The Loire Valley is a Francophile’s dream: prestigious vineyards, glorious gastronomy and showstopping châteaux along the length of the River Loire. Base yourself in Tours to discover all that the region has to offer – and choose from our curated collection of hotels.
Follow the River Loire, and the Cher, a tributary, and you’ll pass some of the best-known châteaux in the whole of France. The castle in Saumur stands tall and proud, watching over the town like a king on his throne, while the Château de Chenonceau straddles the river in an optical illusion of reflected archways, windows and towers. In the midst of this historic countryside is Tours, where you’ll find elegant renovations, cosy guesthouses and even a Moroccan-style riad, all providing a royal night’s sleep.
Each of the four suites in this Moroccan-style riad transports you to a mystical land. Drift off in the Pamukkale Suite, where white marble sets off gilded fixtures in the bathroom, and layers of sheer curtains bathe the bedroom in a soft light. Or travel up to the Atlas Mountains in the Timimoun Suite, where ochre walls mimic smooth tadelakt and ornate lanterns cast a little mysticism over your dreams. Breakfast on msemen, traditional Moroccan pancakes, and dine on steaming tagines and couscous.
La Maison Jules offers the refinement of a hotel with the laid-back comfort of a guesthouse in the heart of Tours. Indulge in a game of chess or play the piano in the salon, or head for the library and dig out a good book. Your hosts can arrange bike rental and cooking classes, wine-tasting tours and castle visits, or the historic wonders of Tours are just moments away.
Zoya and Pascal are your hosts at this budget-friendly guesthouse on the banks of the Loire. Cross the river to explore Tours old town, where pointed slate roofs and half-timbered houses around Place Plumereau are something straight out of Beauty and the Beast. Or follow the water down to where the Loire splits off into the Cher river, the site of the grand Château de Villandry with its neatly crafted box-hedge gardens.
Looking for a more long-term rental in Tours? The eight studios and apartments of Central Parc, spanning a 19th-century building and a modern wing, are available to rent nightly, weekly and even monthly. Varying in size, all apartments have a warm home-from-home feel, featuring fully equipped kitchens and views over the Jardins des Prébendes d’Oé next door. There’s also a private garage if you’re arriving by car, or the train station is just a short walk away.
From the homemade croissants at breakfast to the restaurant-standard dinner, everything is prepared with love and care at this idyllic guesthouse, just half an hour outside Tours. Drinks by the pool? Sausages for breakfast? Nothing is too much trouble for your hosts. The house sits in the lush Touraine countryside, and from your private terrace, you can watch the horses and donkeys trot about in the paddocks next door.
Treat yourself to a stately stay at Château Belmont, a four-star hotel set on 2.5ha (6 acres) of wooded parks on the Loire side of Tours. The 65 rooms and suites are simple yet elegant; all have a kitchenette and minibar, while some come with a private terrace and garden view. The restaurant serves Touraine specialities such as roasted Sainte-Maure goat’s cheese, paired with a crisp Loire Valley white wine. The spa comprises an indoor pool, hammam and sauna, as well as beauty treatments using naturally luxurious Cinq Mondes products.
The entrance to this tranquil bed and breakfast takes you through a stone arch draped in wisteria and up a shady tree-lined drive. The airport is five minutes away and the city centre only 10, yet once you’ve settled yourself into an attic room – with exposed beams, old stone walls and views over the orchards and gardens – you’ll feel as if you’re staying in a quiet country retreat. Breakfast is not to be missed, with fresh-from-the-oven croissants and homemade yoghurts and jams.
Choose from cosy attic rooms and colour-clashing ensuites at this stylishly renovated 18th-century hotel in the historic centre of Tours. The Quadruple room has the biggest wow factor, where teal walls are set off by gold trimmings, while 3D wall art, rattan pendant lamps and velvety bed throws add texture. Situated between Rue Colbert, which is line with the best restaurants in the city, and the antique heaven that is Rue de la Sellerie, this budget-friendly base is perfect for a weekend of bar-hopping and shopping in Tours.
Since it opened in 1846, this luxury spa hotel has provided a top location at a surprisingly low cost. Ensuite rooms feature cloud beds, mood lighting and Rituals bath products, while La Touraine, the on-site restaurant, serves French cuisine with a twist – think crunchy snail spring rolls and stir-fried lobster. After-dinner entertainment comes in the shape of regular live jazz nights at the bar. For total relaxation, don’t miss the hotel spa, with an intriguing list of treatments including crystal healing and pink-coral and white-quartz body scrubs.
Couples will love this one-bed studio on a quiet pedestrian street in the centre of Tours, just steps from the train station. It’s decked out in monochrome chic and comes with a well-stocked kitchen and widescreen TV – as well as toiletries in the bathroom. Rent a bike from the shop across the street to explore the Loire à Vélo, 800km (500mi) of cycling trails through the beautiful Loire Valley countryside, vineyards and châteaux.