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“One of my best hotel experiences ever!”
Review of Chateau Clement

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Chateau Clement
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Vals-les-Bains
Certificate of Excellence
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“One of my best hotel experiences ever!”
Reviewed August 10, 2012

We stopped over in the Ardeche on a 2+ weeks driving tour of France. I had booked 2 nights here in advance having seen on Alistair Sawday and thought that it would earn me lots of brownie points with my chateau-loving wife.

A few emails and calls with the delightful Marie-Antoinette secured the 'duplex' penthouse apprtment and table d'hôte dinner on the Saturday evening. A previous reviewer likened a stay at Chateau Clement to a country house party, and I can find no better description.

Where do I start?

The location is stunning - high on a hill above Val-les-Bains. Not a particularly special town, but the views from our windows were of the wooded mountain tops and absolutely breathtaking, particularly during one dramatic night of lightning storms.

The Chateau has been beautifully restored to the most exacting levels and we loved the juxtaposition of original details and contemporary styling. It just works.

The food, prepared by Eric, was of an exceptionally high standard and he and Marie-Antoinette delighted in sharing both his creations and bought-in local produce with us as if we were lifelong friends.

Every aspect of the service was impeccable, and there was a real ease in the way in which it was delivered - much of it by Marie-Antoinette as she dealt with the not-inconsiderate demands of her own young family.

We left after two days, saddened by the unavailability of our room to extend, but heartened by the feeling that we had discovered something very special. We will surely return.

Room Tip: I am sure they are all fantastic.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank DmOr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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132 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Zwaag
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2012

Marie Antoinette, Eric and kids and Casimir, it was great staying again with you in your beautiful chateau with warm hospitality and great food and lovely guest. The crystal room has become superb like all the other rooms and your new loft is amazing.
See you again next year...Janny and Johan Zwaag

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Janny D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico
Level Contributor
69 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2012

Our stay for our time exploring the Ardeche region was in Vals-les-Bains at the Chateau Clement. This beautiful chateau was built in 1870 by a mineral water magnate, who had traveled the world extensively, and brought back architectural ideas as to how he wanted to build his home in the forest on a hill above Vals, overlooking the Ardeche River. It has gone through a few transformations since then, including being a prison during the 2nd World War, being abandoned in the early 90s, until purchased by the current owners, the Chabot’s, completely renovated to restore its original splendor and then becoming their home as well as a charming Chambres d’Hotes.

As you can see from the photo, the chateau is original and beautiful. Easy to take a picture of the outside, but more difficult inside with its dark woods and low lighting, although the finishing is amazing. The double winding staircase is quite something, and the woodwork on the ceiling is something else. Quite a work of art and hats off to the Chabot’s for bringing it all back to life. And each room has been uniquely decorated, with a name to back-up the deco style.

We did not partake in the special dinner that Eric Chabot prepares, but we heard excellent comments from the other guests. He cooks it all, using local products, served in multiple stages. It sounded wonderful.

Staying at the Chateau Clement is like staying at a very high-end classy hotel, but without the price (and the fact that you are still living in someone’s home, with four (well-behaved) children). Full amenities in the room include large living space, wonderful robes, expresso machine and beautiful views. There’s a common area pool and spa facilities on the ground floor. We’d certainly return.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Flojohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2012

This stay was one of the highlights of our month traveling around France in May.  We booked the hotel for 2 nights but extended our stay we loved it so much.   The chateau and its grounds are stunning.  The public areas inside the chateau have been furnished with impeccable taste but at the same time they exude a comfortable informality. Nothing was too much trouble for hosts Marie Antionette and Eric and they genuinely seemed concerned that we had the best possible experience during our stay.  

We booked in for the evening meal on the first night. We were a little apprehensive as we don't speak french and are not very extroverted. Marie Antionette soon put us at ease and we went on to have some of the best meals of our entire trip. Needless to say we stayed in each night, and each night were treated to Eric's exceptional cooking.

The chateau has a beautiful outdoor pool although the weather was too cold and rainy for us to use it.  However all is not lost in bad weather, there is a stunning modern indoor pool above the chateau in a spa wing where you can also arrange to have massages (we did this and Marie Antionette even arranged to block off the pool area for us alone  to use after the massage). 
  This hotel is exceptional.  We wish Marie Antionette and Eric and family all the best for the future, and hope to return one day!

Room Tip: We loved the crystal room.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank JosieRM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mercer Island, WA
Level Contributor
49 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2012

Much to my embarrassment, I overlooked reviewing this lovely chateau when we returned from France last May. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Marie and Eric went to great lengths to make our stay enjoyable from upgrading us to the new "hip" room which was truly amazing, to making dinner reservations, to giving sightseeing ideas, and also for going above and beyond anything most hosts would do to provide us with internet service. They were having some internet problems and did everything they could to get it fixed so that we could use our laptop. We also loved the "family" style dinner that Eric had prepared. This is truly a family home--adorable children included--and we were made to feel a part of the family. They clearly love their chateau, have on going plans for renovations, and are extraordinary hosts. We highly recommend staying here.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank wearetravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2011

An extraordinary chateau, designed for a Victorian mineral water magnate by a crazy but stylish Bavarian architect. Built at the top of the hill with a long drive wandering down through the forest to the spa town of Val des Bains, via suitably spooky iron gates straight out a film set...
The building was decaying in the hands of IBM before being sold to its amazing owners - Marie-Antionette, an incredibly friendly, efficient and charming women who will welcome you like a long lost friend and Eric - an uber-accomplished chef, formerly part of Michel Roux's team in London, with an eye for fine local wines (don't miss the evening meal - offered by arrangement). Together they have restored the building in all its glory with subtle modern twists, in keeping with the original, including a delicious pool from which to admire the architect's daring.
The atmosphere is intimate, something akin to a weekend house party, in which guests mingle and conversation flows easily. The homely atmosphere is accentuated by your hosts children, which is another secret of this place - it is somewhere where children (well behaved of course) are welcomed and parents can enjoy a level of style, comfort and indulgence usually denied by such establishments.
Plenty to do in the area, including "canyoning" 15 mins away for the ultimate thrill (search You Tube for "canyoning Ardeche" for a taste). We stayed 4 nights in August and will be back for more. I signed up to Tripadviser to leave a review as I was so impressed. Please don't book all the rooms !

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank RHChiswick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alstonville, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2011

My wife booked this one as a stop on a north to south trip thru France. I was a bit critical as it was well off the A7 but soon stopped complaining when I saw the quality of the accomodation. It looks impressive in the pictures but is even more incredible close up. The interior is magnificent. Marble and carved timber walls, ornate timber ceilings.. more like a palace than a chateau.
Marie-Antoinette and Eric were fantastic. They really work hard to ensure that all the guests have an enjoyable stay. Eric kept us well fed with exquisite french food. They both spoke fluent english which we appreciated as my french is very basic.
Vals les Bains (as the name suggests) is spa town . To be honest we didn't do much sight seeing during our three days, just walked around the town enjoying being in France and relaxing in luxury.
It was my favourite stop in a six week holiday...so ..yes i would go back.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank stevieh83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chateau Clement

Property: Chateau Clement
Address: La Chataigneraie, 07600 Vals-les-Bains, France
Location: France > Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes > Ardeche > Vals-les-Bains
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Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Vals-les-Bains
Number of rooms: 5
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