The guide for design lovers in Champagne-Ardenne


Champagne is perhaps the most underrated wine region in France, and not just because of its world-famous sparkling drink. Located just 30 minutes by RailEurope train from Charles de Gaulle Airport (and 15 minutes from Gare de l’Est in Paris), Champagne-Ardenne, as it is aptly called, is an easy getaway from the capital. . And yet, the region is not as frequented by French and international visitors as one might expect. Whether that’s due to the country’s many other famous wine regions or the sparkling drink’s reputation as a treat reserved for special occasions, that could be about to change. For starters, the region now has its very first modern five-star luxury hotel. And then of course, beyond the hospitality and drink options that abound, the French region is also full of hidden design gems.

The exterior and the vast exterior space of the Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa.

Photo: Courtesy of Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa

Where to stay

When Napoleon Bonaparte went to his coronation in 1804 he (supposedly) spent the night in a small countryside hostel overlooking the vast vineyards of the Champagne hillsides. Fast forward to today, and the site on which this historic hotel stood is now the location of the new Hotel & Spa Royal Champagne. Although part of a historic facade is visible outside the complex, the design rampart has been carefully redesigned by architect Giovanni Pace.

A fig dessert at the Royal.

Photo: Courtesy of Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa

The hotel is, on the whole, an obtuse angle cut into one of the most beautiful hillsides in the region. Its pale stone materials allow it to both blend in with its surroundings while seemingly alluding to the color palette of the region’s namesake drink. Inside, a sober decor blends wonderfully with thoughtful details (such as the little golden bees, Napoleon’s signature emblem). All bedrooms face the valley and have their own private terrace. An outdoor swimming pool, as well as a particularly large indoor swimming pool, also shares the view over the valley. The hotel has the only full-fledged spa in the region, which includes products from the cult French brand Biological research– as well as a restaurant, The Royal, which has already earned a Michelin star.

If you’re there for a weekend in a cooler season, be sure to continue your dining experience there by taking advantage of the hotel’s tea service on Saturday afternoons. Even the most die-hard Anglophile will likely be delighted to find that it consists mostly of delicious miniature French cakes and champagne, as opposed to hot water and herbal infused drinks.

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