spend the night in a real castle in Beaujolais

view from a window at Chateau de Bagnols

This is the real deal! When you stay here, you get a real taste of what life was like in olden times. Chateau de Bagnols is a 13th century castle with a moat (not filled with water), thick stone walls, stone floors (with radiant heat), really high ceilings, and all the atmosphere that kids could possibly want. Or you!

Wine and food… Set in a vineyard, it's got gorgeous views in all directions. Just 28 kilometers north of Lyon, it's in the heart of the France's gastronomic region. And it's got a fabulous restaurant of its own;  the pigeon we were served at dinner (chef's signature dish) was probably the single most creative entree I had during this entire trip to France.

A signature destination, everything feels authentic from the antique wood paneling, red silk brocaded wall paper, antique furniture, canopy bed, and the ornate furnishings. Chateau de Bagnols offers the experience of staying in a real castle and living like a noble family. Be aware, though, that "authentic" and "up to date" don't always co-exist in one package. While the hotel offered free, fast internet, my room lacked a desk with power plugs — and a step-in shower. One tip: request a room with an outside view onto the beautiful gardens and vineyards.

Rumor — Chateau de Bagnols is rejoining Virtuoso, and Virtuoso amenities are extended.

copyright (c) 2014 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell Travel. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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