chateau de pray

Photos courtesy of Château de Pray








Since the Loire is easy to cross at this point, the site has always been strategically important. A fortress has existed here since the 6th century. Named after Geoffroy de Pray, the Château de Pray has been home to a long line of families closely connected with the French royal court who resided at the Château d’Amboise.

This circa 1244 Renaissance house was built around the same time as the Château d’Amboise. Perhaps because of its small size, the Château de Pray always had an owner to protect it from the ravages of time: Elizabeth I’s commissioner of artillery in 1631, a councilor to the kings of Spain and France in the 18th century, and later, one of Lafayette’s officers.

Pamela’s Perspective

I’ve always like the Château de Pray. It’s quiet and without the fuss of some of the more luxurious château hotels of France, creating, in my opinion, a more authentic castle experience.

If you are on a budget, the hotel offers four rooms in a “Renaissance Pavillion” apart from the main building. Pay the extra money and stay inside the château; it’s much nicer.


Château de Pray

A 13th-century castle


Route de Chargé
37400 Amboise
Tel: ++33 (0)2 47 57 23 67
Hotel website
Reserve with

Fast facts

19 rooms

Double rooms: from 139–285 euros
Junior Suite: 270–290 euros Rooms in “Renaissance
Pavilion” (annex) 170–250 euros

Open: last week of January through mid-November; December

Getting there

The hotel is located 2 km east of Amboise on D-751.

What to do

On site: swimming pool
Nearby: Amboise and the châteaux of the Loire Valley; golf; horseback riding; tennis; bicycling; wine tasting


The Château de Pray was one of the first Loire castles to open as a hotel in 1955. Located near the magnificent Château d’Amboise, it makes a fine introduction to experience the atmosphere of a French country manor house.

After a day of sightseeing, you can relax in the château’s cozy lounge among a 19th-century tiled fireplace, rich wood paneling, antiques, and leaded-glass windows, or linger in the garden with its lovely views of the Loire.

An attractive staircase leads to the charming guest rooms, many with four-poster or canopied beds.

The dining room at Château de Pray is highly regarded, and it’s wise to make a reservation. The restaurant is set in two rooms: one is all in shades of gold, while the second features stained glass windows, beautiful tapestries, and a fine, sculpted-wood fireplace.

Something special

curlicueOne of the few château hotels located along the Loire River