chateau d'esclimont

Photos courtesy of Château d'Esclimont








Originally built in 1543 by Etienne de Poncher, archbishop of Tours, this château has passed through the hands of many noble families. Philippe Hurault, count of Cheverny and chancellor of France under King Henri III, was one owner. Another owner, Claude de Bullion, was a favorite of Richelieu, who sat as an advisor at the side of Marie de Medicis and cardinal de la Rochefoucauld. Louis XIII named de Bullion as first president of Parlement in 1634.

The château was acquired through marriage by the Rochefoucauld family, one of the most prestigious in France. L.F. Sosthène de la Rochefoucauld was the director of the Beaux Arts who named the composer Rossini as director of the Paris Opera. His descendants continued living at the château until its sale in 1981.

Pamela’s Perspective

I have recommended this hotel in my travel consultations for years and have received rave reviews back. When you arrive there for the first time, the beauty of the architecture and grounds literally takes your breath away.


Château d’Esclimont

A 16th-century castle


28700 St. Symphorien-le- Château
Tel: ++33 (0)2 37 31 15 15
Hotel website
Reserve with
The chateaux is currently closed for refurbishment.

Fast facts

46 rooms; 6 apartments among the château, the Watch Tower, the Trianon, and the Trophy House

Double rooms: 127–309 euros
Suites: from 365 euros
Rates include tax and service.

Open: all year

Getting there

The château is 50 km southwest of Paris near Chartres. From Paris take A-10 to A-11 west to Pont de Saint Cloud; exit at Ablis, and continue west on N-10 for 5 km; turn right in Essars for St Symphorien-le Château. Or you can take the train from Paris (Gare Montparnasse) to Rambouillet; from there, take a taxi to the château.

What to do

On site: tennis; swimming pool; bicycling; canoeing
Nearby: golf; excursions to Versailles, Rambouillet, and Chartres.


Yes. Inquire hotel for details.


As graceful as the swans populating its lake, the Château d’Esclimont provides an elegant retreat into a noble past. This lovely towered and moated château stands in 150 acres of forest, lakes, rivers, and gardens.

If your image of the ideal fairy-tale castle includes an exquisite setting, priceless antiques,handcrafted crystal chandeliers, marble fireplaces, and elaborate ceiling frescoes, you’ll be pleased to find it all here.

Over the doorway the inscription of François de la Rochefoucauld—“C’est mon plaisir” (“This is my pleasure”) invites you to begin a divine experience.

Accommodations are in four sections, and no two guest rooms are alike. Many look out over the lake and are furnished with 18th-century antique reproductions, chandeliers, and Oriental carpets. One apartment has its own tower with a painted ceiling fresco of clouds and birds.

Four restaurants overlook the park. The La Rochefoucauld is the most elegant (with prices to match), requiring a jacket and tie for the gentleman.

Something special

curlicueMusical soirees

curlicueExcellent service

curlicueDivine setting