Lift your spirits with a stay in Cognac’s top hotel: Richard Esling November 17
Those who have already visited a producer of cognac will know the expression ‘The Angel’s Share’.
This refers to the alcohol which vaporises from the barrels of cognac during their long maturation and is a natural part of the production process. But why should the angels have all the fun? Right in the heart of the old town of Cognac is one of the most fabulous and quirky hotels in which I have ever stayed. A little corner of heaven in the town that makes the most famous brandy in the world.
Chais Monnet is a five-star hotel and spa, where contemporary luxury is infused with the rich heritage of the original cognac storage buildings, now expertly distilled into one of the leading hotels of the world.
Ultra-modern architecture merges seamlessly with old brick, stone and wood, with immaculate taste and attention to detail. A serene and peaceful atmosphere reigns throughout, exemplified by walkways bordered by water features, complete with ornamental fish.
After the year that we’ve all been having in 2020, a little indulgence must be on the cards for 2021, with what we all hope will be a successful vaccine available. Apart from the superbly comfortable rooms, many with private balconies, the well-equipped spa with inside and outside pool, the gastronomic restaurant, the brasserie, the roof-top bar, what sets the Hotel Chais Monnet apart from its rivals is the friendliness and professionalism of the staff, who make every guest feel like a true VIP.
The difference is striking. I have stayed in many five-star hotels where the staff make you feel that they are doing you a favour just to let you through the front door. At Chais Monnet, the opposite is true, with every staff member being happy and privileged that you have come to stay at their establishment. The welcome and quality of service is second to none, contributing in no small part to the enjoyment of your stay.
With its central location in this ancient town, many of the most prestigious cognac houses are only a few steps away, with visits and tastings a-plenty, affording the perfect opportunity to discover the historic town centre of Cognac and the secrets of this world-renowned spirit. Sited on the fourth floor of one of the hotel buildings is the open-air roof-top bar Guinget, overlooking the old town. Sipping an aged cognac, or perhaps a pre-dinner cocktail or glass of champagne on a fine, warm evening, watching the sun set over the old, tiled roofs spread-out below, is an unforgettable experience.
Indeed, a stay at Chais Monnet will afford many such experiences, another to be had dining in the Restaurant Les Foudres, in the unique setting of rows of huge wooden cognac vats, sadly empty, but impressive, nonetheless. For a slightly simpler, traditional cuisine, the spacious yet cosy brasserie La Distillerie is set amongst huge stone pillars and massive oak beams, whilst true Cognac Heaven is to be had at Le 1838, a jazz bar serving over 220 different cognacs.
We may not be able to get there right now, but I thoroughly recommend putting Hotel Chais Monnet high up on the ‘must visit’ list for 2021. Join in with the angels.