One of the Loire valley’s oldest châteaux to stay. Fairytale gardens. A menu featuring flavours from the estate’s vegetable garden. Welcome to Château du Rivau's hotel.
“Offering you a unique experience that will immerse you in the ‘luxurious, relaxed and pleasurable’ life of a castle.”
The fields surrounding the small town of Lémeré, in France’s Indre-et-Loire department, conceal an incredible jewel. Château du Rivau – a medieval masterpiece whose turrets, high fortified walls, rampart walk and (still working) drawbridge continue to enchant visitors. At night, let yourself be immersed by a stroll in the gardens of the castle which invite you to dream and relax. You will appreciate being able to enjoy it alone in the peace and quiet. A unique experience to discover in this hotel in the Loire Valley.
When Laigneau's family bought the site in 1992, the castle was in a very poor state of repair. “For 18 years, my father devoted himself to restoring the building, while my mother took care of the 6 hectares of gardens, which now enjoy ‘Remarkable Garden’ status.” tell us Caroline Laigneau. While the château and the estate have been open to visitors since 2000, Caroline has only been offering accommodation since 2018, with 7 luxurious rooms featuring period décor, “but with all the comforts of the 21st century!”. Two different catering options (“brasserie” and “gourmet”) are also available. And to aid relaxation, the estate has its own wellness area.
King René, Henri II, Catherine de’ Medici… each of the seven rooms of the Château du Rivau is inspired by a great Renaissance figure. Located in the estate’s outbuildings, they are all furnished in a historic style combining period refinement and the requirements of modern comfort. And as well as adopting design cues from the castle, they also showcase a number of contemporary works of art. A uniquely peaceful setting for tranquil nights and genuine refreshment in the morning.
And when dining at the Château du Rivau, you’ll be spoiled for choice. While the hearty, varied breakfast (sweet and savoury) is served upstairs in the old stables, lunch and/or dinner features a change of scenery. Beautiful natural surroundings for the brasserie menu; a veranda in front of the château for the semi-gourmet option. The common theme? The splendid setting, of course, but most of all, home-made products produced using local, seasonal ingredients, offering a full range of authentic flavours.
On the Château du Rivau’s semi-gourmet menu, creative and refined cuisine is king. Amid the verdant setting of the castle courtyard, with its vines and rose bushes, enjoy the chef’s innovative cuisine inspired by nature and local products. The menu showcases vegetables, aromatic and edible wild plants straight from the six-hectare garden.
Simple, fresh, healthy products (large salads, quiches, etc.) are on the menu for this bucolic dining experience. The journey from the estate’s vegetable garden to the plate is broken only by a detour via the chef’s kitchens which, on occasion, feature produce from neighbouring farmers at times when home-made products are not available. Here, the fairies eat local.
The Château du Rivau is a timeless, dreamlike place that will live in your memory. Visit the medieval fortress decorated with contemporary works of art, explore the fairy gardens, experience some Zen moments in the relaxation area... one thing is certain, Rivau is unrivalled.
The Château du Rivau’s relaxation area is an invitation to enjoy some truly meditative moments. On the agenda: a menu of on-site massages (mainly Japanese) and facial treatments with products made from the garden’s own plants.
Fourteen gardens, covering six hectares and inspired by the wonderful legends of the Middle Ages, comprise this magical green space created around the Château du Rivau in little more than a decade. As you wander through this green paradise, which has enjoyed “Remarkable Garden” status since 2004, you can breathe in the scents of more than 460 varieties of roses, admire the ancient local vegetable species grown here, lose yourself in a labyrinth and stroll between leafy groves and flowerbeds, dotted with impressive contemporary works of art.
A jewel of medieval architecture, the Château de Rivau also provides a showcase for contemporary works of art. Past and present blend into one, enriching your visit, as you explore each room in turn. On the large spiral staircase, have fun trying to decrypt the various items of 15th-century graffiti – while, from a historical point of view, you may remember that Le Rivau is mentioned by Rabelais in Gargantua, and Joan of Arc and her companions came here in search of horses in 1429.
Located between Chinon and Richelieu, the Château du Rivau is the ideal place to radiate and visit the castles of the Loire Valley, the gardens and taste the Loire wines.
Europe’s largest monastic complex is well worth a detour. The site is made up of historical and architectural wonders (12th-century church, recumbent Plantagenet figures, extraordinary Romanesque kitchens, etc.), and has also welcomed a series of artists-in-residence since 1975, as well as hosting many concerts and exhibitions.
The Château du Rivau produces its own Chinon wine and offers wine tastings from 10 to 30 minutes around the different terroirs of Chinon wine.
Château du Rivau sits proudly among its 14 gardens in a majestic setting surrounded by tranquil countryside, just 45 minutes from the city of Tours. Whether you’re organising a seminar, team-building sessions, conferences or management committee meetings, this is a fairytale setting that will guarantee a timeless experience. Seven perfectly equipped rooms, ranging in size from 60 to over 300 square metres, are available for hire; two restaurants (brasserie and semi-gourmet) produce locally-themed dishes, and a variety of activities are available on request.
Located opposite the castle and its ornamental kitchen garden, this high-ceilinged 300 m2 room can accommodate up to 300 people, depending on the selected configuration. An added bonus: it can be divided in two by means of removable partitions.
Under their high, immaculately white vaulted ceiling, the château’s former stables offer a 152 m2 space which can accommodate up to 120 people, depending on the selected configuration.
This 63 m2 room has a unique, original ambiance devoted to the art of hunting. A maximum of 25 people will have the opportunity to “hunt down” good ideas when meeting in this character-filled setting.
The library’s architectural design has much in common with the upturned hull of a boat. With its 63 m2 of floorspace, this welcoming room – inspired by literature and contemporary art – can accommodate meetings of up to 30 people.