Château de Canisy
Located in the heart of the Normandy countryside, 60 kilometres from Caen and 300 kms from Paris.
In France there are chateaux and then there are chateaux. Recently I had the opportunity of playing ‘princess’ for a weekend and staying at one of these Chateaux. Let me explain the difference, in France there are Chateau/Hotels which are historical chateaux taken over by hotel chains. Therefore they are run by hotels and include a reception desk, and all the staff that go with a hotel experience. At the Chateau de Canisy, there is no reception desk, there are no staff about, just Sandrine the hotel manager who is there to greet you. Upon your arrival she is there with an open bar and nibblies for you to enjoy. There is no check-in time, nor check-out time, the chateau is all yours for the duration of your stay. Privacy and discretion are the key elements to your stay. If the hotel is not booked out (there are only 17 rooms), Sandrine, will show you the rooms and you can choose which room you would like. I chose the Polignac Suite on the ground floor, complete with a beautiful copper bath decorated in the Restoration period of 1815 – 1830.
The Chateau has been in the same family for generations and recently celebrated its 1,000th anniversary. The current owner, the Count Denis de Kergorlay decided to turn the chateau into accommodation for paying guests. Up until recently it was a family home, and that is its point of difference, they want us to feel at home, and not like we are staying at a hotel. The bedrooms don’t even have keys! (Of course you can ask for one if you want).
The chateau is yours to enjoy and walk around freely. You can play tennis, golf, go horse riding, cycle, go hot air ballooning and of course visit the Normandy beaches – Cote de Fleurie and the D-Day beaches and Le Mont St Michel, all just an hours drive away. The property is surrounded by a 30 hectare park which you can roam and 3 ponds in the midst of a 300 hectare farm.
The furniture in all the bedrooms and rooms is authentic and has been handed down and has been apart of the chateau for generations and the bathrooms are just magnificent! Each room is more beautiful than the next, with no two rooms alike.
In addition, the hotel features a theatre room, a music room, a bar, library and even a disco that is the exact replica of the Cavern, the Liverpool Club where the Beatles first played in 1960, complete with disco lights!
From my first gasp upon seeing this chateau to my last glance, it really was an enjoyable experience, unlike any other I’ve had in France so far.