Located opposite the cathedral, La Caserne Chanzy Hotel & Spa offers the most beautiful view of Reims.
Opened at the end of 2019, after 5 years of work to transform this former fire station into a luxury hotel, the establishment, a member of the Autograph Collection, has just been awarded the prestigious five-star category. It combines modern comfort with the Art Deco heritage of its 1930s construction.
Equipped with a spa, an interior garden, a bistronomic restaurant with an ideally placed terrace, a champagne bar which offers a heady menu of fine references to be enjoyed by the glass, the hotel offers a dream address for a gourmet weekend in the heart of one of the most beautiful champagne capitals and the discovery of exceptional estates such as Vilmart champagne.
Pingat Group, a new hotel group resulting from the building
Thanks to the addition of two additional, linear and discreet floors above the original building, the majority of the rooms at the Caserne de Chanzy offer a spectacular view of Reims Cathedral. And from the hotel’s new terraces, this masterpiece of Gothic art seems to be so close you could almost touch it.
Ideally located also near the Museum of Fine Arts, the Opera and the Palace of Tau, the former fire station has nevertheless remained empty and unoccupied for thirty years.
The Pingat group, which was entrusted with the restoration of the sleeping beauty, was born from the association of a building company accustomed to the construction of silos in the 1940s and an architectural design office made up of engineers. The idea of managing the hotel was born during the works.
A fire station transformed into a five-star luxury hotel
After five years of studies and restoration which have made it possible to keep the facade and the structure of the 1930s while adding 3 additional levels, two raised, modern but discreet floors and the basement which includes the spa, La Caserne Chanzy offers a five star services as announced by the plaque freshly hung on its facade in a cozy luxury boutique hotel.
The 89 rooms and suites whose decoration has been entrusted to Julie Fuillet Studio are modern and spacious with touches of decoration that remind us that we are indeed in Champagne country: the stools are in the shape of a champagne cork, the suspensions represent bottles. Rooms 514 and 506 are ideal for enjoying a direct view of the jewel of Reims.
The bathrooms have custom-made shower screens by the artist Caroline de Boissieu, in reference to the stained glass windows of the cathedral. The lobby, made of wood, concrete and stone, is enhanced with shades of green and touches of gold reminiscent of the golden color of champagne, while the lounge, designed as a winter garden with large bay windows , overlooks the patio. In the rooms, abstract photographs by Pierre Elie de Pibrac recount the different stages in the production of champagne.
Champagne bar and bistonomy at La Grande Georgette
A champagne bar created to measure by Julie Fuillet welcomes visitors near the hotel lobby with 280 champagne references and the possibility of tasting, by the glass, prestigious vintages in jeroboam (the equivalent of 4 bottles, the best container for aging and the expression of champagne bubbles).
Each month, a different champagne, from the most confidential to the most famous, is offered, such as Ayala, Charles Heidseick, Bollinger or even Vilmart.
“In France, we are used to festive champagne” confirms Baptiste Collignon, the general manager of the hotel but champagne also perfectly accompanies dishes” such as those offered at the Grande Georgette table, created by the chef Julien Raphanel.
The poached egg, the saithe fillet and its variety of leeks go well with the raw champagne Ayal or the perfect egg with cappuccino of mushrooms and the quenelle revisited by the chef from Lyon, are accompanied by the cuvée Préférence du Jules Lassalle champagne, produced by a new generation of women, food and champagne pairings, imagined with head sommelier Antoine Devaux. The former Stade de Reims footballer who has become a top oenologist has also created the entire wine list with more than 400 fine references. The raclettes ordered in the ephemeral chalet built within the patio for the winter season can be enjoyed with a Chablis Pattes Loup, Vent d’Ange 2017 from Thomas Pico, a red Chassagne Montrachet, La Goujonne from Hubert Lamy cuvée 2013 or a brut Blanc de Blancs champagne, Initial cuvée from Jacques Selossejoy and surprise, an expression of the generosity of the entire team who like to share their love of exceptional wine and champagne.
The whole young team comes from the Domaine des Crayères, not far away, where the young 29-year-old chef cut his teeth, among other things, with Philippe Mille, the two-starred chef of the Relais et Châteaux and with whom the hotel continues to maintain privileged relations. Know-how, hospitality, taste of the region, fresh regional products and homemade dishes with a modern twist are at the heart of the table in this restaurant, which uses the color codes of today’s firefighters. In homage to the first function of the establishment, the navy blue on the wall is underlined with a bright red thread, the structures are inspired by firefighters’ ladders and the name of Grande Georgette refers to the tradition that existed in the 1920s. , that of giving the first name of the captain’s wife to the large scale of the firefighters.
