What strikes most visitors to La Marine de Loire is its excellent decor. Owner Caroline Chagnaud has clearly gone out of her way to make her hotel as pretty as the Loire valley village in which it stands. The rooms, as well as the terraces, garden and breakfast room, are designed to create an air of calm and relaxation, and are all painted in natural, muted colours inspired by the scenery of the valley and its river. The bedrooms are lovingly furnished with simple but elegant furniture, and the hotel's two suites really are something special - "Lune" features a huge skylight and a silver telescope for stargazing. Some guests may find the long staircases to some rooms a little hard to manage, but easily accessed suites are available on the ground floor.
   All rooms offer views over either the River Loire, which flows right past the hotel, or the private garden, which is "small but superb" according to one visitor. The hotel also has basic spa facilities, offering a Jacuzzi pool and beauty therapy. Service is described as "lovely" - Madame Chagnaud is always willing to give advice on local attractions and offers to pack picnics and binoculars for those wishing to explore the area.
   There's certainly plenty to see - the hotel sits amongst some of the country's best vineyards and its most stunning medieval chateaux. Montsoreau village is well-known as one of the prettiest villages in France and is only a few miles from the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud - the largest in Europe.

This beautifully decorated riverside hotel is a great base for those wishing to explore the Loire Valley and the surrounding area. They're offering a free access to their spa and 10% off all room prices to Charming Small Hotels readers. Contact them for more details.