Last year, this very week, I was at one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed. As a true fan of France (I know, not everyone is), I was excited to venture to Burgundy for the first time. Known as one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world, it did not disappoint. If you are looking for a place to venture to on a trip to Europe, I can not say enough about this tranquil and gorgeous place.
When researching a place to stay, this monastery dating back to 1113 seemed enchanting. Owned by the well renowned Relais & Chateaux hotel group and run by a very nice English couple, the Abbaye de la Bussiere is rich with history and high on luxury.
The hotel itself has only 16 rooms of differing sizes and decor. We stayed in the Marcilly Superior Room, which had plenty of room and a large bathroom. The hotel has two restaurants, a more casual bistro and a fine dining restaurant. Both were delicious and offered traditional French food with a modern twist. The breakfast pastries still linger in my dreams.
When visiting the local wineries, the hotel set us up with a lovely guide who drove us to some of the regions most exclusive vineyards. No big crowds, just private tastings in some of France's oldest caves with some very snarky French wine makers. She was able to set up all the delivery of the wine we purchased and advise on what to buy from the particular vintages. Burgundy grapes produce mostly pinot noirs and light chardonnays, which makes for very fun wine tastings.
The surrounding area is great for bike rides, motor sport driving (the hotel has some sport cars you can rent), exploring ancient villages, and general wine consumption. Beaune is the largest town nearby which is worth a trip and lunch.
The Abbaye is located 124 miles Southeast of Paris. You can rent a car and drive or take a train from Paris to Dijon, then hire a car to take you to the Abbaye. All arrangements can be made through the hotel.
If you are lucky enough to be venturing to Europe sometime soon, this could be the escape that will help you fall in love with France. That is if you were not already.