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Relais & Châteaux is a world in and of itself, unlike any other. A warm, welcoming, gourmet affair awaits where outstanding quality is coupled with each individual property's passion for their own region and its terroir.
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Relais & Châteaux offers you a veritable world tour. Whatever the occasion, however long you stay, each of our hotels will offer you the very best of its culture and region.
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When you experience Relais & Châteaux, you experience a whole array of sensations. Each of our properties offers the opportunity to enjoy an unparalleled range of sensory experiences, where the beauty of a particular place, the warmth of the hospitality and the quality of the cuisine are in perfect harmony. Scents and tastes, landscapes and colours make every stay a rare and intense experience.
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Burgundy and Franche-Comté

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Central reservation office (United States)

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : MENEAU

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Discover
the Routes
du Bonheur of...

Marc Meneau
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Owner and Grand Chef of Relais & Châteaux: L’Espérance Saint-Père, Vézelay, Yonne
Our Route du Bonheur in Bourgogne: abbeys, beautiful villages, vineyards and friends of Relais & Châteaux.

Over five centuries in Vézelay, Françoise and I are the first of our family to have plunged into the hosting of tourists and Pilgrims. After we took over our parent’s café and store, the passion and the love we had for it led us to the wonderful Relais & Châteaux. The location is well-warranted; the millions of men and women who have come through Vézelay in search of an Absolute have brought us with them on their pilgrimages.

Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur for your inspiration: they are suggestions of itineraries that you can adapt to your preferences and desired experiences. Our advisors are at your disposal to individualise your routes and help you make reservations at our properties.
Example for a four-night stay from €825*
* Minimum indicative rate per person, subject to availability, on the basis of a double room with double occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner (menu, without beverages) in the properties suggested for the itinerary.
Activities on site and nearby must be reserved by you.

My Route du Bonheur
First stage: one day, one night

L’Espérance

I cook the exceptional fruit of my native land with generosity and a pinch of humour!
L’Espérance
L’Espérance is first of all a name that is universally recognized. As a country: Vézelay. Each recipe, object or piece of furniture we chose led us to Relais & Châteaux. The products in our kitchen, the excellence of our livestock farmers, our harvesters of wild products, our marshland, our master chefs, Humbert and Guillot, all brought us the exacting of standards: a simple cuisine, a warm welcome, to serve and to give. This is L’Espérance.

Close to the property...

Vézelay

We live in Vézelay. Many well-known writers and artists have come here: Théodore de Bèze, Romain Roland, Jules Roy, Bataille, Maxpol-Fouchet, Picasso, Giacometti, and more. Their words and their influence fill the streets that wind up to the Abbey of La Madeleine; they all came to find freedom of thought and expression. The streets and houses, the artists, the faithful and the locals are all wonders to be appreciated.

On the route...

Châteauneuf

A few hundred metres from Château de Vauban, in Bazoches, you’ll find a chapel, three firs and a cemetery with an incredible view of Vézelay and the slope; a country unchanged over 5 000 years.

Village of Montréal

I regularly visit this small village of less than 2 000. I stop here after picking up friends at the train station in Montbard. We take in gorgeous views of the Auxois horses, the pastures and the magnificent 13th century stalls in the Collegiate church.

Abbaye of Fontenay

It was in this small green valley where Cyrano de Bergerac was filmed and where Gérard Depardieu gave his exceptional performance. It is still easy to imagine 12th century monastic life in this Cistercian monastery.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : MENEAU

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Stage 2: one night, one day

Abbaye de la Bussière

Silence is golden, cooking is magnificent
Abbaye de la Bussière
This Cistercian abbey was founded in 1131 by the English third abbot of Cîteaux Abbey. Today’s happy owners, the Cummings family, also from the United Kingdom, have miraculously preserved the spirit of the ancient abbey. Old, long-forgotten frescos were discovered and restored during their property’s restoration. www.abbaye-dela-bussiere.com

Close to the property...

