Unexpected Luxe Retreat

Mitch contacted us wanting to surprise his husband Chris, mother-in-law Linda, and sister-in-law Lisa with a short break from their upcoming Paris trip.

They had all been many times, in fact Mitch and Chris had their wedding reception at the stunning Le Meurice across from the Tuileries Garden in Paris, but only Mitch had visited the Loire Valley previously. He wanted to spoil Linda with a luxurious and relaxing experience while visiting a château and a wine tasting.

Mitch initially suggested Château de Chambord as it’s the largest and arguably most impressive of the Loire castles.

With vast local knowledge, we let him know we could absolutely include Chambord, but that it was currently covered in quite a bit of scaffolding for necessary repairs. (I personally love seeing the scaffolding, as it is proof that future generations will also be able to enjoy these historical sites. However, it can be very disappointing to many, as it completely obscures the facade.) We wanted to be sure Mitch was aware and he immediately agreed on choosing another gorgeous castle, Château de Chenonceau.

Chris's Tailor-Made Adventure: Bringing Dreams to Life in the Loire Valley

“Mallory and Ben and the entire France of a Lifetime team treated me and my family like royalty. They curated stunning lodging, an unforgettable Michelin star dinner, and wonderful chateaux and wine tours with a private guide. They showed us the hidden gems of the Loire Valley while living in luxury, and I can’t thank their team enough for making my mother’s dream come true!”
Mitch Bach

With a basic plan, Mitch then filled out the France of a Lifetime questionnaire that ensures a trip completely customized to the guest’s interests and preferences. We learned all about their personalities, desired pace of the day, favorite meals and drinks, and Mitch’s expectations and goals for the trip. Armed with this knowledge, we created a relaxing and sumptuous two-day escape from Paris.

We met them with our private driver at a gorgeous ivy-covered 4 star château/hotel, where we had one of our favorite local guides, Laetitia, waiting with delicious Vouvray bubbly. After enjoying a glass, admiring the ambiance, and getting to know each other a bit, Laetitia whisked the family off in her plush Mercedes van to enjoy lunch at one of the amazing restaurants in Amboise. She then gave them a tour of Chenonceau, explaining the fascinating history behind the so-called Ladies’ Château with the elegant and romantic arch over the Cher River.

As is the case in wine country throughout the world, there are innumerable tasting caves and vineyards all over the Loire Valley, each with its own vibe and speciality. Knowing the family is relatively proficient in wine knowledge, we surprised them with a more quirky boutique vineyard rather than a major producer they had likely already tried. Laetita, who is also a wine expert, explained the intricacies of the Vouvray appellation as the family tasted several glasses.

Knowing from the questionnaire that they prefer more luxurious accommodations, we surprised them with gorgeous upgraded suites, including the best room in the castle for Mitch and Chris. While they were off touring the area, we arranged our signature gift bags and made sure their rooms were perfect for their arrival. Ben and I waited eagerly for them to return to the hotel to discover the unexpected suites before dinner. Almost immediately after Laetitia dropped the family off, I received a text from Mitch:

“Wow, Mallory,  these rooms!! Linda started tearing up and gave a little jump for joy! Absolutely stunning. And your welcome packs were so lovely. Perfect day.”

Everyone was so excited, they asked if we could push their dinner reservations a bit, which of course we did, with the hotel’s agreement.

When they were ready, the family went downstairs to the onsite Michelin-starred restaurant for dinner. I soon received another text:

“The hotel is absolutely stunning. Mind-blowingly excellent. At dinner now, it’s sublime.[…] Linda just said this dinner was one of the top three of her lifetime! Your choice of hotel and restaurant made the whole day extraordinary on top of everything else.”

Mitch had been traveling a lot for business and asked for a massage the following morning at the onsite spa, which we easily set up for him. Everyone enjoyed a relaxing morning in their luxurious bathrooms and soaking up the sun on the lovely estate, balancing out the perfectly chaotic Parisian portion of their adventure in France.

Mitch, Chris, Linda, and Lisa: Thank you so much for trusting us with your rejuvenating countryside break from Paris! We loved meeting you all and look forward to creating another magical memory for your family in the future!

Create Your Own Adventure

Your Adventure Your Way

We believe that your vacation should be as unique as you are. Beyond crafting itineraries, we’re creators of experiences, artisans of adventure. Imagine each destination as a brushstroke on your journey’s canvas. It’s like crafting a story, where you’re the central character.

Envision France as the backdrop, seamlessly interwoven with your narrative. This is more than travel; it’s an alchemy, where the spirit of France and your dreams and passions merge to craft a love story that’s singularly yours.

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