chateau de marcay

Photos courtesy of Château de Marçay








In 1150, the original Château de Marçay was an enormous structure with a drawbridge, deep moats, circular ramparts, network of underground passages, and the nearby village incorporated in the castle’s second set of walls.

Henry II of England, count of Anjou and Plantagenet through his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine, built the greater part of Chinon Castle and used Marçay as a royal hunting lodge.

The fief of Marçay passed among various lords until the Wars of Religion partially destroyed the castle. Abandoned for nearly 150 years, Marçay remained the property of the clergy of Poitou.

Eventually the castle was restored in a Renaissance style, with archery slits in the four great towers converted to windows. During the French Revolution, the fleurs-de-lis that used to be displayed on the towers were scratched off as “ornaments of feudalism.”

Pamela’s Perspective

The Château de Marçay wins my vote as the best castle hotel in the Loire Valley with its classic castle architecture, excellent service, and high standard of rooms and cuisine.

Be sure to ask for one of the guest rooms inside the castle. They are beautifully decorated with fine fabrics and, depending on the particular room, feature exposed wood beams, stone walls, leaded windows, paneling, and fireplaces.


Château de Marçay

A 12th-century castle


37500 Chinon
Tel: ++33 (0)2 47 93 03 47
Hotel website
Reserve with

Fast facts

32 rooms, including 4 apartments between the castle, an adjoining wing, and an annex.

Double rooms: 195–301 euros
Suites: from 265 euros
Rates include service.

Open: mid-March until November. Inquire about December opening dates.

Getting there

From Tours, take D-751 southwest to Chinon. Continue south on D-116. The château is signposted.

What to do

On site: swimming pool; tennis
Nearby: Châteaux of the Loire Valley; bicycling; hiking; golf; horseback riding; fishing; hiking; canoeing


After a long day exploring the magnificent châteaux of the Loire Valley, you might decide that the best castle of all is the one you are temporarily calling home. There’s nothing quite like walking outside the front door after a fine dinner and watching the moon illuminate the white stone walls of “your” castle, or noticing the lamp glowing from the window in “your” turret room. On quiet nights you might even forget what century you’re in.

A medieval atmosphere still exists in this castle. It features timbered ceilings, secret passageways, and delightful tower rooms.

Guest rooms can be located in either the château, the “west wing,” a new structure that is connected to the castle, or an annex that is a short walk away. Rooms are decorated in a French country house style.

The Château de Marçay belongs to the Relais & Châteaux association, which assures you of an utterly divine experience.

Something special

curlicueExcellent cuisine

curlicueThe wine cellar is beneath the castle in a former underground passage.