Chez Bruno, wine bar

Located in the antique-sellers quarter of Dijon, this small bar welcomes amateur wine enthusiasts and renowned oenologists alike. Bruno Crouzat has an excellent palate and a sensible motto: “I have simple tastes, I’m happy with the best.”

Cîteaux Abbey

Even though it might not be the most impressive – far from it! – Cîteaux Abbey was the founding location of the Cistercian Order in 1098. The Rule of Saint Benedict (silence, poverty, solitude) is still respected by the resident small religious community, who also produce one of France’s great cheeses, Cîteaux.

La Côte

The name ‘La Côte’ brings to mind great Burgundy wines. Sixty-five kilometres of vines to each side of the road between the city of Dijon and the village of Santenay. Each hamlet or slope here is an international wine landmark. Along the Côte de Nuits, stop at Gevrey-Chambertin, Vougeot, Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne-Romanée or Nuits-Saint-Georges. On the Côte de Beaune, to the south, there is Aloxe-Corton, Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, and more. The list alone is enough to intoxicate!

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : MENEAU

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Stage 3 : 1 day, 1 night

Hostellerie de Levernois

A hideaway from which to fall in love with Burgundy
Hostellerie de Levernois
Former Chief Executive Officer of Relais & Châteaux, Jean-Louis Bottigliero and his wife Susanne are the owners of this beautiful 18th century residence, having fallen in love with the place before they purchased it. Now, a vegetable garden sits next to tennis courts, both nearby a nice 18-hole golf course. www.levernois.com

Close to the property...

Hospices de Beaune

Founded in 1443, Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune is a masterpiece of Burgundy-Flemish art, notable for its splendid coloured slate roof. Some years ago I had the opportunity to prepare a meal in a wonderful entirely wood-panelled room here.

On the route...

Cluny Abbey

I used to come here and copy down recipes into notebooks by hand. My teacher Alex Humbert, a great chef during the 60s, would recite them to me. The collective architecture of the location can still be felt; prior to the construction of Saint-Pierre de Rome, the abbey church in Cluny was the largest in all of Western Christianity.

Village of Brancion

This small medieval village has been exquisitely restored and overlooks Mâconnais. Take a quiet walk down the alleys in the shadow of the ancient castle walls, where for a long time sitting lords fought the monks of Cluny.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : MENEAU

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Stage 4 : 1 day, 1 night

Georges Blanc Parc & Spa

In Vonnas a village has developed to illustrate French art de vivre
Georges Blanc Parc & Spa
Georges didn’t create a hotel, but an almost five-hectare village devoted to peacefulness and good taste. I’m not only an admirer of the man, but also his cuisine. We are members of the same family. One of the best food experiences and wine caves in the area. www.georgesblanc.com

On the route...

Église de Brou

A trip to Bourg-en-Bresse isn’t complete without visiting the Royal Monastery of Brou and the masterpiece that is the flamboyant, gothic church. The tombs, the retable and the stained-glass windows are simply magnificent.

Glorieuses de Bresse

On the last Tuesday before Christmas, livestock farmers line up their finest animals under the vast hangars in Montrevel-en-Bresse: carefully plucked fattened chickens, turkeys and other capons are admired like fine paintings. The festivities of the Glorieuses de Bresse date back to 1862. During the rest of the year, you can go and visit Jean-Claude Mieral, a poultry man in Montrevel-en-Bresse whom I’ve been working with for years!

Bresse Farms

The first Bresse farm you are able to visit is in Montrevel-en-Bresse. Hidden behind the timber-framed, cob-filled walls and the square sarrasine chimney lie the difficulties of an earlier time. The second farm is in the nearby commune of Romenay. Transformed into a museum devoted to the terroir, time stopped here in 1937… Both yesterday and a century ago.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : MENEAU

Calling from another country ? Click here

Texts : © Guides Gallimard