Visiting the Loire Valley in the winter is an excellent way of avoiding the crowds, which can be horrendous in warmer months. There still is a lot to see and restaurants are more accessible.
The 4 or 5 hotels discussed in the forum may be closed. That only leaves 2 or 3 thousand other hotels to chose from.
Have a look at some hotel booking websites - there are plenty to choose from. Also check out the tourist beaureau sites. Then check out the hotels own website and contact them directly. You will possiblky find 15 - 20% of hotels closed in January. That should still leave you with a choice.
That is how the people who recommend hotels find them in the first place. The rest of us dont bother recommending hotels unless they are extraordinary, even though we may have stayed at 15 or so in the Loire Valley this year without disappointment
I spent Christmas in a cottage in the grounds of Chateau de Salvert 8 miles outside of Saumur. The temperature hovered around freezing and only one day was sunny.
There is lots to see and do and the chateaux have a haunting beauty in winter sunshine and without the crowds. Lots of hotels and restaurants we saw were open.
Beware if you consider the self catering option as we had a hefty 524 euros surcharge for electricity for one week.
"Beware if you consider the self catering option as we had a hefty 524 euros surcharge for electricity for one week."
I just came back from a week at a gite in the southern Loire and was horrified at our 44euro extra for electricity!! I take it you had an 8KW a day allowance and paid 10c a KW after that?
Anothing thing is attractions tend to carry out renovations in winter, but the lack of crowds more than make up for it.
Last December my husband and I stayed at a fabulous Chateau in Amboise (across the river from the town) called Chateau Des Ormeaux. I don't know whether they are opened in mid-january but I can highly recommend this completely refurbished chateau. It is out of town so you would need a car for restaurants, etc., but I would stay there again in a heartbeat. We were the only guests on one night of our stay and still the fireplace was lit and waiting for our evening return. www.chateaudesormeaux.fr
I'm horrified at the tales of pguests having to pay extra for heating. Surely that's included in the price of the accommodation? Ours is! It's reports like that which tarnish us all with the same reputation. We're not all like that, honest!
The Loire in winter is as stunning as it is in spring, summer or autumn! Come & see for yourself!
Gite de France the heating isnt included - you get an allowance of 8Kw a day, pay for the extra.
Most other places also charge for power (someone has to pay, after all!) If you had a really profligate guest and were on the wrong plan, you could actually lose money on a rental.
Hmmm, to be fair Wizard, we've steered clear of GdF because of their 'hidden pricing'. They're expensive to join from our POV, and you're very much beholden to them for a number of years (more so when they give you a grant to renovate/refurbish your gites). We charge what we think to be reasonable heating costs within the price per week, as do most of our competitors, certainly in our area. The only other cost in winter is for the wood for the fires, which comes out of our family woodpile, and has to be replaced. That is detailed in our T&C's though.
I believe the only reason we'd charge extra for heating is from a 'long-stay' guest, and then it would be worked out properly, not used as a way of profiteering. And no, we're not naive, just honest.
Our wood for the week was free - thats how we kept the 'lectric down. Plus, of course, I'm green anyway, so we dont use a lot of lektrickery.
I must admit though - not getting enough electricity included to keep the fridge running seems a bit odd. Most places I have looked at (being an interested party and possible rival) seem to charge for electricity separately