It’s home to myriad châteaux—a stretch of it is even designated a
UNESCO World Heritage Site. Indeed, a tourist hotbed. Yet, a hotel has not opened in the Loire Valley of France since 2014. But Le Relais de Chambord has changed that. Set on the grounds of the 16th-century Château de Chambord, the hotel is the work of Wilmotte & Associés, which has combined 21st-century comforts with nods to the site’s regal past (the castle was built as a hunting lodge for King Francis I).
For instance, principal Jean-Michel Wilmotte turned black-and-white photographs of the château into wallpaper for the 55 guest rooms. In reception, nearly floor-to-ceiling built-ins lined with books give the feel of a large country home. The terrace off Grand Saint Michel, the hotel’s restaurant, affords views of Francis I’s massive country home, the largest château in the Loire Valley.