Chateau de Challain        

 Main st Maine et Loire 49440 Challain-la-Potherie − France

Built in 1854 by one of the most eminent families of France (La Rochefoucauld) Chateau Challain is an exceptional example of net-gothic romanticism. A labour of love finished by Madame Rochefoucauld after the tragic death of her husband, the chateau offers everything you could possibly imagine from a structure of its’ grandeur. 

Chateau de Challain

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The earliest recorded chateau on our site dates all the way back to the medieval age in 1050, in a time of knights and chivalry. The original castle was probably part of the ‘Les Marches de Bretagne’ a series of fortresses that acted as a defensive line that protected the people of the ancient region of France known as Brittany. That chateau, and many others that followed it were destroyed in the wars, and conflicts that wracked the area in the centuries that followed.

But our story truly starts with Louise-Ida de La Potherie, an exceptional woman that lived through some of France’s most turbulent times. She was the last of her line, from a noble family steeped in history. Her was father a famous colonel that fought in the Spanish wars, and against the forces of revolution, her only brother was killed in a duel. Alone, in this difficult period she finally found the love of her life, Le comte de La Rochefoucauld-Bayers. They married, and sought to make a refuge for themselves in the seat of her ancestral home. Together they set about to build a sanctuary, a testament of their love, and it is this monument that we know as the ‘Chateau Challain’.

Work began in 1847, they commissioned Parisian architect Louis Visconti, famed for designing the Louvre extension, to replace the original 16th century castle. The owners chose Rene Hode, a well-known Angevin architect to oversee the building project. The chateau was designed to commemorate the passing of time. Its 4 towers represent the seasons, 12 turrets represent the lunar months, 26 spiral staircases represent the fortnights per year, 52 fireplaces represent the weeks of the year, and 365 windows represent each passing day. It covers an area of 7,600 square meters (nearly 82,000 square feet).

Over 700 artisans worked on the construction, and although worked progressed quickly it was far from straightforward, with the work being delayed by yet another revolution in 1848. With the work close to completion tragedy struck once more. In the early winter of 1854, and in the shadow of the nearly completed chateau Le Comte died. Heartbroken, and with two children, Louise, now Countess La Rochefoucauld-Bayers, was determined to see the project through to the end, and personally oversaw the final stages of construction.

Ultimately, the chateau became one of the grandest private French homes of the 19th century. It boasts a wealth of architectural detail, including intricate woodcarvings, Gothic panelling and sculptures, large working fireplaces, and hand painted ceilings. It is situated on a beautifully manicured estate, which occupies one corner of a quaint village. Because of the property’s ambiance and the design of the castle itself, Chateau Challain is often referred to as the "Neo-Gothic Jewel of Anjou" or "Le Petite Chambord.”

In 2002, the Nicholson family purchased Chateau Challain and began the painstaking process of restoring the castle to its original splendour. Together with an international team of craftsman, the Nicholsons continue to restore, preserve, and protect this valuable piece of French history.

The Empress Suite

Lavishly decorated in a baroque style this suite, situated on the northern side of the chateau, with stunning views of the across the whole of the front gardens, The Empress is chamber of choice for our honoured guests.

Not one element is out of place, from the elegantly draped four poster bed, to the upholstered wall coverings. The high coffered ceilings stand regally above the tall wooden windows and doors. A hand crafted period rug sits well on the polished wooden floors, trimmed with their panelled wainscot. The comfortable sofa and matching arm chairs compliment the other well chosen pieces of furniture that dress the room.

The ensuite bathroom with its decoupage wall covering, and paisley motif offer everything one might associate with a room of this class. From large walk in shower, with its stone floor, and marble aspect, to the well lit vanity, the attention to detail is imperiously stunning.

The Amboise Suite

One of the central rooms of the chateau, the Amboise offers simple comfort, with spectacular views from the tall windows of the south facing gardens, with their detailed topiary and lake. The subtle decoration, with its upholstered walls, wainscoted wooden panelling, and rose marble fireplace say simplistic yet elegant charm. The vintage oak four poster bed sits perfectly on the polished wooden floors.

The adjoining room has its own four poster daybed, with views of the garden. And has a fine selection of tea, and coffee. This suite has a shared bathroom conveniently located on the same floor, in the north eastern tower. Equipped with a shower, W.C, and vanity, and in-keeping with the style of the original room.

Madame de la Rochefoucauld Suite

The Duchess de la Rochefoucauld finished the construction of the chateau in 1854, so it is no surprise to find that she chose this room as her personal chambre.

This large bedroom, with its classically painted coffered ceiling has majestic views of the southern facing gardens of the chateau, and lake. The gilded canopied bed is in keeping with the bureau, causette, and other stylish pieces of furniture that adorn the main room. The upholstered walls dressed with various pieces of art, are in dedicated balance with the wood paneled wainscot, and polished wooden floors.

The large mirror over the wooden fireplace, is offset by a rather decadent bath tub. The suite also includes a shower, and ornate basin. The adjoining bedroom provides a double bed, with central views of the gardens.

