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“Relaxing and full of charm”
Review of Le Vieux Manoir

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Le Vieux Manoir
Ranked #1 of 31 Amboise B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
71 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Relaxing and full of charm”
Reviewed October 15, 2007

We spent 4 nights at Le Vieux Manoir in Sept. 2007 and found it delightful. It was our second visit to the Loire and for a different experience opted to stay in a town rather than a countryside chateau hotel. Amboise suited us as did Le Vieux Manoir which offers a quiet and beautiful setting, combination shower/bathtubs, parking, walking distance to many restaurants and a wonderful breakfast. We had the Madame du Barry room on the top floor (2 flights) at the center of the house. We chose this room for price and blue décor and were pleased to find we had an excellent view and only 2 other rooms on our floor.

We were warmly greeted by the Belknaps when we arrived and invited to join everyone in the cellar for a wine tasting offered by Philippe who owns a wine shop in Amboise. We are hardly wine connoisseurs but enjoyed this very much; another guest brought her wine journal for the occasion. After this we walked in the rain to dinner.

In the morning Gloria invited us into the breakfast room overlooking the back garden. Breakfast is served at 9:00 a.m. and if a little early you are welcome to relax in one of the ground floor sitting rooms or in the garden. We were right on time to enjoy fresh fruit juice, fruit, an amazing rustic bread, pastries, yogurt, fantastic granola, tea and coffee. I think there was also been hot chocolate on offer. You might share a table with other guests or not depending on how full the inn is. Although this is not usual our style we enjoyed chatting with the guests we met.

If you are the sort of traveller who wants to get on the road early and pack in as many chateaux as possible into a day’s sightseeing this is not the place for you. But if you want to relax and enjoy a clean, beautiful, historic B&B, pleasant town and quiet evenings you will love Le Vieux Manoir. Please note there are no TVs, telephones or clocks in the rooms and the Belknaps keep two very nice cats who were never seen upstairs near the bedrooms. We found the Belknaps to be friendly, interesting and full of information about the local area.

I loved the du Barry room but if I were to return might book Madame de Lafayette next door. When rooms are unoccupied they are left unlocked so we were able to explore. Neither the photos on the inn’s website nor mine do Lafayette justice.

  • Liked — Quiet and charm
  • Disliked — Room was a little small
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Scootoir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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351 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (78)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Congleton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2007

We like a challenge and surprises, so we booked La Vieux Manoir on the strength of the reviews - despite what some of them suggested! And we weren't disappointed. Seeing Amboise for the first time as we approached from the west, on the opposite side of the river, we just thought, "Wow".

It was easy to find Le Vieux manoir very cleverly secreted in the midst of the town., like the enchanted garden. The hosts, Gloria and Bob, make a great double act. Gloria is just like a female John Wayne in the film Rooster Cogburn, barking out orders to poor old Bob who manicures the garden and will help you carry your hand bag to your room.

Sitting with Gloria over a glass of wine in the garden and you discover what a great sense of humour she has........but don't dare break the 150 year old teapot used at breakfast or she will kill you......very slowly! If you are a stupid tourist who wants to arrive in the middle of the night or complains because it isn't a Travelodge, Gloria will tell you what she thinks. To my mind she is straight and reasonable, so don't be put off by some earlier postings.

We like the setting of the guesthouse and it was easy to walk round the corner to promenade the riverside or find an excellent restaurant. Parking was easy inside the gates of the proerty and it was quiet, peaceful and cool at night in Le Vieux Manoir. The room was immaculately clean and tidy, and breakfast was a fine affair with teacups and an ancient teapot..

Overall, a little unhomely, and a little pricey, but we could live with that because Amboise was so beautiful.

Stayed August 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank pentlandpirate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Woodmere, NY
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2007

What a beautiful B&B. Located on Rue Rabelais, a couple blocks away from Quai du General de Gaulle, the main thoroughfare in Amboise, Le Vieux Manoir is the perfect home from which to explore the incredible Loire countryside. Other reviewers have called Gloria Belknap, the B&B’s owner (together with her husband, Bob), a bit eccentric and I suppose they are right. She did take some getting used to, but over the course of our three night stay with her, she proved to be a terrific host who has clearly spared no expense and missed no detail in any aspect of her presentation, whether it be the delicious breakfast in the salon or the gorgeous rooms, each decorated differently with antiques from around France and the world. The inn is set back from Rue Rabelais amidst an immaculately maintained and conceived garden. In addition to the main house, the Belknaps have restored a small building at the front of the property which is perfect if you are looking for even more seclusion and privacy than you would get in the main house. As beautiful as the house is, it is Gloria’s prowess as a host which makes Le Vieux Manoir the perfect place to stay in Amboise if not all of the Loire Valley. Gloria and Bob clearly love the Loire and unquestionably succeeded at sharing that love with us and her other guests. It was at Gloria’s suggestion that we found our way to D17, regarded by the locals as the most beautiful road in France (which it may very well be) and it was on Gloria’s recommendation that we found L’Etape Gourmand, a spectacular restaurant on a working farm near Villandry. Were it not for Gloria, in particular, our trip to Loire would not have been as memorable as it was. If you’re looking for a wonderful stay in a gorgeous inn, call or write to Gloria. You won’t be sorry, don’t cha know.

