A converted cognac distillery on the banks of the River Charente
Food & wine | History & culture | Relaxation | Spa
Hôtel Chais Monnet & Spa is situated the banks of the River Charente in the medieval town of Cognac, in southwestern France. Hôtel Chais Monnet & Spa is a converted cognac trading house on the banks of the River Charente, with butter-soft interiors in an oak-beamed mansion and a fine-dining Michelin starred restaurant Les Foudres in the barrel-lined cellar. There’s an ultra-modern edge too, though – architect Didier Poignant’s striking glass pavilion sits above the pool and spa, and there’s a rooftop with sushi bar beneath a lattice of iron girders. The old cooperage has been transformed into a cocktail-shaking jazz bar, and there’s a luxury brasserie La Distillerie in a former warehouse refitted by local carpenters.
92 rooms, including 10 suites and a selection of apartments, rooms are elegantly designed in shades of cream and taupe, with Louis XV style armchairs and beds dress with luxury linens.
Starred-chef Marc-Antoine Lepage oversees the fine dining restaurant Les Foudres, open just for dinner, where the finest gourmet creations are served up in the old cathedral cellar lined with time-worn cognac barrels. Lepage sources farm-fresh produce from across southern France – expect creamy Poitou goats cheese, legendary Echiré butter, and fines de claire oysters from the Atlantic coast. a seasonal set menu devised by the chef each week. If you’ve any appetite between meals, pop into Angélique Café for just-baked cakes and pastries, alongside Le Parti du Thé tea and a bespoke blend of Merling coffee.
Live jazz takes centre stage under the vaulted ceiling at Le 1838, which is housed in the maison’s old cooperage and is open daily from 5.30pm to 1am. The cognac connoisseur can pick from several hundred local varieties behind the bar, or enjoy one of the signature cocktails created by talented barmaid Roxanne Remmery – go for The Road Jack if you like the sound of Cognac VS, white Pineau des Charentes, lemon thyme syrup, floral honey and a dash of sparkling water.
The heated pool is long enough for lengths and has a Jacuzzi at one end and an open-air section.
The impeccable spa and beauty salon offer a full suite of treatments, including massages and body scrubs using Codage & Kos products. There’s a fitness room, a sensorial shower, hammam and sauna, too.
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