The Napoleon Suite

This room is seductively designed in a period boudoir style. Drawn in black and white, with splashes of red, the fabric hung walls go perfectly with the black coffered ceiling.

The antique four-poster bed, sits comfortably with the different objets d’art that fittingly decorate this chamber. With its own bureau, luxuriously comfortable armchair with pedestal, The Napoleon suite offers the ideal respite for the tired traveller.

The black marbled fireplace rests between the wooden paneled wainscot, the tall windows grant central views of the front gardens and memorial tower.

The adjoining single bedroom also offers central views of the gardens, with a daybed and a chest of drawers. These bedrooms have a shared bathroom conveniently located on the same floor, in the north eastern tower. Fitted with a shower, W.C, and vanity, all with the boudoir theme throughout.

The Romance Suite

As the name suggests The Romance Suite is the ideal room for those intimate nights for two. Historically it is the chamber that our newly weds choose to spend their first night together, for rest of their lives.

The original vaulted ceiling has been delicately restored. The upholstered walls perfectly frame the tall windows overlooking the well manicured front gardens, and the memorial tower.

The large ornate four poster bed provides the comfort one would assume for a piece of this elegance. Decorated in red with splashes of ivory, the well furnished piece offers both style and comfort. The rose marble fireplace simply adds that final note of authenticity.

Featuring the most spacious en suite bathroom in the whole of the chateau. Greco-Roman in style this tiled bathroom provides a roll top bath tub, a ‘his and hers’ stone basin dresser, and a generous walk-in shower.

The Breakfast Room can be found to the right of the main bedroom. A fine selection of Tea, coffee, and patisseries can be enjoyed as you take in the surrounding splendour together.

The Royal Suite

History dictates that your higher your status, the closer to the ground floor you slept. With this majestic room being located on the ground floor and south side of the chateau, it’s truly fit for a king.

Featuring the tallest four poster bed in the property, and some of the most exquisite artisanal carpentry.

The stunning attention to detail of the elaborately hand carved neo-gothic furniture is gently illuminated by the vintage chandelier that hangs high in the ceiling. The impressive windows, draped in their fleur de lis valance, look out onto the south side of the chateau, with a vista of the lake and lawn.

In keeping with the Royal theme, the annexed bedroom of this suite is known as the ‘Princess Tower’. From the any of the three beds (one double, with two single four-poster) contained within the south western tower, you can wonder at the historically protected original hand-painted walls and ceiling, all picked out in gold.

The Royal bath suite has been elegantly restored, it has floor to ceiling tiling and boasts a large Italian shower and bathtub. Nestled between all of these rooms is the Breakfast Room, which offers yet more views on the grounds.

The Tower Suite

The Tower Suite is the epitome of understated, refined elegance, and is often used by our brides on the penultimate night of the wedding.

One of the first things to stand out, as you enter this room, is the modest coffered ceiling which is typical of this period. The large ornate mirror which sits above the rose marble fireplace enhances this already naturally well lit room. The high classic windows grant views of the grounds.The polished wooden floors compliment the simple yet stylish wall tapestries which reflect the beauty of the comfortable hand-crafted four poster bed.

The Breakfast room comes complete with its own seated area where you can enjoy the views of the southern garden, and a bed for additional guests. The vaulted ceiling simply finishes the piece. The natural light which floods the chamber is ideal for your hair and make-up artists. In the Tower’s Bathroom the hand painted wall covering above the fireplace sets the tone.

With its own shower, vanity, toilet, and wardrobe space this well equipped powder room provides both class and functionality.

Toile De Jouy Suite

Another one of our most popular suites, classically decorated, and upholstered in an eighteen century Toile de Jouy. Adorned with the luxurious furnishing that one would expect from this period, this suite will take you back in time to a more peaceful era.

South facing, with exceptional views of the of the gardens and lake, the themes of pastoral tranquility are echoed in the delicate hues of the chamber.

The tall four poster bed is in harmony with the other exquisitely chosen pieces of furniture, such as the beautiful marble fireplace topped with it’s ornate mirror, or the comfortable sofa in which one can gaze upon the natural surroundings. With its vaulted coffered ceiling, paneled wainscot, and polished floors, this room from top the bottom is quite simply perfect.

Pink Lela

Adorned with a luxurious double bed, and contemporary furniture, this comfortable room offers wonderful views of the chateau. The en-suite bathroom delivers everything you could possibly imagine, with its own vanity unit conveniently situated in the room.

The room has its own closet space, and fast wi-fi. Its vibrant decor is often favored by our younger couples.

Tuscan Ryder

Classic splendour defines this room, a mix of the modern and new with its stone walls and marvelously painted woodwork. The stunning views of the chateau add just that little extra, along with the super fast Wi-Fi. It has its own en-suite bathroom, with an ornate vanity in the room.

Wake up to one of the most marvellous views in the chateau.


With its coffered ceiling, and luxurious double bed, adorned with its own chandelier The Graystone is one of the most refined rooms in the Coach House.

