Château La Chenevière Hotel is an 18th century manor house in Normandy that makes for a great base from which to explore the D-Day beaches and the town of Bayeux. Three members of the ToP team recently spent a night at this Hyatt Small Luxury Hotels of the World property when touring Normandy and the D-Day beaches. The beautiful grounds, various amenities, and incredible food more than make-up for the modest rooms.
I redeemed 35,000 World of Hyatt points for a one-night stay, which I transferred from my Chase Sapphire Preferred(review). Château La Chenevière is a category 7 property. This means award nights can cost 25,000 points for off-peak nights, 30,000 points standard, and 35,000 points on peak nights.
Château La Chenevière is located in the small town of Port en Bessin, and just 10 minutes by car from Bayeux. Bayeux is famous for its cathedral and the Bayeux Tapestry, which tells the story of the Norman conquest of England in 1066.
The hotel’s location is excellent for exploring the D-Day beaches. Omaha Beach and the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial are less than 20 minutes away. The farthest beach is Utah Beach, about 45 minutes away. Fans of Band of Brothers will want to make the drive to Utah Beach and the surrounding area. Château La Chenevière is just 15 minutes away from the nearest highway, which also makes this a good base for exploring the rest of Normandy.
We arrived at the hotel early in the morning to meet our tour guide. Our rooms weren't ready since the hotel was sold out for the weekend. The front desk attendant offered to keep our bags for the day while we went on our D-Day tour.
We asked about dinner and the staff member explained that the main restaurant offered a prix fixe tasting menu. She added that reservations were highly encouraged. We made a reservation and went off on our tour.
When we returned in the evening, check-in was quick and uneventful. After giving a credit card and filling out a brief form with our contact information, staff members escorted each of us to our rooms.
One of us was globalist, and the other one wasn’t. The hotel did not recognize my Hyatt globalist status. We both received a similar welcome note from the hotel along with some caramel candies, a couple of madeleine cookies, and a large bottle of water. The hotel was sold out for the night, so none of us received any room upgrades.
Château La Chenevière has 29 rooms and suites. Some rooms are in the hotel’s main building, while others are in adjacent buildings just a few steps away.
The rooms were not very impressive. While the rest of the hotel exudes luxury and old-world elegance, the rooms felt more like that of a quaint bed & breakfast. That said, our rooms were spacious and the beds were comfortable. The bathrooms were modern and looked like they had been recently renovated.
The hotel has two restaurants: Le Botaniste and Le Petit Jardin. Le Botaniste is the main restaurant, located in the chateau itself.
Le Petit Jardin is the hotel’s bistro. It offers lunch and dinner, with indoor and outdoor seating. Like Le Botanise, Le Petit Jardin’s menu features plenty of locally-sourced ingredients. Unfortunately, we did not have a chance to eat at Le Petit Jardin, but the restaurant was consistently full.
The hotel also has a bar with two separate sitting areas. The cocktail list is very creative and the couple of cocktails we tried were delicious. As expected of a chateau in France, the wine list was extensive. Guests can also enjoy drinks from the bar and small bites outside near the main entrance to the chateau .
Le Botaniste serves breakfast for hotel guests and is open to the public for dinner. Continental breakfast is included for all guests. For a 10 euro upcharge, guests can enjoy a breakfast buffet. We splurged for the buffet, which did not disappoint. Offerings included many French pastries, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, and bacon. Breakfast service was attentive, efficient, and friendly.
For dinner, the Michelin-recommended Le Botaniste offers a prix fixe farm-to-table menu. The three-course menu costs 68 euro, and the four-course menu costs 89 euro. A couple of different wine pairings were available for an upcharge. We enjoyed the three-course menu, which included a couple of other small bites in addition to the three courses. Every bite of food was excellent.
The one blemish on the dinner experience was the service. From start to finish, dinner took about 3 hours. We had a lot of downtime between courses. The wine pairing stayed on track while dishes were delayed. Refraining from drinking all of our wine while waiting for food was challenging. But dinner was still worth it and the food was some of the best each of us has ever had in Europe.
The grounds of the hotel are one of the highlights. The property’s spacious gardens and lawns are very well-maintained.
The hotel also offers a tennis court and a heated pool with elegant surroundings. The pool faces the dining room for one of the restaurants, which can be a bit awkward for diners and swimmers alike.
The property’s gym was rather limited. It offers a couple of cardio machines and a set of bowflex adjustable dumbbells. Yet the replica of the Bayeux Tapestry along the gym’s walls was a creative touch to remind guests that they are in Normandy.
One of Hyatt's biggest shortcomings is its small footprint. So we were excited to see a Hyatt property in Normandy right where we wanted to stay. Despite the hotel being sold out, it never felt crowded. Dinner aside, service was attentive and efficient. If you're looking for old-world elegance, a comfortable room, and an excellent (but lengthy) dinner while visiting Normandy, look no further than Château La Chenevière.