Weekend Luxury News / Suite Life: Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa, France / By Belinda Craigie / www.luxurytravelmag.com.au/Sedat Karagoz / Istanbul,New York Travel,Tourism News Office / Janbolat Khanat Almaty Travel,Tourism News Office
Royal Junior Suite / Size: 44m2 (474 sqft)
Price per night: From €992 (about AUD $1,090) per night, B&B.
Review by: Belinda Craigie / royalchampagne.com
Notes: The suite is wheelchair accessible.
Why stay here?
Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa is an exceptional base from which to discover one of the world’s most recognisable and prestigious wine regions. The exterior unfolds impressively over the vine-dotted hills of Champillon, surveying the Marne Valley, Champagne capital, Épernay, and the quaint town of Hautvillers (burial site of famed Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon). Following an extensive renovation of what was formerly a coaching inn, the hotel opened in 2018 with a luxurious, contemporary feel.
Design and sustainability notes
Horses are a motif that feature throughout the design in a nod to the region’s regal heritage. French kings were traditionally crowned at the nearby Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims, and the coaching inn is said to have been a favourite stopover of Napoleon Bonaparte.
In Le Royal restaurant, diners will find themselves encircled by portraits of the significant women in Napoleon’s life, with dinner plates illustrated with words from his love letters. The structured, patinated gold ceiling and centrepiece chandelier, featuring 36 blown-glass orbs, evoke the effervescence of champagne.
Room key cards are made of wood, and there are no plastic water bottles to be seen—glass bottles are in rooms, with Tetrapak water bottles in the spa.
The Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant, Le Royal, helmed by chef Maxime Férique, has an elevated, five-course tasting menu as well as à la carte options. Beautifully presented dishes are made with the finest ingredients and local produce, including herbs from the gardens and honey harvested from hives on the grounds. The service is well choreographed and feels near effortless in its timing and precision.
Each month, chef sommelier Philippe Marques selects a champagne house partner to spotlight, with wine pairings served in delicate, handmade Zalto stemware. I enjoyed tasting my way through libations from Champagne A. Bergère and found Marques to be generous and engaging in offering his expertise and insights on each pairing.
Next door, the palpably elegant Le Bellevue restaurant is where an extensive buffet breakfast is served, as well as à la carte brasserie menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Abysse Bar links the two restaurants and, in the warmer months, dining moves outside to an expansive terrace overlooking the region’s rolling vines.
Spa and wellness
The sprawling spa has an indoor swimming pool, nine treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzis. A yoga studio and fitness room with state-of-the-art equipment are available, and an outdoor pool is heated for year-round use.
The special touches
Guests can opt for the Royal Sleep Experience, designed to encourage a peaceful slumber. A kit of travel-sized products, including a sleep mist and melatonin drops by French wellness brand AIME, is provided with a sleep mask and a meditation box. At turn-down, a sweet treat and herbal tea infusion with mint from the hotel garden are left.
Champagne houses can be difficult to visit freely, so the hotel’s Champagne Chauffeur package—which provides a customised itinerary of appointments with top houses and a dedicated driver to chaperone—is somewhat of an insider’s way to experience the region. The package also includes dinner at Le Royal restaurant and a private tasting with chef sommelier, Philippe Marques.
If you want to upgrade
The 110m2 Josephine Suite has a separate living room, dressing room, and a bathroom featuring a luxurious bathtub made with local travertine.