On our recent trip to the Loire Valley, David and I found a true gem of a bed and breakfast. Since I had lived in downtown Tours (one of the largest cities in the Loire Valley) twice before, we decided to try something a bit different.
Since we were planning to rent a car, it made sense to stay in a smaller town or village. Parking would be less of a hassle and we'd get to experience some of the natural beauty that the Loire countryside has to offer. Plus the major sightseeing destinations on our list were located in the countryside as well.
This is how we stumbled upon La Rochelière, a B&B in the famous wine-producing town of Vouvray. Having visited some of Vouvray's wine caves on my previous trips, I was excited by the opportunity to return and spend more time there.
Neither Vouvray nor La Rochelière disappointed in any way. In fact, they really were the cherry on top of a wonderful trip. While we spent most of our time out exploring the Loire Valley, the time we did spend at the hotel was extremely relaxing and peaceful.
The B&B is set behind a gate on a narrow road in the center of Vouvray. It shares a wall with the ancient cathedral next door. La Rochelière has a few structures, all of which date back centuries. The very friendly Finnish couple that runs the B&B has carried out a lot of renovations on the property, making it very hospitable while maintaining the original character.
The main building offers an adorable kitchen where breakfast is served each morning (more on that in a moment). There's also a community living room with books, games, and plenty of brochures and information on nearby tourist attractions. This building also houses most of the rooms.
Unique Rooms and a Rooftop Pool
There is another structure up a flight of stairs from the courtyard that houses the final room—the one we stayed in. This room, called la Cave, is built into the side of the hill. While it is technically a cave, the room is beautiful, charming, and actually very cozy. We really enjoyed the decor, which is a mix of classical French pieces with some whimsical touches. As an added bonus, we visited during a heatwave (it was between 88 and 95 degrees everyday) and this room stays extremely cool. It's also very dark at night, so we slept well.
On the roof of this "building" is another major attraction of La Rochelière: the pool. The pool has an excellent view of the surrounding countryside. There's also a traditional Finnish sauna that guests can book for a fee.
There is also a lovely courtyard with outdoor tables at the top of the stairs. We enjoyed one very pleasant evening out here with some local wine and cheese, which I highly recommend!
Hosts that Go Above and Beyond
We had a wonderful experience at La Rochelière. The owners are extremely accommodating and friendly. Our morning chats with them over breakfast, which gave us a chance to hear about the B&B's history and renovation, were particularly memorable. David also really enjoyed the freshly baked bread, croissants, and madeleines. I stuck to tea and gluten-free madeleines from the local Auchan supermarket, but still really enjoyed the ambience of the kitchen and our morning conversations.
There are many accommodation options in the Loire Valley—from chain hotels to many guesthouses—but I highly recommend booking la Cave at La Rochelière. The rates are very reasonable (around €100/night for all of the rooms) and the village location is incredibly charming.
You'll have room to park a car and, from the B&B, you can easily drive to any of the Loire's top destinations. We visited (and highly recommend checking) out Amboise, Chambord, Chenonceau, and Tours. The area also offers some great dining options, not to mention hundreds of wine tasting rooms.
We had a very memorable dinner at the nearby La Cave in Montlouis—not to be confused with our room name, there are a lot of caves in the Loire Valley. On our last night in Vouvray, we also enjoyed a delicious dinner at La Scala, an Italian restaurant a short walk's distance from La Rochelière. The nearby location of the Auchan supermarket was also very convenient.
Vouvray, also the name of the town's famous wine, is available in semi-sweet, brut, and sparkling (pétillant). Grab a bottle and you'll have all the ingredients you need for the perfect Loire Valley getaway!