You can admire the neo-gothic splendour of the chateau from its windows. The walk in bathroom is delicately tiled in balance with the rest of the room. It has its own closet space, and access to the high speed Wi-Fi. The ideal refuge for the weary traveller.


This family room offer a large double bed, and two singles. The spacious interior is subtly decorated with high coffered ceilings. The tastefully tiled bathroom has its own shower and toilet. A vanity sink is conveniently located in the room. With high speed wi-fi throughout the room, this makes the ideal room for a family getaway break.

Sky Blue

Tranquility and charm are the words that come to mind when describing this delightful room. With its coffered ceilings, light pastel color themes, and exposed stone walls this room is one of the guest favorites. The tastefully decorated bathroom has its own shower, and vanity, all elegantly tiled.

The view from its tall windows overlooks the grounds and the stunning chateau. The room has an excellent Wi-Fi connection.


Subtly decorated in soft shades, with elegant fabrics, contemporary furniture, and offering spectacular views of the chateau, it’s easy to see why this is one our most popular suites in the Coach House.

The en-suite bathroom is compact and functional, the room comes with a large vanity, and high speed free Wi-Fi. The high coffered ceiling tops this exceptional room.

The Gate House

Guests of the Gate House enjoy complete privacy along with full access to the grounds of the chateau. With accommodation for up to five guests, the two-story Gate House is a perfect choice for families.

The alfresco dining area enjoys views of the north garden and the chateau.

Memorial Elopement

Memorialize your perfect moment in our tower built as a testimony to love. Your elopement ceremony can be held in the front gardens of the chateau by the Memorial Tower - it makes the ideal location to declare your love for one another.

Garden Elopement

Make your vows under our beautiful gazebo, the perfect backdrop for your ceremony at the most romantic chateau in France.

Cathedral Elopement

Walk down the aisle of the majestic 18th century cathedral just outside the gates of Chateau Challain. Catholic and non-denominational services can be catered for.

Fairytale Elopement

The magical setting of Chateau Challain is perfect for your Fairytale elopement. With this package your wedding night will be spent in the Tower Suite - a favourite of all our princess brides.

Elopement Boutique Options

Each of our elopement packages, although simply stunning as they stand, are upgradable with our delightful boutique options, for those that desire a little more. Simply put, choose your elopement here at Chateau Challain, then if you wish, add the boutique options of your choice to create your own finely tailored unique experience.

The Champagne Surprise

Spoil yourself to flowers, chocolates, and chilled champagne awaiting your arrival.

Midnight in Paris

Complete your fairytale in Paris, the city of love. Our photographer will accompany you to treasure the moments forever. Spending your last night in a luxury hotel in the centre of Paris.

The VIP Guest List

Want to share the Chateau Challain experience with a selected few? We can accommodate and cater for your guests.

The Gold Servie

Breakfast in bed, concierge service, massage on demand make up The Gold Service. Why not pamper yourselves to our extra special service.

Horse & Carriage

Be that Princess and let us transport you back in time with our antique carriage, and white stallion. Travel in elegance on your special day.

Castle & Vineyard

Explore the castle and the beauty of the French vineyards, and maybe enjoy a few glasses too.

Gourmet French Experience

We offer you the chance to sample the best of French cuisine. From wine, and cheese tasting experiences to the best French cuisine made by our local Michelin starred chefs.

OffWith a Bang

End your perfect day with your own firework display, our professional photographers on hand to capture the moment.


Please fill this form for individuals or for groups and you shall receive an answer written by a live person at Chateau de Challain. This is the only way you can know exactly what room types are available for the dates you want, and the best possible rate, because you are dealing directly with the hotel.
Bear in mind that websites set up to give an automatic answer, work with allocated quotas given by the hotel, therefore when it appears there are no rooms available for the date you want, this is not necessarily true, because they never allocate ALL the rooms to third parties.

Hotel: Chateau de Challain

Address: Main st Maine et Loire 49440 Challain-la-Potherie

Region: Centre (Loire Valley)

Country: France

Official website:

Telephone: + 33 2 41 92 74 26

Fax: + 33 299 96 21 64

Hotel email:

From Paris:
From Charles De Gaulle Airport, follow A1 to Paris. Continue to the center of Paris. As you enter Paris, go in the direction of Porte Clignancourt on the Periphérique (Periphérique is the ring road around the city). Just after Porte Orléans exit onto A 6a / A 10 Direction Bordeaux / Nantes, follow signs Bordeaux A 10. At the A 10 / A 11 split, follow A 11 Direction Le Mans/ Nantes. As you enter Angers, A 11 becomes N23. Continue through Angers towards Nantes. N23 becomes A 11 Exit 18 direction Candé / Chateaubriant D963. Keep right at the fork. On your approach to Candé take the ring road around Candé, you will see a sign for the chateau on the third roundabout. Take the first right on to the D6. As you approach the village of Challain la Potherie, the Chateau is on your right. Please come through the gates and we will greet you.

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