dijon, on the edge of the vineyards, the 17th-century castle sits amid lovely manicured gardens with mature trees and a beautiful pool — a perfect starting point for a tour of the wine route. The rooms at the three-star Château de Saulon are impeccably decorated in a contemporary fashion with all modern conveniences, and the restaurant and terrace offer a perfect setting for a relaxed and luxurious break away from it all, yet at the doorstep of the city.
This show-stopping property is a destination in itself, part of the Relais & Châteaux network of prestige hotels. The abbey dating back to 1131 is set on a six-hectare domain with incredible historic outbuildings. It is strategically located just a 30-minute drive from Dijon, near the Prenois racing circuit and the wine trail Route des Grand Crus. Abbeye de la Bussière also offers an award-winning gastronomic restaurant that features local dishes with a modern touch, as well as a wide selection of local wines.
On the wine route about half-way between Dijon and Beaune, the Château de Petit Musigny is an idyllic setting for a luxury break. No two rooms are alike, each suite is individually decorated and is respectful of the original architectural features.
Château de Petit Musigny, 6 Rue Traversière, Chambolle-Musigny, France +33 3 80 62 41 62
We are exploring further afield, around 90km north of Dijon, which is worth the trip to find the perfectly escapist Château de Courban and its accompanying Spa Nuxe. The unmissable restaurant makes this charming property even more irresistible, as well as the special attention paid to every detail of the interior – owner Pierre Vandendriessche is a professional decorator.
Château de Courban, 7 Rue du Lavoir, Courban, France +33 3 80 93 78 69
Located south of Dijon, halfway to Beaune, the 17th-century Château Sainte Sabine is surrounded by eight hectares of parkland straight off the pages of a storybook on the banks of the Burgundy canal. Once a stately home, it now offers 22 rooms, a bar and restaurant, plus a scenic terrace and outdoor swimming pool.
Château Sainte Sabine, 8 route de Semur, Sainte-Sabine, France +33 3 80 49 22 01
Calling all golfers! This is either a castle that has a golf course, or a golf course that comes with a castle, depending on your level of enthusiasm for the sport. Even if you never go near the links, the setting of this spectacular 16th-century Château Chailly is mesmerizing, and so convenient. It’s a haven of peace just under 50km from Dijon and all its attractions, and under 10 minutes from the stunning Morvan Natural Park.
Château Chailly, Allée du Château, Chailly-sur-Armançon, France +33 3 80 90 30 30