Deep Nature Spa
The spa offers 5 treatment cabins in the basement of the hotel which use the Vinesime products from Burgundy vines coupled with black currant extracts for face care and Deep Nature range based on dosage of minerals and trace elements without adding chemical molecules for massages and body treatments. A hammam, a sauna, a fitness room and a pool complete the set to offer a cocoon of well-being in the heart of the city of Reims. Signature treatments like the Kings treatment take place over three hours and end with a glass of champagne! necessarily!
Addresses recommended by the hotel : Reims Cathedral, on the other side of the square
The visit to the cathedral is guided by Martine Loiselet, recommended by the Reims tourist office, who will tell you the fascinating story of this major work of Gothic art, place of the coronation of the kings of France until 1825, will explain how the bas-reliefs and sculptures including the smiling angel which is the symbol of the city, have withstood time, wars and fires, the different episodes of its construction, its magnificent stained glass windows of period and those more recent of Marc Chagall. Martine Loiselet will tell you that you have to contemplate these masterpieces of the companions between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to admire the sun illuminating the bright colors, will reveal to you that the cathedral was painted in a thousand colors at the time and other fascinating details of this UNESCO World Heritage monument.
The exceptional cellars of Vilmart champagnes, open especially to customers of Caserne Chanzy
Winegrowers and producers since 1890, the family has perpetuated the tradition of a champagne resulting from precision work, for five generations. Founded in the heart of village of Rilly-la-Montagneat the foot of the Montagne de Reims by Désiré Vilmart, the estate is now run by his great-grandson, Laurent Fieldsjoined by his daughter Morgane and his son Tom.
“It takes two qualities to be a good winegrower, patience and humility, and luck! Each generation brings its stone to the building,” confides Laurent Champs. “My father was the first to do biodynamics in the 70s, being called crazy at the time. He sold 100% of the production in France” while Laurent Champs traveled and brought back in his suitcases the mastery of English and the international dimension that the house knows today.
The 11 hectares of vineyards planted in Premier Cru of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir grape varietiesin this region made mainly of Pinot Noir and Meunier, produce 110,000 bottles a year for eight kinds of champagne including the very mineral champagne Blanc de Blancs, from the Voies Blanches plotthe dynamic and vigorous Large Cellaraerial Heart of Cuvee with notes of fresh almonds, all from manual harvesting, aged in oak barrels or tuns, without malolactic fermentation. The method here is environmental, with organic fertilizers, controlled grassing, organic made with sulphur.
After visiting the cellars, dug in chalky soil that retain 11 degrees, the ideal temperature for champagnesummer or winter, the tasting takes place in the very welcoming and chic lounge where the invitation to the waltz of the house’s exceptional champagnes is made to the rhythm of corks popping from the “Symphony” bottles, recognizable by their flat ass and bombastic shape. They contain behind their dark “oak” color and the delicate textured labels, designed by the master of the house, the divine and sparkling beverage.
The Blanc de Blancs, made from 100% Chardonnay, comes from the Blanches Voies parcel, on chalk soil, the oldest in the estate. Its straw yellow color announces the delicacy of very fine bubbles, promises a bouquet of citrus fruits mixed with orange blossom completed by candied fruits and underlined by vanilla and toasted hazelnut notes while the mouth reveals dried fruits, hazelnut , almost salty and a few moments later notes of honeysuckle which end up texturing the complexity of this chiseled champagne.
The Grand Cellar d’OR 2016 that we had the pleasure of tasting is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, classified Premier Cru, its color is golden lemon, its nose is airy, floral and spring-like, with the first notes of candied pineapple, spices like cardamom and white pepper that turn into aromas of cinnamon and gingerbread. We perceive an acid-sugar balance before a very long but clear finish on candied and orange zest. And after a few minutes of opening, aromas of pralines, peach and apricot take over. Each champagne from the house offers a wealth of flavors and aromas that gives the measure of the precision work, transmitted from generation to generation, perpetuated with heart and passion, to offer an exceptional liquid gold.
and also theth Christmas market
the Montagne de Reims National Nature Park
Report by Capucine Gougenheim Geagea and Plume Voyage
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