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“Disappointing”

Chateau Royal de Cognac
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$13.12*
and up
Discovery Visit of Château Royal de Cognac with...
Ranked #3 of 6 Tours in Cognac
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Royal Château of Cognac overlooking the Charente river was initially a 10th-century fortress designed to stop Norman invasions, and then in the 15th century became a stately home which was the birthplace of one of France’s most illustrious kings, Francis I. Baron Otard, who had founded its Cognac House in 1795, quickly understands that the thick walls provide exceptional aging conditions for his eaux-de-vie. He purchases the Château, saving it from total destruction The Royal Château of Cognac, which became a historic monument, is now a witness to French history and a Cognac House. We are offering a variety of tours combining two aspects of history: the history of France and the history of Baron Otard cognac up to the present day. Welcome to the Royal Château of Cognac!
Reviewed September 14, 2013

We have visited many of the distilleries in Cognac and had, so far, had pleasant experiences there. We had seen a number of good write-ups of Otard and our guests asked us to take them to one we hadn't been to before, so we chose it. What a disappointment. Compared with several of the others, it was unimpressive. As our guests were English with no French language we took the English tour, headlined for a 2.30 start but actually started at 2.00pm.
The guide's English was exceptionally poor and very unclear and she had very limited knowledge of the subject, the family and brand, and the chateau itself, and she was obviously trying hard to remember the script, albeit with some difficulty here and there, and was very stiff, formal and not at all friendly. We had to listen very had to the guide and only understood the words of about half of what she was saying, though we know the subject quite well.
The chateau building and history was the highlight of the tour - not what we had come for but an interesting addition which happened to save the experience from being an embarrassing flop for our guests. Even there there was scant information, such as names on busts (Richard the Lionheart, Voltaire etc. being mentioned but not why they were there or what their connection to the place was. One the distillery tour itself, which we found cursory, the demonstrations of aromas in the ageing cognac was very badly done with artificial scents; the whole place had an air of nothing much actually happening. At the end of the tour, the tasting was a bad experience, with very rough stuff served. No-one on our tour bought anything, which is the first time we have experienced this. Complete waste of time, considering there are so many other good tours with more personable guides and better experiences laid on.

2  Thank Rhys W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"french history"
in 4 reviews
"king francois"
in 3 reviews
"interesting history"
in 3 reviews
"informative tour"
in 6 reviews
"final tasting"
in 2 reviews
"leonardo da vinci"
in 2 reviews
"chateau royal"
in 2 reviews
"renaissance architecture"
in 2 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 3 reviews
"excellent tour"
in 5 reviews
"free car park"
in 2 reviews
"hour tour"
in 2 reviews
"basic tour"
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"tasting room"
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"baron"
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Reviewed September 1, 2013

We had time to take one tour of a cognac house while we were in town and had trouble deciding which one to visit because they all seemed to offer similar tours. However, a friend told us that Otard was the one to pick because the building itself had a very interesting history. We were definitely steered in the right direction.
Our tour guide was very friendly and spoke good English. The tour started with some history about the chateau itself, which was informative and very interesting. We were able to see many parts of the chateau, including a room with centuries-old graffiti written by English prisoners. After touring the building, we learned about the cognac-making process. It was very interesting and completely kept our attention. At the end of the tour, we got to taste some Otard cognac. It was nice to have the tasting, especially after learning about how the cognac was made.
I would not advise planning anything particularly taxing following the tour because while in the cellars, the "angel's share" of evaporated cognac definitely gets into your system a little bit. All of us, especially the teenagers in our group, were very tired and had low-energy for the rest of the afternoon. Overall, the English tour of Otard was informative, interesting, and filled with fascinating history.

Thank Nicachica K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2013

Love doing the tour around the Chateau Otard as you learn historical facts; learn about the building and of course the cognac! We have done the tour several times over the years and they do update some of it so always learn something new.
Good value for money; parking by the river or in town - the centre is a 10 minute stroll away.

2  Thank Lee M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2012

This beautiful little Chateau was the birthplace of King Francois 1 of France and the tour gives you a basic knowledge of the Cognac making process too.

You get to see the main body of the Chateau and then the cellars where there is graffitti from prisoners dated back to the 1800's but is now where the Eau de Vie is created and mixed for the Cognacs.

Then you get a free taster of the VSOP and the XO Gold.

One word of caution - check the prices that you can get on the ferry on the way, if you are travelling that way, before buying here as it is either the same or sometimes you can get a cheap deal (we had already bought a bottle of the VSOP for £30 on the ferry and it was still £40 in the shop!)

3  Thank jrapeter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 4, 2012

I took one of the tours conducted in English at Otard. A stop at the tourist information center in Cognac will help find out times and places where tours are in English. We headed to Otard after a stop at the Musee des Arts for the tour. Otard is in a very old Chateau purchased by Baron Otard. The tour was informative and at the end each participant is given a bit of Cognac to taste.

3  Thank Ken L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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