A unique new place buried in the Burgundy countryside quite near Auxerre in a network of leafy lanes with hardly a dwelling sight once you’re enveloped in its vast garden.
Unique? We see it as possibly the only luxury chambres d’hote in France (but see below). Regular chambres d’hote cost typically 100 euros a night. Prices here start at 325 euros on a weekday in low season. This buys not only a very comfortable room and the wonderfully reposeful setting but a large swimming pool, a small gym, a Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, massage, large games room, spectacular glasshouse and stylish, rustic-chic drawing room not to mention personal service.
It will please people who are not on a budget and who like their luxury unflashy and understated with a private house atmosphere – there are just 4 junior suites and one suite with 2 connecting rooms. However, soon after we visited its official status changed from a luxury chambres d’hôte to a 5 star hotel. This reflects the quality of what goes on here, but regardless of official category, this place still has the characteristics of a luxury guesthouse.
The lovely mellow buildings date from the Middle Ages and they are smothered in roses which will endear, not to mention make jealous any northern European gardener.
Dinner is a four-course fixed price menu that changes every day, cooked and served by the amazingly hardworking hosts, Marieke and Rik Klomp. La Borde used to be their private second home – when the children grew up they decided to make it pay its way. Rik explains, a little wearily, that he learned about hospitality when the place was filled with visiting friends during the long summer holidays in order to keep the children amused.
Don’t leave without taking in the garden which is officially classed a Jardin Remarquableand is open to the public at certain times.