Courtney Whitaker checks into the Hotel Manoir Les Minimes, Amboise, France.

Location:

Amboise is in the heart of the Loire Valley, meaning you are in an excellent spot to visit the surrounding chateaux and vineyards. An added bonus of staying at the Manoir is that you are at the foot of the imposing Chateau d'Amboise, a five-minute walk from the hotel.

Getting there: The Manoir is easy to find, being on the main road by the river, Quai Charles Guinot. Amboise is an easy two-hour jaunt down the A10 from Paris, and the hotel has free and secure carparking onsite.

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Hotel: This recently renovated 18th Century manor house was built on the foundations of the old Minimes medieval Monastery, and sits between the Loire river and the Chateau d'Amboise. The hotel has 13 rooms and two suites and has elegant interiors decorated with traditional French antique furniture.

Check-in experience: Paul was an energetic and good-humoured host, helping us with our plethora of bags up two flights of stairs. Note: there is no lift, so book a room on a lower floor, unless you travel light.

Room: A Charme Room on the second floor and with a stunning view overlooking the Chateau d'Amboise. Low wooden beams and tasteful furniture gave a real sense of being in an old manor house. A flat-screen TV somehow didn't look out of place in this elegantly appointed space, and a large old wooden wardrobe held a safe and fluffy robes.

A nice touch was the card left in the room after turndown service in the evenings, outlining the next day's weather forecast.

Bed: Comfortable king with lovely soft linen.

Bathroom: Modern and clean with a deep soaking tub and excellent shower pressure. The bathroom was kitted out with all of the mod cons, including shaving power points and a hairdryer, and had a full-length mirror on the door. Excellent attention to detail here.

Toiletries: Atelier Cologne Pomelo Paradis by Maison de Parfum Paris.

Facilities: Although the hotel doesn't have a restaurant, drinks can still be ordered from reception and enjoyed on the downstairs garden terrace. There is also a library with a computer available to guests, and a selection of international newspapers. The concierge service is also helpful in finding you the perfect place to dine, or to advise you on the best chateaux to visit. They also offer a laundry service.

Food and drink: Breakfast is served in the dining room each morning at a cost of $30 per person. This includes a selection of pastries, juice, coffee, cereals and fruit.

Wi-Fi: Free.

Noise: Because this is an old building there was the odd creak from floorboards or the staircase, but we slept very well.

Price: Rooms start from $260 per night.

Contact: manoirlesminimes.com
Perfect for: Couples hoping to experience the magic of the Loire Valley.