Elegant parkland château with a regal 600-year lineage

STEP INTO THE WORLD of French aristocracy at Château de la Barre, centuries-old home to the de Vanssay family in the heart of the Loire. This grand and secluded château chambres d'hôte – hailed as one of the best of its kind in France – has just five luxurious guest bedrooms.

Resplendent in the midst of a 100-acre park, Château de la Barre has its own 16th century dry moat fortifications, an old chapel, flower-filled gardens and fountains. Doves flutter in the trees, sheep graze in the meadows and peace pervades all. It's an idyllic scene.

Inside the château, fine oil paintings, porcelain, antiques and family heirlooms lend all the feel of a lordly family home. There’s a dining room the size of a ballroom – an 18th century masterpiece – with the grandest imaginable porcelain-laden dresser. There’s also a smaller, cosier  breakfast room where you can munch on freshly-baked croissants beneath the gaze of the Comte’s ancestors.

Hit the Spot
40 km from Le Mans, home of the famous racetrack

We loved Chambre Jaune, with its hand printed wallpaper, period panelling and bucolic parkland views. Marin de Vanssay is the grandest room.

Be Savvy
Dressing for dinner is de rigueur.

Be Smitten
Live like an aristo of old.

Home since the 1400s

Château de la Barre resonates with history. These walls have stood for over 600 years (they survived the French revolution intact) and the present-day Comte and Comtesse are the 20th generation of the family to live here. Guy de Vanssay and his Anglo-American wife Marnie are gracious and hospitable hosts who will soon make you feel like family friends.

Elegant and high-ceilinged bedrooms flaunt tapestries (some centuries-old), sumptuous fabrics and rich wall hangings: you could even end up sleeping in an authentic Louis XVl bed. They don’t compromise on modern comforts, either. Chambre Marin de Vanssay is the showpiece, with a heavy beamed ceiling strikingly painted in blue, a huge gilded tapestry and grand coronet bed. Chambre Bleue has exquisite views of the gardens through French doors.

Explore the grounds, woods and meadows and then enjoy a taste of being lord and lady of this regal domain. Drinks are served each evening in Château de la Barre's Grand Salon – all boiserie and ornate chandeliers – with the welcoming Comte and Comtesse. They’re also likely to  join you for dinner in the candlelit Grande Salle à Manger. Enjoy a brandy and coffee later in the Salon Rose, have a game of billiards or meet Kakou, the family parrot.

The Comte is happy to organise wine tasting sessions and various country pursuits, and will be happy to tell you all about the property’s fascinating past.

Château de la Barre was reviewed by Room for Romance

Click on any picture to enlarge it and move through the gallery.






Dining in
Enjoy local produce in abundance on family silver, linen and crystal. The typical three-course French dinner is served by candlelight in the magnificent 17th century hall on a long dining table with your hosts, count and countess de Vanassay. Conversation is welcoming, lively and fantastic for those with a passion for debating. Expect to sample dishes such as the delicious Koulibiac de saumon, magret de canard, filet de veau aux morilles and the poulet aux girolles.

Dining out
If you feel compelled to eat out, there are four excellent restaurants in the nearby villages, all between a 15 and 30 minute drive away. If you search further you can find two famous 3 Michelin star restaurants within an hour’s drive.


Chateau de la Barre

What’s cooking?
Try fresh scrambled eggs from the farm for breakfast and magret de canard for dinner.

Dress the part
Go for country chic

Top table?
A seat closest to the condiments, it’s a long table.

See & Do

There are stacks of things to do, be it visiting wineries, seeing the famous race course at Le Mans, golfing, riding, walking through the forest, bike rides, archery and hot air ballooning. If you prefer something closer to your room, you can have Shiatsu and reflexology by prior appointment.

There are luxury stores in nearby Le Mans and Tours. You'll find wineries close by, as well as rather a lot of antique shops.

After dark
Savour a cognac by the fire and get to know your fellow guests.

July and August
Le Mans play host to festive Son et Lumière shows – also occasionally held at the Chateau itself.

Enjoy the noise, thrills and spills of the Le Mans 24 hour race.

72120, Conflans-sur-Anille

There is free guest parking

Vendôme Villiers station – 28km

Around EUR 50 from the station

Tours – 65km

Rooms and suites

Five rooms, three suites

Special features
All rooms have a welcoming tipple of port wine, huge beds and fluffy bathrobes. The grand Chambre Marin de Vanssay has an antique bathtub. 

Chambre aux Fleurs, with its stripey wallpaper, has a jacuzzi, while Chambre Esprit de Jouy has a real Louis XVl bed.


Rates guide
EUR 150 - 330

Closed mid January – mid February



12 midday

Minimum night stay?
Two nights

Breakfast is served until 10.30am. Tuck into farm-fresh scrambled eggs, croissants and baguettes from the local bakery.

Room service
No – pop downstairs if you want something.

Welcome over ten years, and under parental supervision.

Welcome by agreement, though only in certain rooms.

Air conditioning

French, English, German and a little Spanish and Italian

Wedding license?

Yes – for up to 20 guests. The gorgeous family chapel has just been restored.

Eco conscience
All the fruit is home grown, while jam, cider, milk, cheese and eggs come from the farm. There’s a 100% ecological septic tank and the expansive gardens are all cultivated with their own compost.

Your contacts
Comte and Comtesse de Vanssay – owners



We'll be adding guest ratings of Chateau de la Barre based on your feedback in the next few months.

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