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Discover the Hôtel Golf Château de Chailly, a historic palace from the Renaissance that now operates as a fantastic boutique hotel.

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Hôtel Golf Château de Chailly, a member of Historic Hotels Worldwide since 2022, dates back to the 16th century.

Identified as a National Monument by the French Ministry of Culture, the Hôtel Golf Château de Chailly has been a revered holiday destination for years. Despite having such a renowned reputation within the hospitality industry, this fantastic historic site has not always been a hotel. On the contrary, the compound that now houses the Hôtel Golf Château de Chailly originally served as a well-fortified medieval castle long ago. The earliest known records indicate that the location first functioned as a single reinforced mansion amid the Hundred Years’ War. At the height of the conflict in the early 15th century, a French noblemen named Jean, Lord of Loges, obtained the structure and its surrounding feudal estate. He subsequently transformed the building into an imposing castle called the “Château de Chailly,” which loomed magnificently over the local countryside for miles. But once the fighting subsided several decades later, the castle’s military usefulness waned in importance. Jean’s grandchild, Hughes, subsequently initiated a large renovation at the start of the Renaissance that turned the castle into a grand palace. The Château de Chailly continued to serve as a regal palace for many centuries thereafter, passing through the ownership of various royal families like the Lenets and the Brunets. Perhaps the building’s most esteemed owners were the Tillet family, who were the scions of many bishops, generals, and powerful government ministers. Nevertheless, the Château de Chailly ceased being a home for the nobility during the French Revolution, when a former mayor of nearby Chailly—Augustin Godard—purchased the location and protected it from possible demolition. After serving as a luxurious private residence over the next two centuries, the Château de Chailly was eventually obtained by Japanese entrepreneur Yasuhiko Sata in the late 1980s. Recognizing the building’s amazing heritage, he proceeded to restore the erstwhile palace into a stunning resort hotel known as the “Hôtel Golf Château de Chailly.” Since its debut in 1990, the Hôtel Golf Château de Chailly has emerged as one of France’s most elite vacation retreats. The stunning facility has continuously enchanted guests with its fine dining establishments, luxurious spa, and beautiful 18-hole golf course.
  • About the Location +

    Chailly-sur-Armançon is a small village located in the heart of France’s historic region of Burgundy. While Burgundy itself was settled millennia ago, the first cultural group to establish the area as a distinct political entity were the Burgundians—a Scandinavian people who originally hailed from an island in the Baltic Sea known as “Bornholm.” Migrating down the Vistula River during the 1st century B.C., they eventually created a Roman client state known as the “Kingdom of Burgundy” in much of what currently constitutes the region today. Nevertheless, the Kingdom of Burgundy increasingly became more independent as the power of Rome waned throughout the latter half of the 5th century A.D. But in 534, the Franks—ancestors of the French—conquered the realm upon deposing the last Burgundian monarch, Godomar. Burgundy then spent the next several centuries as part of the historic Frankish Empire, ruled as a large fiefdom for the various members of the Merovingian dynasty. For a time, the Franks allowed for the area to retain its earlier identity as the “Kingdom of Burgundy,” although it remained subservient to the main Merovingian branch. In the 9th century, the Kingdom of Burgundy was divided into several smaller domains—the Kingdom of Upper Burgundy located around Lake Geneva; the Kingdom of Lower Burgundy in southern France; and the Duchy of Burgundy, which constituted most of modern Burgundy. While the two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Burgundy were later reunited as the Kingdom of Arles, the Duchy of Burgundy was annexed by the French in 1004.

    The Duchy of Burgundy emerged as the most important locale within France throughout most of the Middle Ages, with its rulers wielding significant influence that periodically challenged the French kings. Indeed, the Dukes of Burgundy gradually enlarged their domain and received great support from their vassals. The major cities in Burgundy prospered, too, specifically Dijon—the regional capital. The region even became the home for renowned monasteries, such as the ones centered in Cluny, Cîteaux, and Vézelay. Then, in 1361, France obtained a portion of the erstwhile Kingdom of Upper Burgundy situated just across the Swiss Alps. Called the “Free County of Burgundy,” the area quickly facilitated close ties with the duchy. (This area still exists as the province of Franche Comté.) The region reached the height of its power during the Hundred Years’ War, when King John II assigned the duchy to his youngest son, Philip the Bold. Under Philip’s rule, the County and Duchy were combined into one polity via a personal union in 1369. When Philip’s father-in-law, the Count of Flanders, died not long thereafter, the Duchy of Burgundy wound up controlling lands as far north as present-day Belgium and Luxembourg. With military strength that now evenly matched France’s, Philip and his descendants confronted their French rivals frequently during the latter stages of the Hundred Years’ War as an ally of England. It also had the power to occasionally fight its other neighbors as well.

    Burgundy eventually drifted into decline following the death of Philip’s great-grandson, Charles the Bold, during the Battle of Nancy in 1477. His heir, Mary the Rich, married Maximilian of Austria, which absorbed most of the Burgundian lands into the Holy Roman Empire. Meanwhile, France was able to annex the Duchy of Burgundy for the last time and placed it firmly back under its authority. (Franche Comté would later rejoin France during the 1600s.) The following centuries saw the territory of the former duchy turned into a battleground amid the destructive Wars of Religion and the Thirty Years’ War. Fortunately, prosperity returned in the late 16th century, which endured for many generations after. Burgundy has since continued to be one of France’s most culturally celebrated regions. Indeed, the area is celebrated for its red and white wines, specifically pinot noir and chardonnay. The area around Chailly-sur-Armançon in particular is home to countless wineries that have gained international recognition. (A large section of the vineyards outside of Dijon have also recently been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as “The Climats.”) Burgundy is also a fantastic place to visit on vacation, as it is home to many fascinating historical landmarks and cultural attractions. In fact, two are identified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites—the Abbaye de Fotenay and the Abbaye Sainte-Marie-Madeleine de Vézelay.

  • About the Architecture +

    The current iteration of the Hôtel Golf Château de Chailly harkens back to the early the 16th century, when the European Renaissance was just beginning to enter France. Renaissance-era architecture itself specifically arrived in the country following a series of invasions into Italy during the reigns of two French kings—Louis XII and Francis I. The frequent military campaigns resulted in France controlling the city of Milan for a few decades, which exposed the French to the artistic trends of the Italian Renaissance. Impressed, they soon brought many of the local artisans and intellectuals back to France. Among the most noteworthy changes that the French requested their Italian patrons institute was architecture. Soon enough, the Italian architects began to either develop new French palaces—or renovate existing ones—starting with the Loire Valley. Home to Tours, (then serving as France’s capital), the region was quickly filled with the prevailing architectural motifs of Renaissance-era Italy, although modified somewhat to suit French tastes. The very first palace to display the new architectural style was the ornate Château de Chambord, which was designed by noted Italian architect Bernabei Domenico da Cortona. Cortona constructed many future hallmarks of French Renaissance design throughout the structure, including conical turrets, dormer windows, round arches, and a steep roof pitch. Soon enough, other French nobles began replicating the style across the country, cementing Cortona’s designs as the basic standard for the new French Renaissance “château.” Additional alterations to the general form were later implemented though, especially once Francis I invited even more Italian artists and architects during the 1530s. Those new individuals—including Giacomo da Vignola, Francesco Primaticcio, and Sebastiano Serlio—specifically incorporated elements of Italian Mannerism in all their designs. As such, this new component to French Renaissance architecture set the new standard for French architecture throughout the remainder of the century.