Top Champagne hotels off the beaten track

The moated mansion of Château d’Etoges, an enchanting idyll in the Côte des Blancs.

Wine enthusiasts will want more from Champagne than tourists craving a bubbly one-night pit-stop with a quick visit to a big name house as they break up their journey to somewhere else.

But wine enthusiasts exploring Champagne face a challenge. You may have visited famous houses’ cellars and reception centres in Reims and Epernay before, but this often means you miss out on the vineyards, scenery and myriad small family producers of the region, all situated outside of the main towns.

So here is the inside dope on Champagne’s rural hotel havens which will get you up close to the soul of the world’s favourite fizz.

Authentic pilgrims you may be, but you will also sleep well, be delighted and eat good food. Have no fear that you are virgin trailblazers of unknown Champagne: I have tested all of the recommendations firsthand, most quite often, and they offer stunning stays for a range of tastes and pockets.

How this guide works:

Each hotel recommendation includes a price range indicator (£-£££££), but do check hotel websites as prices can vary with the season and availability. Book as early as you can, and check if your booking allows you to cancel and by when.

I also comment on the quality of the hotel’s restaurant, or of those nearby if the accommodation does not have one. And of course, I recommend the very best Champagne producers to visit close by.

Remember to contact houses and domaines in advance to reserve a time to visit and taste – and be on time. It goes without saying that getting off the beaten track means travelling by car with a good GPS system – all the better if you plan to take bottles of Champagne home with you. Current rules specify that 12 bottles of sparkling wine per person can be taken over the UK border. Most recommendations here have secure free parking.

Hotel Recommendations

The below recommendations are grouped by area: Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne, Côte des Blancs and Côte des Bars.

Montagne de Reims

Résidence Eisenhower

Champagne Hotels

Résidence Eisenhower. Credit:

Having promised bucolic bliss, my first tip is one for those who prefer to stay in Champagne central. The group behind Champagnes Charles Heidsieck, Piper Heidsieck and Rare Champagne have lovingly restored this large, grand townhouse which billeted General D Eisenhower as the allies swept through northern France in 1945.

The building is newly and impeccably restored in period but mod con taste, with money seemingly no object. With its gorgeous garden, this is currently Champagne’s most exclusive luxury bolthole. Résidence Eisenhower is heaven for private parties, with salon space for socialising as well as privacy. Booking only by private enquiry.

Restaurant: There is no restaurant per se, but breakfast is available and lunches and dinners can be organised. Discuss with the management if you have catered occasions in mind, as Reims has some top food specialists for private events.

Producer visits: Easy access to all of the famous big Champagne houses in Reims. You can also arrange expert-led tastings of the wines from Charles and Piper Heidsieck and Rare at the Eisenhower, in one of the best tasting rooms I have seen in all of Champagne.

Price indicator: £££££

Address: 17, Boulevard Lundy, 51100, Reims

Clos 1753

Champagne Hotels

Nicolas Maillart in the vines. Credit:

Sleeping four couples, this is maybe the best roomy, gite-type self-catering hideaway in all Champagne. The property is set in the courtyard at Champagne Nicolas Maillart. There are four king-size doubles and oodles of living space. A spotless and painstakingly modernised chic house. Book your own tutored tasting of the Maillart range with Nicolas or Lucie. The house is bookable via AirBnb – book well ahead as this is much in demand. If the tranquillity begins to irk, and you need hotspots, Reims is 20 minutes away.

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