Hôtel Chais Monnet in Cognac is a Gourmand’s Dream

Hôtel Chais Monnet in Cognac is a Gourmand’s Dream

A dream spot for gourmands, Hôtel Chais Monnet & Spa is the first five-star hotel in the picturesque town of Cognac, and a luxurious destination hotel and wedding venue. Situated in Western France on the beautiful River Charente, Cognac is where the world’s best brandies have been produced since the 18th century and is home to over 200 distilleries to this day. The hotel itself is housed in a protected heritage building dating back to 1838, having turned from an ageing Cognac warehouse, to a cool, contemporary hot spot with many spaces to tantalise the senses.

Hôtel Chais Monnet, Cognac

Hôtel Chais Monnet, Cognac

Location, Location

Bordeaux airport is 90-minutes away, but the drive to Cognac takes you over rolling hills and through quaint rural villages. The hotel sits in the heart of this sleepy historic town and is just a 10-minute stroll to the banks of the river, where boat trips are available. There is also a Hotel Shuttle to Cognac Railawy Station should you be arriving by train.

Hôtel Chais Monnet, Cognac

Points for Style

French architect Didier Poignant who also designed The Royal Monceau and The Hoxton in Paris is the creative behind the elegant design. The exterior is sympathetic to its roots as the Monnet family’s Cognac warehouse up until 1970, however inside the bright and airy reception area boasts a showpiece glass lift with a double wrap-around spiral staircase that fuses its industrial heritage with contemporary comfort.

Hôtel Chais Monnet, Cognac
Hôtel Chais Monnet, Cognac


Chais Monnet Spa is not to be missed. It has already gained a prestigious Condé Nast Johansens award, and the Taste of the Cellar treatment – an indulgent charente salt and grapeseed oil foot scrub, followed by a massage and facial, is just what you need to revive a weary body. Inside there is a sauna and hammam to detox, but the pool has access to an outdoor pool and lounge area on sunny days which amps up the cool sun holiday vibes.

Lowdown on Lodgings

There are 92 rooms, inclduding 10 suites, divided across four buildings, and rooms in the historic main building are the most characterful, boasting high ceilings, restored 19th-century wooden beams and either a private rooftop or a garden terrace with a view. The rooms in the new building exude classic French chic, and enjoy fantastic light with floor-to-ceiling glass.

The palette of gold, beige and cream reminds one of the warm glow of a glass of cognac, but verdant touches of botanical wall prints and potted plants draw in the surrounding greenery of the five-acre estate’s lush surrounds.

La Distillerie
Le Rooftop
Jazz Bar 1838

Dining & Drinks

La Distillerie is the casual dining contemporary brasserie that specialises in satisfying French cuisine, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The buffet breakfast is quite the feast to start the day, with mouthwatering fresh pastries and breads.

The rooftop bar, aptly named Le Rooftop, sits atop a building wrapped in a rust-coloured industrial style frame to resemble a tablge of vines. This works its way up to cover the roof making it perfect for festoon lighting, creating a most romantic setting to enjoy panoramic sunset views over Cognac with a pre-dinner cocktail.

The standalone Jazz Bar 1838 is moodily exquisite as darkness closes, with its very own cognac library visible on the mezzanine level featuring brandies from both smaller and larger cognac houses. The cocktail menu here is particularly interesting, and expertly executed by the team. Previously a cooperage where brandy barrels were made, today it is the cosiest and coolest date night spot in town.

Stand Out Feature:

The culinary jewel in the crown of Hôtel Chais Monnet is the one Michelin-starred Les Foudres restaurant, and the reason why food lovers flock to the property. The setting is breathtaking as the entrance to the chic dining room is fronted by enormous 100-year-old brandy barrels that stand like sentinels against the exposed stone of the old building. It’s a truly theatrical setting for an equally sensational dining experience.

Chef Mathis Debize’s delectable menu (Signature Menu: 3 courses, €79/wine pairing €40 or Prestige Menu: 6 courses, €150/wine pairing €90) is infused with local delights beautifully crafted, and influenced by his love of travel. Wild turbot marinated in curry, smoked veal or artichoke three ways – roasted, creamy with Pineau des Charentes aperatif and a miso sabayon – are just some of the ever-changing delights on offer. Wine pairings by Romain, the Cognac-born sommelier, are equally sensational.

The vintage Citroën 2CV cars

Memorable Moment:

The hotel’s vintage Citroën 2CV cars which sit outside are not just for photo opportunities. Ask the staff about taking them for a spin through surrounding grande champagne vineyards. Take some time to explore the courtyard gardens with water features and sculptures, and changing art exhibitions by local artists too.

Who to Bring

The slow pace of life in Cognac is made for strolling hand in hand with someone you love, but with so many spots to enjoy fine food and delicious drinks, the spa and spots to lounge in the sun, it would also make for a wonderfully relaxing break with friends.

In the Area

The big four cognac houses, Courvoisier, Martell and Rémy Martin and of course Hennessy, offer fabulous tasting and tour experiences not to be missed and hotel staff are happy to arrange guided tours. Guests have bikes (traditional and electric-assisted) at their disposal, so jump on one to cover more ground. All that sampling as you stroll the cobbled streets will of course work up an appetite and you’ll be spoiled for choice with all the restaurants in town.


Several rooms are adapted and accessible for wheelchair users. 

Value for Money:

Deluxe double rooms start from €230 excluding breakfast which is €35.

See chaismonnethotel.com to book. All hotels have been independently reviewed by our writers, who hosted on a complimentary basis.

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