Published by Lyn on 2 June 2016
Jacqui Brown stayed at Domaine de la Courbe in Le Lude when she cycled La Sarthe a Vélo. Here’s what she liked about it.
Situated just off the quiet V47 cycle route, 6km from Le Lude, the Domaine de la Courbe is a collection of renovated stone buildings that were once a paper mill, situated on the bank of the River Loir. It has an impressive entrance with gravel drive that made quite a first impression, although there is nothing like the feeling of arriving at your destination after your first full day on a cycling tour.
5 things we liked
1. The friendly staff. The welcome at reception was friendly and they were keen to chat about our day on the bikes. As an Accueil Vélo hotel, our bikes were made as welcome as we were, in a cosy outbuilding they shared with the boiler.
2. Our room was clean, comfortable and a very generous size, even a family of four would have had plenty of space for themselves and their luggage. We had lovely toiletries in the bathroom plus a hairdryer and kettle. Internet was accessible from our room, however it was quite slow, which is often the case in rural France.
3. The spa
After kicking off the cycling clothes, having a shower and feeling human again we went to explore the spa, which has a swimming pool (with jacuzzi) and Turkish steam room set in the cellars under a vaulted ceiling. It was a real treat for our legs after a day on the bikes and very peaceful. The hotel is part of the Relais du Silence group and there were no raised voices to be heard in the spa, the grounds or the restaurant, although the frogs in the pond outside our window obviously couldn’t read.
4. The restaurant. Dinner was served in the on-site restaurant where a three-course meal cost €27.90, which gave us a choice of starter, main and dessert, that included local specialties and an emphasis on seasonal vegetables. We enjoyed our duck and steak meals and portion sizes were perfect for hungry cyclists, but I'm glad we had put some semi smart clothes in for the evenings, as we would have looked rather out of place in our cycling gear.
5. Breakfast. After a comfy night’s sleep, breakfast was served in the small bar off reception. It was a generous buffet that included cereals, bread, croissants, ham, cheese, eggs and yoghurts – a perfect start for a day on the bikes.
The grounds were large and ideal for a stroll, which we did the following morning as the sun rose over the river Loir. The whole experience was a real treat for us.
Domaine de la Courbe
Route de Luché, 72800 Le Lude
(Sarthe, Pays de la Loire)
About our reviewer
Our guest reviewer Jacqui Brown writes the super interesting French Village Diaries, a blog about life in Poitou-Charentes, cycling, French food, travel, and books. The photos are Jacqui's as well, with the exception of the photo at the top, which came via the hotel.