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I’m a city girl at heart, but I am no stranger to wine country—when I lived in San Francisco, heading up north to taste wine was the default activity for girls' weekends or a staycation with my husband. Traipsing through vineyards and tasting the reds, whites, and rosés is a favorite activity of mine (bonus if the trip included a mud bath or a top-tier restaurant). When offered the chance to go wine tasting in France, I whipped out my passport faster than you could say “Bon voyage.”
For anyone used to visiting Napa or Sonoma, exploring French wine country can feel a bit more austere than its American counterparts. It’s less bustling (no big tour buses or limos here), and tastings are typically by appointment only (and only offered at a handful of estates). As far as accommodations go, you’re more likely to find a bed and breakfast than a full-scale resort. But on my trip to France last fall, I was excited to see a new addition to the hospitality landscape in Champagne—just a stone’s throw away from renowned houses like Perrier Jouët and Moët & Chandon.
This newly-built hotel is the latest from LOISIUM, an Austria-based hotel group whose properties focus on architecture, cuisine, and wine. The hotel and spa concept is relatively new to the region, but catching on quickly as Champagne focuses on boosting its offerings for its many international visitors.
Our driver took us through the town of Äy (home to well-respected Champagne houses like Bollinger and Ayala) and up to the hills of Mutigny, a commune just 15 minutes outside of Épernay. We pulled up to the sleek, modern structure with curved walls lined with wood—reminiscent of staves used to make wine barrels—striking, yet still harmonious with the gorgeous green backdrop of vineyards and forest. Set on the edge of Montagne de Reims Regional Natural Park, it feels like you’re escaping to a secret hideaway.
More Than Meets the Eye
Stepping into the lobby, you’re immediately greeted by a chic and light-filled space with modern furnishings and contemporary fixtures, providing ample space for having cocktails, reading a book, or working on your laptop. As one would expect from a hotel situated in the middle of Champagne, the selection of bubbles at the bar available is dizzying—by-the-glass options are top-notch, but if you want something a bit more special, higher-end cuvees and vintages are also available by the bottle.
The hotel features 101 rooms and suites, each with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer an uninterrupted view of the property’s natural surroundings. Each room is outfitted with warm textiles and wooden floors that blend seamlessly into the vineyards and forest outside the window. The Classic Double room starts at 185€ a night, measures about 250 square feet, and features a double bed, bathrobe, minibar, shower, and coffeemaker. The most luxurious rooms are the Suites, which start at just 275€ a night, which feels like a steal for a suite accommodation. They measure just over 450 square feet and have the added bonuses of a balcony, separate tub and rain shower, and additional seating area for lounging. All rooms have air-conditioning (not always the case with hotels in France), free Wi-Fi, and TV.
A Place to Relax, Recharge, and Refuel
Tucked underneath the lobby is the hotel’s spa club, which features multiple treatment rooms, a Finnish sauna, a steam room, Sanarium® (like a combination steam and sauna), heated outdoor pool, and juice bar. Guests can get massages, facials, and scrubs using products from Saint Charles Apothecary, a line that focuses on sustainability and natural ingredients. Upstairs, a fitness center is available for use, offering a curated assortment of equipment, including a stationary bike and rowing machine alongside traditional weights.
Even if you’re not a guest, the hotel’s restaurant L'Horisium is worth stopping into. During the day, the dining room is bathed in light thanks to expansive windows (complete with vineyard view, bien sûr), even more magnificent when watching the sky change color as the sun sets. I can’t stop thinking about the house-made jambon persillade and expertly grilled fish I enjoyed, paired with a glass of Champagne Jacquesson Cuvee 745. The food here relies heavily on seasonal ingredients, so the menu may change but it always maintains a strong sense of traditional French gastronomy. The wine list is extensive, and you’ll be sure to find excellent options to pair with your meal, but if you’re unsure, you can always rely on the fact that Champagne goes with just about everything.
We arrived at LOISIUM at the end of September, just after the harvest season, so vineyard activity had slowed down and the surrounding areas were quite serene. For a lovely wine country getaway, I can’t recommend LOISIUM enough—you can’t help but relax here. From the tranquil setting to the cozy rooms and spa component, combined with the proximity to some of the best bubbly in the world, this is what my dream vacation looks like and I cannot wait to come back.
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5 Things I Can’t Travel Without
“Joy” Journal by Papier ($30)
This 96-page lined notebook is perfect for daily journaling, jotting down wine-tasting notes, or taking time to list your must-see stops on your trip. Choose from lined, dotted, or plain pages, and select your favorite color (eight joyful hues available).
Buly 1803 Baume de Muses ($30)
The stylish case for this lip balm can be personalized with your initials and comes with its own protective velvet cover. The balm itself is made from all-natural ingredients, including sesame oil, shea butter, and rice bran wax. A perfect size to slip into a purse or pocket, it will keep your lips soft and supple all day long.
There’s nothing more jarring than a cold floor in the morning, so I like tucking a pair of these into my suitcase for when I stay at hotels or homes with hard flooring. These organic cotton slippers are very comfortable, and can also be tossed into the washing machine for laundering.
Illesteva Eldridge 56 Sunglasses ($260)
I typically bring at least one pair of chic sunglasses to offer some sun protection when I’m out and about—this silhouette from Illesteva remains fairly classic but has undeniable “cool girl” energy. They’re Italian-made acetate frames available in eight colors, and you can also order them with prescription lenses if needed.
P.volve Essentials Kit ($130)
As someone who attends in-person P.volve classes several times a week in LA, I also like to have access to their digital online classes when I’m traveling. I use this kit in its entirety at home when I can’t make it to the studio, and take the heavy ankle band and upper body-focus “P.band” with me on the road so I can get a little movement in even wherever I go.
5 more things to know:
- LOISUM is located just 15 minutes away from the bustling town of Èpernay, home to many renowned Champagne houses you can visit by appointment. You are also just over an hour away from the medieval city of Troyes, great to tour on foot.
- The hotel also has four conference rooms available to rent for meetings, seminars, workshops, and team-building exercises.
- The LOISIUM staff can help you arrange cave tours, explore the valley via bicycle (on part of the famous Véloroute 52), rent a vintage car for touring, or even arrange a boat tour (for up to 6 people).
- There’s always something going on in the region—from the Fêtes Henri IV in Aÿ (July), the Soirée Blanche on French National Day (July 14), harvest season in the fall, and the Habits de Lumière festival of lights (December).
- LOISIUM also offers excellent specials during the winter, from 20-30% off of typical room rates.