France remains one of the most popular destinations in the world, and Normandy has a lot going for it — including hotels that promise an authentic French château experience. And the 18th-century Château la Chenevière is one such place.
Normandy has always been on our must-visit list, so it was a no-brainer to pick it as one of the first trips in the not-quite-but-maybe-almost-post-pandemic world. Setting off from Paris, we explored Normandy by car and Château la Chenevière was the perfect hotel to check in to as we got to the Bayeux area. (By the way, did you follow our journey on Instagram?)
The château is located in the countryside near Port-en-Bessin, a sleepy seaside town, and it occupies an old estate and farm, originally growing hemp. The estate was turned into a hotel after 133 years of ownership by the Gosset family (and certified five-star in 2014). The farm’s origins are reflected in the hotel’s name, for La Chenevière means “The Hemp Field.”
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Twenty-nine guest rooms and suites are filled with light and retain the sense of period splendor. Elegant furniture and marble bathrooms are paired with paisley wallpapers, velvet armchairs, floral headboards, and soft pastel tones. The living spaces strike a nice balance of vintage design and modern aesthetic.
We checked in to Deluxe Executive Room and loved its open plan under the beamed ceiling and the luxurious freestanding bathtub. It’s the only room on the hotel’s highest floor, with splendid views of the gardens and wooded park.
Beyond guest accommodation
The ancient trees flanking the chateau are the pride of the place; there is even a map to guide guests from one old tree to another. The grounds are green and wooded, with parts of the park thickly covered by bushes, hiding some parts of the hotel. Le Petit Jardin restaurant, with the adjacent swimming pool area, is one such part. So are tennis courts, and the estate also has a rose garden, vegetable fields, and beehives that serve the hotel’s two restaurants. Speaking of which, the honey, made by the estate’s bees, is simply delicious.
The bistro-style restaurant by the pool is housed in a glass-covered conservatory and is open for lunch and dinner, with a diverse menu inspired by regional dishes. But breakfasts were our favorite, served in the chateau. Excellent local cheeses, charcuteries, homemade cakes, and fresh fruit.
What we noticed about the hotel from the first moments — and that impression persisted throughout the stay — was the lovely atmosphere at the château. Château la Chenevière had this casual country charm that felt familiar and lived-in. It was like visiting a distant family in an English country manor, except a family with exceptional — dare we say, French — taste.
But a great part of that atmosphere was created by the people. From the get-go, we had the sense that the personnel was not only truly delighted to have us, but they seemed to treat us almost as family. It made for a truly memorable stay.