The setting is perfect - 18thC Manoir les Minimes proudly faces one of the widest stretches of the Loire near Amboise; the service is impeccable and the bedrooms among the most elegant we have seen in the region. Our reporter worried that it was perhaps a touch too polished, but the house and its setting won her over with their peace and their charm.
  The bedrooms each have their own character, and the bathrooms are enormous: havens of white, with shining surfaces and expansive towels. The furnishings throughout are a wonderful mix of antique mahogany armoires (if you're looking for a pleasant diversion, search for the secret drawers), Chinese vases and well-placed 18thC landscapes, with a couple of welcome eccentricities such as a harp in the drawing room. The owner, Eric Deforges, certainly cares about his guests, and the 14 rooms make the hotel small enough to remain intimate despite the polish. We felt most at home in the traditional bedrooms on the third floor, with their exposed dark oak beams, intricately carved wardrobes and simple cream carpets. If you're feeling flush, the corner suite (No. 10) is the most spectacular, with views from two sides over château and river.
  There is no restaurant, but you are within walking distance of the centre of Amboise. The hotel is exclusively non-smoking.