  • Liked — The beautiful inn and gardens, the owner
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank drichman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2007

Gloria is definitely a character, and she can sometimes be a bit prickly, but she and her husband have a "to die for" B&B. It is luxe without being overwhelming, beautifully decorated, supremely comfortable, and the gardens are absolutely divine. We stayed in the little house adjoining the main house. It was April, the weather was wonderful, and we loved every minute of it. We especially loved not having to eat every meal out. It was nice to shop in the local markets and make a few meals in the tidy little kitchen. Pay attention to Gloria's suggestions, but feel free to make your own plans. We did. I came to adore her, and so did my daughter. We miss her, we miss France, and we would definitely stay there again.

  • Liked — the ambience, the location, and the quiet
  • Disliked — only americans stay there
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank fcsnj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chico, California
1 review
Reviewed July 20, 2007

Our stay with Gloria and Bob has re-set our family standard up another notch for a memorable place to stay. The lovely decor and setting of Le Vieux Manior is a most restful respite for the weary traveler. The breakfast , taken in the glorious garden room,was varied, delicious and ample. As an avid gardener I enjoyed strolling among the flowering plants that filled the property. While chatting with Gloria, I found her to be culturally informative and full of helpful travel suggestions for touring the Loire Valley. I could have visited with her for our entire stay. But alas, running such a first rate place takes time and attention to details, which both Gloria and Bob seem to be constantly following up on. The central location, yet quiet neighborhood enables family members to trek around the town of Amboise without a car and yet have quick access to the roads leading to the various chateaus. We walked from the train station and then picked up rented a car in Amboise for the next part of our journey. Without Gloria's understanding of the nuances of car rental business in town, we would have been frustrated and lost precious time. Thank you Gloria! A newly renovated two bedroom cottage with kitchenette makes for a quirky , yet efficient and fun family hangout. Our family refers to Le Vieux Manior as Bob and Gloria's place. We hope to pass through there again.

  • Liked — comfort
  • Disliked — Couldn't stay longer.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank mafs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2007

We stayed at this beautiful B&B in May and have mixed feelings. When we arrived there was a construction project going on that seemed to have put the owners (Bob and Gloria Gelnap from Boston) in a snit. To say Gloria is brusque is an understatement! We certainly did not get a hospitable welcome. The home is beautiful and has been lovingly restored to perfection. We were in a gorgeously-decorated room for two nights in the main house then moved to the Garden Cottage for two more. No detail has been overlooked and is of the highest quality. Wonderful bathrooms - even the toilet paper is special! The gardens were in full bloom and magnificently maintained. Gloria runs the place like a military school (except for her paperwork, which was a mess) so as long as you follow the rules, everything is fine. But inadvertently veer off the track (like arriving a few minutes early for breakfast) and feel her wrath. The "wrong" question gets you "Didn't you read the Web site?" I don't intimidate easily but she had me walking on egg shells. The owners are gracious with directions, maps and recommendations in the area, which they seem to know very well. We were disappointed that all the guests were American.

Stayed May 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank ArizonaJakester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oldladyfrance, Gloria Belknap Owner at Le Vieux Manoir, responded to this review, July 4, 2007
I appreciate your comments and yes, you arrived at a difficult time...but as I remember the workers did everything possible to help you get through the gates, which they had blocked with their trucks, and your first comment was," Those trucks had better never be there again." I found that really ungracious considering the effort that had been made for you and a difficult introduction to staying with us. It takes a long time for us to set up breakfast and we ask our guests to wait in the library...I don't think that's too difficult and since I have fallen and broken our china before ,we try to make it as easy for us as possible and with too many people in a small space, accidents can happen. Our only rules are expecting our guests to be thoughtful to us,our staff, our other guests,and our Manoir. Those who do ,are treasured and everyone here spends a great deal of time and effort making our guests as comfortable and content as possible.. We try to be helpful with everyone and share our Manoir and our love of this region. I'm afraid it's difficult to please everyone, but we certainly try.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2007

I stayed at Le Vieux Manoir with my wife and adult children for three nights in June. It's a lovely inn, beautifully furnished and perfectly maintained. We were in one of the cottages, which are very comfortable for a family - double bed in one bedroom and two singles in the other. One bathroom, but a great bath/shower and plenty of hot water. We didn't need the airconditioning.

The kitchen was in very good condition and worked well for breakfast and snacks (we didn't try cooking -- dining out is one of our prime reasons for visiting France). Gloria, half of the inn-keeping couple, gave us two superb restaurant recommendations -- L'Alliance and Le Pavillion -- both a very short walk from the inn.

We had considered booking at one of the grand chateau hotels in the region, but were very happy we chose Le Vieux Manoir instead. It was very good value, charming, and full of personality.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank London9999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Le Vieux Manoir

Property: Le Vieux Manoir
Address: 13 rue Rabelais, 37400, Amboise, France
Phone Number:
Location: France > Centre-Val de Loire > Loire Valley > Amboise
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 31 B&Bs / Inns in Amboise
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Step back in time into Le Vieux Manoir, an enchanting 18th century mansion, completely restored in 1999 by an American couple, hidden in the heart of Amboise, a historic village with a celebrated Royal Chateau. The Manoir grounds are surrounded by ancient stonewalls that enclose the exquisite gardens and private secured parking for guests and create a warm and private world. Within a short stroll are over 30 restaurants and numerous charming shops. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Le Vieux Manoir Hotel Amboise

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