A historic castle, magical gardens and an infinite view of the countryside, this is the beautiful experience you will live if you decide, like us, to sleep at the castle of La Ballue near Mont Saint Michel.
In this article, we propose you a return in images on our discovery of the hotel Château de la Ballue with our opinion and all the practical information for you too, to relax in this beautiful hotel!
This review is completely independent, we stayed in the area anonymously and paid our bill in full.
Why stay at Château de la Ballue
Among thehotel offer near the Mont-Saint-Michel, the Château de la Ballue is really one of our favorites for several reasons:
- For its Louis XIII style architecture in gilded granite, which makes it a representative castle of western France.
- For its incredible gardens, games of light and shadow, where the geometry of the French gardens has been reinvented and reinterpreted by the successive owners of the castle since 1973, to our great delight.
- For the authenticity of the placeThe house is a real family home, where it is good to enjoy the quietness of the countryside, as many artists could enjoy it before you: the French writers Honoré de Blazac, Victor Hugo, the poet Alfred de Musset or the painter of the School of Paris, Pierre Tal Coat, whom we appreciate a lot.
Is the Château de la Ballue worth it? Our review
Without any hesitation, we recommend you the Château de la Ballue, so much we appreciated the charm of the place, its authenticity. With its 5 rooms, it offers an intimate and luxurious cocoon a few steps away from the lively Mont Saint Michel. We have also included it in our article on luxury hotels near Mont Saint Michel.
After the beauty of the stones of the Mont-Saint-Michel, don’t hesitate to go a few kilometers to relax in this ocean of nature, where you will only have to choose between the contemporary geometry of the gardens and the green countryside surrounding the castle.
A unique opportunity to discover in peace the remarkable gardens of the castle, which borrow from the Italian and French schools, with an ultra-contemporary touch that makes them truly unique. We loved it!
A MAGICAL EXPERIENCE AT Mont-Saint-Michel
Step 2: Decide on your program
- Best things to do at Mont-Saint-Michel
- Mont Saint-Michel Abbey Tower
- The museums of Mont-Saint-Michel
- Where to eat at Mont-Saint-Michel
- Visit Alligator Bay
- Visit the Avranches Scriptorial Museum
- Discover the most beautiful views of Mont-Saint-Michel
Decoration and atmosphere
The decoration skillfully blends a profusion of family furniture, mainly from the 19th century. Between bergères, sofas, pedestal tables, fireplaces…the living rooms are an invitation to discussion and relaxation.
We particularly like the dark tones of the living room walls that enhance the colors of the upholstery and rugs.
The rather mineral and austere atmosphere of the castle stands out at certain moments. This is the case, for example, in the staircase that leads to the rooms, made of granite and a beautiful wooden banister, reminding us that we are in a place built in the 17th century.
The woodwork in the buffet room is a special touch and contributes to the warm and cosy atmosphere of the place.
The rooms are all over 30m2, with 4 meters under the ceiling! They are decorated with care, mixing beautiful patterned wall fabrics, with beautiful pieces of antique furniture.
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Park and gardens
Listed as a Historic Monument since 1999, remarkable gardens since 2005, awarded many times in recent years, they became a place of conservation of the boxwood collection in 2018.
You will love to get lost in the vegetal labyrinth composed of 1500 yew trees, to walk through the birch wood or to fall asleep under the fern grove…
The visit of the gardens is an adventure, constantly renewed, where the perspectives of one day will be jostled by the discoveries of the next day…
Breakfast will be served in the beautiful buffet room in a setting that will be both around you, on the table with silverware and fine china, but also on your plate with a wide range of sweet and savory products that focuses on local and organic productions.
Sauna, swimming pool…
In season (so not in October…), the Château de la Ballue offers to its guests to enjoy a nice swimming pool and to relax in the spa… Happiness…
- 1620: the castle, strategically placed at the border of the countries of Combourg, Dol and Fougères, is built by Count Gilles de Ruellan, a close friend of the king of France Henri IV and the formidable cardinal of Richelieu.
- Revolution: the castle becomes a high place of the fight against the revolution which agitates the west of France and enters the novelistic universe of the writers of the first half of the XIXth. Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac came here to seek inspiration for their works recounting this troubled period in French history.
- XIXth century: the castle becomes a glass factory for more than 30 years, before dying out until the Second World War.
- In 1973, the publisher and author Claude Arthaud (now owned by Flammarion) decided to renovate the château and began restoring the gardens to their former glory with the help of futuristic architects Paul Maymont and François Hebert Stevens, who was also her husband.
- Since 2005, the Mathon family has been living at the castle as a family and working tirelessly to preserve this magical place.
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The proximity of the Mont Saint-Michel and the idyllic and historical setting have a certain cost, but really, the Ballue is worth a little folly!
Practical information on the castle of La Ballue
Type of accommodation / price range
Bed and Breakfast
Where is the castle of La Ballue
- Time from the Mont Saint Michel : 30 min
- Driving time from Rouen: 2h50
- Driving time from Evreux: 3h10
- Driving time from Caen: 1h30
- Driving time from Alençon: 2h10
- Driving time from Cherbourg: 2h05
OUR ADVICE FOR RENTING A CAR IN Normandy
- Compare prices on our preferred platform: DiscoverCars – one of the best rated sites.
- Choose a car that is comfortable enough (distances can be long) but compact (some parking lots and villages are narrow).
- Think of thecomplete insurance (some roads are tortuous and narrow).
- There is a lot of demand, book it early.
How to get there
Given its location in the countryside, in the commune of Courtils, only access by car is possible.
To learn more about how to get to Mont Saint Michel, please see our article on how to get to Mont Saint Michel.
The hotel has its own dedicated and free parking.
Is the Château de la Ballue family friendly?
The castle is suitable for a small family, as the atmosphere is familiar and friendly. The Château has a room that can accommodate up to 3 people.
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO Normandy
Our top 3 things to do at Mont-Saint-Michel
Walk to the mount
Many people rush inside the Mont. They get out of their car, get on the shuttle and follow the people inside. But, in our opinion, choosing to walk there from the parking lots is the best option.
The path is flat and easy. Count 40min to 50min of walking.
Enjoy the sea air and the changing landscape as you approach the mountain; with the dam, fields, sand…
The anticipation makes the experience even better!
Visit the Abbey
The jewel of Mont-Saint-Michel is of course the abbey built over the centuries on top of this rocky island.
It is a marvel of architecture and history.
It is particularly known for its cloister built in the 13th century, as if suspended between sky and sea.
Be careful, there are a lot of stairs to visit it.
And you have to book your visit before – bookhere
See all our tips
Explore the ramparts
In addition to the main street and the abbey, do not miss the ramparts.
We recommend that when you arrive at Mont-Saint-Michel, you go up to the abbey by the ramparts and come back down by the main street or other alleys.
Going up the covered way offers you views of the village, the roofs, the abbey and the bay. Probably our favorite part of the visit to the Mont outside the abbey.
And to learn more: